KCAI students create art inspired by KCUR’s podcast A People’s History of Kansas City | KCUR

Tyler Galloway had a new idea about how to inspire students in his Kansas City Art Institute typography class. The professor and Joyce C. Hall Chair of Graphic Design is a long-time fan of KCUR the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City.

This fall, he chose the award-winning history podcast as inspiration for students to design and create a public-facing final project that married the narrative with strong visual elements.

“Making audio content visual and putting it out in public is a big challenge,” says Galloway.

“The People’s History podcast really was a perfect project fit for my class. These stories need to be spread far and wide and it was a kind of double-dose of exposing the students, and hopefully, segments of the greater public, to our shared history.”

A KCAI student presents a series of zines as part of his final project inspired by A People's History of Kansas City.

A KCAI student presents a series of zines as part of their final project inspired by A People’s History of Kansas City.

A People’s History of Kansas City seeks to shine a spotlight on people who have historically been overlooked but have shaped the region — the visionaries, renegades, underdogs, women, and people of color who have not been given enough credit for developing this vibrant community. The podcast doesn’t just profile hidden figures, but also explains how the past still shapes our region today.

PHKC host Suzanne Hogan met with the class early on in the semester to talk about the origin of the show, and to help generate ideas for projects. She also met with students halfway through the process to check in on their progress.

One KCAI student illustrated a picture book inspired by Jim the Wonder Dog.

One KCAI student illustrated a picture book inspired by Jim the Wonder Dog.

At the end of the semester, the students presented their final projects to the KCUR Studios team, who had the opportunity to critique them.

“It’s so cool to see how these stories from the podcast can continue to inspire people in new ways,” says Hogan. “It was fun to see their creative process unfold.”

Some of Hogan’s favorite projects were a watercolor storybook inspired by the Jim the Wonder Dog episode, and an illustrated cartoon highlighting the Kansas City’s gay parade creator Lea Hopkins.

A KCAI student's final project focused on

A KCAI student’s final project focused on the Guadalupe Center, using typography elements in both English and Spanish.

One student, inspired by the origin of the Lake of the Ozarks episode, even envisioned a “tourist package” for people to visit the sunken towns that were displaced by the lake’s construction.

“We were all blown away,” says senior producer Mackenzie Martin. “It was amazing to see everyone’s artistic interpretations of the episodes.”

Find A People’s History of Kansas City wherever you get your podcast, or stream all of the episodes here.


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