Notice: All performances and events have been postponed through July 5.  Please refer to kauffmancenter.org/coronavirus for more information.

Look for the Blue Vest

Volunteers are Vital to Kauffman Center’s Success

Volunteer Terri Curran pumps up students during a recent school matinee. On average, there are more than 30 school matinees each year that require volunteer support. Photo by Brittany Zarco

On average, more than 500 volunteers contribute 51,000 hours annually to the Center. While most volunteers do not have formal customer service experience, their diverse backgrounds, cultures and previous professions create an inclusive and friendly environment. Around every corner is a smiling face and helping hand. Volunteers are easy to spot in their iconic blue vests, and they carry out a variety of tasks at performances, from taking tickets to greeting guests, to assisting with security screenings.

When asked why he chose to begin volunteering at the Kauffman Center Mark Gardner said, “…because the arts are a vital part of a thriving Kansas City, and I want to help. I love and look forward to working with the staff, the volunteers … where else can you have such a memorable impact on so many people in an evening? It is quite amazing!”

Howard Pitler, Mark Dickerson, Mark Gardner and Dennis Connor have some fun during the holiday season. In December alone, volunteers work an average of 5 shifts for a total of more than 1,900 shifts worked. Photo by Jenny DeFreece

About 60 volunteers are needed to help run each performance, and often the Kauffman Center will have two performances running simultaneously, requiring even more volunteer support. Events are scheduled around the clock, including daytime matinees and evening, weekday and weekend performances, providing volunteer opportunities that fit every schedule. Volunteers who work at least 15 shifts a year are considered “active” members meaning that they are invited to attend special events and receive additional perks throughout the season.

One of the perks granted to active volunteers is an invitation to the annual Volunteer Ice Cream Social and Trivia Night, which takes place during Volunteer Appreciation Month in April. At this event, volunteers are treated to snacks, games and prizes. Prizes, donated by local businesses, can vary from gift cards, to concert/sporting tickets, to memberships to local attractions. Additionally, each summer, a Volunteer Recognition Event is held, and five volunteers who exhibited the highest level of professional, positive and exceptional customer service that season are awarded the Kauffman Spirit Award. These individuals will have made a significant contribution to our mission to “create devoted constituents and enhance the satisfaction for all who come to the Kauffman Center.” They are recognized for serving each patron with dignity and respect. Chairman of the Kauffman Center Board, Julia Irene Kauffman, presents this award annually and to date has bestowed the award to 40 deserving volunteers.

Kauffman Spirit Award winners with Chairman of the Board Julia Irene Kauffman and President & CEO Paul Schofer. (Left to right) Jennifer Wehmeyer, Mark Gardner, Julia Irene Kauffman, Carolyn Curtis, Nancy Rhoades, Phil Caldarella and Paul Schofer. Photo by David Riffel

“Receiving one of the Kauffman Spirit Awards was truly one of the highlights of my life,” said 2019 Kauffman Spirit Award Winner Phil Caldarella. “To be recognized for my service at the Kauffman Center with this prestigious award was a true blessing and honor. It is a reflection of my job in making the Kauffman Center patron experience the best that it can be. Being recognized in front of my fellow volunteers, the team captains, the team leads, the patron services team and the executive staff is something I will always treasure. Finally, to have this award presented to me by our distinguished Chairman of the Board, Julia Irene Kauffman, made it even more special and rewarding. I am truly blessed to be a part of the Kauffman Center family.”

The dedication displayed by volunteers is astounding, and the Kauffman Center distinguishes its volunteers by the total number of hours an individual has donated to the Center. There are six levels:

  • Active (less than 100 hours) – currently 90 volunteers at this level
  • Bronze (100 volunteer hours) – currently 108 volunteers at this level
  • Silver (250 volunteer hours) – currently 124 volunteers at this level
  • Gold (500 volunteer hours) – currently 84 volunteers at this level
  • Royal (1,000 volunteer hours) – currently 86 volunteers at this level
  • Diamond (2,500+ volunteer hours) – currently 11 volunteers at this level

Members who have devoted thousands of hours to the Center are honored with additional perks. Royal Volunteers get their name added on a plaque displayed in the volunteer office and are invited to a special reception before the Volunteer Recognition Event in July. Volunteers who reach Diamond status are given a “performance night out” package including two tickets to a performance, valet parking, dinner for two, a meet and greet with a performer, and two complimentary Kauffman bar beverages. In addition, every fall, the Kauffman Center hosts a luncheon for volunteers who have been with the Center for five seasons.

