Manheim Park

news article | published in KCAI's ARTnotes Volume 13, Issue 4

KCAI Graphic Design seniors have joined forces with the City of Kansas City, Missouri to rebrand and help revitalize the Historic Manheim Park Association in their Visual Advocacy class.

The Manheim Park neighborhood is between 39th Street and 47th Street, and from Troost Ave to The Paseo. Their main needs revolve around safety, business and community. The seniors were given the task of researching the area and figuring out the key concerns in the neighborhood and proposing a solution. 

The seniors’ main goal is to instigate, inspire and lead positive change on behalf of all of the community partners through creative problem solving. Their first step of this process revolved around the rebranding the neighborhood with one strong unified logo. The seniors have divided into teams with each team addressing a different concern in the community. Throughout the semester, these students will be researching, attending neighborhood meetings, interviewing, sketching, and refining their ideas into professional proposals, which will be presented to the Manheim Park Association and other community leaders.

The spotlight on this project has been growing, and various organizations have gotten involved in the work of these seniors, including: the City of Kansas City, Missouri, The Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet, Historic Manheim Park Association, The Green Impact Zone, UMKC School of Architecture and Urban Planning, BNIM Architects and Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation.

BNIM Architects have transformed the neighborhood’s abandoned Bancroft School into platinum LEED affordable housing, while keeping as much of the original aspects of the school as possible. It is scheduled to open in November. Near the Bancroft School, other structures with more affordable living spaces and recreation areas are being built. Make It Right Foundation, as well as many other local community leaders, have helped to fund the work being done. 

The final presentation of the KCAI Graphic Design seniors will be fully fleshed-out solutions to those defined community concerns with the Manheim Park Association on Monday, November 25th, 2013. Each team of students will go over their proposals addressing the area’s concerns. It will then be up to Manheim Park Association to decide which and how many of the proposals are implemented within the community.