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$2.5 Million Kauffman Grant for Conservatory

By Steve Bell


Kanas City, MO – A $2.5 million grant from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation will kick off a needed expansion of facilities at UMKC's Conservatory of Music and Dance. The grant will be used to seed the fund for a $40 million expansion of White Hall, the on-campus performing arts center.

Vice-chancellor for University Advancement John Amato says as with the downtown performing arts center, the arts can thank Julia Irene Kauffman. He says Kauffman responded to the fact that though UMKC's performing arts programs have a "top-ten" reputation, enrollments have far outgrown its facilities.

Amato says the existing performing arts space was designed for an enrollment of 450, but the programs it houses have grown to serve around 620. This, he says, results in a lack of performing, practice and rehearsal space as well as other space issues.

The total project will cost $40 million, 20 million of which will come from University and state funds. The expansion to the north and east of the existing center will include a new performance hall, a dance studio, 70 new practice rooms and several small-ensemble rehearsal rooms.

Amato says as the arts programs continue to grow more expansions are planned in the future.

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