A group of volunteers show their KC pride during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run in January 2020. Photo by Jenny DeFreece

Volunteer recruitment takes place once a year. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, should be comfortable working with a variety of individuals and be able to treat all volunteers, team members and guests with dignity and respect at all times. If you are interested in applying to become a volunteer, please email volunteer@kauffmancenter.org to be placed on the contact list and have an application emailed directly to you. Or visit the volunteer page on the Kauffman Center website.

The Kauffman Center is thankful for all the hard work volunteers put into making a visit to the Center memorable for patrons each season. Their smiling faces and warm personalities are instrumental in providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who visit the Center. As the Kauffman Center approaches its 10-year anniversary, it is evident that our volunteers are indispensable to the Center’s success.

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Kauffman Center Internships Offer Students Real-World Experience in Non-Profit Arts Management

Learn the Inside Scoop on Kauffman Center Internships from Current Spring Interns

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts furthers its mission by creating enriching opportunities for students and aspiring arts professionals to learn career skills and connect with those in the Kansas City arts community. Through the Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative, the Kauffman Center offers internship opportunities throughout the year to current college students and recent graduates. Interns have the chance to work directly with Kauffman Center staff to gain valuable hands-on experience. Interns also have access to networking and professional development as well as a chance to grow and strengthen their portfolio. 

This summer, Kauffman Center internships will be available in Facilities Management, Marketing & Community Outreach and Marketing & Public Relations. The deadline to apply for a Kauffman Center summer internship is Wednesday, April 1, 2020. 

For more information and to apply, visit kauffmancenter.org/internships.

Meet Brittany, Corey, and Sydney – Spring Kauffman Center Interns

Brittany, Corey, and Sydney (from left to right)

Brittany, our current Volunteer Management intern, is a senior pursuing a degree in Marketing and Business Administration at the University of Kansas. Brittany collaborates on projects surrounding the annual volunteer appreciation month. She assists with logistics for Kauffman Center volunteer events, whether that be budgeting, decorating or building community relations for potential in-kind donations. Brittany said she enjoys working with her direct supervisors, as well as Kauffman Center volunteersto better serve the community. 

 “I love working with a company that prioritizes community as an integral part of company culture, Brittany said. The Kauffman Center is a hub for creatives throughout the metropolitan area to come together in support of the arts.” 

Marketing and Community Outreach intern, Corey, is also a senior studying Business Marketing at the University of Kansas. His internship activities include generating social media content, researching organizations for grassroots marketing campaigns and assisting with the preparation for the 7th Annual Future Stages Festival.  

“I highly recommend the Kauffman Center Internship Program for college students and recent graduates,” he said. This program allows you to learn from industry professionals, share your ideas in a professional environment and build your portfolio and resume with various writing projects.”  

He said he believes his internship experience at the Kauffman Center will enable him to be competitive in the job market post-graduation. 

Sydney, the Kauffman Center’s spring Marketing and Public Relations intern, is a senior majoring in Public Relations at the University of Central Missouri. She writes press releases, blog posts and social media content. Sydney also plans pre-show engagement activities and helps lead grassroots marketing campaigns. She says the most rewarding thing about working at the Kauffman Center as an intern is that she has gotten to be a part of a real team in the professional world.  

“Everyone welcomed me in from day one, and I have not stopped learning and taking on new tasks ever since,” Sydney said 

The Kauffman Center allows interns like Sydney to learn and grow in a positive work culture and fast-paced environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Kauffman Center internships

On March 5,
 2020, Corey and Sydney took over the Kauffman Center Instagram account and answered questions about what it’s like being an intern at the Kauffman Center. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions they received. 

Q: What kind of qualifications stand out on a resume?   

A: Whenever you’re applying to a Kauffman Center internship, make sure your significant and relevant experience aligns with the position for which you’re applying. An ideal candidate is flexible, willing to learn, dependable, detail-oriented and self-starting. The Kauffman Center also looks for individuals who have strong written and verbal communication skills with confidence in proofreading abilities. 

