Four Art Events Not to Miss in July

Dance in Tehuantepec by Diego Rivera.

Diego Rivera’s America at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Although not in the Kansas City metro area, this unique exhibit by extraordinary Mexican artist Diego Rivera, including works by his wife Frida Kahlo, is well worth a day trip to northern Arkansas. And you only have until July 31.

In his immersive murals and large paintings, Diego Rivera depicted the everyday humanity of people he observed—families and workers, celebrations and struggles. Between the early 1920s and the early 1940s, he worked in both Mexico and the United States and found inspiration in the social and cultural life of the two countries. He envisioned an America in which its Indigenous past could meet the industrial future—and thrive.

Diego Rivera’s America examines this prolific time in the artist’s life through more than 130 works, including his drawings, easel paintings, frescoes, and more. You will also see three major paintings by Frida Kahlo, all done in San Francisco, including a self-portrait of her standing next to Rivera. 

Normally, admission to the museum is free and un-ticketed. For this exhibit, however, tickets are $12 per person. Make sure to check out museum hours and spend the night in nearby Bentonville, if you wish.

Dave Koz & Friends: Summer Horns

It’s not often the sexy saxophone takes center stage, but it does in this concert on July 15 at the Kauffman Center.

Dave Koz, a California native, is touring the country with saxophonist friends Candy Dulfur and Eric Darius. 

Koz has amassed quite a following on land and sea (he also performs on cruises), here and abroad (he’ll be touring in Europe), with his high-octane, feel-good concerts. Koz has even found praise from the critics. Esquire writer Jeff Gordinier, sounding like a reluctant fan, noted, “The person who embraces the musicianship of the likes of Dave Koz is one who has found peace and has zero f*cks to give.”

Koz has been touring Summer Horns, with various friends and playlists, since 2013 with sold-out concerts and even a Grammy nomination, so he’s doing quite well, thank you very much.

Click here for ticket and performance information.

Colson Whitehead at Rainy Day Books

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Colson Whitehead will talk about his new work Crowd Manifesto: A Novel on July 24 at 7p.m. at Unity Temple on the Plaza. His work The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award.

This new novel continues the Harlem saga, taking the reader back to all that was 1970s New York—the crime, the seediness, the trash on the streets, the drugs, the partying, the ongoing tension between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army.

In this darkly funny tale of countercultures clashing, the old ways give in to the new, and there’s always someone caught in the middle.

Geoffrey Jennings will interview Whitehead about his life and work. You will need a ticket that entitles you to a book and admission for two.

Click here for tickets.

Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet star in The Maltese Falcon.

Movies at the Nelson

The Princess Bride, showing on July 14, is already sold out, but you might be able to get tickets for The Maltese Falcon on July 28 showing at Tivoli Under the Stars on the lawns of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.

The Maltese Falcon, starring the iconic Humphrey Bogart as the hard-boiled detective Sam Spade, was directed by the likewise iconic John Huston. Peter Lorre plays a creepy villain, Sydney Greenstreet the main antagonist, and Mary Astor the femme fatale. The movie plays along classic film noir lines and is considered one of the best American films of all time. The 1941 film was based on the 1930 novel by Dashiell Hammett.

For Tivoli Under the Stars, you purchase tickets by the pod, meaning a group of four people for $58, assuring you of a space on the grounds. In case of inclement weather, the screening moves inside to Atkins Auditorium. You can preorder snacks and beverages, too.

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