Directory of Arts Organizations for Kids

Sometimes, as parents, the search for schools and organizations for children can be time consuming. While this list is not comprehensive to all the many hundreds of organizations in the metropolitan community that touch children and the arts, it is a good place to start.


Kindermusik programs through http://www.act1kc.com

These programs can be found all over the metropolitan area. Kindermusik with Joy covers Overland Park, south Kansas City and around the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus. Karen Anderson offers the Kindermusik program through ACT One, the Academy of Christian Theatre. Kindermusik offers developmentally-specific educational programs for children from newborn to 7 years of age, plus some family classes. According to the program, “music is the best vehicle for early childhood development and learning.”




Wet Canvas, LLC is the parent company for ARTichokes. The Wet Canvas website is the online store for products designed to encourage creativity in people of all ages. Two sisters, Laurie Barling and Rebecca Pashia, are the owners of both companies.  Rebecca Pashia is an interior designer, professional artist and teacher.  In January, 2013, ARTichokes changed to a mobile concept, bringing their creative activities into the community.  In addition to group painting parties and private art classes, there is Scribble Shop.

With school budget cuts being the norm these days, maintaining the arts in education has long been a passion of Becky’s. For this reason, the sisters offer teacher’s Guides, written by Kristin Erickson, a kindergarten teacher and a reading specialist in Kansas.

Kansas City Art Institute


At both locations, the central on the main campus and the Northland campus, the School for Continuing and Professional Studies offers art and design classes for ages 6 through adult as well as programs for high school students, art educators and professionals. The ear-round KCAI offers programs to foster youth art development and creativity for those 6 to 14 years old. We focus our classes on skill development and fun. During the summer we offer week-long summer camps in a wide spectrum of arts ranging from computer animation to photography to drawing.

Mattie Rhodes Art Center


Mattie Rhodes Center believes that the arts are a basic and integral part of every person’s education and growth. Our goal is to educate the community about Latino culture and traditions through the visual arts. The Mattie Rhodes Art Center and Art Gallery offer a wide range of creative programs and opportunities for children and adults, including: visual art classes, camps, art exhibits, and other cultural heritage events.

There is also an after-school art program for elementary school students.

Primary Colors Gallery


The gallery offers art classes in media such as watercolor, acrylics, oils, soft pastels, oil pastels, graphite and colored pencil. Subjects can be varied including portrait, landscape, still life, animals and non-objective, while the style may be realism, impressionist, cubism, abstract, pop art and collage.


Act One, Academy of Christian Theatre


flashbox_mock6ACT One Christian theater ministry offers instruction in dance, drama, music and related areas.  Classes and training offered in these areas focus on excellence in performance “while building relationship with the Lord and others. Christ is the foundation of the program with compassion, cooperation, commitment and character as the four pillars of integrity.”

Christian Youth Theatre, Kansas City


CYT is an after-school theater arts program for children ages 4-18. We offer three sessions of classes each year beginning in August, November, and February. Each session lasts 9-10 weeks and classes are held for 1 hour and 45 minutes, once per week.  Professionals, dedicated to building confidence and self-esteem in students, teach all classes. Classes include: drama, voice, dance, and specialty theater classes. The youngest class is called Our Gang for ages 4-7.  Each class performs a showcase at the end of the session to show family and friends all that they have accomplished.

Culture House Arts Academy


Cultural House is an arts organization that specializes in dance, theater and music. The vision includes influencing communities and educating youth in the performing arts and striving to support professional artists in a community of excellence while modeling a healthy perspective on life and the arts. The school offers a complete curriculum of classes for all ages in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop, plus theater and music.

Ibsen Dance Theatre


The school of dance, drama and voice opened in 1983 by Susie and Van Ibsen. The school teaches dance, theater and voice training. The Ibsens founded Gladstone Theatre in the Park and started the Northland’s original Nutcracker Ballet. The school, like many, stays busy all year long with summer dance intensives and other classes.

Jewish Community Center


Encore! School of the Arts includes classes for dancing and singing. Classes are available for preschool, beginners, intermediate, and advanced students in a wide range of performing arts skills such as creative movement/ballet basics, ballet/tap combo, tumbling, cheerleading/pom and jazz/hip hop. The center also offers after kindergarten care which includes arts and crafts and other enrichment. There is also after-school care for those in first grade to sixth.

