Key funder withdraws $20M pledge for conservatory campus in downtown Kansas City, Missouri

Posted on: January 26, 2018

“The planned University of Missouri-Kansas City Downtown Conservatory has suffered a fatal financial blow, losing a $20 million private pledge,” writes Kevin Collison in Thursday’s (1/25) CityScene KC (Kansas City, MO). “The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation has withdrawn its $20 million pledge after deciding the ambitious project as originally planned was no longer viable. The withdrawal of the Kauffman pledge likely ends a quest to bring the renowned Conservatory downtown and next to the Kauffman Center…. The decision came after the abrupt move last summer by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to … veto $48 million in state funding for the $96 million project…. The planned UMKC Downtown Conservatory was intended to create synergy with the Kauffman Center similar to the Juilliard School in New York. The $20 million Kauffman Foundation pledge for the Downtown Conservatory plan was announced by Julia Irene Kauffman in 2013. It was the key to raising $48 million in local funds to match what had been promised to be a match from the state…. After Greitens vetoed state funding, backers had been struggling to salvage the conservatory project…. The project was proposed for the city block … [adjacent to the] Crossroads Arts District.”

Posted January 26, 2018