Open Doors Program Continues Connecting the Community to the Performing Arts

The Kauffman Center celebrates Open Doors program successes in the past year.

StoneLion Puppet Theatre has fun with guests at Future Stages Festival. Photo by Jillian Shoptaw.

StoneLion Puppet Theatre has fun with guests at the Kauffman Center’s fourth annual Future Stages Festival. Photo by Jillian Shoptaw.

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

  • The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative contains several programs that inspire and nurture the next generation of artists, arts patrons and arts professionals with access to the Kauffman Center’s staff, stages and resources.
  • The Open Doors Community Tickets program offers access to programming at the Kauffman Center for youth and families through reduced prices or free tickets.
  • The Open Doors Transportation Fund offers bus funding to schools in the metropolitan area so bringing students to the Kauffman Center for school matinee performances is more affordable.

The Kauffman Center has been creating new programming and reaching new audiences through these initiatives since opening in 2011. Over the course of the past year, however, the Open Doors program has shown particular growth, and the Kauffman Center is proud to consistently engage the community while serving schools, students, and families through a wide range of programs.

Visitors participate in a Kansas City Ballet workshop on the Community Partner Stage at Future Stages Festival 2017

Visitors participate in a Kansas City Ballet workshop at Future Stages Festival 2017. Photo by Mason Kilpatrick.

As part of the Spotlight on Youth initiative, the fourth annual Future Stages Festival in June 2017 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.

The festival featured many new elements this year including a Community Partner Stage where attendees were encouraged to participate in the festival’s art through dance workshops, drum circles, and even acrobatic displays. Guests were also invited to explore more than 20 available arts activities in between enjoying performances. In addition, the festival performer experience was heightened this year through, additional rehearsal time, backstage volunteer assistance and even a commemorative  gift for each performer to take home.

Through the Open Doors Community Tickets program, nearly 800 tickets were given out to the community last year. Since the Kauffman Center’s opening in 2011, the program has provided more than 2,000 tickets. Among many other community partners, Cornerstones of Care – Healthy Families, FosterAdopt Connect, Ozanam Pathways and Jewish Vocational Services are some of the agencies that the Kauffman Center engages regularly through this program.

Buses line up for another student matinee at the Kauffman Center. Photo by Sandy Woodson.

Buses line up for another student matinee at the Kauffman Center. Photo by Sandy Woodson.

Since the 2011 Kauffman Center grand opening, more than 250,000 students have attended a performance in the building, and the Open Doors Transportation Fund has assisted in transporting 131,000 students from the Kansas City metropolitan area. Last year, the fund provided this assistance to approximately 22,000 students from more than 200 local schools

UPCOMING OPEN DOORS OPPORTUNITIES

The Kauffman Center annually hosts the wildly popular National Geographic Live school matinee series, and this year is no exception. The matinees during the spring semester will feature underwater photographer Brian Skerry on Tuesday January 9, 2018; wildlife photographer Florian Schulz on Tuesday, February 6, 2018; and marine biologist/photographer Cristina Mittermeier on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Teachers can get more details and request tickets here. In addition, teachers can apply for transportation assistance funding to attend these matinees here.

The 5th annual Future Stages Festival will be held Sunday, June 10, 2018. This fun and free community event features youth performers from a wide range of performing arts styles. School choirs, bands, and theater groups are encouraged to submit an application to perform. Performance applications for the 2018 festival will open on the Kauffman Center’s website near the end of 2017.

Click here to find out more about the Kauffman Center’s Open Doors programming.

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Bassem Youssef coming to the Kauffman Center on November 26

Bassem Youssef: The Joke Is Mightier Than The Sword

Political satirist to perform in Muriel Kauffman Theatre on November 26

Bassem Youssef photo by Yehia Elzeiny

Kansas City, MO – Bassem Youssef, dubbed “the Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” will perform at the Kauffman Center on Sunday, November 26.

Bassem Youssef was the creator and host of the wildly popular TV show Al-Bernameg – the first political satire show in the Middle East and the most watched program in the region from 2011 to 2014 with 30 million viewers every week. In The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword, Youssef shares his personal story.

Tickets for the event range from $39 to $79 plus applicable fees, and are available now at tickets.kauffmancenter.org. Tickets also are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222 and via the Kauffman Center mobile app.

ABOUT BASSEM YOUSSEF

Bassem Youssef was a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon in Egypt when he became the creator and host of popular TV show Al-Bernameg. Throughout its three seasons Al-Bernameg was controversial for its hilarious and bold criticism of ruling powers.  Accused of insulting political leaders, Youssef was arrested and interrogated before being released on bail. During its final season, the show achieved unprecedented ratings before Youssef announced its termination due to overwhelming political pressures.

