From the Children’s Wall to the Kauffman Center Team

Left, Mckenna Lewis, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts summer intern next to her handprint on the Kauffman Center Children’s Wall. Right, Jessica Scearce, Faith Andra Harris, Mckenna Lewis, Chelney Cameron were the Kauffman Center 2022 summer interns.

From the Children’s Wall to the Kauffman Center Team, intern grows with the building

When Mckenna Lewis, a Wichita State University junior pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts, was nine-years old, her family was searching for a unique way to celebrate her grandmother’s 65th birthday. They wanted to do something personal.

“Performing arts is very special to my family. The Kauffman Center [for the Performing Arts] was doing a fundraiser for the Children’s Wall project and people could donate to the organization and get their child’s handprint on the wall. My family donated enough so that all three grandchildren could be recognized,” Lewis said.

Although Lewis will always remember putting her handprint on the wall, she never would have guessed the role the building would play in her own life. In the summer of 2022, Lewis became the patron services management intern at the Kauffman Center. In this role, she was able to work in depth with members of the ticketing services team, volunteer team, marketing department, accounting department, and theater operations team.

“I had no idea the village of departments and people it takes year-round to make the Kauffman Center work. This internship was an eye-opening experience to witness all the moving parts that go into the organization!”

Lewis was able to experience many aspects of the Kauffman Center’s day-to-day operations, but her favorite project was working on Future Stages Festival, Kauffman Center’s annual event focusing on youth and arts. Future Stages Festival invites over 30 youth arts groups to perform on one of their iconic stages during a day-long event that is free to the community. 2023 will be the festival’s 10th year. Lewis enjoyed how Future Stages Festival brought together all Kauffman Center departments to engage with youth and execute the event.

Although Lewis had positive experiences attending performances at the Kauffman Center while growing up, she felt working behind the scenes was a new way for her to be part of the performing arts community. And what does she think when she walks by that handprint?

“I am shocked at how different life is. I made that handprint when I was 9 years old and now I’m halfway done with college. Looking at my handprint is very nostalgic. My handprint is right next to my brother’s and cousin’s, and it is mind-blowing to see how much we have all grown up.”

Internships at the Kauffman Center are available in the fall, spring and summer. They are offered in a number of departments including marketing, patron services, event sales and theater operations. To find out more and to apply, visit