RestART LS aims to ignite public art in Downtown Lee’s Summit

Passionate art enthusiasts in the Lee’s Summit area have come together to create RestART (pronounced Rest-Art) Lee’s Summit. The goal of RestART, with help from Downtown Lee’s Summit and local arts organizations, is to bring more public art to the streets of Downtown Lee’s Summit. RestART has formed as a subcommittee of the Cultural Arts Committee of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.

“Public art has always been a passion of mine,” said committee co-chair Hollie Couch. “I believe we are finally making headway on bringing that vision to reality in Lee’s Summit.”


Project Highlights:

  • Up to 15 pieces of public art will be selected for creation and placement in Downtown Lee’s Summit
  • Art pieces will be reimagined ‘seats’ made from repurposed seating or fabricated from other materials
  • Art pieces will remain in Downtown Lee’s Summit from April through June 2016
  • An auction of the ‘seats’ will be held in June and proceeds will be shared by the artist and a fund benefitting future art projects
  • Artists will receive a stipend for supplies to create their ‘seat’
  • Monetary prizes will be given to three winners: people’s choice, best entry – artist or group, best entry – student artist or group
  • Early deadline for artist proposals is December 9, with an extended final deadline date being announced soon


Project Details:

Artists will create imaginative ‘seats’ made partially from repurposed or recycled materials, which will be installed along the sidewalks and in the shops of Downtown Lee’s Summit. Seats may be reinterpreted with paint or other embellishments, or new and unexpected forms of seating may be created by fabricating other materials into seating. We welcome the unconventional!


For More Information:

For complete rules and guidelines to enter a ‘seat,’ please refer to the Facebook page ( for submission information.


Job Opening: Events & Promotions Director

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, an accredited Main Street program through the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection, is searching for an events & promotions director for its award-winning, 26-year-old nonprofit organization.

Downtown Lee’s Summit, Mo., a community of more than 90,000 residents just outside of Kansas City, is a recipient of the Great American Main Street award.

Click here to review the job description.

To apply, send cover letter, resume, references and salary/compensation requirements by January 1, 2016, to: No phone calls, please.

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street announces new assistant director

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street (DLSMS), a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization and historic preservation of Downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri, announces the addition of Ashley Nowell as assistant director.

Ashley Nowell

Ashley Nowell

“Ashley has proven herself as a rising star in the local nonprofit field and we are lucky to welcome her as a part of the Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street team. Her experience, personality and passion are a perfect fit for the organization,” stated Donnie Rodgers, executive director.

Ashley Nowell is a 2011 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and a resident of Downtown Lee’s Summit. Since 2013, she has worked for Pro Deo Youth Center, a small grass-roots organization working with at-risk teens in Lee’s Summit. Most recently, Ashley has served as the development director for Pro Deo, specializing in program development, fundraising, community engagement, grant writing and volunteer management.

Ashley is actively involved in the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, including leadership positions with the Chamber Young Professionals Networking group and Leadership Lee’s Summit. Ashley has written numerous successful grants applications that include the Jelley Family Foundation, Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation, Truman Heartland Foundation and Eastland Giving Circle.


Job Posting: Assistant Director

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, an accredited Main Street program through the National Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street Connection, is searching for an assistant director for its award-winning, 25-year-old nonprofit organization.

The Assistant Director is responsible for the development, conduct, execution and documentation of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street policy development, communications, media relations, investor and sponsor management and billing, volunteer recruitment, grant writing and administration, the DLSMS Organization Committee and management of the Downtown Lee’s Summit Farmers Market.

Downtown Lee’s Summit, Mo., a community of more than 90,000 residents just outside of Kansas City, is a recipient of the Great American Main Street award.

Click here to review the job description.

To apply, send cover letter, resume, references and salary/compensation requirements by October 30, 2015, to:


Downtown Main Street Board Names Donnie Rodgers, Jr. New Executive Director

LEE’S SUMMIT, MO – The Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street board of directors voted this week to elevate Donnie Rodgers Jr. to the position of DLSMS executive director, effective immediately.

Donnie Rodgers, Jr.

Donnie Rodgers, Jr.

Rodgers, who lives in downtown Lee’s Summit, has been the assistant director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street since February 2014, and has serves as the staff liaison to the newly-established Community Improvement District in downtown Lee’s Summit.

“Donnie has already become a vital asset to Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street in the time he has been with us,” said Lynn Hinkle, president of the Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street board of directors.

“He has developed strong ties with our community partners, investors and merchants, and has used his strong experience in working in downtowns across Missouri to help grow our organization,” she said. “He is ready to take the title to match his acknowledged role as a leader in Downtown Lee’s Summit.”

