Julia Irene Kauffman

Laura Spencer / KCUR

It’s been two years since officials at the University of Missouri-Kansas City unveiled a plan for a downtown arts campus, which would relocate the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. On Wednesday, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation announced a pledge of $20 million to support the effort.

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

The concrete-and-glass shell-shaped Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens tonight. And it's been almost two decades in the making.

Kansas City, Mo. – A bit of giddiness was in the air at a media preview yesterday - tempered by awareness of the work ahead.

With her bright blonde hair, and tailored pink suit, Julia Irene Kauffman, in her trademark throaty voice, describes how it all began.

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Officials gathered Tuesday to mark the dedication of the $413 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - and its new city-funded parking garage.

Kansas City, Mo. – Officials gathered Tuesday to mark the dedication of the $413 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - and its new city-funded parking garage.

Kauffman Center Chairman of the Board Julia Irene Kauffman said the project was personal and close to her heart since its inception, nearly two decades ago. She credits the collaborative approach.