Open Letter to Walt Disney

Dear Bob Iger and Walt Disney,

This is one of those boring old open letters. I am from Kansas City, the hometown of Walt Disney. I know many people forget that he is from here and part of the reason for that is you and your company has forgotten it as well. However, without Kansas City; there is no Walt Disney Company. 

It is sad because it was Kansas City that he was educated. While in the bread basket of America, he attended the Kansas City Art Institute and used books from the public library as a guide to learn to draw. Have you forgotten about the name Laugh-O-Grams? The people from the city of fountains have not. It was on 31st.

Mickey Mouse, the character that has given your company its’ image for a century was based on a silly mouse that would annoy Walt Disney at that studio. The voice of Donald Duck was from a childhood friend in Kansas City. Where would Walt Disney Company be without Mickey and Donald?

It seems that he and now you and your company have long forgotten about the influence of Kansas City in the formation of the company. This need to change.

Why does it matter?

As a city, so much was given to Walt Disney. He was given the platform to dream. He was given many opportunities in the midst of the Great Depression that was ripping the Midwest apart. Many did not get those same conditions.

The city has historically been one for the fine arts. It has turned out of the best in art for many decades. We are even know as the city of fountains due to some artistic value we have placed in the urban planning.

However, it is time for Walt Disney Company to give back to Kansas City. It is reasonable to ask for development assistance in the arts of the people of Kansas City. It is long past overdue. It is not acceptable that the company has not been working directly with the public school system that Walt Disney was educated in to fix the problems in Art education. Why isn’t the company have a direct line for our colleges for employment, especially the Kansas City Art Institute?

This is not a call to build Disney World – Kansas City or anything. It is a call for the company to help the city that empowers its’ founder to dream. It is a plead for the company’s HR team to work directly with schools to find the best artists. They are to be found if the company looks.


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