Charlotte Street Foundation identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. We cultivate the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City Art Community
“I write because I love to listen. I perform so I know that I’m not alone.
Growing up on a farm in Louisburg, Kansas without formal creative outlets for my talents, I created my own venues for self-expression. We lived off the grid connected to the world by dirt road and antenna—the CB, the AM/FM and in small doses, the TV. Alone with the nearest neighbors several miles away, I found creative spark in the solitude of my imagination. When people would come to visit the farm, I finally had a captive audience. I performed impromptu drag numbers for visiting seed salesmen. I danced for the hay crew. These memories inform both my written and my stage work—from the regionalism of my creative non-fiction to the gritty faith of Mother Trucker.
I record my life and my responses to the seemingly incongruous subcultures and communities which have shaped me. My work, like myself, is rooted in their unlikely overlap. I seek to entertain and to enlighten while conveying my experiences. My work consists of humorous accounts of real and fictional situations that encapsulate the essence of our cumulative experience — of joy, humor, heartbreak, forgiveness, fear, love, life and adventure. I believe that in the personal we discover the universal. And conversely, we distill the universal into what becomes our personal. I strive to find the balance between the two. I believe that through the craft of storytelling, I can not only describe community, but expand it.
A friend used a story of mine, The Luck of Ryan, in a class he taught at a local junior college. He passed along the following kudos from a disengaged student.
…when I made my composition class read your story about your old friend mistaking sheep scat for caviar, everyone discussed the meaning of how he’d “placed a value on it” for ten minutes or so, and then a Gardner kid who never talks and never reads said, “If everything we read was like this, I might give a shit.”
Knowing that my story can open a dialogue that might not have otherwise occurred is the biggest thrill for me and the reason I continue.”