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.

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Updates

A former resident loved Kansas City’s Plaza, food and hospitality, but was concerned about the lack of investment in the arts. Now this same musician, a former faculty member at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and oboeist for the … Read more

Appearing in a segment on KCPT staple, Nick Haynes’s Kansas City Week in Review, Kevin Collison, Star development reporter, calls the $20 million challenge grant from Julia Irene Kauffman and the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation “an ice-breaker,” and discusses matching funds … Read more

The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation pledged $20 million in support of a plan that would move UMKC’s renowned Conservatory of Music and Dance to the Crossroads area, to be joined later by other UMKC fine arts programs. An economic impact … Read more