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Groundbreaking for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

photo, courtesy of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – After more than a decade of planning, a groundbreaking for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts takes place this afternoon. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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When it opens in late 2009, the $325 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at 16th and Broadway will be the new home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet, and the Lyric Opera. President and CEO Jane Chu says fundraising is on target at about 80 percent of the project cost. She calls the groundbreaking a momentous step.

Jane Chu: "It is a milestone marker, a magical moment because of the vision that's gone on for awhile and now it's turning into reality."

Arts Center Board Chairwoman and President Julia Irene Kauffman, and members of the design team, including architect Moshe Safdie, will be among those on hand for the ceremonial groundbreaking at the site (17th Street between Wyandotte and Central) today (Friday) at 4. Performances by the Symphony, Ballet, Lyric Opera and other arts organizations will follow at 19th and Central, where a concert-hall scale model of the project will also be on display. Laura Spencer, KCUR News.

Groundbreaking details (from The Star): Parking will be available on the Kauffman Center site, enter from 16th Street at Wyandotte or from 17th and Central just west of the Webster House. Limited seating is available for the groundbreaking ceremony. To sit during the concert on 19th Street, bring folding chairs. 3:30 p.m.: Entertainment by the Paseo Academy String Ensemble, 17th and Central 4 p.m.: Groundbreaking ceremony with Kauffman Center board and arts, government and economic leaders, 17th and Central 5:30 p.m.: Performances by the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Ballet, on 19th Street between Central and Wyandotte 6:30 p.m.: The Kansas City Youth Symphony, Kacico Dance, Kansas City Boys and Girls Choir, Ten String Symphony, Ballet Folklorico Atotonilco, Von Smith, City in Motion and aha! dance theatre For more on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts: listen here to an extended interview with Jane Chu (8/06), and here for a conversation with architect Moshe Safdie, theater designer Richard Pilbrow, and philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman (12/05) on KCUR's Up to Date.

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