Steve & Joan
Steve and Joan Israelite have been involved in the Kansas City community for decades, contributing their talent, skills, time and support to numerous organizations and initiatives. Joan was the first president and CEO of the Metropolitan Arts Council in Kansas City, now called ArtsKC, and set the standard for influential arts leadership, including playing a significant role in the capital campaign for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. She was a Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts for six years. Steve worked as the first executive director for what is now the Menorah Heritage Foundation and led it for 10 years, working with most of the not-for-profit organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area. He was on the implementation committee for Kansas City Scholars and worked to create an interfaith literacy project at UMKC. He assisted with the founding of Christo Rey. Steve serves on the Urban League Board, and he and Joan each won the Urban League’s “Difference Maker” award. For the past two years, Joan and Steve have worked to create a new not-for-profit called “Englewood Arts,” dedicated to reinvigorating the Englewood neighborhood in Independence with the creation of a new 30,000-square-foot arts center and affordable housing and studio space for artists.