Extra, Extra: Latest News on Kauffman Center grand opening

The long-awaited grand opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performance Arts is nearly here. The free public open house is set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. It will be supported by a series of Experience Downtown! events in the neighboring Crossroads, Power & Light District and Westside neighborhoods. Here is a quick rundown of the day’s highlights:


  • Free public open house of the Kauffman Center: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. For a rundown of the day’s activities, click here.
  • Doors open at 11 a.m. Performances by more than 50 performing groups will run from noon to 5 p.m. on two indoor and four outdoor stages. For a schedule of performers, visit www.kauffmancenter.org
  • Free parking at the Kauffman Center (limit 1,000 vehicles)
  • Free shuttles to take you to the Kauffman Center from offsite parking. Parking will cost extra. For an event parking map, click here.
  • Shuttles will run from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday from the Crossroads, Power & Light District and the Downtown Marriott. Shuttle stops appear on the parking map.
  • The MAX bus will run every 15 minutes to the Kauffman Center from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Cost is $1.50 each way. Visit www.kcata.org for the MAX route stops.
  • Food and beverage will be available for sale on site from urban food trucks east of the Kauffman Center at 16th & Wyandotte.


  • Before or after your Sunday visit to the Kauffman Center, take time to explore the neighborhoods closest to the Kauffman Center. Downtown area neighbors and businesses are rolling out the red carpet to welcome the Kauffman Center and its many followers.
  • Free shuttles and short walks are the best ways to visit the Crossroads, Power & Light District, Westside and the Convention Center. For a walking/shuttle map, click here.
  • The Crossroads Arts District will throwing a free First Friday arts experience on Sunday, complete with galleries, performers, chalk art, dining and shopping. Check the walking/shuttle map to guide your visit – just a few blocks south of the Kauffman Center.
  • The Power & Light District is jazzing up Downtown with the free 14th Street Jazz Festival from 2-9 p.m. Sunday.
  • More than 150 Downtown restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions will be open on Sunday to delight the Kauffman Center visits; many will be offering specials. For a list of businesses, click here.
  • Downtown living will be featured on Sunday with a Residential Open House of condos, lofts and homes. For a list of residential properties that will be open on Sunday, click here.

Make plans to be there on Sunday. This is a milestone moment in the history of Kansas City. Don’t miss it!

Kauffman Center grand opening

Downtown parking is abundant and shuttles will be running for Sunday’s public grand opening of the Performing Arts Center

Thousands of visitors are expected to experience the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for the first time at a free public grand opening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and performances on six stages (two indoors and four outdoors) will run from noon to 5 p.m.

Downtown Kansas City, home to the spectacular Kauffman Center, will roll out the red carpet to the expected 20,000+ visitors with a series of special events to enjoy before or after their visits to the Performing Arts Center.

The public open house – Experience Downtown! – will give visitors unique opportunities to experience Downtown arts, culture, shopping, and dining at its many new and established destinations throughout Sunday afternoon and evening. From a First Friday arts experience on a Sunday in the Crossroads, to a street festival in nearby Westside, to the 14th Street Jazz Festival the Power & Light District, visitors will experience all the richness of Downtown. These Downtown area restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions will be open on Sunday, Sept. 18 to welcome Kauffman Center guests before or after their visits to the Performing Arts Center: Experience Downtown Participants

The Downtown Council has worked closely with the Kauffman Center and the City of Kansas City, Missouri to prepare for the thousands of open house guests on Sunday. The following information will help visitors find their way to parking, shuttles, the Kauffman Center and to the neighborhoods of Downtown.

5 insider tips to ease your journey

1.    What’s free and what’s not?

  • The Kauffman Center open house, Experience Downtown! events and the shuttles are free.
  • The MAX buses will be running to the Kauffman Center every 15 minutes from Waldo, Brookside, the Plaza, Crown Center and the River Market. Cost is $1.50 each way.
  • Parking, generally, is NOT free. Fees will vary depending on the Downtown surface lot or garage.
  • Food and beverage will be available for sale from urban food trucks just outside of the Kauffman Center and in more than 100 Downtown area restaurants that will be open for this special occasion and, in many cases, offering specials

2.    What’s the best way to get to the Kauffman Center?

  • With thousands of visitors expected on Sunday, consider your options before you start out. Review the grand opening map and make a plan that will avoid the heaviest traffic at I-35 and Broadway. Consider a less congested route, such as the West Pennway exit, to offsite parking and free shuttles.
  • Download the Kauffman Center Parking & Driving Map (PDF)

3.    Where’s the best place to park?

  • Parking will be available in the Kauffman Center’s new, 1,000-space garage, but that will be the site of the heaviest traffic. More than 15,000 parking spaces are shown on the parking and shuttle map. Choose one near one of the shuttle locations – near the Convention Center and Downtown Marriott; near the Power & Light District or Midland Theatre; or in the Crossroads. Remember, come prepared to pay to park.

4.    Where can I catch a shuttle?

  • Free shuttles will run continuously to and from the Kauffman Center from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on three routes:
    • Convention Center: 12th & Wyandotte (in front of the Downtown Marriott)
    • Crossroads: 19th & Baltimore and 20th & Central
    • Power & Light District: 14th & Main
    • Kauffman Center: 16th Street, between Central and Wyandotte

5.    Is there anything within walking distance, following our visit to the Kauffman Center?

  • Yes! Downtown is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Greater Kansas City. Review the walking/shuttle map for simple directions to:
    • First Friday arts experience in the Crossroads (5 minutes)
    • 14th Street Jazz Festival in the Power & Light District (10 minutes)
    • Black Expo at Bartle Hall (10 minutes)
    • Dining and live music in the Westside (12 minutes)
    • Shops, restaurants and galleries that will be open on Sunday
    • Download the Kauffman Center Walking Map (PDF)

The opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts marks a unique milestone in revitalization of our Downtown and this event is a chance for everyone to share in the celebration. Visitors will get a renewed sense of what a vibrant, active and cultural community Downtown KC is.

Kansas City Ballet to Open New Home On Friday, August 26th!

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.