Miller-Marley School of Dance & Voice


Miller Marley’s instructors are among the most sought after choreographers by professional and community theater companies in the city. They train six performance groups comprised of students from 6 years old through high school. They often perform Broadway-style musical revues. There is also the youth ballet company and the competition team.  Voice lessons are also offered.

Music Theatre for Young People


Music Theatre for Young People works with students in grades 2 through 12. MTYP provides young people who have a passion for musical theater an opportunity to grow through unique one-week performance experiences.  Each show is auditioned, cast, rehearsed and performed in 7 days. Students who participate in Music Theatre for Young People learn from professionally trained vocal, dance and acting coaches to create a truly professional Broadway experience.


Ballet North


Ballet North is the only specialty ballet company and school in the Northland region of Kansas City, with ballet classes available from ages 3 and up, as well as comprehensive professional training. The school performs many full-length ballets.

Heidi’s Dance Center


Heidi’s Dance Center serves students two years of age through adult. This is the Studio’s 25th year, although Heidi has been teaching for more than 30 years. Heidi’s students have numerous accomplishments including state, regional, national and world championships in various styles of dance and baton twirling.

Kansas City Ballet


Ballet school classes run year round. The Kansas City Ballet School (KCBS) offers classes for children, men and women of all levels of experience. In addition the Academy courses are aimed at aspiring dancers, plus the KCBS offers a wide selection of studio classes. These dance classes are an ideal way to get fit and have fun.

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey


Free and low cost programs in KCFAA’s studio space are designed to introduce students in the second through sixth grades to the joy of dancing. The program for students in the second to fourth-grade program, which meets once a week, includes elements of classical ballet, modern, jazz, social and African dance. The fifth and sixth grade program, meeting twice a week, looks at ballet, jazz, nutrition and fitness. Both programs run from September through May.  Classes are held in KCFAA’s Studio at 1714 East 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.

Pulse Performing Arts Center


The Pulse is a full-service dance studio that provides classes for ages 3 to Adult for those students who wish to take class recreationally for fun, for those who wish to pursue professional careers in the arts, as well as for those students interested in competing and performing regionally and nationally at talent competitions. The regular session runs from September through May. Class choices include Pre-K Combo which emphasizes basic ballet and tap movement, memory, musicality, listening and following directions. The K/1st Combos progress with fundamentals in tap and ballet. The Jazz/Hip Hop Combo for 5-6 year olds is a high energy, fun intro to jazz and hip hop movement. The skills children learn enhance coordination, listening, and self-discovery.

United Dance


United Dance is owned and directed by Vickie Zachary. Ms. Vickie, as she is affectionately known by her students, opened United Fitness and Dance 24 years ago to serve the expressive minds and bodies of Kansas City. Since that time, the name has changed to United Dance, but the philosophy of the studio is the same: Learn to Dance, Love to Dance. The classes are designed for those ages 3 to 21.


Wornall House


The John Wornall House offers field trips for schools and scouting troops. A visit to the museum is the perfect way to enhance curriculum or help scouts earn badges on Missouri history, Civil War history and the Border Wars, women’s history, slavery, and more. Knowledgeable docents help students get a firsthand look at life in the 1850s. Activities and presentations might include making corn husk dolls, churning butter, candle dipping, making hard tack, spinning wool with a drop spindle, making ink with berries, growing up in the 1850s, open hearth cooking demonstrations or visits with historical figures such as Harriett Tubman or Civil War soldiers.


Coterie Theatre


Coterie classes offer exploration from elementary to master actors. As an example, the Coterie Acts, is a chance to learn about theater and acting from local theater professionals. Skills include acting to be onstage or for those who want to have fun.  Students in kindergarten through high school will be challenged to stretch their imaginations and flex their acting muscles in age appropriate theater activities specially developed for each class. The creativity cultivated in drama classrooms is carried through every aspect of life and into adulthood, building students into great thinkers, says Education Director Amanda Kibler.

Heart of America Shakespeare


The mission of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is make Shakespeare’s works accessible to a diverse audience through free professional theater and educational programs. Education comes year-round, not only with Camp Shakespeare, but with the Shakespeare Studio, workshops, performances and residencies through the city.

