As part of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Big 5” initiative, the University of Missouri-Kansas City began investigating the concept of a Downtown Campus for the Arts as a means to address several highly significant needs and opportunities for both campus and community. These include the university’s need for increased space and improved facilities for its renowned visual and performing arts programs; the need for growth space on the landlocked Volker campus; the city’s need to boost employment, activity and residency in the urban core; and the wealth of opportunities for artistic and educational synergy, economic development and national attention being generated by the city’s burgeoning arts and cultural renaissance.
A downtown UMKC arts campus, in walkable proximity to premiere arts institutions and performance venues, would emulate successful urban arts education programs such as those at Juilliard in New York, the New England Conservatory in Boston, the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Houston, Georgia State University and Columbus State University.
Executive Summary (PDF)
This executive summary includes highlights of three studies reviewing the feasibility, impacts and benefits of a UMKC Downtown Campus for the Arts.
Program Planning Study (PDF)
The first is a study of potential sites and costs, prepared by Helix Architecture + Design, Integra Realty Resources and HGA Architects and Engineers. That study recommends three potential sites and a phased move of the visual and performing arts schools over a 20+-year period.
Campus Impact Study (PDF)
The Campus Impact Study, prepared by UMKC research staff, reviews the potential impact of the move of those programs downtown on the university and its component parts.
Economic impact study (PDF)
MARC estimates that the economic activity associated with the construction of the arts campus and reuse of the Volker campus would average, at minimum, approximately 409 jobs, $30.8 million in real GDP, and $22.9 million in real disposable personal income over 25 years.