A blog of the Jacob's Well Kerygma Sphere.

KC: Volunteer with JW’ers at the 10th annual Troost Festival

In November, as a follow up to the Racial Realities institute, Jacob’s Well hosted a showing of the documentary “We Are Superman: The Transformation of 31st and Troost.” The film screening fostered an interest in the JW community participating in seeking justice in and around Troost Avenue!

In addition to our previous announcement about the Rosedale Ridge partnership, we also have an opportunity in April to serve among the Troost community at the 10th Annual TroostFest! TroostFest is on Saturday, April 26 from Noon – 8pm and is an annual street festival held between 31st & Linwood on Troost to help transform Troost Avenue from a dividing line into a gathering place. (If you didn’t get a chance to see the documentary, view the trailer below.)

TroostFest is a great family-friendly and fun event, with tons of ways to get involved. JW members Stephanie & Eric Swanson have attended for the past few years to celebrate the community around Troost and are now inviting the larger JW community to join them in serving.

Take a minute to read about the history of this event below and about the various ways you can get involved. For more information or to sign up to serve at TroostFest, email Stephanie at swanson.sd@gmail.com.

Troost Fest.jpg

TroostFest is a street festival held between 31st & Linwood on Troost to help transform Troost Avenue from a dividing line into a gathering place. The street is blocked off from Noon – 8pm to make space for neighbors meeting neighbors, professional entertainers, food trucks, children’s activities, and exhibits by local non-profits and area business. TroostFest is about celebrating the resources within the community: art, communication, education, environment, health, justice, science, and spirituality.

TroostFest was featured in the 2012 documentary titled “We Are Superman: The Transformation of 31st and Troost.”

Interested in getting involved?  Here are some ways you can be a part of this great work happening around Troost:

  • Attend the festival with your friends and family and meet some neighbors!

  • Set up a booth to sell your artwork or promote your business or organization.

  • Participate in planning the event (Tuesday afternoon or Thursday evening meetings).

  • Volunteer during the festival (needs listed below).

Contact Stephanie Swanson (swanson.sd@gmail.com) if you’re interested in being involved!

Background of the Troost Festival:

In 2005, a loose knit group of neighbors, from both sides of Troost, gathered together to put on the first Troost Avenue Festival. Known only as “Troost Folks,” they met weekly on Thursday evenings to discuss how to change Troost Avenue from a dividing line into a gathering place. Motivated by the desire to increase their mutual self-sufficiency and add to the well-being of others, this grassroots group began to realize they shared common values in the conviction that every person matters, that through patient dialogue they could find solutions where all would benefit, and that a village could emerge that made it possible for social capital to lead the way where economic capital would be utilized to enhance, rather than replace, community.

They decided that shutting down Troost for one day was the way to bring together all the talent and creativity they knew was there and to empower the community. As a team, they had no money, were “nobodies” in the city power structure, and had only 6 months to put together the first “Troost Avenue Festival.” And yet the first festival was such a success that it became an annual event, and this loose collaboration of individuals, organizations, churches, and businesses in the midtown area grew.

As they approached the 6th Annual Festival, the group decided it was time to officially incorporate. They chose the name Troost Village Community Association. Recognizing this as an experiment in village building, with a desire to model servant-leadership, Troost Village seeks to collaborate, not compete, in enhancing the sense of village that  will hopefully spread far beyond Troost Avenue and the surrounding area to the rest of the city and perhaps the region.

Everyone and anyone is welcome to join and take part in group meetings, discussions, and activities.  Regular meetings are Thursday nights at 31st and Troost at 7:30 pm at the Reconciliation Services Center.  Come join us!

Volunteer Needs

  • Crowd Management/ Security: While we have an excellent security service hired for the festival, volunteers will help control flow in high traffic areas around the stage and in the general area of the festival. Volunteers must be comfortable in high traffic areas and be on their feet for most of their entire shift.

  • Hospitality Area Assistant: Volunteers assist in hospitality area by welcoming other volunteers, performers, vendors, answering questions, making sure that the area is clean, and the food replenished.

  • Volunteer Check-in Assistant: This person assists in the operation of volunteer check-in area by greeting volunteers, recording check-in times, directing volunteers to work sites, and distributing t-shirts, ID, etc.

  • Information Booth: Provides information to the general public, including performance times, restroom locations, transportation options, and directions.

  • Floaters: Perform a wide variety of tasks, including filling in when extra volunteers are needed unexpectedly, or when scheduled volunteers fail to report for duty.

  • Green Team (Environmental Support) Clean-up Crew: The day of the event, the Clean-up Crew roams the festival area collecting refuse left by the festival participants. Armed with gloves and plastic bags, the Clean-up Crew is an integral part of sustaining a positive image of Troost and the Troost Festival.

  • Production Assistant (Area Set-up & Take Down): Production Assistants augment the muscle of the production crew by helping load inventory and install the physical elements of the festival grounds – tents, booths, fences, flooring, etc.

  • Survey Taker: Gather valuable data for the funders and marketing by roaming the grounds and administering opinion surveys to receptive festival attendees.

  • Entertainment/Vendor/Festival Parking Assistant: Help direct properly credentialed vehicles to correct parking area. Requires a lot of standing and sustained attention.

  • Children’s Area Assistant: Facilitate children’s activities (games, crafts and performances) by assisting and encouraging children’s participation. Assists with visitor questions and safety.

  • Discussion Facilitator (Topics): Topic discussion facilitators will be stationed at 1 of 10 tables to generate and spur discussion in the following areas: art, communication, community, education, environment, health, justice, resources, sciences, and spirituality. This person should be able to set the tone for discussion, validate multiple perspectives, and spur participation when it is lagging.

  • Discussion Facilitator (Soapbox): Soapbox discussion facilitators will coordinate the flow of speakers to the soapbox. This person should be able to welcome the unanticipated and respond in a timely manner.



2 comments on “KC: Volunteer with JW’ers at the 10th annual Troost Festival

  1. John Smart
    March 28, 2014

    Artists and other vendors / exhibitors are encouraged to sing-up! It costs exactly $0. Unless you need a table and two chairs – a $10 donation is recommended for this. Signing-up is very easy at troostvillage.org by clicking the details & forms link in the right hand column. One of the greatest ways to contribute is to share your talents and interests through being a vendor or exhibitor. And I know without a doubt that JW is brimming with creative talent – please bring the fruits of your artistic labors to the Festival!

  2. Pingback: KC: How Troost Became a Major Divide |

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This entry was posted on March 25, 2014 by in Kansas City, Race.
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