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For more than 10 years, the three-person collaborative, Electric Prairie Productions, has gone to historically Black churches and musical events to film amazing gospel music. More than 200 performers (whether in choirs, quartets or solos) at 16 churches have been filmed. Many advisors and experts have assisted with this film and more than 100 interviews have been filmed with Black studies professors, archivists, historians, pastors, choral directors, performers, musicologists, and authors.

This is the music of liberation.

Our Story

Kansas City is renowned for jazz and blues. But at the root of both genres of American music, is gospel, whose messages spring from a certainty of better times to come. Kansas City, a crossroads on the gospel highway, played an essential role in the shaping of Black gospel music nationally, and continues to do so on the international stage today.


The documentary film, “I’m So Glad,” explores this unique legacy through the stirring music and stories of the city’s pioneering greats of the past, today’s best-known artists, and lesser-known active artists throughout the metro area. It takes its name from a Spiritual, “I’m So Glad, Trouble Don’t Last Always,” which epitomizes the central theme, that things will get better by and by, a belief that has sustained the Black community through difficult times.


Through stories, film, photos and music – much of which has never been presented before – the film celebrates the rich heritage of the Kansas City area’s Black musical legends and contemporary artists, their impact on the development of gospel music and their contributions to the nation’s larger cultural history.



The showing plan for the film emphasizes the attainment of multiple showings with extensive audience interaction. This is in line with our goal of fostering greater cultural understanding.



The film is intended to preserve and celebrate Kansas City’s unique style of Gospel music and make it accessible to white and Black audiences in non-theatre settings.

Nothing like this has been done before. By informing both Black and white audiences of the great heritage of Kansas City’s gospel music, the film will foster greater cultural understanding and an appreciation for Kansas City’s tradition of Black Gospel music as a valuable art form and unique cultural treasure.

The project has been funded to date by three grants – an Inspiration Grant from Arts KC, a grant from Humanities Kansas and a Rocket Grants Project award. The Rocket Grant is a program of the Charlotte Street Foundation and the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art. Funding for the Rocket Grant is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This film project is also supported by the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area and by private contributions.


Views expressed are not necessarily those of Humanities Kansas or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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