A look back on the Fourth Annual Future Stages Festival

Future Stages 2017 dancers

Future Stages Festival 2017 dancers perform in Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Photo by Cody Boston.

On Sunday, June 25th, the Kauffman Center’s Fourth Annual Future Stages Festival showcased more than 800 youth artists performing on the stages in Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Helzberg Hall and on Saint Luke’s Outdoor Stage, constructed specifically for this festival. Nearly 5,000 guests attended the free event that welcomed the entire community.

“We are committed to providing young artists opportunities to perform and engage year-round at the Kauffman Center. Future Stages Festival offers young artists the experience of performing at a venue that national and international performers share,” said Kauffman Center President and CEO Paul Schofer. “Opening the Kauffman Center’s doors to visitors of all ages, Future Stages Festival invites all to experience the diversity of the performing arts and shine the spotlight on the talented young performers that are in our community.”

This year, the Kauffman Center saw the return of many performing groups from previous Future Stages Festivals, including: Lily Zhang Taylor Academy of Dance, 5 Star Jazz Band, AileyCamp’s Group, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s Team Shakespeare, and many more. These Future Stages veterans continue to grace the stages at the event much to the delight of the community. However, the fourth installment of this festival put emphasis on welcoming new performance groups to the stages with more than a third of the groups performing at Future Stages Festival for the first time; Harmony Project KC, United Dance Performers, and Grupo Axé Capoeira were among the fresh faces at this year’s event. Regardless of past experience at the festival, each group performed excellently and certainly deserved to perform on those stages.

“Most of my Harmony Project KC students come from Northeast Kansas City, an inner-city underserved neighborhood. As my students were going down the stairs to the backstage area, one of the boys said: ‘Wow, this place is so cool.’ They were not expecting to be treated like ‘real performers,'” said Carmen Eppright, Program Manager for Harmony Project KC. “They knew that was the hall where the symphony plays at, and they were so proud they got to play there too. They were beaming. Experiences like Future Stages go a long way towards building their self-esteem, confidence, team work, and love for music.”

When attendees weren’t dazzled by Kansas City’s young performers, they milled about the Kauffman Center taking part in a wide array of arts activities and engagements. Some of the activities featured in Brandmeyer Great Hall and outside on the south lawn included cardboard city construction, coloring on the Kauffman Center glass, a stage combat workshop, and an instrument petting zoo. The efforts from community organizations like AIA Kansas City, Drum Safari, Mattie Rhodes Center, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and many other partners were met with delight from guests of all ages.

Click here to view a full list of all the performance groups and community partners who were a part of the fourth annual Future Stages Festival.

Photos from this event can be viewed on the Kauffman Center’s Flickr page.

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Mother’s Day Brunch

 

Mayor Sly James and family enjoy brunch at the Kauffman Center.

On Sunday May 14th, the Kauffman Center hosted their annual Mother’s Day Brunch in the Brandmeyer Great Hall.  150 people enjoyed brunch and live music with their mothers while overlooking a gorgeous view of downtown Kansas City. The brunch included a buffet which featured a build-your-own omelet station, a prime rib carving station, Chef’s special homemade pastries, a yogurt parfait station sponsored by the Kauffman Center’s Premier Partner St. Luke’s Health System, bottomless mimosas and more!

Brunch with a view.

Adding to the morning’s festivities was Kauffman Center Executive Chef and mom, Laura Comer. Chef Laura got to attend the brunch and enjoy the morning with her two boys, Donovan (age 13) and Ronan (age 6). This event was open to the public, and members of the Kauffman Center’s membership programs Spotlight and Spotlight Premiere, as well as the corporate membership program, Ensemble, enjoyed a $10 per person discount.

Chef Laura and sons.

For information about joining one of the Kauffman Center’s membership programs, visit kauffmancenter.org/support-us or contact Betsy Lindsey, Development Manager, at or call 816.994.7220.


Vienna Boys Choir to Perform November 11

Vienna Boys Choir

Saturday, November 11 | 8:00PM

 Helzberg  Hall

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The Kauffman Center for Performing Arts is proud to welcome the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir on Saturday, November 11. Tickets including fees range from $35-$65, and are available now.

Vienna Boys Choir

The Vienna Boys Choir has a history that spans centuries. The group was officially formed in 1498 when Emperor Maximilian I wished to add boys’ voices to the Imperial Choir. The boys began to sing at Sunday Mass at the Imperial Chapel in Vienna, a tradition that continues today.

Heralded as one of the best musical groups in the world, the members of the Vienna Boys Choir are known for their stringent training and admittance policies. The boys are educated in music theory and sight singing, and must also be able to play at least one instrument. At the age of 9, members are tested on musical ability and vocal quality before joining one of the four touring groups.

Today’s Vienna Boys Choir tours all over the world, delighting audiences with angelic voices and beautiful harmonies. Join the Vienna Boys Choir at the Kauffman Center for a night of incredible music on Saturday, November 11.

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Mary Chapin Carpenter with special guest Sarah Jarosz

Mary Chapin Carpenter with special guest Sarah Jarosz

Wednesday, July 26 | 7:30PM

 Muriel Kauffman Theatre

Buy Tickets

The Kauffman Center for Performing Arts is proud to welcome Mary Chapin Carpenter with special guest Sarah Jarosz on Wednesday, July 26. Tickets including fees range from $35.50-$75.50 and are available now.

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter is an acclaimed country folk singer-songwriter whose career began in the 1980s when she was first signed with Columbia Records, and released the album Hometown Girl. The years to follow included the release of many hits, including the songs “Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her.” Carpenter’s newest album, The Things That We Are Made Of , was released in 2016.

Carpenter’s unique mix of folk and country styles has captivated listeners for decades, and has helped her sell more than 14 million records to date. The winner of five GRAMMY Awards, two CMA Awards, and a spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mary Chapin Carpenter continues to delight audiences across the country. She is joined at the Kauffman Center by special guest, GRAMMY winning up-and-comer Sarah Jarosz.

Take a listen to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Shut Up and Kiss Me” below and join her at the Kauffman Center on July 26.

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Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs to Perform June 17

Michael McDonald & Boz Scaggs

Saturday, June 17| 7:30 PM

 Muriel Kauffman Theatre

Buy Tickets

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is proud to welcome Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs on Saturday, June 17. Tickets including fees range from $65-$145 and are available now.

Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs

Michael McDonald’s career took off when he joined the Doobie Brothers in the 1970s. Adding his famous baritone to the group, McDonald pushed the band toward a polished jazz style. In 1982, McDonald left to begin his solo career. His album That’s What It Takes was released that year, featuring the song “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).” In the years since, Michael McDonald has released several Motown albums and won five GRAMMY Awards.

Boz Scaggs got his start as a member of the Steve Miller Band. During his time with the band, the group released two acclaimed albums: Children of the Future and Sailor. Boz Scaggs then went on to pursue a solo career, releasing more albums and singles, including the famous songs “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.” Scaggs’ most recent album, A Fool To Care, came out in 2015.

Join this iconic duo at the Kauffman Center on Saturday, June 17.

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