Special Ticketing Programs Usher in Diverse Audiences at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Discount ticketing is one of the ways that the Kauffman Center connects Kansas City’s many communities to world-class performance experiences. Kauffman Center provides ticket discounts through the Community Tickets program, which is designed to reach children and families as well as students, educators, military personnel and seniors.  The program EncoreTix offers young professionals ticket discounts and opportunities to win tickets. 

Community Tickets

Since it first opened its doors in 2011, the Kauffman Center has welcomed hundreds of thousands of young people and families to performances, tours and educational experiences by way of a far-reaching set of engagement opportunities called Open Doors. Community Tickets is a part of the Open Doors program focused on bringing children, families and underserved communities to the Center. 

By working in partnership with local social service agencies, Community Tickets brings children and families to a variety of performances at the Kauffman Center, including the transformative experiences of the Kauffman Center Presents series, a schedule of live music performances, film screenings, speaker presentations and other events. The 2020 lineup for Kauffman Center Presents includes a March 4 film screening of Buster Keaton’s famous silent comedy The General, accompanied by renowned organist Cameron Carpenter on Helzberg Hall’s magnificent pipe organ, the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875; and on April 3, the astounding Champions of Magic, a showcase of masters in the magic arts.

Community Tickets works with a network of more than 55 local social service agencies to reach children and families throughout Kansas City. In 2019, children from the KC Boys Choir and KC Girls Choir enjoyed the inspiring energy of England’s high-profile Kingdom Choir. Jewish Vocational Services, The Whole Person, and Foster Adopt brought groups to hear two GRAMMY Award winners, banjoist Béla Fleck and double bassist Edgar Meyer, when they collaborated with Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain in Helzberg Hall. 

The Open Doors Community Tickets program expanded its scope in 2017 to provide discounted tickets for students, educators, military service members and senior groups. With a valid student ID, students can purchase $15 rush tickets to Kauffman Center Presents performances during the 90 minutes before show time by visiting the Center’s box office. Educators, veterans and military service personnel enjoy a 15 percent discount on as many as four tickets with valid educator or military ID. Senior groups of 10 or more, who purchase tickets through a community organization like the YMCA, a retirement home or a neighborhood center, also receive a 15 percent discount on select tickets. 

In addition, through the Open Doors Community Tickets program, the Kauffman Center subsidizes approximately $15,000 in tickets annually for schools to attend Kauffman Center Presents school matinees. These include the storytelling of National Geographic explorers in the National Geographic Live speaker series. National Geographic Live matinees ensure that Kansas City schoolchildren have access to industry leaders in natural science and conservation. This season brings experts like cinematographer Shannon Wild, who presents Pursuit of the Black Panther on March 10, and paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim on April 28, presenting Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous.  

For more information about ticket discounts offered through Open Doors Community Tickets, visit kauffmancenter.org/open-doors/community-tickets.


Part of the Kauffman Center’s promise to the Kansas City community is to cultivate young audiences and encourage lifetime involvement with the performing arts. For this reason, adults between the ages of 18 and 39 can sign up for free to be EncoreTix members. All it takes is an email address to access low-cost tickets, ticket giveaways and EncoreTix member events at the Kauffman Center. 

The EncoreTix program offers discounted tickets to the diverse Kauffman Center Presents series, as well as performances by resident companies and community arts organizations like Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Kansas City Ballet, American Theatre Guild, Harriman-Jewell Series, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Symphony. There is no cost to sign up for EncoreTix and receive email notifications about discounted tickets as low as $15, contests to win free tickets and more. 

The Center’s President and CEO, Paul Schofer, says, “The Kauffman Center is committed to offering excellent and diverse performing arts experiences for all audiences.” This commitment is clear when EncoreTix monthly emails start arriving. They make it simple for young people to join the excitement of the Kauffman Center’s magnificent ambience and great performances, inviting them to spend less and experience more. 

For more information about the EncoreTix program, visit kauffmancenter.org/events-tickets/encoretix.

–Anne Gatschet

About The Author: Contributing Writer


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