PNC Puts Pre-K Kids in the Spotlight at the Kauffman Center

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has launched a new art installation in partnership with PNC Bank and two early education centers as part of an effort to inspire great futures for local children through memorable arts experiences. The Grow Up Great Gallery exemplifies PNC Bank’s signature initiative, PNC Grow Up Great, which supports early childhood education and school readiness for preschoolers in underserved communities. As a complement to the Kauffman Center’s Children’s Wall, the gallery’s new 180 handprints honor and recognize students at Growing Futures Early Education Center and St. Mark Child & Family Development Center. PNC plans to add more handprints annually.

Nearly 200 people got an exclusive first look at the gallery during a special unveiling event Nov. 19. Guests enjoyed dinner in Brandmeyer Great Hall, and StoneLion Puppet Theatre and Drum Safari entertained the young artists and their families with interactive performances. The kids proudly showcased their handprints in a colorful setting that combines visual art and musical themes.

“We surveyed our employees and asked what they were passionate about and they told us ‘children and education’ and from that PNC Grow Up Great was born. We provide programming for children to help them get ready for kindergarten with a focus on the arts, math, science and literacy,” said PNC Vice President, Director of Client & Community Relations Kim Herman.

The PNC Grow Up Great Gallery, in the Plaza Lobby at the Kauffman Center on Level 2, is open for viewing to ticketholders 90 minutes prior to any performance and open to the public during box office hours.

Upcoming Kauffman Center Presents Performance Highlights

The annual Kauffman Center Presents series showcases a variety of superb artists, delivering entertainment that emphasizes the Kauffman Center’s mission to enrich the lives of everyone in the community through extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. The series is in full swing, with several performances in March and April. Thanks to series sponsors Saint Luke’s Health System, PNC Bank, and Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City for their generous support of the 2018-2019 season.

Anoushka Shankar
Wednesday, March 13 – 7 p.m.
Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is a singular figure in the Indian classical and progressive world music scenes. Deeply rooted in the Indian classical music tradition, Shankar began studying sitar at age 9, made her professional debut at age 13 and earned her first of six GRAMMY Award nominations by age 20. Shankar draws on classical ragas and experiments with new ideas in a cross-cultural dialogue that showcases the versatility of the sitar.
Tickets for this event range from $39 to $89 plus applicable fees.

National Geographic Live | Dr. Kara Cooney, Egyptologist
When Women Ruled the World
Tuesday, March 19 – 7:30 p.m.
Join Dr. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology, for a look at a time in ancient history when women ruled the world. These women were considered exceptions to the rule, political pawns in a patriarchal society. But their power and influence are undeniable. Cleopatra used her sexuality — and her money — to build alliances with warlords of the Roman Empire. Neferusobek was the first woman to definitively take the title of King. Nefertiti is known more for her beauty than for bringing a fractured Egypt together. What can we learn from how these women ruled? Dr. Cooney shares some illuminating answers.
Tickets for this event range from $37 to $60 plus applicable fees.

The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6
Saturday, March 30 – 7:30 p.m.
The Manhattan Transfer meets Take 6 in The Summit, a musical collaboration that brings together two dynamic vocal groups with over 20 combined GRAMMY Awards. These powerful ensembles will perform songs from their own catalog, then join forces on more than a dozen numbers. Celebrating their 45th anniversary in 2017, The Manhattan Transfer sets the standard as one of the world’s most innovative vocal groups with their blend of pop, jazz, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, swing and a cappella music. Take 6 showcases six voices united in crystal clear harmony, placed against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements and funky grooves.
Tickets for this event range from $49 to $99 plus applicable fees.

National Geographic Live | Stephen Wilkes, Photographer
Day to Night
Tuesday, April 30 – 7:30 p.m.
Can a photograph inspire and create change? Photographer Stephen Wilkes’ five-year photographic study of Ellis Island’s long abandoned medical wards helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island. He’ll take you behind the scenes of his most defining project, Day to Night. His epic cityscapes and landscapes capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of the lens over a full day. Wilkes will discuss the months-long process of turning 1,500 photographs into a single image.
Tickets for this event range from $37 to $60 plus applicable fees.

–Megan Felling

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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