Monday Movie Night
At the start of 2014, Michael Price established English Landing Films shortly after he moved to Kansas City.
Prior to this, Michael was based in the UK, where he worked as a producer for BBC TV Current Affairs, mostly for its investigative TV Panorama program.
Since settling in Kansas City, Michael has made films for private clients and Kansas City Public Television. His two recent investigative films Evicted and Water Rates And Rivers, won Mid-America EMMYs in the Public Affairs Special category. His hour-long film Our Divided City won the national 2017 NETA award in the Documentary category.
In addition to filmmaking, Michael teaches journalism full time at Johnson County Community College in Kansas.
He studied law at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University and then radio for a Master's Degree at Goldsmiths, University of London.
October: Art & Nature
Nika Renee is a poet from Kansas City, Kansas. She is author of three self published poetry chapbooks; The Spirit of the Quest Volumes 1, 2 and 3. Nika holds a bachelor's degree in African and African American Studies with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies from The University of Kansas in Lawrence Kansas. She currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri where she is owner and operator of Soulcentricitea Tea Room. You can subscribe to her Patreon.
Calvin Arsenia has built a reputation for turning the arts world on its head. While the harp has allowed this Kansas City native to become a man of the world, it's his unique ability at creating a stimulating setting at his live shows that has all eyes fixed on his approach to harp music. Calvin believes the art is in crafting the perfect moment. Between his 2017 release Catastrophe and the upcoming Cantaloupe, Calvin has delivered genre-bending (and gender-bending) shows that tackle a range of subjects.
Carl Stafford is the Founder and Lead Concept Specialist of MY REGION WINS! Born and raised on the west side of the 5th district in Kansas City, Missouri, Carl earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. He then worked in the educational field teaching a college connection class, and K-8 digital & traditional art classes. After he realized critiques and resources are vital to a dreamer's success, he created MY REGION WINS! in 2014.
September: Climate Change
Any list of accomplished, influential environmentalists and preservationists includes Bob Berkebile. Highly regarded by fellow professionals, Bob focuses on improving the quality of life in our society with the integrity and spirit of his firm’s work. In 2009, Bob received a Heinz Award from Theresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation for his role in promoting green building design and for his commitment and action towards restoring social, economic and environmental vitality to America’s communities through sustainable architecture and planning. Among his contributions to his industry, Bob is the founding chairman of the American Institute of Architects’ National Committee on the Environment (AIA / COTE) and was also instrumental in the formation of the US Green Building Council and its LEED rating system.
Tom Jacobs is the director of environmental programs for the Mid-America Regional Council, a position he has held since 2001. In this role he has advocated for conserving and restoring the Blue River, and other natural resources around the Kansas City region. Recent MARC efforts include the development of Regional Green Infrastructure Framework in 2019, and current efforts to integrate nature-based solutions into regional climate action plans. In each instance, green infrastructure is understood to achieve sustainable environmental outcomes, while also meaningfully addressing public health and social equity at the same time.
Kelly Blandford joined The Nature Conservancy in August 2016 as Associate Director of Philanthropy in Kansas. She has recently taken a lead role in the Conservancy’s climate work in Kansas, specifically focusing on state policy and restoration and protection efforts in the Blue River Watershed in Kansas City. Kelly serves on the Climate Action KC Advisory Committee and Heartland Conservation Alliance’s Conservation Workgroup. Before joining the Conservancy, she worked as an environmental scientist and project manager for a consulting firm, supporting federal contracts for water policy in Washington D.C. Kelly also worked in the wastewater and storm water treatment industry in a research and regulatory capacity for six years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas, and her Masters Degree in Environmental Economics and Policy from Duke University. She has a special interest in water resources and urban conservation.
Shannon Tyree is President and Restoration Ecologist with Habitat Architects. He is a former Marine, serving six years with tours in both the Gulf War and Somalia. He is a graduate of Central Missouri State University with a degree in Biology and emphasis on field natural history and earth sciences. Shannon has more than 24 years’ experience completing habitat restoration projects on a variety of landscapes in the Midwest. He has specialized training in wetland delineations, plant identification, prescribed fire and resource inventories/monitoring. Shannon began Habitat Architects in 1997 to fuel his passion for restoring natural communities.
Connie Chapman is a land owner in southern Johnson County. She and her husband, Michael, have been working to restore their property to what it had been prior to 1900. The land includes a spring-fed riparian area and prairie sections. Connie and Mike are working with the Kansas Land Trust to conserve 30 acres of this land as a conservation easement.
Connie’s passion for preserving valuable ecological areas led her to work with Jill Erickson, Scott Schulte and Ginny Moore to envision Heartland Conservation Alliance. She is a K-State Extension Master Naturalist and is currently the coordinator of the Pollinator Prairie in Olathe.
Heidi leads the Healthy Streams for Kansas Initiative where she works to recover the state’s streams and improve water quality, as well as directing burgeoning soil health and regenerative agriculture projects in Kansas. She has a strong interdisciplinary background spanning the fields of fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and human-environment interactions.
Heidi received her Ph.D from Kansas State University with a dissertation title “A cultural ecology of riparian systems on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation: understanding stream incision, riparian function, and Indigenous Knowledge to increase best management plan adoption.”
Zac Loehr is an avid mountain biker and has been the Urban Trail Co Volunteer Trail Manager at Blue River Parkway for 5 years. He's been involved in trail building and maintenance for over 10 years in the Kansas City area. Zac is a Grandview, Missouri resident and lives about a mile from BRP so you'll see him on the trails often either riding, hiking, or doing trail maintenance. He has explored almost every inch of land between Kenneth Road and Highway 71 along the Blue River Corridor to scout new areas for trails and enjoy the urban forest.
Kelly Daniels is the founder and owner of The Kelly Gallery Gardens and is the executive director of the Blue River Nature Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization that facilitates experience-based connections to nature for people of all ages from around the world. She is passionate about preserving the beauty and skills of Indigenous people and worked as an instructor at Coyote Trails School of Nature, a Wilderness School in Oregon. Kelly founded and runs Blue River Forest School in Kansas teaching about native plants, animals, and awareness skills and photography to children and adults.
Peter spends his time fishing in the Kansas City area rivers and creeks. He fishes for common car, grass carp, gar and many other species. Peter has worked at K&K Fly Fishers teaching the art of fly fishing. He loves investing in future fly fishers and supporting the conservation of the waterways.