The inaugural Open Spaces Arts Festival continues around Kansas City with nearly 50 visual art installations set backed by visual and performance art-filled weekends, with activities the entire family to enjoy, through Oct. 28.

How to take it all in? Start by checking out some of the nearly 45 specially installed art exhibits set up in Swope Park, the downtown Crossroads area, 18th and Vine, and the Plaza/Midtown areas. Just pick up an Open Spaces guide (they’re, on newsstands around town) go online to or download the Open Spaces app, to find a map and description of the art installations. They all come down at the end of the month, so don’t let your viewing window expire.

In addition to visual art, during Open Spaces, weekends in Kansas City come to life with special visual and performing arts, and most of it’s free. Many of the events are at The Villages in Swope Park, which serves as the spiritual center of the festival. In addition to performances and activities for children and adults, the site includes the Maker’s Pavilion, and plenty of food and beverage options.

The great news, each weekend there’s something new and different to enjoy.

The Open Spaces guide, website or app, also includes the lineup and location of all official festival performances, plus it includes information on many of the Expanded Field Programs sponsored by other local arts groups and programs.

Oct. 12-14 is billed as “The Weekend,” and includes three-days of star-studded performances at Starlight Theatre. The headliners Friday evening are The Roots, but the Soul Rebels, an opening act, put on quite a show.

Saturday’s big name is Kansas City native Janelle Monae, with opening acts including Afro-Columnbian dance performers Sankofa Danzafro, and Kansas City favorites the McFadden Brothers.

Sunday’s headliner is Jazz greats the Vija Iyer Sextet. The Weekend events are ticketed. Tickets can be purchased online at

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