Open Doors

KCPA OpenDoors Logo

“Kansas City can and must nurture and educate its own artists, and the Kauffman Center is solidly committed to participating in that vital endeavor.” – Julia Irene Kauffman

Young people are the future of the arts — our future artists, arts professionals, and audiences — and we care deeply about them. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to creating unprecedented access to arts experiences for young people in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Kauffman Center’s Open Doors programs contain many avenues that connect local youth to high quality arts experiences. Through the Open Doors Transportation Fund, Open Doors Community Tickets, and Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiatives the Kauffman Center is already impacting the lives of our community’s youth.

Donor support helps connect young people and families to the performing arts at the Kauffman Center. Donations are accepted online or by calling the ticket office at 816.994.7222.

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Open Doors is underwritten by the Marlese and Robert Gourley Children’s Fund.

Transportation Fund

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Photo by Sandy Woodson.

The Open Doors Transportation Fund provides bus transportation allowances to help defray the cost of bringing students to school matinees at the Kauffman Center. With an easy online application and fast approval, the Transportation Fund helps more than 20,000 students enjoy live arts performances at the Kauffman Center each season. Find out how the Open Doors Transportation Fund can help your school at the link below.

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Community Tickets

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Photo by David Riffel.

The Open Doors Community Tickets program offers reduced or even free tickets to select performances at the Kauffman Center. These performances range from school matinees to seats at regularly scheduled performances. We are continuing to build a network of local agencies in our community to help share these opportunities with children, families, and underserved citizens who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a performance at the Kauffman Center.

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The Kauffman Center hosts more than 35 school matinees for approximately 40,000 students annually. These performances range from concerts by the Kansas City Symphony to presentations by National Geographic Live speakers. Educators can find the perfect compliment to arts curriculum while students experience one of the finest performing arts facilities in the country.

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The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative offers year-round programs and engagement opportunities that connect young people with the Kauffman Center. Through multiple avenues and programs, we want tomorrow’s artists, arts patrons, and arts administrators to learn from the Kauffman Center’s role and responsibility in the Kansas City arts community.


Throughout the year, we engage students through a wide range of tailored experiences, including internships, tours, backstage workshops, and discussions with Kauffman Center staff. We invite teachers and community organizations to bring small student groups to learn about the facility’s architecture, arts administration, and our daily operations. To find out more about these Spotlight on Youth experiences, please visit the page below.

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Future Stages LogoFuture Stages Festival, an annual community event, turns a spotlight on youth performances and family-friendly programming. The free festival supports the growth of future artists with a focus on youth ages 5-18. Future Stages Festival invites all ages to experience the arts and introduces young audiences to the Kauffman Center. The festival showcases diverse performances on three stages along with interactive art activities provided by community arts organizations.

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Sign Up for Educator Emails

Be among the first to learn about educational opportunities at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts by signing up for our Education Email List. By opting in to this education email list, you will receive information about Kauffman Center educational programs as well as performances that will be presented at the Kauffman Center. Check the box next to ‘Open Doors Program’ to receive updates about educational opportunities.

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