Members of Los Bailadores de Kansas City presented regional dances of Mexico using beautiful costumes and festive music during Future Stages Festival at the Kauffman Center. (photo by Bernadette Hursh)

A Free Community Event Celebrates 10 Years

Since opening in 2011, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has featured renowned performers from around the world and helped establish the Kansas City area as an exciting and diverse cultural destination for all.

Beginning in 2014, the Kauffman Center also proudly turned a spotlight on local youth performers with the annual Future Stages Festival.

This year is the 10th celebration of this event, which highlights young artists on multiple stages at the Kauffman Center and connects youth within the community with quality arts experiences. Since the event began, the Kauffman Center has hosted more than 100 community arts organizations, allowing more than 6,000 young artists to display their talents to the public. Featured acts range from powerful poetry and breathtaking aerial artists to rhythmic jazz bands and graceful Chinese folk dance. Future Stages Festival supports future generations of creatives, continuing and expanding upon the Kauffman Center’s mission to bring extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences to everyone in the community.

Attendants of Future Stages Festival make their own art pieces at a table provided by community partner The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. (photo by Bernadette Hursh)

This year, Future Stages Festival takes place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. The afternoon will include performances and community engagements that highlight and celebrate cultural and artistic diversity. Both Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall will feature youth performance groups, along with the Saint Luke’s Outdoor Stage and the Kansas City Symphony’s Mobile Music Box. Previous Future Stages Festival performance groups have included Kathak Aura, Kansas City Youth Percussion Ensemble, The Kansas City Boys Choir and The Kansas City Girls Choir, The A-Flat Youth Orchestra and Crescendo Conservatory. Additional interactive arts activities presented by the Kauffman Center and community partner organizations will be set up in Brandmeyer Great Hall, on the south lawn, and in the PNC PlaySpace in the PNC Grow Up Great Gallery area. Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Mattie Rhodes Center, StoneLion Puppet Theatre and many more community partners have presented engaging activities throughout the years at the festival. No matter what your preference, Future Stages Festival has something for everyone to enjoy.

A performer from Kansas City Aerial Arts dazzles with her airborne routine on the south lawn. (photo by Ellie Fehlig)

Future Stages Festival is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at to receive the latest event updates and schedule for performances and activities. Registration is optional but encouraged, and no tickets will be issued.

Future Stages Festival is presented by Premier Partner Saint Luke’s Health System. This event is also supported by PNC, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council, the Marlese and Robert Gourley Children’s Fund, Anonymous and JE Dunn.

–Ethan Hill

CategoriesArts Consortium

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