Rodgers has spent his professional career working in Missouri downtowns and Missouri Main Street programs, including more than five years as Community Development Coordinator for the Urban Districts Alliance in Springfield. There he helped establish and implement a Community Improvement District, a task successfully repeated after his move to Lee’s Summit. His work in Springfield was recognized by 417 Magazine, naming Rodgers one of its “Top 20 Under 30” in 2011.

“Donnie’s work ethic, people skills and organizational ability are what will allow DLSMS to continue its growth as we move into our new offices and lead the continued evolution of our Downtown,” said Jason Norbury, DLSMS board member and CID chair.

“He understands not only historic downtowns and the unique challenges they face, but has truly integrated himself in the community in his time with us,” Norbury said.

Since joining DLSMS, Rodgers continued his professional development, including earning a master’s degree in Community Development from Kansas State University. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Drury University. In addition, Rodgers completed the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lee’s Summit program this year, is active in the Chamber Young Professionals, and volunteers throughout the community.

“Lee’s Summit is truly a special place because of the people who call it home, and I am honored to have the opportunity to work beside such a dedicated and passionate group of small business owners, volunteers and neighbors,” said Rodgers, executive director of DLSMS.

Lee’s Summit History Museum wins award for Best Adaptive Re-Use Preservation Project

Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC), launched as a non-profit organization in 2005, is designed to help communities preserve their historic buildings and reinvigorate their downtown districts. Through this work, the communities actively participating in the Missouri Main Street Program have successfully created 432 net new businesses and 2,605 net new jobs.

Based on economic data collected from the communities in the top three tiers of the Missouri Main Street program, since 2006, $668 million of private investments have been made in the Main Street communities. For every dollar appropriated to MMSC by the state of Missouri, $1,857 of private investments were made.  Public investments by municipal governments have totaled $127.9 million in improvements to infrastructure.

A ceremony Thursday night honored communities, individuals, businesses and civic organizations that have completed exemplary work in downtown revitalization. The Missouri Main Street Connection hosted the Evening of Excellence Awards at The Westin at Crown Center in Kansas City. Awards were presented in 14 categories.


The Lee’s Summit History Museum won the award for Best Adaptive Re-Use Preservation Project in a tie with Cape Girardeau’s former Federal Building.

The Lee’s Summit History Museum is part of the $2.9 million cultural arts bond initiative passed in April 2013 by the residents of Lee’s Summit. Built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration, the building at 220 SW Main St. has served as the U.S. Post Office, City Hall and offices for local nonprofit ReDiscover before becoming a history museum.

The $660,000 restoration of the building allowed the Lee’s Summit Historical Society to move the town’s museum to a more prominent location with easy access for visitors and increased exhibit space. Hidden from visitors, the former museum space was tucked in the corner of the historic train depot and had limited space for exhibits and storage.

The project was completed by the City of Lee’s Summit who leased the space to the historical society. Hollis + Miller served as architect for the project and the contractor was The Wilson Group. Renovations began in August 2014 and the Lee’s Summit History Museum celebrated its opening on April 22, 2015.

This project represents more than 40 years of work by the Lee’s Summit Historical Society. The museum includes exhibits featuring former prominent downtown businesses such as Browning Mercantile. Also featured in the museum, is the restored Depression-era mural titled “Pastoral” that was painted by Terry Gilien in 1940 when the building was used for the post office.

The future of a Post Office in Downtown Lee’s Summit

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street (DLSMS) considers post office services, including post office boxes, as a vital resource for our residents and business owners in the downtown area.  In February 2015, our organization was informed that the United States Postal Service (USPS) was considering relocation of the Downtown Lee’s Summit Post Office to the southern annex postal facility.  Our organization submitted a Village Post Office information request form to the USPS with the intent of gathering more information about the possibility of our organization operating this type of postal service in our downtown area.  Unfortunately, we were notified by the USPS Mid-America District that they have made the decision to offer another type of postal service, a Contract Postal Unit (CPU), in the area.  A CPU is a supplier-owned or supplier-leased site operated by the supplier who is under contract with USPS to provide postal products and services to the community.  It is our understanding that this type of postal unit does not include post office boxes.

Criteria for partnership include:

  • Approximately 180 square feet available within your business
  • Business cannot offer private mailbox service or competitive products and services
  • Handicap accessibility – parking and ramp access nearby

A CPU provides customers with the following benefits:

  • Alternate access to postal products and services, at Post Office prices
  • Convenient additional locations
  • Extended hours (weekends and evenings)

Within Downtown Lee’s Summit, there are a handful of locations that would be ideal for a smaller footprint for retail postal services.  Per direction of the DLSMS board, our organization will not be pursuing a contract with the USPS for a Contract Postal Unit. Our organization and our partners are committed to helping find suitable Downtown space for these services, and it is our hope that another organization, business owner, and/or entrepreneur will be interested in pursuing this opportunity.

