"One Good Thing" Series - Jeremiah and Mona Enna
Olathe, Ks is the home of a Kansas City treasure. The Culture House is the vision of Jeremiah Enna and his wife, Mona. This place is home to many artists who have graced almost every stage in the greater Kansas City area. This school for artists is only one of the ways that Jeremiah serves the community and uses the arts for the greater good.
So how did a Kansas City native end up with so many opportunities, especially ones that landed him squarely in the middle of conversations about race and how we should treat one another?
"There were two things I was pretty good at," this is one of the rare moments that Jeremiah openly acknowledged his strengths, "I could write and speak. I took every speaking opportunity I could get my hands on."
One of his notable jobs in L.A. was working for Kathy Lee Crosby. She hired him as an anti-drug facilitator; in this role, he regularly spoke to gang kids from East L.A. Little did he know that this would ultimately prepare him for bigger things at home in the U.S. and abroad.
In every epic tale, there is a hero, a just cause worthy of a fight, and a lady's heart to win! His dance company planned a tour but stopped off to help host a conference along the way. Jeremiah taught at the conference, and one of the students in his class was none other than his wife-to-be, Mona Störling.
Mona grew up in the northern part of Finland.
Although Jeremiah grew up in a multicultural environment, he was intrigued by the social problems in Kansas City despite our rich history.
As he and Mona began to dialogue, they discovered a historical moment in American history where God was the hero. The story was not from the Bible, but the purity of the gospel was the catalyst for ending slavery. The story showed the unity between enslaved people and abolitionists who worked together to form the Underground.
It took four years to flush out the story of "The Underground." Mona hand-made all of the costumes by hand. Each garment took nearly 35 hours to envision and create.
As Jeremiah reflects on his past and looks toward the future, he hopes to continue to bring personal change and community change everywhere audiences view The Underground. Over 200 artists danced in the show, and their part forever changed them in the production.
"This show can potentially transition our city and nation from experiencing "Black History" to American History," Jeremiah reflects.
"We lean toward selfishness – we need help to be good. Deep down, I want to live my life overcoming myself for others. The action of others should not be why we are collectively not good people."