Q: Are internships at the Kauffman Center geared more towards students who have more experience in the field?  

A: The Kauffman Center welcomes students at all experience levels. Staff members are happy to tailor projects and tasks accordingly, as long as they meet the goals of each intern as well as the Kauffman Center’s goals for that specific internship. 

Q: What was the interview process? Any tips for a successful interview?  

A: First round interviews for chosen applicants generally are conducted over the phone with the Kauffman Center’s Community Outreach Supervisor. Selected applicants will have a second-round interview at the Kauffman Center with the direct supervisors for the internship. Occasionally, when needed, second round interviews are also conducted via video chat. It’s always important to do your research on the Kauffman Center and the internship you’ve applied for. Also, come with questions to ask the interviewers and be genuine every step of the way. 

Q: How long does the internship last? How many hours a week is the internship commitment?  

A: Kauffman Center internships generally last 3-4 months, depending on the season. A summer internship will last from mid-May to mid-August. The internship commitment is about 16 hours during the workweek, with some flexibility for select evening and weekend events. Interns will work directly with their Kauffman Center supervisor on the best weekly schedule for their needs.  

Q: What is the compensation for the internship?

A: Kauffman Center internships are unpaid, but staff members are happy to help arrange course credit for interns through your college or university.

Apply today for a summer internship opportunity!

The deadline to apply for a Kauffman Center summer internship is 
Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Make your mark right here at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and get ready for an unforgettable internship experience!  

For more information and to apply, visit kauffmancenter.org/internships.

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GRAMMY-nominated Country Music Icon Coming to the Kauffman Center

Martina McBride to Perform in Muriel Kauffman Theatre this April

Martina McBride has sung her way to the top of the charts with six No. 1 hits and has sold more than 18 million albums since her rise to fame began in 1993. McBride will bring her repertoire of country hits to the Kauffman Center on April 2, 2020.

In 2017, McBride celebrated her 25th year of touring, and she certainly has something to show for it. McBride has secured fourteen Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications after she released hit albums such as Wild Angels and Evolution. McBride has been nominated for and received a multitude of awards including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. She has also earned the honor of performing on some of the biggest stages in music including the GRAMMYs and CMAs.

This midwestern native turned superstar got her humble beginnings on a dairy farm in Sharon, KS. Her father played in a local band, and it did not take long for McBride to join in playing keyboard and singing with other members of her family at local shows. After realizing college was not her calling, she met and married sound engineer John McBride, and the couple moved to Nashville to pursue their dreams. Martina McBride struck gold when legendary country star Garth Brooks took a liking to her. With his promotional assistance, she scored a record deal with RCA. Her second album, The Way that I Am, was a hit hosting two top ten singles.

McBride continued to make music over the years, while she also expanded her reach into the world of food. McBride has released two cookbooks titled, Around the Table and Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life. These books allowed McBride to showcase her love and talent for cooking, hosting and decorating for the perfect dinner party.

McBride has inspired many as she developed her Team Music is Love charity initiative. This initiative focuses on fundraising and volunteer projects that support causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need. McBride has been awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence.

Tickets for this must-see performance range from $39 to $119, plus applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Kauffman Center Box Office, by calling 816.994.7222, or online at kauffmancenter.org.

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2019 Set Records for the Kauffman Center

The Kauffman Center had a record-breaking year. Here’s a look at some of these notable milestones.

 

Photo by Cody Boston

Over the last year…

  • 530,000+ guests visited the Kauffman Center – the highest annual attendance since the Center’s opening in 2011
  • A record-breaking 350+ performances were shared on our stages by the Kauffman Center Presents series, our three resident companies, and more than 20 other arts organizations
  • The Kauffman Center received the highest experience rating of Kansas City’s 10 major cultural institutions in Mid-America Regional Council’s Quality of Life Survey for the second consecutive year
  • 99% of all survey participants responded favorably when asked if they would recommend the Kauffman Center to a friend
  • Five Kauffman Center Presents performances brought more than 1,400 first-time patrons to the Kauffman Center
  • 53,000+ students and educators attended nearly 50 school matinees
  • 21,000+ students received Open Doors bus transportation assistance to attend school matinees
  • 1,035 individuals received free tickets to attend Kauffman Center performances through the Community Tickets program
  • 4,500 people have attended Future Stages Festival, a free annual event showcasing 750 youth performers

Kauffman Center Goes Global

In April, Kauffman Center was viewed around the world through Google Arts & Culture – an online exhibition that features collections, stories, and 360-degree tours from 15 renowned Kansas City institutions, including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 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 – and the Kauffman Center – in a new way. Learn more about the Kauffman Center’s involvement in Google Arts & Culture here.

