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UMKC Conservatory Stakes Its Claim In The Crossroads

 The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance has a potential site for its future downtown campus.

UMKC Chancellor  Leo Morton announced Monday morning that the school has received a pledge from an anonymous group of donors to purchase a full city block in the Crossroads Arts District along Broadway Street between 17th and 18th Streets, directly south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The announcement took place at the Kauffman Center, overlooking the site.

"This is our dream site," Morton, who has championed the initiative, said.

The pledge is contingent on UMKC raising a total of $96 million for construction costs. Half of that money is expected to come from the state of Missouri. To date, the university has received pledges for more than half of the remaining $48 million, including a $20 million challenge pledge last June from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation.

The 80,000-square-foot block would accommodate the first phase of the project. Future plans call for relocating other university arts programs, such as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the UMKC Theatre department, and KCUR, to the site.

A downtown campus for the Conservatory is one of the "Big Five" initiatives of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, first announced in 2011.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
Julie Denesha is the arts reporter for KCUR. Contact her at julie@kcur.org.
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