SOURCE: UEP-A Program of the Kauffman Foundation

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March 29, 2011 16:25 ET

Kauffman Foundation's Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP) Celebrates Kansas City Heritage, Recognizes Park University Artists

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) - A year-long exhibit at the national headquarters of the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP), a program of the Kauffman Foundation, acknowledges Kansas City's artistic heritage and celebrates the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of student artists from nearby Park University in Parkville, Mo.

"Art Is My Business" will open with a recognition ceremony and reception April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the UEP's home office, located at 1520 E. 18th Street, in the heart of Kansas City's historic jazz district.

Guests will include the artists and their families; Michael Droge, president of Park University and other senior university administrators; UEP-Kauffman associates; and other local artists.

The project was the brainchild of UEP's national administrative associate, Jaime L. Simmons, who aimed to combine community involvement with support for budding artists eager to launch careers in the art world.

"With our offices located at 18th and Vine, we appreciate participating in the culture and vibrance of Kansas City's historic jazz district," Simmons said. "We also want to promote entrepreneurship through the arts. We want aspiring artists to realize their talents can be more than a hobby."

Park University enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to partner with the UEP in recognizing student artists.

"Having such a significant venue for these talented Park students to showcase their outstanding work is a tremendous opportunity for them," Droge said. "It will be a thrill to see the exhibit, especially knowing how diligently these students worked to reach this excellent plateau."

Park students competed to have their work displayed in the exhibit. Selected artists are seniors Michelle Davis, Stephanie Ehrhardt, Frances Roberts, and December 2010 graduate Jason Loftin.

"We're pleased to honor these young artists," said Lena T. Rodriguez, UEP's chief marketing and development officer. "The UEP offers entrepreneurial education and one-to-one-business coaching nationally and internationally, but 'Art Is My Business' underscores our commitment to entrepreneurship and our dedication to our community, which is known for being rich in the arts."

For additional information on Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP) programs, contact Lena Rodriguez at (816) 581-2900 or or visit

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