Young Arts Patron

Center Stage Young Professionals of Starlight Theatre Preserving the Stage for Future Generations.

Growing up in Kansas City, Tuesday nights in the summer meant Starlight Theatre. It still remains my favorite family outing — going out to dinner, and then watching a Broadway show under the stars in the cool summer breeze. Every time I step into Starlight I can feel the magic come alive, whether I’m watching Les Misérables or The Wizard of Oz – it’s a place I walk away from singing the tunes for days and days.

After I graduated from college and started my career, I realized how special not only Starlight was to me and my family, but also to Kansas City. Starlight Theatre is the oldest and largest performing arts organization in the city and the second largest venue of its kind in the United States. It is consistently ranked as one of the top performing arts venues by both local and national critics.

When I was asked to serve on Starlight’s board of directors, I was honored. I also realized that the torch had been passed – it is now my generation’s responsibility to preserve Starlight for future generations.

With this in mind, last year I helped Starlight launch a new membership organization: Center Stage – Young Professionals of Starlight Theatre. The mission of Center Stage is to engage young professionals to become advocates of Starlight Theatre and to provide networking, arts philanthropy and community development opportunities to its young professional members.

Our ideal members are young professionals who enjoy meeting new people and having fun. Events are year-round and have included after-parties at Starlight concerts and Broadway shows, often with cast members invited as special guests, a Happy Hour at Grand Street Café, a Coffee Talk with Starlight’s board president and board member, a pre-screening of the film Les Misérables, and special quote-along and screening of Monty Python and The Holy Grail at Alamo Drafthouse.

This summer, Center Stage – Young Professionals of Starlight Theatre is offering Happy Hours at Starlight with special seating and discounts for Broadway shows and select concerts that are available to both members and non-members. Individual memberships start at $75; corporate memberships start at $500 (benefits include discounted Broadway ticket packages). Sponsorships are also available. For more information about benefit levels and membership, contact Stacey Million at or (816) 997-1137.

Center Stage – Young Professionals of Starlight Theatre has allowed me the opportunity to engage my peers and company in the live arts experience at Starlight in a new way. I cherish my childhood memories of Starlight and am excited to a encourage Young Professionals to support one of Kansas City’s oldest traditions. See you under the stars!

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Katie Dunn Fitzgerald is Co-chair of Starlight’s Center Stage for Young Professionals, a member of the Starlight Theatre Board of Directors, and a senior wealth consultant at Mariner Wealth Advisors (a sponsor of Starlight’s Center Stage). Katie was recently honored with the 2012 ATHENA Leadership Award, presented by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. She has also been recognized as a 2012 Rising Star of Philanthropy by Nonprofit Connect and was honored in the 2011 class of Ingram’s “40 Under Forty.” In addition, she serves on the steering committee of the United Way, is a board member of St. Luke’s Crittenton Children’s Center, the Greater Kansas Community Foundation of Johnson County and is the president of the Mariner Foundation Board.

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KC Studio is a unique lifestyle magazine that is anchored in the arts and culture. It features the visual, cinematic and performing arts as well as cultural events and lifestyle topics, such as dining and home improvement. Published six times a year, KC Studio examines the people that make Kansas City a vibrant arts and culture community. Subscribe
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