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Feature - 2022 Humanitarians of the Year

Both Steve and Joan are positive, energetic, insightful, and selfless in their lifelong pursuit of bettering their local community. Whether it be the impact of art, urban revitalization, empowerment through education, or Jewish heritage, Steve and Joan are dedicated to helping others by giving of themselves. 

Both Steve and Joan are positive, energetic, insightful, and selfless in their lifelong pursuit of bettering their local community. Whether it be the impact of art, urban revitalization, empowerment through education, or Jewish heritage, Steve and Joan are dedicated to helping others by giving of themselves. 

Starting as Peace Corps volunteers, both Steve and Joan have dedicated countless hours to service, volunteering their skills and expertise throughout their lifetime of achievements. Joan is a former Presidential Appointee to the National Council on the Arts, a Founder of Arts KC, and currently a development consultant for the Kauffman Foundation. Meanwhile, Steve is a former regional director of HUD, founder and former CEO of the Menorah Heritage Foundation, former Urban League board member, and current board member for KC Scholars and Englewood Arts. Steve and Joan’s lifetime of service has earned them friends and admirers throughout the city.

Most recently, this dynamic couple has spent countless hours working to help revitalize the Englewood community through their support of Englewood Arts. Englewood Arts is nestled in the historic Engelwood neighborhood in Independence, with its lovely old homes and tree-lined streets. This unique endeavor aims to assist the local community by developing residential and commercial incentives centered around the arts. From affordable housing for artists to tax incentives for small businesses, the Englewood Arts District is the anchor around which a new, thriving community can grow.

You can feel their passion for community involvement when you listen to them talk about Englewood. Their enthusiasm is contagious. It’s little wonder they can bring such diverse people to the table to find real-world solutions to community issues. “I can not think of a better couple for this recognition,” noted Michael Baxley, Executive Director of Engelwood Arts. “Thanks to THCF for this well-deserved opportunity to thank Joan and Steve for a lifetime of community service.”  



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