The has announced a $20 million challenge grant from the in support of a proposed .
The gift will help fund the relocation of the university's to the Crossroads Arts District in downtown Kansas City — with the stipulation that the conservatory raise the additional $70 million needed within three years. The state has approved legislation intended to match private dollars, leaving a fundraising goal of $20 million to $25 million, according to the . During subsequent phases of the university's multi-decade plan for the downtown campus, other university-based arts programs will be moved to the site.
The project is expected to create opportunities for artistic and educational synergy between the new campus and the ; economic development in the region; and national recognition for the city's arts and cultural renaissance. Indeed, the Downtown Campus for the Arts concept is one of the "Big 5" ideas championed by the as a regional priority.
"The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation is pleased to take the lead in supporting the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in this exciting project," said foundation board chair and CEO Julia Irene Kauffman. "The conservatory is a vibrant community resource and we believe the Downtown Arts Campus project has the potential to bring excitement and broad revitalized economic development to downtown, to the Kauffman Center, and to other arts groups located downtown."