In The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword, Youssef shares his personal story and his thoughts on the political climate that led to the Arab Spring, its parallels to the current state of American politics and how propaganda lays the foundation for dictatorial regimes.

Learn more about Bassem Youssef in this bio video from Pomegranate Arts:

Hear about Bassem Youssef in this recent interview with National Public Radio: Interview with NPR’s “Fresh Air” – February 2016

Photo by Yehia Elzeiny

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Rupi Kaur coming to the Kauffman Center on October 16

An Evening with Rupi Kaur

Poet brings her book tour to Helzberg Hall on October 16

Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 15

Rupi Kaur will be at the Kauffman Center October 16. Photo by Baljit Singh.

 

Poet Rupi Kaur brings the book tour for her upcoming release, the sun and her flowers, to Helzberg Hall on Monday, October 16.

Kaur is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of two collections of poetry. Tickets for the event are $28.50 plus applicable fees, and include a copy of the sun and her flowers. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, September 15. This event is presented in partnership with Andrew McMeel Universal and Rainy Day Books.

Tickets will be available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org. Get your tickets here.

ABOUT RUPI KAUR

Rupi Kaur published her first collection of poems, milk and honey, in 2014. The internationally acclaimed collection sold well over a million copies, gracing the New York Times bestsellers list every week for over a year. It has since been translated into more than 30 languages.

Kaur started drawing at the age of five when her mother handed her a paintbrush and said, “Draw your heart out.” Kaur views her life as an exploration of that artistic journey.

Kaur’s long-awaited second collection, the sun and her flowers, will be released in October 2017. Through this collection Kaur continues to explore a variety of themes including love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration and revolution. Divided into five chapters, the highly anticipated collection guides readers on a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming in a celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year 
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

TEDxKC 2016 – “I’m Taking My Body Back”

Connect with Rupi Kaur on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo by Baljit Singh
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The Dining Experience introduces fall menu

Kauffman Center Dining Experience introduces fall dining menu

Three-course menu features modern American cuisine and fresh, local ingredients

The Dining Experience New Menu Item. Photo by: Anna Petrow

Kansas City, MO – The Dining Experience at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts debuted its new fall dining menu earlier this month. The menu will be available through the end of November 2017.

The Dining Experience offers a three-course dinner menu for $35 per person, as well as a selection of small plates for lighter fare.  Guests are able to choose one item from each course for the three-course menu. Guests may also enjoy a seasonal craft cocktail and curated wine selection.

Executive Chef Laura Comer’s seasonal dinner menu makes the most of the late-summer produce, with dishes featuring heirloom tomato, sweet corn and fresh herbs. Local food providers are highlighted in the menu, including cheese from Green Dirt Farm Creamery, greens from Prairie Birthday Farm, and pork from Circle B Ranch. For a look at the entire menu, visit kauffmancenter.org/dining.

Dining Experience Menu Item. Photo by: Anna Petrow

The Dining Experience is available prior to most evening performances at the Kauffman Center. Walk-in dining is welcome pending availability, and tickets to a performance aren’t needed to dine.  Reservations are encouraged. For reservations, call (816) 994-7222 or visit Open Table.

ABOUT EXECUTIVE CHEF LAURA COMER

Executive Chef Laura Comer brings a wealth of fine dining history to her work at the Kauffman Center. Her background includes time with well-known local establishments including Bluestem, Justus Drugstore and Treat America. Comer is a Kansas City native and graduate of the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She holds an A.O.S. in Culinary Arts and Le Cordon Bleu Diploma from The California School of Culinary Arts.

Photos by Anna Petrow

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Kauffman Center Voted Top 10 Missouri Attraction

 

Kauffman Center Northern Exterior

On Friday, September 1st, USA TODAY 10Best announced the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as one of the winners in their 10 Best Readers’ Choice award category for Missouri’s best attractions.

During the past four weeks, readers voted for their favorite Missouri destinations, including landmarks, museums and historical sites in every corner of the state. An expert panel initially nominated a list of 20 Missouri attractions before the public voted for the top 10 winners.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts placed ninth in this category and shares the honor of being voted into the top 10 Missouri attractions with other Kansas City institutions including: the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Arts, fourth place; the Arabia Steamboat Museum, seventh place; and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, tenth place.  The public awarded first place in this category to the Branson Entertainment District in southwestern Missouri.

To learn more about the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards or to see the full list of Missouri Best Attraction winners, visit 10best.com/awards/travel/best-missouri-attraction/.