Performers Announced for 6th Annual Future Stages Festival

Crescendo in Motion performs in Helzberg Hall. Photo by Rachel Nyhart.

More than 700 youth performers will be featured on four stages at this year’s festival.

Kansas City, MO – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to announce performance groups and arts partners presenting at the 6th Annual Future Stages Festival. On June 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids from 4-18 years of age will present their talents to the Kansas City audience. To RSVP to this FREE event and get up-to-date information on the day’s activities, visit

See highlights of last year’s Future Stages Festival.

As part of the Kauffman Center’s Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program, the Future Stages Festival is a celebration of the arts and youth performers. It is a chance for emerging artists to showcase their talents and passions on the Kauffman Center’s stages. Not only will guests be able to see the talented youth representing many parts of the Greater Kansas City metro area, they can enjoy activities and crafts throughout the day. Activities, such as drawing on the Kauffman Center’s windows and the Selfie Scavenger Hunt, will keep attendees of all ages busy having fun inside and outside of the performance halls.

See all of the fun activities at the 5th Annual Future Stages Festival.

This FREE festival is presented by Kauffman Center’s premier partner Saint Luke’s Health System and will showcase performances by 34 local community arts organizations listed below. Throughout the day, groups will perform on four stages: Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Helzberg Hall, the Saint Luke’s Outdoor Stage, and the Community Stage  on the south lawn. Performing arts genres featured at this year’s festival range from ballet and hip-hop to acrobatics and jazz bands.

Featured Performance Groups at the 6th Annual Future Stages Festival Include:

Soundz of Africa performs in Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Photo by Jillian Shoptaw.

5 Star Jazz Band
AileyCamp the Group
Ballet Folklorico de Topeka
Bharathanatyam from Chilanka School of Dance
Caruthers Dance Studios – The Hot Steppers
Chinese School Dance Group
Crescendo in Motion
Dynamic Dance Competition Team
Harmony Project KC
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival: Team Shakespeare
HK Chinese Folk Dance Group
House of Dance Company
Ice Studios School of Dance
Kansas City Aerial Arts Training Company
Kansas City Boys Choir and Kansas City Girls Choir
Kansas City Dance Company
Kansas City Jazz Academy – Advanced Combo
KC Homeschool Dance
KC Youth Percussion Ensemble
KCYA Community School of the Arts Dancers
Lily Zhang Li Taylor Dance Academy
Los Bailadores de Kansas City
Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Frost High School Honors Artists
Metropolitan Conservatory Orchestra
Miles Swaminathan
Miller Marley School Show Biz Performers
Mudra Dance Academy
School of Rock Kansas City House Band
Starlight STARS
Street Styles Academy’s “Elite Team”
String Sprouts KC
TeamEXCEL! (Take the Stage Program)
The A-Flat Youth Orchestra
The Charlie Parker Memorial Jazz Ensemble
The Last Carnival Circus School

-Photo by Ellie Fehlig

Dancers perform a modern dance piece in Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Photo by Ellie Fehlig.

Activities Provided by: 

American Institute of Architects – Kansas City
College Basketball Experience
Folk Alliance International
Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri
Great American Kites & Events
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
Kansas City Ballet
Kansas City Broadway Series
Kansas City Chalk and Walk Festival
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Symphony
Kansas City Zoo
Latino Arts Foundation
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Mattie Rhodes Center
Museum at Prairiefire
Sporting KC
StoneLion Puppet Theatre
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
Vania Soto – Visual Artist


When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 2019

Where: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108

Cost: FREE and open to the public.

More information: Registration is not necessary as tickets will not be issued. Once registered, attendees will automatically be entered to win two tickets to an upcoming performance at the Kauffman Center. All ages are welcome; programming is suggested as most suitable for families with children ages 4-15.

Future Stages Festival 2019, Free Event, Sponsors, Thank You


The Kauffman Center Open Doors program connects young people to the arts through three major components:

– The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative offers year-round programs and engagement opportunities that connect young people with the Kauffman Center.

