Striving for Excellence From Journey to Destination

Making Events Special at the Kauffman Center

Epic surprise finale for wedding guests in Brandmeyer Great Hall | Photo by Mullinix Weddings

It is often debated whether the journey or the destination holds the most significance. For the special events team at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the answer is both. The destination includes dazzling spaces, unique customizations and superb food, but the journey is equally important as client needs are prioritized from the first meeting all the way through to the end of the event.  

Executive Chef Laura Comer crafts delicious dishes for special events at the Kauffman Center | Photo by Fantasia Ta

Lisa Voss, senior director of sales, special events, leads a team who is eager to elevate projects with focused planning and attention to detail. Every event looks different based on the client’s vision, but the planning process is consistent and guarantees success. Voss and her team take pride in effectively leading client meetings to understand the vision and scope of the event. From there, it is all about time management and organization to create the more than 100 events Voss’ team averages a year.  

Widely known for exceptional catering, the Kauffman Center is fortunate to have award-winning Executive Chef Laura Comer preparing culinary selections that highlight her talents from the first bite to the last crumb of each dish. What sets Chef Comer’s culinary abilities apart is her attention to detail and eagerness to fulfill every client’s wish… and of course, a touch of edible glitter when she has the chance! With flexibility and patience, Chef Comer crafts menus considering dietary restrictions and specialized requests. 

In addition to an exceptional special events team, the Kauffman Center offers unique spaces providing clients with the flexibility to design the aesthetic of their dreams. Three main spaces, Brandmeyer Great Hall, Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall, offer vastly different experiences for both big and small occasions. 

Brandmeyer Great Hall features a wall of windows with gorgeous views of the Kansas City skyline to the south. This stunning space is a blank canvas of white walls and floors allowing clients to bring their ideas to life. Brandmeyer Great Hall holds up to 450 guests for a seated dinner and up to 1,000 guests for a cocktail reception.

An array of hors d’ourves for a special event | Photo contributed by Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Muriel Kauffman Theatre’s breathtaking interior in shades of red provides an elegant backdrop for any event. The stage in this space can be used for onstage presentations with the addition of a large screen. Additionally, the 5,000 square-foot stage can accommodate 300 guests for a seated meal. 

Helzberg Hall is a space known for its amazing acoustics as well as the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, which is a focal point of the hall. This space has a capacity of 1,600 seats for a performance or presentation and can seat 80 onstage for a culinary event. 

The exceptional staff, services and spaces at the Kauffman Center combine to create unforgettable  experiences for the Kansas City community year after year. The journey and the destination are filled with magic at the Kauffman Center! For pricing, booking and more information about event rentals, visit kauffmancenter.org/specialevents or email events@kauffmancenter.org.

Cocktails and amazing views under the Kauffman Center cables and glass curtain | Photo by Jessica Roark

Helzberg Hall awaiting guests for a special event | Photo by Freeland Photography

Brandmeyer Great Hall transformed for a private dinner | Photo by Kyle Rivas


Q & A With Kate Cosentino

Kate Cosentino

Five Questions With 2023’s Spotlight Members Concert Artist, Kate Cosentino

Kate Cosentino is a hometown talent and the Kauffman Center’s guest performer at this year’s Spotlight Free Members Concert & Reception. Cosentino captivated viewers with her humor, personality and stage presence throughout Season 23 of The Voice. Don’t miss the chance to watch this talented artist as she takes the stage in Helzberg Hall on Oct. 30!

How do you think growing up in Kansas City affected your songwriting/singing?

Growing up in Kansas City immersed me in a really unique and fun music scene. The rich jazz history influenced my desire to study jazz guitar. The thriving indie/alternative rock scene sparked my love for live shows and influenced a lot of my lyric writing. In my experience, KC celebrates creativity and music, so I was exposed to a lot of great art and music from a young age which made me feel passionate about making it my career.

What are you looking forward to about performing at the Kauffman Center?

I am absolutely giddy about performing at the Kauffman Center. It’s one of the most iconic venues in Kansas City AND it feels like a homecoming. I was in the children’s choir of the first show that opened the Kauffman in 2011 – Turandot. That was one of my first experiences on a stage that large and gorgeous. It’s really full circle for that little girl to have continued music and now be headlining a show there. Also, I love Halloween so I’m excited for the costumes.

What can patrons expect from your performance in October?

Patrons can expect me in all my quirky, colorful, dad-joke-making glory. They’ll hear songs from my post-graduation EP Note to Self, songs from The Voice AND some un-released songs as well. I’m excited to tell stories from my time growing up in Kansas City, pursuing music in Nashville, and from my recent endeavor of being on The Voice.

What is your favorite song to perform and why?

I love to perform “Emergency Contact.” It’s by far my funniest song and I just love to get the room dancing and laughing.

What is your favorite thing about Kansas City?

It is impossible to name just one thing, but I’d have to say the people. Some of the kindest, most hardworking and most genuine people come from Kansas City. I’ve always felt encouraged and supported by my hometown to keep making music and that has made all the difference in my life. Oh, and Grinders Pizza.


Prior to the performance, enjoy Halloween-inspired appetizers and cocktails in Brandmeyer Great Hall. Guests are invited to come in costume for this festive evening of music and fall-inspired treats. Following the concert, join the artist and her band members in the lobby for photos against the stunning Kansas City skyline, and don’t forget your spooky treat to go. 

