In The Loop: January 1
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
Changes to The Loop for 2023
I’ve been doing some reading about online publishing the past few weeks, and a lot of the newer, trending advice has been in line with my intuition: The Substack model of depending solely on paid subscriptions is outdated.
So, in 2023 we’re going to tweak how we do things at The Loop, and we will be seeking your support. Here are the changes:
Basic subscription rates are reduced immediately
The good news for those of you who already support us or would like to do so: Our annual subscription rate is now cut in half. You can be a champion for The Loop for only $30 per year. The monthly subscription will drop to $5 per month (that’s the lowest Substack will allow us to set a monthly rate).
You can save even more by subscribing with a friend (or coworkers, or neighbors, or clubs, or associations) with our 30% group discount. Share the link with your favorite groups.
But why should you pay for a subscription? Well, first off, my partner Joe and I are Kansas City natives (not an out-of-town conglomerate), and we could use your support to continue building The Loop into the vision we have for it — and for you.
We curate news and content about Downtown Kansas City in a way that informs and entertains. We bring you the best Downtown information, along with Downtown’s fascinating history, beautiful art, and engaging photos that many of you have told us you love.
And, it’s all free.
We have, however, decided to provide access to our archives (website posts and emails four months old or older) only to paid subscribers. And the photo galleries we are continuing to build will also be available only to paid subscribers (you can use our photos, royalty-free, if you credit @kcdowntownloop). So, yeah, there are some perks for those who drop some cash — but we know that most of our paid subscribers do so out of the goodness of their hearts, and we very much appreciate that.
And what if you already paid the $60 annual rate? If you’re satisfied with contributing at that level the first year, you don’t need to do anything: When your subscription expires, you will renew at the reduced $30 annual rate. If you feel like you missed out on the better annual rate, send me an email and I’ll extend your subscription for one more year.
Show your support with a one-time gift
Maybe you want to support The Loop, but not in subscription form. You can Venmo a one-time gift of any amount to @kcdowntownloop, or use the QR code below. There are no benefits to making this gift, but you still have access to the free weekly emails and online content — and you will have our never-ending gratitude.
(FYI, Pure Missouri is a sister business to The Loop. I’m trying to change the display name to “The Loop,” but Venmo won’t allow the change currently.)
Be The KC Downtown Loop’s one and only Key Sponsor
We’re developing a program whereby one advertiser can grab the spotlight and be The Loop’s Key Sponsor. This organization, establishment, or person will have top promotional billing with a primary display ad on each and every email, on the website, and will be shown plenty of love on The Loop’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Post.news social media sites. Details to come.
We will be offering ad space for up to nine secondary advertisers in our “In The Loop” emails and web posts. Each of these advertisers will receive one square display ad at the end of every email and post, along with some other perks. Again, details to follow.
Other ways to support The Loop
Please remember that — aside from older archived posts and some protected photo galleries — The Loop is free to everyone. We love, love, love those of you who have chosen to support us with a gift or paid subscription, but free readers (who we also love) can help The Loop, too:
Share The Loop by clicking the “Share” buttons on each post
Forward the emails to friends, family, colleagues, interested businesses
Post The Loop on your social media pages: kcdowntownloop.com
Spread the word every way you can, including Group Subscriptions at a highly discounted rate
In the meantime, let us know your thoughts, concerns, and ideas as we traverse the new year!
Did you see this week’s question, quiz, or poll? If not, your chance to chime is here.
And now, on to the The Loop….
World-famous horseman, co-founder of the American Royal born
On this Thursday’s date in 1859, Tom Bass was born into slavery in southern Boone County, Mo., just north of Ashland. His father was the son of the plantation owner and his mother, Cornelia Gray, was a 13- or 14-year-old Black slave. Unlike the white children at the plantation, Bass was supposedly not given full access to the farm’s thoroughbred horses — but he reportedly outperformed all the others with a mule, demonstrating his superior ability to train and ride equine animals at an early age.
He left for Mexico, Mo., around 1878, where he initially worked for a hotel and later at a stable, learning even more about the horse industry and eventually launching a horse-training enterprise. Around 1893 — already famous from winning horse competitions across North America — Bass and his wife Angia Jewell were recruited by Kansas City businessmen to move to our city, where he and his brother trained horses near 39th and Main.
Bass quickly became an influential citizen in Kansas City: As a member of the fire department’s advisory board on horses, he suggested a horse show be held at 15th and Campbell (near where modern-day Truman Road intersects U.S. 71 Downtown) to raise funds for the fire chief to travel to Europe and learn how to utilize horses in firefighting. This was the very beginning of the American Royal Horse Show.
He also is credited with teaching his craft to renowned horse breeder and trainer Loula Long Combs (of Corinthian Hall and Longview Farm fame), and he trained horses for many of the wealthiest families in Kansas City — and beyond. In his lifetime, Bass’ sphere of influence included Adolphus and August Busch, Buffalo Bill Cody, William Jennings Bryan, Will Rogers, P.T. Barnum, Queen Marie of Romania, and presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, William McKinley, and William Howard Taft. He was even invited by Queen Victoria to perform in London, but his fear of traveling across the ocean caused him to decline.
Bass would later return to mid-Missouri, where he would die in 1934 at the age of 75. Will Rogers wrote in his newspaper column about Bass’ death, including this excerpt:
“You have all seen society folks perform on a beautiful three or five gaited saddle horse, and said, "My, what skill and patience they must have had to train that animal."
Well, all they did was ride him in. All this Negro, Tom Bass, did was to train him. For over fifty years America's premier trainer, he trained thousands others were applauded on.…
If old St. Peter is as wise as we give him credit for being, Tom, he will let you go in horseback and give those folks up there a great show, and you will get the blue ribbon yourself.”
Today, the American Royal has exhibits and facilities dedicated to the world-famous horseman. He was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1999.
KC Museum renovation to include artist’s Skyspace
Artist James Turrell has designed and installed more than 85 of his Skyspaces — chambers from which viewers observe the sky — all around the world. The Skyspace planned for the grounds of Corinthian Hall will be the first in Missouri or Kansas.
Visitors will enter the Skyspace through a walkway that descends into the chamber, then sit approximately 11 feet underground in the Skyspace chamber where they will view the sky through a square oculus with a retractable roof. More details here:
Barbecue coming to CP
Wolfepack BBQ, currently in North Kansas City inside Callsign Brewing on Burlington, has signed a lease for the former North End space (LaSala’s for you old-timers) at 910 E. Fifth in Columbus Park. There was no announcement for when the new restaurant will be open; ownership suggested following the establishment’s social media pages to see updates.
Arabia Steamboat not moving to St. Charles, but future undetermined
The city of St. Charles, Mo., and the Hawley family of the Arabia Steamboat Museum were unable to strike a deal after David Hawley signed a letter of intent in May giving St. Charles six months to come up with a proposal to relocate the museum there. Kevin Collison of CitySceneKC has the scoop:
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
Who are all these people?
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Happy New Year!
FRIDAY the 6th
First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District
Kansas City Symphony presents Uptown Nights, Jan. 6-8 at Kauffman Center
SATURDAY the 7th
Pretty Yende, Soprano, at the Folly
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine — or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
For live Kansas City Jazz performances, visit LiveJazzKC.com
The Loop is a reader-supported publication, and we could use your backing. To receive full access and to support our work, consider becoming a paid subscriber for $5 a month, $30 a year, or $200 or more annually.
The Loop is now on Post.news: @kcdowntownloop.com
Got a tip or question about Downtown KC?
Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact The Loop via social media
Kevin Worley, Co-Publisher/Editorial
Joe Nichols, Co-Publisher/Business
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