– The Open Doors Community Tickets program offers free and reduced price performance tickets to underserved audiences through local social service agencies and schools.

– The Open Doors Transportation Fund helps schools offer high quality performing arts experiences to students by eliminating or defraying the costs of bus transportation.

More information about Open Doors programs is available at:

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Los Tigres del Norte Performs Nearly Sold-out Show at the Kauffman Center

More than 1,500 people attended Los Tigres del Norte
with special guests Making Movies at the Kauffman Center

Photo by Cody Boston

Photo by Cody Boston

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, more than 1,500 people attended the nearly sold-out Kauffman Center Presents Los Tigres del Norte performance.

Los Tigres del Norte have reinvented Mexican popular music with their modern take on traditional norteño, cumbia, bolero and rock music. The multiple Grammy award-winning band has sold 37 million records and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Making Movies, the Kansas City-based rock band who opened the show, blends Afro-Latino rhythms with psychedelic jams and rock ’n’ roll swagger.

In line with the Kauffman Center’s mission to bridge the gap between the arts and local communities and organizations, the Open Doors Community Tickets program provided free tickets to local nonprofit agencies including El Centro, Guadalupe Centers and Mattie Rhodes Center. The Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City also donated three traditional Mexican dresses for display as part of the Kauffman Center’s Live in the Lobby series.

Photo by Cody Boston

Eduardo’s Pueblito food truck was parked outside the south entrance of the Kauffman Center for guests to enjoy traditional Mexican food before the show.

The Kauffman Center Presents series is proud to provide inclusive programming that represents people of all cultures and backgrounds. Through the Los Tigres del Norte and Making Movies performance, a diverse crowd of fresh new faces was able to experience the Kauffman Center, many for the first time.

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Google Arts & Culture launches Kansas City platform featuring the Kauffman Center

Explore Kansas City culture in a new interactive online project by
Google Arts & Culture in collaboration with the Kauffman Center

Photo of Brandmeyer Great Hall by Jillian Shoptaw

On Friday, April 5, 2019, Google Arts & Culture launched Kansas City – Google Arts & Culture’s first online exhibition featuring an American city. The project brings together collections, stories and 360-degree tours from 15 renowned Kansas City institutions, including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Photo of Helzberg Hall by Steve Mohlenkamp

From articles like ‘11 Facts That Will Make You Fall In Love With KC‘ to ‘How to Order KC BBQ Like a Local,’ the exhibition highlights the history, people and culture that makes Kansas City the “Heart of America.” The project launched with a video highlighting Kansas City’s arts and culture scene. The platform has introduced Kansas City and its arts and culture to an international audience giving visitors around the world the opportunity to learn and experience Kansas City in a new way.

The partnership also features Google Arts & Culture’s Art Camera – a custom device that takes hundreds of close-up images, revealing a level of detail hidden from the naked eye. This means Helzberg Hall, Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Brandmeyer Great Hall can now be viewed in an interactive 360-degree gigapixel-picture.

“We’re excited to launch our first project profiling an American city here in Kansas City,” said Simon Delacroix, US Lead at Google Arts & Culture. “Kansas City’s vibrant art and history has been instrumental to Google Arts & Culture from our very beginning in 2011. Today marks a big step forward — with the help of 15 world-class institutions, we’re thrilled to share with anyone, anywhere, some of the amazing stories that make Kansas City the Heart of America.”

Paul Schofer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kauffman Center stated, “We’re excited and honored to be a part of this ambitious endeavor to highlight the many artistic and cultural experiences that Kansas City has to offer. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is an iconic part of the arts and cultural landscape of Kansas City and we are proud to be included to showcase what so many of us already know: that Kansas City has world-class entertainment for everyone.”

Below are some of the featured exhibitions about the Kauffman Center:

Photo of the Kauffman Center from the southside by Mary Beth Russell

  • Performances at the Kauffman Center: featuring information on the 300+ performances the Kauffman Center hosts per year (including the Kauffman Center Presents series, Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City).
  • The Construction of the Kauffman Center: an exclusive look into the five-year construction of the Kauffman Center from groundbreaking to grand opening.
  • Architecture Highlights: an in-depth look at the Kauffman Center’s architectural features both inside and outside of the facility.
  • The King of All Instruments: a showcase of the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, one of the finest performance organs in the country and the visual centerpiece of Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center.