New Accessibility Resources Allow More People to Enjoy the Kauffman Center

Photo by David Riffel

The Kauffman Center is dedicated to connecting Kansas City communities with live performing arts experiences. Through a partnership with Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, the Center introduced new accessible amenities including Serenity Rooms and Sensory Kits. In October, the Kauffman Center held ribbon cutting event to celebrate the new amenities. The unveiling event was attended by 75 Variety KC families who were the first to explore the Kauffman Center’s new accessibility features. Families also attended the Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! matinee. The new features will support the Center’s ongoing effort to ensure attending a performance is a positive experience for all. Learn more about the Kauffman Center’s partnership with Variety KC here.

Photo by Sandy Woodson

Kauffman Center Hits National Airwaves

On January 12, an audience of approximately 2.6 million people – our largest audience yet – heard the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts mentioned numerous times during the American radio show Live from Here with Chris Thile. The show was produced and broadcast live from the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage to more than 650 National Public Radio stations across the country, Sirius XM satellite radio, and the Armed Forces Network around the world. Learn more.

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Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Hosts Second PNC Grow Up Great Gallery Event

Art installation features handprints by Kansas City Pre-K kids

 

Photo by Dalene Bradford

Kansas City Pre-K kids and their families celebrated the addition of 129 new handprints on the PNC Grow Up Great Gallery at the Kauffman Center last week. The art installation in the Kauffman Center’s Plaza Lobby now showcases nearly 300 handprints created by local preschool students from four local early childhood centers: St. Mark Child and Family Development Center, Metro Early Learning Center, Growing Futures Early Education Center, and El Centro Academy for Children.

At a special event hosted by PNC Bank, the children proudly located their handprints in the colorful gallery setting that combines visual art and musical themes. Each child was photographed near their handprint on the wall and took home a framed photo as a memory of the evening at the Kauffman Center.

The November 12 event included dinner in Brandmeyer Great Hall and interactive performances by local groups StoneLion Puppet Theatre and Drum Safari. Planet Play engaged youngsters in creative building activities, and passport booklets guided families through the evening’s activities. Other memorabilia given to the children and their families included PNC-branded t-shirts and tote bags. The event drew attention of local media, resulting in coverage on KMBC Channel 9 News.

Photo by David Riffel

Photo by David Riffel

PNC Bank created the gallery in 2018 in partnership with the Kauffman Center and other early education centers as part of an effort to inspire great futures for local children through memorable arts experiences. The gallery exemplifies PNC’s 15-year-old flagship philanthropic program, PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual initiative to prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life.

“Early childhood education is about giving a child the right start to life. And that is something institutions like St. Mark Child and Family Development Center, Metro Early Learning Center, Growing Futures Early Education Center, and El Centro Academy for Children do so well,” said Dale Klose, regional president for PNC in Kansas City. “Our relationship with the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts allows us to showcase the work we do with these organizations.”

PNC Bank is the Kauffman Center’s exclusive bank sponsor and supports the Kauffman Center’s Ensemble business membership program and the PNC Grow Up Great Gallery. PNC is also a key sponsor of the Kauffman Center’s programming series, Kauffman Center Presents.

“The PNC Grow Up Great Gallery is a truly meaningful part of our relationship with PNC Bank,” says Paul Schofer, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center.  “We love that this project connects so many youngsters with the Center in such a personal way. We are eager to have all of them come back to compare their growing hands with their colorful handprints and, of course, to attend a live performance.”

The PNC Grow Up Great Gallery is in the Level 2 Plaza Lobby of the Kauffman Center. The gallery is open for viewing by ticketholders 90 minutes prior to any performance. It’s also open to the public during box office hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.