Free tickets to see Kate Cosentino are available now for Spotlight members. To reserve seats, visit tickets.kauffmancenter.org/cosentino and enter the promo code sent to you via email or call the Kauffman Center Ticket Office at 816.994.7222. 

Not a member? Join Spotlight, the Kauffman Center’s individual membership program, to reserve your free tickets at kauffmancenter.org/spotlight. Memberships start at $75 for one person and $125 for two. Questions? Call 816.994.7927.    


Customer Service Week

Kauffman Center Celebrates Customer Service Week:

A Tribute to Exceptional Patron Experiences

Photo by Jenny DeFreece

Excellent customer service is a cornerstone of the Kauffman Center experience. This year, during Customer Service Week, we would like to thank our Patron Services team, Theatre Operations team, Bonterra catering, SG360, P1 Group, Titan Security, NPB, Park-it and Laz Parking and KC Medical.


To celebrate, we spoke with Columbus Leveringston, the face of the Kauffman Center Gift Shop:

My title is gift shop attendant and I have been working in the Kauffman Center Gift Shop since day one in 2011.

Before Kauffman Center construction was complete, I was employed part time as an event staffer by NPB, the Kauffman Center’s security. I saw the Gift Shop being assembled and asked, “What will that area be?” The guide said, “The Gift Shop.” I said right then I wanted to work there.

The Gift Shop was originally managed by Connie Silverman and I worked closely with her. Connie later resigned and Barry Myers took over. We were another match! I retired from my role as director of admissions and marketing at Delaware Highland Assisted Living after 10 years.  Later, Kauffman Center subcontracted me from NPB to help manage the Gift Shop. Barry called me the gift shop manager.  I appreciate all trust Paul Schofer, president and chief executive officer, Bill Miller, vice president of operations and mostly Barry Myers, senior director of patron services put in me. Today, I have been employed part time by Kauffman Center for three years.

It’s a joy to be greeted and loved by all at Kauffman Center from the parking garage attendants, tunnel attendants, security, volunteers, staff and our patrons.


A Gift For You – Mrs. K’s Vision

Muriel McBrien Kauffman | Photo courtesy of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Center Presents Mrs. K’s Vision

Muriel McBrien Kauffman dreamt of one day having a world-class performing arts center in Kansas City.

With the perseverance of her daughter, Chairman of the Board Julia Irene Dennie-Kauffman, and the tremendous support of the community, including you – Mrs. K’s ambitious dream became a reality in 2011.

We want to thank you for believing in the vision of the Kauffman Center early on and for continuing to contribute to its success. Like Mrs. K, you recognize and value the remarkable unifying power the arts can have within our community.

Mrs. K’s Vision was a gift from Hallmark Cards Inc. to commemorate the Kauffman Center’s many achievements in its young 12-year history and to celebrate those who helped make it happen – people like you.

We want to share the short film with you so you can view it, send it to others or keep it as a reminder of how much we appreciate everything you have done to ensure the Kauffman Center will continue to shine well into the future. Enjoy!



New in 2024: Trailblazing Talks School Matinees!

Photo by Jillian Shoptaw

In conjunction with the Kauffman Center’s new speaker series, Trailblazing Talks, we are excited to debut a trio of student matinees that explore fascinating close encounters with adventurers and photojournalists. Trailblazing Talks is replacing the National Geographic Live series and will feature speakers curated from the Changemaker Speaker Series live and on stage at the Kauffman Center!  

Trailblazing Talks school matinees are recommended for grades 6 – 12 and the cost is just $2 per ticket! In 2024, we are proud to bring these inspiring speakers:  

ELLA AL-SHAMAHI: ARE YOU A NEANDERTHAL? 

Photo by Clare Jones

Evolutionary biologist and TV host, Ella Al-Shamahi illuminates the lives and stories of our earliest ancestors in her talk, Are You a Neanderthal? Al-Shamhi combines engaging history with interactive exercises to create an immersive and unique educational experience.

Ella Al-Shamahi will speak at the Kauffman Center on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, at 10:30 a.m.  

 

 

 

 

MICHAEL DAVIE: DOCUMENTING OUR WORLD 

Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic

Hear inspiring stories and see incredible footage from adventurer and documentary filmmaker Michael Davie. This talk documents a wide variety of cultures and stories from across the globe, from tales of war zones to escapades in the mountains of Denali. Davie will leave students with a greater understanding of the world around them and shed light on the connections we all share.

Michael Davie will speak at the Kauffman Center on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at 10:30 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

SYLVIA EARLE: SAVING OUR BLUE PLANET TOGETHER 

Photo by Kip Evans

Dr. Sylvia Earle, renowned marine researcher and ocean advocate, has spent over 7,500 hours exploring the underwater world. Earle’s research has led to the advancement of deep-sea exploration technologies that provide important information to scientists and oceanographers. Her talk aims to demonstrate the beauty of the ocean, and how we can all play a role in its preservation. 

Sylvia Earle will speak at the Kauffman Center on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. 

 

 

 

 

Request tickets for any of the Trailblazing Talks speakers for your classroom today!  

The Trailblazing Talks series is not the only opportunity for students to attend a performance at the Kauffman Center. Partner organizations, including the Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, offer a variety of school matinees and open rehearsals that bring world-class performing arts to young people each school year.  

To learn more about all the school matinees offerings visit kauffmancenter.org/schoolmatinees. 

Photo by Jillian Shoptaw