Fifty local Girl Scout Cadettes visited the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for their first-ever “SPARK the Arts!” event.
March 16, 2019 – In collaboration with the Kauffman Center’s resident arts organizations (Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony and Lyric Opera of Kansas City), Girl Scouts senior cadettes and accompanying adults got to hear about the career paths of working women at the Kauffman Center. In addition, the scouts learned about all the behind the scenes work and details that go into creating performances at nonprofit arts organizations.
The Kauffman Center’s Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative connects youth artists and future art professionals with the Kauffman Center’s staff and stages. In combination with the “SPARK the Arts!” program, the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri hope to enlighten young cadettes on career opportunities in the arts as they enter into the pivotal years of their education and future career planning.
“I know that I learned a lot from observing all the elements that go into each facet of the different types of performances and I know our girls walked away [with] a greater ability to see themselves as professionals in [the] industry.” – Mindy Ryan, Girl Scouts Community Partners Manager
More details of the individual presentations are featured below:
Kansas City Symphony
Stephanie Brimhall, Education Manager, spoke on careers for women within an orchestra. The presentation took place on stage in Helzberg Hall and included a performance by an all female string quartet followed by a Q&A for the girls.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Linda Ade Brand, Director of Education, spoke on set design followed by a behind the scenes tour of Muriel Kauffman Theater in anticipation for the Lyric Opera’s opening night performance of Così fan tutte later that evening.
Kansas City Ballet
April Berry, Community Engagement Manager, spoke on professional careers for dancers, dance instructors and choreographers followed by an improvised dance session with the girls.
Kauffman Center Marketing Department
Joanna Polley, Community Outreach Supervisor, spoke on marketing campaigns and developing promotional social media posts. The girls were able to build their own social media campaign for an upcoming performance and tested their Instagram photo-taking abilities. They also found out how to get involved in this year’s Future Stages Festival.
All photos featured are provided by the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri.
Kauffman Center is interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to introduce a few hardworking employees in anticipation of Employee Appreciation Day on March 1. Below are some details about some of the people behind the programming, the curtains, and the productions at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
First, meet Joanna Polley, the Kauffman Center’s Community Outreach Supervisor. She is largely focused on managing and growing the Open Doors program which provides Kauffman Center access opportunities for local schools, social service agencies, students, and families across the KC Metro.
“My favorite day every year is Future Stages Festival when the building is full of hundreds of young artists and families – many of which are experiencing the Kauffman Center for the first time!”
The second employee under the spotlight is Trisha Drape, Development Manager of Individual Giving.
She assists with various membership and fundraising efforts including Spotlight, Spotlight Premier and Adventure Circle members. She also communicates directly with generous donors about their support and accommodates requests they have to make their experience at the Kauffman Center extraordinary.
“I love the day-to-day interaction with our members, many of whom have become friends. It is such a privilege to work with our city’s philanthropists and our members who understand the importance of the Kauffman Center and who want to ensure it thrives for years to come and for future generations.”
The next hardworking staff member is Barry Myers, Director of Patron Services. For Barry, it’s all about people, people, people! He oversees/is responsible for 31 full and part-time staff, 500+ volunteers and 400,000+ patrons annually. He’s a coach, mentor, advocate, listener, and problem-solver.
“No two days are EVER the same! Having worked in the venue management industry for 35 years now, I’ve seen a lot of things, but a couple of things come to mind from my time at the Kauffman Center – a woman who was knitting while watching a KC Symphony concert and a man who sat in the first row of the Orchestra section and was visibly conducting along with the conductor for all to see. I can’t say I’ve seen it all, but I’ve certainly seen a lot. [It] keeps things interesting!”
Meet Donna Miller-Brown, a Kauffman Center Production Manager. She acts as a liaison between productions and the Center, making sure performers have everything they need for a successful show. Donna loves to share some memories from her time working in production management, including a Broadway show that needed the entire stage covered in plastic for their water effect, and once, Carol Burnett needed 50 Casa Blanca lilies in a bowl on stage for a gag.
