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My Kansas City: JiaoJiao Shen

JiaoJiao Shen

Kansas City Symphony

Shen grew up playing the violin, so she watches the Kansas City Symphony perform at the new Kauffman Center whenever she gets the chance. “People don’t think of the Midwest, other than maybe Chicago, as having great music,” she says. But Shen thinks that the Symphony, under the direction of Michael Stern, is world class.

Info: KCSymphony.org, 816.471.1100

The Farmhouse restaurant

300 Delaware St.

From Kin Lin to Accurso’s to the Vietnam Café, Shen has an appetite for many of the locally owned restaurants around the city. She describes the Farmhouse in the River Market neighborhood as “small and quaint.” She’s a fan of the food and of how the restaurant supports local farmers, ranchers and businesses. For her, it’s a plus that she can shop the River Market after she’s done eating.

Info: EatattheFarmhouse.com, 816.569.6032

Sheffield Place

This program gives shelter to homeless mothers who have survived trauma and their children. Shen is on the advisory council for this organization, and since it began in 1991, Sheffield Place has housed more than 560 families, according to its website. Shen admires the program’s “really great track record for success.”

Info: SheffieldPlace.org

The Plaza

Sure, Shen knows that it’s a cliché to say she likes the Plaza. But when her friends and family came to Kansas City over the summer for her wedding, she noticed how much they fell in love with the shopping center. “It’s so beautiful and well-preserved,” she says, and she doesn’t want it to be overlooked from her Kansas City favorites.

Info: CountryClubPlaza.com; 816.561.3456

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

4420 Warwick Blvd.

Shen’s so big on the Kemper that she got married there. But it’s not just a beautiful space to her. “They have some really cool exhibits. It’s funky. It’s fresh, and it’s free.” Well, it’s free with the exception of Café Sebastienne, of course, and Shen loves the café’s menu.

Info: KemperArt.org, 816.753.5784


Kansas City wakes up to JiaoJiao Shen for the morning newscast on 41 Action News. Even though she doesn’t have a conventional schedule — she goes to bed at 6:30 p.m. and wakes up at 2:30 a.m. — Shen prefers “waking up with people … (because) they’re ready to start their day with a clean slate.” Outside of anchoring the morning show, Shen is busy refurbishing her new house with her husband and taking care of their three dogs.

A University of Missouri-Columbia graduate, Shen worked in Oklahoma City and Topeka before starting at Channel 41. Even though she’s lived in a number of communities, she likes Kansas City for its people. She can’t think of another city she’s lived in with more 5K races, galas or benefits, and she says the city wouldn’t be thriving the way it is without the people who organize those events. Here’s what Shen loves about Kansas City.


  1. 2 years, 8 months ago

    Great Article! Jiao Jaio is sweet lady and a talented Journalist.

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