Theatre of the Imagination


Founded in 1998 by Miles McMahon, the programs encourage creativity, build self-esteem and improve communication skills. While there are summer camps, during the school year, there is Play in a Day where shows designed around an array of topics such as bullying, friendship, sharing, conflict resolution, and more.  Most are appropriate for ages 4 and up.

Theatre for Young America


For 37 years, Theatre for Young America has offered drama classes on its stage and at schools and community centers in the metropolitan area. Students also work on their personal voice, imagination, and body movement skills. TYA Drama Workshops increase the group’s ability to communicate and work together.


Creative Arts Academy


The academy offers gymnastics, dance and a preschool. The school offers traditional tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and pom-pom work.

Dave’s Gymnastics


The school offers a wide variety of recreational gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline and parkour classes to fit many skill levels. Participants can find age-appropriate activities from 12 months to 18 years old.

Emerald City


Boys and girls gymnastics is an excellent sport to improve balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. It teaches self-discipline and total body awareness that will carry over to numerous aspects of your child’s life. We offer gymnastics for youths of all ages, both recreational and competitive.


Kansas City Young Audiences


Space-Ballet-Web-LongThe mission of Kansas City Young Audiences is to engage all youth in the arts, promote creativity, and inspire success in education. The programs also encourage critical thinking and problem solving. Founded in 1961, KCYA’s original mission was to bring classical music programs to area school children. Since that time, KCYA has expanded to deliver programs in all arts disciplines including music, dance, theatre, creative writing and visual arts through partnerships with professional Teaching Artists and Arts Partners. KCYA helps schools provide arts programs to their students and operates the Community School of the Arts which provides children the opportunity to further explore their own artistic and creative abilities beyond the regular school day.

Lawrence Arts Center


The Arts-Based Preschool is for children ages 3-5 and provides social, motor, and creative experiences that excite love for learning. Music, sculpture, painting, drawing, and creative movement are integral parts of this exciting program. Through rich and varied experiences with the arts in combination with a sound preschool education, children grow in both self-esteem and intellectual ability. The Lawrence Arts Center Arts-Based Preschool curriculum allows students the opportunity to work with professional artists, actors, dancers, and musicians; attend performances; and create in the ceramics studio. There are also schools of dance, plus theater, film and music. Kindergarten through senior in high school The Lawrence Arts Center’s visual arts education program features a variety of day and evening art classes for children and adults. Courses are offered in drawing, painting, ceramics, textiles, papermaking, mixed media, photography, creative writing, poetry, stained glass, mosaics, and jewelry.

Trilogy Cultural Arts


Trilogy Cultural Arts Centre seeks to provide excellence in a nurturing arts training environment where the artist and family can flourish in community, creativity and integrity. The classes available include acting, improvisation, musical theater, ballet, musical theater jazz, showbiz tap and stunts and combat. There’s also a youth choir, plus private and group lessons in piano, guitar, bass and voice. And related to the world of theater and film, there is also costume design and construction.


Heartland Chamber Music Academy


Home-Group-Pic-590The Heartland Music Academy inspires young musicians through the study and performance of chamber music within a community of nationally recognized artists serving as mentors. The program includes a summer festival and offers programs for beginners, students and elite ensembles. There are also programs that run during the school year and lessons.

Meyer Music


Serving Kansas and Missouri for 42 years, music education is the backbone of Meyer music. A Staff of teachers at all three locations offer lessons in many instruments:piano, bari sax, French horn, acoustic guitar, clarinet, tenor sax, percussion, flute, bass clarinet, trombone, electric guitar, piccolo, alto sax, bass guitar, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, tuba, voice, violin, viola and cello.

Music House School of Music


Music House is more than just a place to take music lessons. Professional musicians and educators committed to offering something better than the traditional, isolated approach to teaching music. Students — backed by a team of teachers and administrators who work together — play together, perform on stage, and become part of something bigger. They experience not only the practice, but the payoff. There are group classes for piano and guitar, plus private lessons. Concerts and jam sessions are also part of the school.

School of Rock


Through a performance-based approach to music lessons, School of Rock students are more inspired to learn, more motivated to excel and more confident as a result, according to instructors. Lessons include guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums and vocals in an interactive environment.

CategoriesKC Studio Kids
Kellie Houx

Kellie Houx is a writer and photographer. A graduate of Park University, she has 20 years of experience as a journalist. As a writer, wife and mom, she values education, arts, family and togetherness.

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