Downtown Lee’s Summit Hosts Fourth Fridays Art Walk, Music in the Park, and Yoga in the Streets this Friday, July 24

Downtown Lee’s Summit will host its monthly Fourth Fridays Art Walk on Friday, July 24, 2015 from 5-8pm. This year’s series features live music, street performers, art and more. Come mix and mingle with local artists and enjoy drinks and appetizers with an “artsy” theme. July’s Fourth Fridays Art Walk features some extra activities sure to keep the entire family entertained! See below for the full list of activities and details:

Fourth Fridays Art Walk
5:00 – 8:00pm

This month’s theme is “July for Guys” where there will be a more masculine twist to the night’s festivities. Make sure to grab a map at any of the participating merchants and check the back. We are doing a Poker Run including a grand prize for the best poker hand at the end of the night! Bring your game face (and your “I’m seriously looking at art” face) to Downtown Lee’s Summit.

Poker Run Rules: Each participating merchant will have their own rules for how you ‘qualify’ for a playing card. You will get to choose one card from the deck at the merchant’s shop and add it to your game board. The more shops you visit, the more cards you get to choose from. Bring your game board to the tent setup near Howard Station Park by 7:45pm to be entered into the competition, and the game board with the best 5-card poker hand will be awarded a prize.

Special Guests: The Armchair Chorderbacks, a local Barbershop Quartet, will have pop-up performances throughout the Art Walk. The Art of Shaving will be presenting live shaving demonstrations hosted by Budget Blinds.

Fourth Fridays is sponsored by the Lee’s Summit Arts Council.

Music in the Park
6:30 – 10:00pm
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating while enjoying this free Friday night concert in Howard Station Park. Friday, July 24 will feature School of Rock and Dinsdale.

For more than a decade, School of Rock has been inspiring kids to rock on stage and in life. Founded as a single school in Philadelphia, PA in 1998, School of Rock has become a growing international franchise, operating over 100 schools all over the world.

Dinsdale is notorious for flying under the radar in the Kansas City music scene all the while consistently surprising those who attend their shows. They have one primary objective: to make unique, guitar driven rock songs. Their music caters to a wide range of listeners, as they also have a unique set of cover songs that lend to their live performances.

Music in the Park is sponsored by Lee’s Summit Honda, Amtrak Missouri RiverRunner, Shining Light Music, and Bank of Lee’s Summit.Yoga in the Streets

Yoga in the Streets
9:00 – 10:30pm

Yoga in the Streets is back again for 2015, and the first of three free yoga sessions has a new twist: glow-in-the-dark yoga at night. Glow Yoga will be held from 9:00 to 10:15 p.m. Friday, July 24, at City Hall Plaza in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Popular yoga instructor Debra O’Bryan of Joyful Breath Yoga will guide the hatha yoga practice, which is for all ages and all ability levels. The event is free and glow necklaces/bracelets will be passed out to participants that evening; No reservations are needed. Just show up with a yoga mat and a fun attitude!

A New Perspective on Downtown Days 2015

If you attended this year’s Downtown Days Festival, you know the streets were packed, the music was pumping, and the drinks were flowing. Along Downtown Days Ferris Wheel with all of the great entertainment, we also had many children’s activities including a carnival, pony rides, and a bungee jump attraction. Our vendors didn’t disappoint either, with wares ranging from handmade items to personalized goods, the streets were full of prime shopping opportunities.

Although this festival has been around for many years, we got to see it from a new perspective this year. Thanks to Phaze 4 Photography, we can now see Downtown Days from a view that is not very typical. What the video to see what we mean!

Video Credit: Jacob Herrman, Phaze 4 Photography!

Downtown Lee’s Summit hosts GardenWalk in Howard Historic Neighborhood District

GardenWalk2015LogoWeb For the fourth year in a row, GardenWalk, a grassroots garden tour celebrating gardens, history, art and architecture will take place in Lee’s Summit. The event will take place on Saturday, June 20 in the Howard Neighborhood Historic District. The GardenWalk features nine beautiful gardens ranging from funky to formal and encourages participants to explore some of the homes and gardens that make Lee’s Summit so unique. It is a great way to meet new neighbors and friends, and last year’s event saw an attendance of more than 250 people.

Tours begin anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. (rain or shine), starting at 601 S.E. Miller St. (Fossil Gardens) at the corner of 6th and Miller Streets in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Tickets are $5 per person (ages 12 and younger are free) and can be purchased at Great Southern Bank locations in Lee’s Summit, or the day of the tour at 601 S.E. Miller St.
GardenWalk visitors are encouraged to park in the city’s free public parking garage at Second and Green Streets and explore Downtown Lee’s Summit shops, restaurants and the Farmers Market before or after taking a GardenWalk Tour.
GardenWalk is sponsored by Great Southern Bank and Door to Door Organics. Proceeds benefit Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street’s efforts to revitalize and preserve Downtown Lee’s Summit.

For more information about GardenWalk, visit



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