State reconsiders funding arts campus

Following a string of setbacks, proponents of UMKC’s downtown arts campus received a rare piece of good news this week when lawmakers re-introduced a bill to fund the project with state money.

The bill, put forth by State Representative Noel Shull of Kansas City, would provide half of the $96 million needed to build the downtown campus.

The state legislature approved a similar bill last June, which would have matched the $48 million in private pledges already raised. Following the governor’s veto, the school promised to finish funding the project through private donations.

Then, in January, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation withdrew its $20 million pledge to help fund the project. Despite these setbacks, school officials quickly refuted claims that the project was doomed.

This new legislation does not guarantee the project will receive state funding. UMKC officials say it is too early to say whether the bill will be approved this time around, though students are optimistic about the project’s future.

“I don’t know what will happen this time, but I hope it passes,” said Cade Pool, a junior in the Conservatory of Music and Dance. “I think having an arts campus downtown would be great for the school and the rest of the city, too.”

It is unclear how lawmakers will convince Greitens to support the legislation while he faces felony charges for invasion of privacy.

Rep. Schull declined to comment on his proposal.

For more updates on the downtown performing arts campus, check out www.unews.com.

sd6w8@mail.umkc.edu

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