Peter Witte

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Supporters of the proposed downtown University of Missouri-Kansas City campus for the arts have enlisted Warren Erdman, a savvy veteran of Missouri politics, to lead the lobbying effort for $48 million in matching state funds.

“Warren has been fantastically supportive since early on,” says Dean Peter Witte of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.

“His understanding of the University of Missouri System and his reputation in the State Legislature are great assets.”

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.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The headline of a recent editorial in The Kansas City Star about downtown Kansas City, Missouri declared: "A decade later, downtown has stronger heartbeat."

courtesy of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

It’s been a year since the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce released its "Big 5" list with ideas and priorities for the region.

courtesy of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance

In September 2011, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce announced "the Big 5," ideas the city would champion, ranging from revitalizing the urban core to boosting medical research.