UMKC Conservatory one step closer to moving downtown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - UMKC is one step closer to moving its conservatory of music to downtown Kansas City.

The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation pledged $20 million to the project. The university has proposed moving the Conservatory of Music and Dance to a Crossroads District location.

"The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation is pleased to take the lead in supporting the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in this exciting project.  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," said Julia Irene Kauffman, Chairman and CEO of the foundation.

It's the first phase of a project that includes moving other arts-based programs to the Crossroads site.

"We are proud to be a catalyst for progress to help drive the Conservatory to new heights with a new, cutting-edge facility and, at the same time, relieve overcrowding on the congested UMKC Volker Campus," Kauffman said in a news release.

The grant is contingent to the conservatory raising an additional $70 million in funding needed for the project.

The school has three years to raise the additional money needed.

According to the university, the gift is the second-largest in UMKC history.

The dean of the conservatory, Peter Witte, praised Kauffman for its generosity and vision.

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