“[My favorite things about working at the Kauffman Center] are the special moments most people don’t get to experience—walking down the hall and listening to Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin warming up together or listening to a pianist working on a passage over and over again until it’s perfect. Also, on average, for every person you see on stage, there’s at least one person offstage also working. I wish productions would bring out all the dressers, carpenters, and electricians working on the show when they do bows so you could really see the entire ensemble.”
The final staff member is Jennifer DeFreece, Volunteer Manager. She oversees the 500+ Kauffman Center volunteers! Her position plays a key role in the Kauffman Center’s ability to staff performances and events, a function that contributes significantly to providing an exceptional patron experience.
“I love seeing how [volunteers] have goals for their volunteer position (i.e. reaching a certain number of hours). They are role models for everyone, and I appreciate their passion to serve our patrons every day.”
Though there are only a few stories shared here, everyone that contributes to the success of this beautiful building is greatly appreciated. Because of the men and women who do what they do so well, the Kauffman Center can run as smoothly as possible. Happy Employee Appreciation Day!
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Legends of regional Mexican music Los Tigres del Norte coming to Kansas City in April
Los Tigres del Norte have reinvented Mexican popular music with their modern take on norteño with traditional cumbia, bolero and rock rhythms. Along the way, the band has earned several Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, sold 37 million records and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Opening the show, Making Movies blends pulsing Afro-Latino rhythms, psychedelic jams and rock ’n’ roll swagger.
Tickets for this event range from $49 to $119 plus applicable fees. Tickets are on sale now and are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org.
La legendaria agrupación de música regional mexicana, Los Tigres del Norte, se presentará en el Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts el 14 de abril. La banda local Making Movies estará a cargo de la apertura de la presentación.
Los Tigres del Norte han reinventado la música popular mexicana con su toque moderno a la música norteña con cumbia, bolero, y ritmos de rock tradicionales. Durante el transcurso, la banda ha recibido varios premios GRAMMY y Latin GRAMMY, vendido sobre 37 millones de discos y obtenido una estrella en el Hollywood Walk of Fame. Making Movies combina ritmos Afro-Latino, psicodelicos y de rock ’n’ roll.
Boletos para este evento fluctúan entre $49 a $119 más impuestos. Los boletos salen a la venta el Viernes 15 de febrero a las 10 a.m. Boletos estarán disponible a traves del Kauffman Center Box Office (816) 994-7222 y via la aplicación móvil del Kauffman Center y online en www.kauffmancenter.org.
London’s award-winning The Kingdom Choir brings their “Stand By Me Tour” to Kansas City in October
The Kingdom Choir is best known for their show-stopping rendition of “Stand By Me” at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. The performance, seen by a global audience of over 2 billion, instantly catapulted The Kingdom Choir to worldwide fame. Now, they are performing at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Helzberg Hall on October 1, as part of the 2019-2020 Kauffman Center Presents series.
The Kingdom Choir is composed of extraordinary singers from all over the southeast area of England. Founded in 1994 by award-winning conductor Karen Gibson, the choir draws from various Christian traditions to create a sound that reflects the community they share through their warm energy and enthusiastic performances. Over the years, the group has made many public broadcast appearances on premier religious radio and television broadcasts in the UK. The group has performed alongside artists such as the BBC Philharmonic, Elton John, Luther Vandross, the Spice Girls, Andraé Crouch and Fred Hammond among countless other high-profile musicians.
The Kingdom Choir released its debut album, Stand By Me, in October 2018 featuring covers of classics both new and old including “Halo” by Beyoncé, “All of Me” by John Legend, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and a studio version of their now famous rendition of “Stand By Me.”
Tickets for this event range from $19 to $59 plus applicable fees and go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1. Tickets will be available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app and online at www.kauffmancenter.org.