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America’s Creative Crossroads Welcomes Fresh Faces

by Lexi Ryan | Dec 20, 2018

The America’s Creative Crossroads campaign began in 2011 to feature the people and businesses telling the KC story through their life and work around the world. The inventive, prolific and influential personalities reflect the passion and energy of KC’s creative spirit through the bold black and white portraits shot by local photographer Cameron Gee.

From the first person inducted into the campaign, painter Mark Westervelt, to the most recent, mother-son musical act, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, you’ll find an impressive gallery of KC’s best makers, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and more. Meet the six newest faces of KC: America’s Creative Crossroads.

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear

Large_Madisen_Ward_Mama_BearMadisen and Ruth Ward began as a mother-and-son folk duo in 2009. The Wards moved from Chicago to Independence, Missouri when Madisen was three, and have been there ever since. They rose to fame with their song, “Silent Movies,” which they performed live on the Late Show with David Letterman. They’ve also appeared on The Today Show, CBS News and more.

“The weather [inspires creativity in me] – especially around the fall. We get all of the seasons in Kansas City.”

Tyler Enders

Tyler Enders is a KC native with a background in finance and a passion for his hometown.Tyler Enders_Lg Enders, an entrepreneur at heart, took a chance happening with friends Keith Bradley and Thomas McIntyre to create Made in KC. Made in KC began with one artist relationship and soon grew into a 13-artist pop-up shop. The company now features work from more than 200 local artists, designers and makers and operates four retail stores, the Made in KC Café and the Made in KC Marketplace.

“I’ve found that a lot of Kansas Citians act upon their ideas and dreams … part of it is being immersed in a supportive and inspiring environment; being surrounded by people who actively pursue projects, and then seeing people find success.”

Caitlin Corcoran
Caitlin Corcoran_LgCaitlin Corcoran is a Kansas City native who started as a competitive barista and coffee trainer before entering the bartending industry. She has almost two decades of experience in hospitality. In 2014, Caitlin won the Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition, just before coming on board with Ça Va, a Midwestern French bistro and champagne bar. Caitlin is a Level II Certified Sommelier, and was just awarded a James Beard Foundation fellowship with the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program for female food industry entrepreneurs and restaurant owners.

“KC breeds a lot of really unique ideas through the intersection of disciplines.”

Billy Brimblecom Jr.
Billy Brimblecom Jr. lost his left leg to Ewing’s Sarcoma in 2005. Still young and active, heBilly Brimblecom Jr needed a prosthesis that would give him full mobility and allow him to continue to play the drums and live an active life. Thanks to friends and family, he was able to raise more than $30,000 for his first prosthetic limb. While Billy’s love for music is strong, his passion to serve other amputees is even stronger. He serves as executive director of the Steps of Faith Foundation, which raises money to help amputees across the country in need of prosthetics to overcome financial challenges and live a life with fewer limitations.

“This is an incredibly creative city. It’s always been that way.”

Bo Nelson
Bo Large ImageBo Nelson grew up working on a farm and helping to manage his family’s business. His love for plants led him to study Horticulture while playing soccer at Johnson County Community College before going to the University of Missouri Kansas City to study architecture, environmental studies and philosophy. Bo then traveled the world, but felt the call back home, inspired to put his mark on the culture of the city he loves. Bo started Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters in 2011, built upon the idea that communities grow through connections and conversations over great cups of coffee.

“Working with other great people in KC, and collaborating in the truest sense of the word … I’m blessed because every day, artists, entrepreneurs, government leaders, non-profit and startup leaders connect over coffee at Thou Mayest, fueling their passion to advance our city.”

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