The concept for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts began with civic leader and philanthropist Muriel McBrien Kauffman as early as 1995. Mrs. Kauffman, Ewing Kauffman's wife and partner, discussed her vision with her family and many in the community, and upon her death her, Ewing and Muriel's daughter, Julia Irene Kauffman, carried the idea forward. As chairman of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Julia Kauffman has been the energetic force to turn her mother's dream into one of the most technically and architecturally perfect performing arts centers in the world.
Currently under construction in an area connecting downtown with the revived Crossroads District in Kansas City, Missouri, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will hold its Grand Opening Celebration September 16-18, 2011. A world-class team of architects, acousticians, theater designers and other technical experts is creating a state-of-the-art performance venue, featuring the very latest technology in acoustics, theater and lighting equipment, staging and sightlines, and comfortable ergonomic seating.
The center will include a 1,600-seat concert hall and a 1,800-seat proscenium theate, and will be the performance home for the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet. The Kauffman Center will also feature a diverse range of performances in both halls including dance and music of all types from pop to rock, light classical to country, jazz groups to bands, and gospel to folk music, as well as smaller Broadway and off-Broadway touring productions.