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Arts & Life

UMKC Announces Gifts Of $5.6 Million For Downtown Arts Campus

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Credit courtesy of Helix Architecture + Design, Inc./HGA

Leaders at the University of Missouri-Kansas City have announced $5.6 million in additional gifts for the Conservatory of Music and Dance and its planned Downtown Campus for the Arts.

That puts the fundraising total above $30 million, for a project whose first phase is estimated to cost $96 million. Once the university has raised $48 million in private funds, it will approach the state of Missouri for matching funds.

"We hope to confirm the community’s investment in the project and get those pledges together so that we can come to the state and start discussing that portion of the commitment to the project,” says Peter Witte, dean of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. He says that process could take one or two legislative cycles.

"We think it's an opportunity that is truly significant for current and future students. It would be a remarkable facility for the University of Missouri system, and would place some of the University of Missouri system's best and brightest students in one of the great performing arts districts in America," he says.

News of the additional donations to support the Conservatory, including $3 million from an anonymous donor for endowed scholarships, comes two weeks after the university announced it had chosen a team of architects to design the new campus.

In May, anonymous donors promised an 80,000-square-foot tract of land immediately south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The $30 million in private money pledged for the project includes a $20 million challenge gift from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation.

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