Open Doors

Spotlight on Youth

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is passionate about providing opportunities for youth artists and future arts professionals to utilize our wide array of resources. The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth initiative offers a diverse set of engagements and programs that connect tomorrow’s artists, arts patrons, and arts administrators with the Kauffman Center’s staff and stages.

Donor support helps connect young people and families to the performing arts at the Kauffman Center. Donations are accepted online or by calling the box office at 816.994.7227.

Donate Online

Spotlight on Youth Opportunities


+Educational Videos

PNC Storybook – Follow along as the Kauffman Center’s Organ Conservator Jan Kraybill takes a break from playing the pipe organ to read “Ella Sets the Stage” as part of PNC’s Great Readers initiative.

Pipe organ performance series – Sit alongside Organ Conservator Jan Kraybill as she plays exciting compositions on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875. Before each mini-performance, Kraybill gives a brief history of the composer and shares interesting facts about the piece. Download the Classroom Guide for more fun facts, vocabulary practice and discussion questions.

Spooky Superstitions with Scary Mary Bumbershoot – In this fun four-part series, the Kauffman Center joins forces with Mesner Puppet Theater to shed a little (ghost) light on common, yet not too well-understood theater lore and superstitions.

From Monarchs to Marigolds: Learn about Day of the Dead – Local artist Vania Soto creates a colorful painting of traditional Day of the Dead make-up as she explains the holiday, its traditions and what the day means to her.

Kauffman Center Watercolor Painting Tutorial – Follow along with painter and muralist Vania Soto as she walks you through how to create your very own Kauffman Center watercolor painting.

Crafting at the Kauffman Center – The Kauffman Center partners with ScrapsKC in a three-part series of videos, each demonstrating a craft that reuses materials found in your own home or classroom.

+Future Stages Festival


Future 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 through diverse art forms. The festival showcases local and regional youth performances on four stages along with interactive art activities provided by community arts organizations.

Learn More

+Virtual Backstage Intensive

As part of our Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program, students can participate in a special backstage experience. Four video demonstrations on various backstage technical elements and careers are available within the portal, as well as accompanying resources like vocabulary, comprehension questions and activities. Backstage Intensive is designed to introduce high school students to careers in technical theater, including lighting, sound, production management and more. Students will be amazed by all the work that happens backstage to create a successful production!

Recommended Participant Ages: High school or college students ages 15 – 22 years old.

Duration: Explore the virtual experience at your own pace. Each demonstration video lasts approximately 20 minutes and has accompanying resources for your classroom to complete, like vocabulary, comprehension questions and activities.

To get more information about this program or gain access to the virtual portal, please contact the Community Outreach Supervisor at

Backstage Intensive Portal

Backstage Intensive Presented by Cerner Charitable Foundation.

Cerner Charitable Foundation

+Kauffman Center Internship Program

Molly and Gabby 1

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to creating opportunities for young professionals and students to grow their career skills and make lasting connections in the thriving Kansas City arts community. Currently enrolled college students or recently graduated professionals are encouraged to apply for Kauffman Center internship opportunities. Kauffman Center interns receive hands on experience in various aspects of non-profit arts management as well as networking opportunities, professional development and career mentorship.

Learn More

+Career Center Stage: Meet the Kauffman Center Staff

Learn about how the Kauffman Center staff runs one of the country’s premiere performing arts centers. Students can learn more about the daily operations and professional departments (e.g. marketing, programming, fundraising, theater production, and more!) These staff Q&A sessions last between 30 – 60 minutes and are often paired with a 45 minute facility tour. Scheduling is based on staff availability, and the Kauffman Center typically hosts no more than one Career Center Stage a month.


Recommended Participants: College and high school classes (available for up to 30 students at a time)


  • Tour and Career Center Stage: $150, lasts approximately 90 – 120 minutes

Fees will be paid for through the Open Doors program if the group is affiliated with non-profit organization (must provide Tax ID number).

To get more information about this program or inquire about availability, please contact the Community Outreach Supervisor at  or 816-994-7227.

+Educational Tours


Educational Tours are private tours that provide an in-depth look at the facility’s architectural highlights while giving young people the opportunity to explore the Kauffman Center’s performance spaces. Participants will learn about the Kauffman Center’s history and will take part in a discussion about the artistic details throughout the facility.

These tours must be requested through the form below at least three weeks in advance of the requested visit date. Tours are led by knowledgeable volunteer tour guides, and are only available with advance reservations. Please note that tours must be scheduled around the performances and work calls of the technicians, artists, and administrators who produce our amazing events; therefore, tours will not include access to backstage areas and we cannot guarantee that every tour will have the opportunity to view Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall.

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

Fee: $100 for groups of 35 attendees or fewer and $150 for groups over 35 attendees.

Fees will be paid for through the Open Doors program if the group is affiliated with a non-profit organization (must provide Tax ID number).

To start the tour scheduling process, submit the form below.

Request an Educational Tour

Sign Up for Education 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.

Sign Up Now