Muriel Kauffman

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.