You can experience Kansas City and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts by downloading the Android or iOS app or visiting Google Arts & Culture.

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Over 5,000 Students Served Through Open Doors Program

Open Doors School Matinees Serve More Than 5,000 Students Across the Kansas City Metro During 2018-2019 School Year.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is passionate about providing youth in our community opportunities to experience high quality performing arts, learn about the facility, and even plan for a future in the arts.

Photo by Jillian Shoptaw

Through the Open Doors program, students in 19 school districts and more than 35 schools have attended this year’s four school matinees: Black Violin, a hip-hop string instrument duo from Florida, and three National Geographic Live events, including Ronan Donovan, Mark Synnott, and Kara Cooney. More than 1,600 students enjoyed Black Violin in October 2018 while over 3,500 students attended the three National Geographic Events.

Teachers and chaperones commented that these presentations provide opportunities for their students to learn and spark discussions outside the classroom. “[My students] had so much fun and loved all the energy. [Black Violin] did such a nice job talking about dreams, stereotypes, and how we can change things through music, or how music helps to break down barriers. Here you have a crowd from all backgrounds, sharing the same wonderful experience and getting along. It was great,” said Parker Stanley of South Valley Middle School in Liberty, Missouri.

Photo by Jillian Shoptaw

Educators and administrators also appreciate the low ticket prices offered through the Open Doors school matinee program. While the tickets initially cost $5 per person, the Open Doors Community Tickets initiative pays for a portion of each ticket bringing the expense down to $2 per student and chaperone. Additionally, the Transportation Fund provides schools with the opportunity of eliminating or reducing the cost of transportation to and from the matinees. Ultimately, the Open Doors program strives to make these experiences affordable for schools across the Kansas City metro.

“With Open Door Transportation, we don’t have to charge our students $5 for a bus fee to pay for gas and our bus driver,” says Shauna Townsend, Music and Band Teacher at Clinton Christian Academy. As a result, more families and students can afford to go on the field trip, she says.

As the school year comes to a close, it is time to prepare for the 2019-2020 school year of matinees at the Kauffman Center. Next year’s first matinee will be Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! coming on  October 1, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.. Jack Hanna, America’s most beloved zoo keeper, will bring his favorite furry friends to Kansas City. Students will have the chance to meet the animals and hear their stories during the matinee. Reservations for this matinee, and the National Geographic Live series will open up in May 2019. To stay up to date on Open Doors opportunities, be sure to sign up for the Kauffman Center’s Educator email list.

Visit our School Field Trips page for more details.

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Kauffman Center to Host Free Pipe Organ Concert on Mother’s Day

‘Music from the Heart’  features Jan Kraybill performing on the
Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875 

Photo by Cody Boston

This Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Premier Partner Saint Luke’s Health System will present “Music from the Heart,” a special concert and free community event. The concert takes place Sunday, May 12 at 4 p.m. in Helzberg Hall and features the Kauffman Center’s spectacular pipe organ.

Jan Kraybill, organ conservator for the Kauffman Center, has curated a selection that illustrates many shades of love. Compositions from Bach to The Beatles touch on love of family, country, romance and peace. Kraybill will perform on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, one of the finest concert hall organs in the nation.

The free concert is a Mother’s Day gift to the community in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Saint Luke’s Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center. Prior to the performance, Saint Luke’s will present Julia Irene Kauffman, Chairman of the Board for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, with the Visionary Award in recognition of her leadership, dedication and support to advance women’s heart health in Kansas City by creating a resource that is a center of excellence for the community over its 25 year history.

Tickets for this event are free but reservations are required. Free tickets will be available to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, April 5, through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222 and online at

Presented by Premier Partner Saint Luke’s Health System
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