UMKC has long been at the heart of nurturing culture in Kansas City through its renowned programs in music and dance, theater and visual arts. But now it’s considering a bold move that could take the university literally into the heart of our great city – by building a new Downtown Campus for the Arts in Kansas City.

Why now?

Downtown Kansas City is undergoing an arts renaissance. For evidence, look no farther than the gleaming Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts or the Todd Bolender Center for Dance. Both have helped transform our local arts landscape, energized arts patrons and catapulted our city to national attention.

Big 5

Local leaders saw the potential when they named a downtown arts campus to the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce list of the “Big Five Ideas.” A campus close to the emerging cultural district could be mutually beneficial for UMKC and the entire region. Downtown Kansas City would gain added vibrancy with a constant population of 18- to 35-year-olds ready to learn, live and perform there, while UMKC’s heralded arts programs would gain great opportunities to offer much-needed improvements to its facilities.

That’s not all. UMKC leaders believe a downtown arts campus could offer new and creative ways to integrate culture into the curriculum of every student, enhancing their education and creating the next generation of arts lovers in our region.

But no great idea can take flight without deep study to make sure the excitement has a solid foundation. This website will share information during UMKC’s exploration process. Feasibility and economic studies are currently under way. We invite you to return often to see what we learn.

Subscribe to our RSS feed to be notified of updates.



Second, third and fourth year students in UMKC’s Architecture, Urban Planning and Design program were given free rein to imagine the community that their university would someday be a part of. When the UMKC Campus for the Arts is built, … Read more

They brought their own cheering sections to the Chamber of Commerce Board Room. Five firms presented their Downtown Arts Campus plans to an audience of community members, UMKC professors, administrators, students and staff. Most incorporated some green space, light, openness, … Read more

Gifts committed to the construction of the Downtown Arts campus began piling up at UMKC’s door this fall. With the addition of 8 gifts totalling $5.6 million, the donation of a site for the first structure and an initial grant … Read more