Author Archives: Molly Teichman

501c3, Donors and Why It All Matters

Powell Gardens is a not-for-profit organization.  You hear many worthy groups pointing this out about themselves, but what does it mean?  

The IRS has given us a special tax-exempt status because we do something good for our community. In short, we enhance it by growing and teaching.  We are careful with our resources so that every dollar goes to growing and teaching – all populations.  All of our neighbors.

We strive to remember those people, perhaps confined in a more urban landscape, who need and wish for a day amongst our more than 900 acres of inspiring landscape.  This year, like others, we’ve provided a free shuttle service from our sister garden, The Kauffman Memorial Garden, in the heart of Kansas City.  On key weekends, you can ride to Powell Gardens for free.  Continue reading

Under A Harvest Moon Committee Announces Menu

Under A Harvest Moon, our October 3rd fundraiser, celebrates the bounty of the Heartland Harvest Garden as interpreted by our celebrity chef, Michael Smith.  The harvest is in, the bushels of squash, parsnips, elderberry and currant are being picked and stored in anticipation for our big party.  Playfully, Michael has experimented with many of the items and has announced a tentative menu.  Here, we share it with you for your inspection.  We think you’ll agree… it’s bold and exciting. 

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Missouri Arts Council Funds 2010-11 Sculptural Exhibits at Powell Gardens

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The Missouri Arts Council – as public leader, partner and catalyst – is dedicated to broadening the appreciation and availability of the arts in the state and fostering the diversity, vitality and excellence of Missouri’s communities, economy and cultural heritage.

Powell Gardens is appreciative for the Missouri Art Council’s leadership in funding our large sculpture installations in 2010 and 2011!  As you can see above, our exhibits are not only beautiful and interesting but they also spark creativity and a lasting appreciation for art.

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Under A Harvest Moon – In the Spirit of Outstanding In the Field

As the Heartland Harvest Garden began to produce its first harvest in late July of 2009, Powell Gardens was chosen by the nationally renowned Jim Denevan of Outstanding in the Field, along with guest chef Jonathan Justus of the Justus Drugstore in Smithville, MO for Denevan’s first event in the Kansas City area.  The mission of Outstanding in the Field is to reconnect diners to the land and the origins of their food and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.   Guests flew in from across the country and The Kansas City Star covered the event and its signature long table on the cover of Star Magazine.

Then in October, as the season drew to a close, Jonathan Justus returned to put on the very first Under a Harvest Moon, a very successful fundraiser for Powell Gardens.

This year’s Under a Harvest Moon event has big shoes to fill!  So, we’re bringing you a K.C. legend, Chef Michael Smith, currently owner at both his namesake Michael Smith and also Extra Virgin.  Michael began his training in Denver but quickly found that he wished to immerse himself in cultural cuisine.  Traveling then to the South of France in 1985 in Nice and Cassis he discovered the traditional European approach of artisinal products made from the freshest local ingredients. Fueled by this resonating impression, Michael returned to Chicago in 1987 to work as Sous Chef at Charlie Trotter’s. Not satisfied with his European training, he returned to Nice, France in 1989 to be the Executive Chef at L’Albion.

Kansas City became acquainted with Smith when he was recruited to be Executive Chef and Corporate Chef for The American Restaurant. Beginning there in 1994, Michael quickly breathed new life into both the menu and the image of the 25-year-old restaurant. His fresh, simple, unfussy American fare, supported by the foundation of his extensive French training, won the trust and loyalty of local diners. In 1999 Michael won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in the Midwest,” a first for him and for Kansas City.

As an active member of the culinary community, Michael established a series of annual James Beard Foundation fundraising dinners, as well as developed local seminars and special events that featured celebrity chefs from all over the country. Michael and his recipes have been featured in numerous publications both locally and nationally including Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Wine Spectator and Robb Report. Having lent his face and name to a number of major ad campaigns, including those for Grey Poupon mustard, Vita-Prep Blenders, Kikkoman Products and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Michael continues to rank among the nation’s most recognized and respected chefs.

