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After eight years in office, there’s no questioning that Mayor Sly James’s advocacy on behalf of the region’s tourism industry helped spur the growth and prosperity of Kansas City’s still-booming maker culture.

Explore some of the most impactful projects he saw during his tenure:


Opened in 2011, the most distinctive building in Kansas City’s skyline is home to three stellar collectives: the Kansas City Ballet, the Kansas City Symphony and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Not to mention that the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has hosted innumerable events and world-class artists, raising the city’s profile in the arts community.   

kansas city royals

Possibly modern KC’s coming-out party, the Kansas City and the Royals hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2012, where the world marveled at the recently renovated Kauffman Stadium—and saw a glimpse of what was on the horizon in KC’s burgeoning culture.

boulevard beer

It’s hard to imagine a time when there weren’t breweries around every corner. Now, thanks in part to the older sibling patronage of Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City touts more than 30 craft breweries in the region—with more on the way—and the Kansas City Tap Tour, perfect for enjoying the scene and earning prizes along the way.

j rieger

Nearly 100 years after it originally shuttered its doors, legendary distiller J. Rieger & Co. resumed operations in 2014. Since then, almost 10 other area distilleries have opened or renovated, leading to a new spirits scene unseen since KC’s “Paris of the Plains” heyday during Prohibition. 

kc royalsworld

In 2015, the boys in blue stole, hit, dove and homered their way to their way to a World Series title—their first since 1985—prompting a tremendous spike in local pride and national attention.

kc streetcar

The KC Streetcar totally revolutionized Downtown Kansas City. Running on a 2.2-mile route with 16 stops along the way, the free-to-ride transit immediately exceeded ridership expectations, connecting Union Station/Crown Center to the Power & Light District and through River Market.

nelson atkings

The 2017 opening of the Bloch Galleries marked the beginning of a new era for the nationally-acclaimed Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The Bloch Collection nearly doubled the museum’s Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art and features nearly 30 masterpieces, including works by Monet, Gustave Caillebotte, Pissarro and more.


Arriving in spring 2020, the Loews Kansas City adds 800 new rooms to the city’s Downtown hotel offerings, plus 60,000 square feet of meeting space and a connector bridge to the Kansas City Convention Center. It’s the kind of addition that will completely reshape KC’s meeting business.

new kci airport

Updated and fit for the traveler of tomorrow, construction on the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport began spring 2019. Expect it to land in early 2023—and count on added amenities, extra comfort and plenty more.


From late-night hangouts and favorite taco joints to morning routines and coffee runs, peek behind the curtain to experience a day in the life of some of the makers and doers driving Kansas City’s creative movement—and defining a lasting local culture.

kcpt logo

Tune in to KCPT on May 16 at 7:30 p.m. to view a special, 30-minute version of the My KC series, highlighting the everyday lives of some of KC’s most prominent movers, makers and shakers.