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KC performing arts will 'come back strong' after Kauffman Center cancellations

Rest of 2020 performances nixed due to COVID-19
Posted at 9:26 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 23:56:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Though the structure is a piece of art in the Kansas City, Missouri, skyline, no performing arts will take place within Kauffman Center anytime soon.

The Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera and the Harriman-Jewell series on Tuesday canceled all their productions for the rest of year because of COVID-19.

"We knew this was coming," Ron Davis, owner and CEO of Harvest Productions, said. "We weren't sure how long they would say."

Davis has grown close with each arts organization over the past 30 years. His company, based in North Kansas City, supplies the lights, sound and labor for most of their performances.

But with cancellations left and right, Davis has trimmed his staff from 90 to 20.

"This whole industry has no way to come back until people can gather as big groups," Davis said.

Like other businesses adjusting during the coronavirus pandemic, Harvest Productions transformed its office space into a studio by building a 12-foot-by-36-foot LED video wall that's now used for clients who have virtual and other streaming needs during this time of social distancing.

Danny Beckley, executive director of the Kansas City Symphony, said the response to the pandemic is "certainly a fluid situation."

"Some orchestras are you know, looking at the entirety of 2021 being affected," Beckley said, "maybe and to be even [the] following season. I'm not there myself right now. I think that the announcement we've made today is appropriate."

But hope still remains on a day that delivered a devastating blow to the performing arts in the heart of America.

"We're going to come back strong," Paul Schofer, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, said, "and the absence in this case is going to make the excitement that much better when our doors do open again."