KANSAS CITY, MO – It’s not just the artwork created, but the culture of culture at the Mattie Rhodes Art Center and Gallery which still sits with former student Monique Ortiz
“I can still smell the leather and hear the pounding of the wooden piece,” Ortiz said.
For Ortiz, the Mattie Rhodes Art Center was a place with a lot of fond memories and a culture that the current generation of students can embrace.
“It’s our culture. Mattie Rhodes really sticks to that and it helps our kids learn that we are more than food. We are also art and we are stories, ”said Ortiz.
Inside the Mattie Rhodes Art Center, there are stories told through art and creativity, which Ortiz says are important to the Westside community.
“There isn’t much for our children to do here. We have a community center and we have other sports, but not everyone wants to hit a baseball, you know, “Ortiz said.” I feel like the art center is another. way for us to express ourselves. ”
However, the expansion of an approximately 4,000 square foot building was made possible with federal funding of $ 1.3 million.
“So being able to have this space and not just have this physical property, but really put our whole heart into it and really let others feel that connection,” said Jenny Mendez, director of cultural arts at the Mattie Rhodes Art Center.
“We are becoming apart from what it is. We become the corazon of this block for part of the west side. We are not the only heart of the Westside, but we definitely own a space and because the culture is so strong, not just Mexican culture but all cultures, in the work we do in the arts ”, a Mendez said.