Thursday, May 26, 2022
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Funding for Downtown Arts Campus Passes Missouri House

The $96 million Downtown Arts Campus is one step closer to being realized after a funding bill passed in the Missouri House, 117-39, last week. The Senate now holds the fate of the HCR 19 bill, which would issue $48 million in state bonds over 10 years.

Gov. Eric Greitens has made it a priority of his administration to balance the state’s budget, beginning in January with an announcement to cut nearly $84 million from higher education. This was followed by a second cut of $40 million to the University of Missouri system in February.

According to legislation presented to Jefferson City, the project would permanently add 675 students and faculty to the Crossroads Arts District Neighborhood.

Prior to the house vote, UMKC raised half of the money in pledged private donations for the conservatory’s new home. The location would be just south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Fundraising for the downtown campus began in 2013 with a $20 million gift from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. $5.5 million came from an anonymous donor that purchased the property and prepared the site for the project.

The Kansas City Council completed the fundraising September 1, 2016 by approving $7 million for the project, which brought local pledges to $48 million.

The $48 million in bonds would cost the state around $5.5 million a year for 10 years.


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