The organizers of the Troost Ave. Festival
The idea for the Troost Ave Festival was created by the 2004 Race Relations Action Team, one of several teams of citizens that came together through the KC Forums project (Consensus) and with encouragement from the vision of Human Investment section of the FOCUS Kansas City Plan.
Everyone is invited to the celebrate their neighbors, especially the people who live, work, and worship daily in the neighborhoods surrounding Kansas City’s Troost, Prospect, and Main Corridors. As we share our time and talents in all aspects of the Festival, we are creating the opportunities to
*Please check on FB for planning meetings. They will continue to be held on Thursday, at 7:00 pm, location TBA.
In 2004 Fred Culver and Rae Petersen attended several of the KC Forums sponsored by Consensus which included the topics of Neighborhood, Regionalism, Transportation, and Race Relations in Kansas City. They chose to get involved in the extension effort through the Race Relations Action Team being facilitated by Harmony (formerly Harmony in a World of Difference) in conjunction with the Forums, and with encouragement from the vision of Human Investment section of the FOCUS Kansas City Plan.
Fred and Rae were disappointed to find only white people at the first meeting they were able to attend in August of 2004. Fortunately, just a few months before the Forums, Sr. Mary McNellis had introduced them to Fr. Paisius Altschul of St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church and Reconciliation Services, concerning a race study program happening at Reconciliation Services.
Fred invited Fr. Paisius (aka as Fr. David), who had been working on Troost since the 1980s, and his congregation to the Action Team meeting, hoping that a more fruitful dialogue would result. At the October meeting, we decided “shutting down Troost and having a party” would be a way to experience Troost as a meeting place rather than a dividing line.
Much to the horror of the facilitator from Harmony, the team, who fully recognized we had no money, were really “nobodies” in the city power structure, and had only 6 months to put together the “Troost Avenue Festival”, decided that shutting down Troost for one day was exactly the way to bring together all the talent and creativity we knew was there and empower the community, and fulfill the goal of KC Forums for the Action Teams of having a lasting impact on the city.
Learning to work with the organizing principle of Chaos Theory, the first Troost Avenue Festival was such a success that the team stayed together and decided we were the “Troost Folks”. The Festival became an annual event and our loose collaboration of individuals and individuals representing organizations, churches, and businesses in the midtown area. When we needed to interface with corporate and government offices we chose to be under the umbrella of n-f-p organizations with deep roots on Troost Ave.
As we approached the 6th Annual Festival the group decided it was time to undertake the incorporation step. We chose the name Troost Village Community Association. In early 2018 we became a 501(c)3 organization after having partnered with not for profit organizations located on Troost (TYCOR and Reconciliation Services) to run the NFP reporting through their 501(c)3 status.
Our regular meeting are Thursdays, 7:30pm at 3101 Troost, and are open to everyone.
The Festival was out of the pockets and “in-kind” donations of the first people who caught the possibilities of shutting down Troost and having a party to erase the racial dividing line that Troost had become over the last forty to fifty years. After the first year, we have received a city Neighborhood Tourism Development Fund grant that covers the most basic needs of the Festival. Donations are always welcome and appreciated!
Troost Folks, now organized as Troost Village Community Association, is dedicated to networking – forming ‘circles of exchange and fluid networks’ who want creative and viable community. It basically acts as an alternative think-tank for those who want to see a more positive outcome in this community. DIALOGUE, DISCOVER ORDER IN CHAOS, SYNERGY. Everyone
If you have any interest in this whatsoever, feel free to start attending planning meetings on Thursday evenings, Location TBA. Again, everyone who wants to take part is very much welcome to be a part of the Festival.