The Case for Civic Leadership - KCPT

KCPT: Eviction in KC Town Hall

For decades, public media stations have found creative ways to educate and engage their communities. A timeless approach has been to bring people together to have conversations about difficult issues that have polarized even the best of neighbors. Creating positive change through civil discourse has resonated with major donors and foundations across the system. For our first spotlight on civic leadership as a case for support, discover how KCPT’s town halls are helping Kansas Citians find common ground.

“There is the whole living, meaningful world of civic affairs at something less than the national level. The educational stations have not had the funds or the physical facilities to deal properly with their own immediate environment. The cities have long since become a hundredfold too large for town meetings, but part of what the town meeting accomplished is certainly within the reach of educational television. And the matter is all the more important in an area when cities are suddenly confronted with an unending series of new problems that cannot be met by administrative arrangements alone: problems that demand the engagement of each individual citizen, who must be both informed and moved to act.”  

The Report of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television, 1967

KCPT, Finding Common Ground
KCPT - Kansas City, MO
Kliff Kuehl, President & CEO


KCPT has been a recognized leader in Kansas City for decades. The station proudly serves the community by giving voice to those who often go unheard. To advance this work, the station partners with other nonprofits in Kansas City to produce a series of town hall style meetings

These public gatherings tackle serious issues affecting everyday people. Affordable housing, urban infrastructure and an examination of faith in the Kansas City area are topics that have engaged diverse communities and drawn large audiences. In the pursuit of inclusive community conversations, the station ensures that advocates for underserved populations are reserved a seat at the table. The hope is for Kansas Citians to find common ground on critical issues and gain a deeper understanding of one another.

The town halls and other acts of leadership have helped donors see how the station makes a difference. Ted Place, Sr. Vice President & Chief Development Officer, fondly recalls one major donor observing, “You guys are just everywhere!” KCPT’s work in the public square has and will continue to present a compelling case for philanthropic support!

To learn more about the station’s success with advancing philanthropy, be sure to catch the upcoming interview with Ted Place and Kliff Kuehl. 

Check out the more blog posts in the Civic Leadership series here