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Our Vision 

The Leedy Foundation cultivates and fosters the creative arts in the midwest through gallery and museum exhibitions, community education, artist residencies, mentorship, and legacy services. 

History

Jim Leedy - Artist, Educator, Visionary

It was Jim’s vision of a thriving arts district that transformed rundown warehouses into the vibrant community it is today. Originally known as Leedyville, Jim envisioned a place filled with studios and galleries where artists could afford to live, work and flourish. Now it is every bit of his original vision and more.

 

Jim worked tirelessly for decades as a champion of the arts in Kansas City. The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, which he founded in 1985, exhibits work of emerging and established artists, and hosts frequent workshops and events. In 2000, the Kansas City Star recognized Jim as one of the 150 most influential living Kansas Citians for his role as the founder of Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. In 2001, the Governor and the Historic Kansas City Foundation both recognized his efforts with awards for historical preservation and for his role in founding the Crossroads Arts District.

Ever the visionary, Jim formed the Leedy Foundation in 2016, as a non-profit 501c3, under which all activities in his name are operated, including the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. This organization allows us to continue his wishes to nurture a flourishing art community that seeks to educate, exhibit, mentor, promote, and preserve the legacy of midwestern artists.

Exhibitions

The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, a vital part of the Leedy Foundation, regularly exhibits the works of emerging and established artists. A comprehensive museum is under development to highlight the history of Jim Leedy and his role in the development of the Crossroads Arts District, as well as changing exhibitions that feature the works of the best midwestern artists both living and deceased.

Education

It is important for artists to not only produce great art, it is their responsibility to promote, and preserve it for the future. Leedy Foundation is developing ongoing educational opportunities and resources to teach the skills and best practices for preserving and preparing artwork and artists’ legacies. Soon we will match established artists with emerging ones in mentorship programs as well as provide artist residencies in our studios.

Legacy Services

Life is fleeting, art endures. - Hippocrates

Without comprehensive ways to safeguard the innovative works of regional artists, their art and memories quickly become lost. It is imperative to preserve their legacies. 

Leedy Foundation Legacy Services will soon provide professional resources for artists and families to 

  • Prepare legal end-of-life plans for estates and artworks

  • Inventory and document artworks

  • Help to create a preservation plan

  • Advice or assistance in selling, placing and distributing artworks into public and private collections. 

It is every artists responsibility to plan for the future of their own artworks. Leedy Foundation Legacy Services will soon offer workshops and provide resources for doing so. We are planning a museum in which some of these works may be permanently stored and exhibited to preserve the heritage of our best midwestern artists.

​Your donation can help us achieve this goal!
 

Multiple Ways to Give

We always have FREE admission and are open to the public.

Your generous contributions of any amount are appreciated.

1. Make Your Donation Today

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2. Volunteer  

Would you like to help be a part of our First Friday Opening?

Sign-up today online or in Jim Leedy's Room and receive more information.

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