Future Stages Festival Returns In-Person to Celebrate the Future of the Arts

Audiences at the 2019 Future Stages Festival were amazed by the Kansas City Aerial Arts Training Company. (photo by Cody Boston)

The Kauffman Center’s Future Stages Festival is back this June with dozens of musical and dance performances as well as engaging arts activities for the whole family to enjoy. This ninth annual FREE event shines a spotlight on talented young people in and around Kansas City.  

On Sunday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., watch in awe as performers twirl across the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage, harmonize in Helzberg Hall and dazzle audiences on the Center’s south lawn.   

Dancers from the Kansas City Institute of Chinese Language and Culture Dance Group perform at the fifth annual Future Stages Festival. (photo by Rachel Nyhart)

“It’s a wonderful experience to see young performers take the stage during Future Stages Festival,” Kauffman Center President and CEO Paul Schofer said. “It’s an event that I, our staff and our community look forward to each year, and we are thrilled to provide this great family-friendly experience in-person once again.”  

Although the festival was held virtually in 2020 and 2021, the Center was still able to showcase the diverse youth talent that makes Future Stages Festival such a highly anticipated community event. In total, audiences watched more than 1,250 young people perform, sing and dance via video submissions at the virtual events. Last year’s virtual acts included AileyCamp The Group, Chilanka School of Dance, HK Chinese Folk Dance Group, Youth Symphony of Kansas City and many more.

A featured vocalist from the Kansas City Boys’ Choir and Kansas City Girls’ Choir belts out a note in Helzberg Hall.
(photo by Alaina Abplanalp)
A ballet dancer from The Culture House Conservatory of Dance Youth Ensemble gracefully extends an arabesque en pointe. (photo by Stella Bonifazi)

The Kauffman Center is thrilled to welcome the Kansas City community back to an in-person Future Stages Festival this year to witness the future generation of performing arts. As part of the Open Doors Spotlight on Youth programs, Future Stages Festival has welcomed more than 4,000 youth performers from more than 70 community groups since the festival began in 2014.  

Past in-person festivals featured a variety of activities as well, including crafts with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Symphony’s Instrument Petting Zoo and dance demonstrations with the Kansas City Ballet.   

Tickets are not required for entry, but registration is encouraged. Registrants will receive updated performance and activity schedules along with reminders and sneak peeks in the weeks leading up to the festival. Head to kauffmancenter.org/futurestages for more information, including COVID-19 entry requirements, and to register.

Future Stages Festival is presented by Premier Partner Saint Luke’s Health System. This event is also supported in part by PNC, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts – Commerce Bank Trustee, National Endowment for the Arts, Marlese and Robert Gourley Children’s Fund, Frank and Margaret McGee Fund, Missouri Arts Council, NuWin Foundation and JE Dunn Construction. Additional support provided by media partners Cumulus Media and KCUR 89.3 and 91.9 Classical KC.  

–Sophie Misle

CategoriesArts Consortium

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