The Kansas City Ballet’s new home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, will open to the public on Friday, Aug. 26 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at 500 Pershing Avenue.
“This may well be the most significant event in the history of our company,” said Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. “Since the beginning, the need for a permanent home for the company and our highly regarded school has been an important but missing element of our strategic plan and now it is a reality for this community.”
A series of free public events are scheduled between Monday, Aug. 22 and Friday, Sept. 2 to celebrate the completion of the restoration and repurposing of this historic powerhouse situated at the western edge of the Union Station campus. Over the past five years the structure, which had been abandoned for nearly a half-century, was painstakingly transformed into 52,000 square feet of space uniquely designed to support the needs of this nationally respected dance company and its school. Amenities include seven dance studios, a physical therapy/training room, and lockers and shower facilities for the company and 160 parking spaces adjacent to the building. It will house the administrative and artistic staff, as well as the institution’s archives.
“During my time with Todd Bolender in Kansas City, we envisioned a permanent home for the company and school,” said Artistic Director William Whitener. “This new facility surpasses our expectations. Large open studios, natural light as well as a 180 seat studio theater will now make it possible to create, rehearse and perform in an expansive environment.”
Renovation of the building began in November 2009. The overall cost is $39 million, including a $7 million endowment restricted to support the operations and maintenance of the building itself. The development partners include PowerHouse Properties LLC, Kansas City-based architectural firm BNIM, JE Dunn Construction, Union Station and the Downtown Council.