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18th And Vine in Kansas City is Jamming Again

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, 18th and Vine in Kansas City was the place to be for jazz, blues and free flowing spirits. Today, the historic Kansas City district has been returned to some of its former glory with the creation of museums and the restoration of several famous stages.

Thanks to the massive $24 million revitalization effort, the 18th and Vine Historic District in Kansas City now stands as a monument to not only famous musicians, such as Count Basie and Charlie Parker, but also as a testament to Negro Leagues baseball players of days gone by.

Visitors to the 18th & Vine District in Kansas City will find it involves several major components, which include:

The Kansas City Jazz Museum
The museum is devoted to the Kansas City jazz scene, which developed and grew up around 18th and Vine. The history of this district was impacted by such legends as Count Basie, Bennie Moten, Charlie Parker and the George Lee Orchestra.
The museum includes interactive exhibits that help tell the tale of America’s own brand of music and the special flavor that came out of Kansas City. It also features specialized exhibits on Ella Fitzgerald, Parker and Basie.
Within the museum is the restored Blue Room, which today features contemporary jazz musicians performing in this actual club.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City
In the post-Civil War era of segregation, Negro Leagues Baseball served as the place to play for blacks. Through the leagues, some of America’s most exemplary athletes got their start.
Officially formed right in Kansas City in the 1920s, the leagues’ games were considered some of the hottest going throughout the country. Through the leagues such players as Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roy Campanella got their start. With the signing of Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the Negro Leagues began their decline, but not before making a mark on the history of this great American sport.
The museum itself focuses on the history of the Negro Leagues from their very start right after the Civil War to their end in the 1960s. The museum includes a photo gallery, uniforms and multi-media presentations that help bring this chapter of the sport’s history to life.

Gem Theater Cultural And Performing Arts Center
The Gem was created in 1912 to serve as a movie house for African Americans. It now serves as a restored facility for cultural and performing arts presentations.
Boasting 500 seats, the Gem plays host to all sorts of events throughout the year, and also has a mini-museum of its own within its second floor.
Much of the action within the 18th and Vine Historic District in Kansas City centers around 1616 E. 18th Street where the Jazz Museum and Negro Leagues Museum are located.

Kansas City Jazz Museum or Kansas City Negro Leagues Baseball Museum tickets are priced at $6 adults, $2.50 children. Combination tickets for admission to both museums are $8 adults, $4 children. Group rates are available please call (816) 871-3016 or visit 1616 E. 18th St., K.C., MO.

by Tiffany Lewis, Kansas City Premier Apartments, Inc.

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