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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.