Public Art

The Riverfront Heritage Trail seeks to expand the notion of art in public places by inserting artists into the process of urban design. In this project, the public art as well as the trail itself, becomes a tool of urban revitalization.

Reasons for including public art on the Riverfront Heritage Trail are:

  • To interpret the history and culture of Kansas City.
  • To help create a bi-state trail identity and theme.
  • To attract a wide range of trail users.
  • To help revitalize significant urban areas of Kansas City.
  • To redefine the identity and image of revitalized properties.

The purpose of the Public Art Master Plan is to provide for artwork that will create an identity for each segment of the Riverfront Heritage Trail that reflects the unique history of that area. Instead of viewing separate works of art without any apparent connection, users will have a complete and unified experience or historical narrative in which they can make personal connections to the artwork and their environment while enjoying the recreational aspects of the trail.

The Master Plan allows for a collaborative trail design effort instead of just placing various works of art along the trail. This process involves artists, historians, landscape architects, engineers, and architects working together to create a plan for the future. A collaborative effort leads to the integration of all aspects of the trail and allows for it to be a work of art and not just a collection of artwork. This master plan was developed by the Public Art Committee of the Kansas City River Trails, Inc. through a grant provided by the Central Industrial District Association. The final plan was presented to and approved by the Kansas City Municipal Arts Commission and KCRT. The master plan is available for review upon request.

Funding Information:

  • Donor recognition will accompany all works of art.
  • Art projects range from $4,000 to $175,000 depending on the size and complexity.

Funding is available and Trail Art has been completed or is under construction. This includes

  • Lewis & Clark Markers, Dugout Canoes, and Interpretive Artwork ($73,883 from the National Park Service and
    William Kemper Foundation)
  • NeoMillennic Pedestrian Lighting ($100.000 PIAC and Nelson Foundation
  • Pequeno Miramide Art Work ($86,200 from Nelson Trust of the GKCCF)
  • I-670 Pedestrian Bridge Fencing ($100,000 from Nelson Grant and TE Grant)
  • Transit Oasis ($93,3000 from PIAC Funds)
  • Woodswether Bridge Art. ($130,000 from Unified Government & Nelson Trust of GKCCF).

The remaining available funds are for Trail Art come close to $900,000.

Funding Requested:
$400,000 is needed to complete implementation of the Public Art Master Plan.