Michael’s patronage to the local bounty make him a perfect fit to continue this new tradition at Powell Gardens.  The meal is served in courses with spendid hand-selected wine pairings.  Proceeds will help Powell Gardens present programming for children because research shows kids make healthier choices when they know how their food grows.

Reservations are limited to 150 people.
Tickets can be reserved for $250.  Patron tickets available for $500. (Patrons are invited to a pre-event fine wine and fresh food tour through the Heartland Harvest Garden with the Director of Powell Gardens, Eric Tschanz, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 19, 2010.)

Call 816-697-2600 ext. 238 to reserve.  You can also reserve ONLINE, by clicking here for a ticket.  PATRON tickets are available here.

Announcing Under A Harvest Moon

Call 816-697-2600 ext 238 to reserve your spot at the table!

Co-chairmen Jeanie Latz and Courtney Earnest met recently with their committee to plan Under a Harvest Moon, a fundraising dinner featuring chef Michael Smith, Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. as a benefit for Powell Gardens.

Award-winning Chef, Michael Smith

Chef Michael Smith who in 1999 won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in the Midwest” will create a farm-to-table dinner with the local harvest to be served with fine wines in the Heartland Harvest Garden barn.

Proceeds will help Powell Gardens present programming for children because research shows children  make healthier choices when they know how their food grows.  Reservations are limited to 150 people.  Tickets can be reserved for $250.  Patron tickets available for $500. (Patrons and a guest are invited to a pre-event fine wine and fresh food tour through the Heartland Harvest Garden with the Director of Powell Gardens, Eric Tschanz scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 19, 2010.)

Call 816-697-2600 ext. 238 to reserve.

Under a Blue Moon 2010 Is In the Books

Katherine Barton and Mary Biber

The committee for Under A Blue Moon, co-chaired by our friends Mary Biber and Katherine Barton, recently took pause to consider the great success of our biggest fundraiser of the year.  The wrap up meeting held at The Corbin Bronze Gallery, on Southwest Boulevard, was a special treat from our chairmen who thanked the committee for all their combined efforts to make the evening fun, full and fantastic.

How fantastic?  This event NETTED just over $100,000!

Under a Blue Moon is a silent and live auction that highlights fine food, wine and atmosphere as a

Thanks to Whitt Ross for delicious appetizers

way to enjoy the growing gardens and raise needed funding.  This year’s event dodged storms and endured humidity but enjoyed the highest-rated feedback since the event began in 2003.  Lon Lane’s Inspired Occassions served a feast of tenderloin and fresh vegetables with a warm potato and herb gratin.  Tables were laden with checkered tableclothes, both upscale and downhome.  The guests, 370 of them, enjoyed a stroll down the Heartland Harvest Garden path before relaxing into their tables with family and friends.  Here’s a look at some of the fun moments of this year’s event:

Michelle Obama and the Grand Opening of the Youth Education Building

Many of you probably paused to consider Michelle Obama’s  message on childhood obesity as she spoke to the attendees of the NAACP rally right here in Kansas City last week.  The First Lady’s initiative Let’s Move has been her signature issue since her husband took office in 2008. The attention she directs to this important issue has caused the rest of America, perhaps the globe, to sit up and take notice.

Powell Gardens’ staff and volunteers found inspiration in her speech as they noticed a link between the work here in the gardens and the First Lady’s message sparking concern for our children’s health.  The issue isn’t political.  It isn’t a passing fad.  Concerned parents, teachers and opinion leaders are finding common ground in promoting a healthy lifestyle, especially in our youth.  Here at Powell Gardens, we recently completed a part of our vision for this movement–we are working hard to do our part.

The Heartland Harvest Garden, boasting 12 acres of fruits and vegetables,  is the nation’s largest edible landscape and the newest jewel in the crown of our ever-expanding garden.  With years of capital campaign leading up to the installation, the final piece in this ground-breaking puzzle was put into place.  And with it, a small celebratory crowd gathered.  We want to extend an especially sweet thank you for the commitments made to the Youth Education Building designed and devoted to our youth.

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