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Staying connected with Kauffman Center Ensemble members

Bringing the music to you

Kansas City native Vanessa Thomas wows Ensemble members on the stage of Muriel Kauffman Theatre with her five-octave vocal range. Photo by Ellie Fehlig.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has been exploring new and creative virtual ways to connect with Kauffman Center patrons, members, volunteers and donors while our stages have been dark.

Three times a year, we invite Kauffman Center Ensemble business members to the Center for a PNC Pop-Up, a unique networking opportunity and surprise musical performance from a local up-and-coming artist.  Previous PNC Pop-Up artists have included Calvin Arsenia, Eboni Fondren, Beau Bledsoe and Kelly Hunt.

Ukulele loop artist Eems blends styles from pop and dance to hip-hop and folk in Brandmeyer Great Hall. Photo by Don Ipock.

With the postponement of all activity at the Center, including PNC Pop-Ups, we set out to find a way to bring the event online and into your living rooms. We created PNC Pop-Up: At Home Edition.  Several Ensemble members contributed a mix of their favorite local and national artists to include in an e-blast sent out to all members. From Pink Martini and U2, to Young the Giant and Tim McGraw, members shared an eclectic range of songs that inspire them while working from home. We included links to YouTube videos where members could watch recorded concerts of these artists.

“We play music outside by the fire each night to decompress and try to enjoy the world slowing down for a bit.” – Melissa Lavin-Hickey, Principal & Director of Corporate Marketing for Burns & McDonnell

“The first time I saw Pink Martini live at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, I became a forever fan!” – Jill McCarthy, Senior Executive of Corporate Attraction for Kansas City Area Development Council

Ensemble business members and special guests listen to local Americana musicians Barnaby Bright on the stage of Helzberg Hall. Photo by Don Ipock.

With this e-blast of virtual musical performances, we brought the power of the performing arts straight to our Ensemble members’ homes as a reminder of how the arts connect us with one another through these unprecedented times.

The Ensemble business membership program empowers the Kauffman Center’s vision by bringing together Kansas City metro area companies who value a thriving, creative and innovative economy. We do this by connecting members, their clients and employees to inspiring activities and performances at the Kauffman Center throughout the year. To learn more, please visit

Thank you to PNC Bank for sponsoring the Ensemble Business Membership program.

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