Julia Irene Kauffman is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. The Foundation’s mission and vision focus on support of the performing and visual arts in the Greater Kansas City area.
In 1995, Ms. Kauffman was designated Chairman of the Board of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and spearheaded the effort to build the Center in downtown Kansas City. The widely acclaimed Kauffman Center was completed in September 2011. The project brings renewed growth and vitality to the metropolitan performing arts scene with a focus on arts education and wide ranging cultural enrichment.
Ms. Kauffman’s civic and philanthropic activities include the Kansas City Symphony Foundation Board of Directors, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City Board of Directors, and Chairmanship of the Kansas City Ballet Board of Directors. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of the Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art and as a Trustee of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Her diverse community and personal interests include serving on the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club Board of Directors since 1997 and as a member of the Executive Board of the Heart of America Council/Boy Scouts of America. Julia also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Soldiers’, Sailors, Airmen’s & Marines’ Club in New York City and is a member of the Visiting Committee to The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Recently, Ms. Kauffman was recognized by the Downtown Council of Kansas City with the J. Philip Kirk, Jr. Award for Community Vision and Downtown Stewardship. The UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation named Julia as the 2011 recipient of the Marion and John Kreamer Award for Entrepreneurship in Volunteer Community Service. Julia was named the 2011 Outstanding Kansas Citian by The Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City. Past honors include the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award and the William Jewell College William F. Yates Medallion for distinguished service in the arts. The Kansas City Council on Philanthropy recognized Julia as the Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.