Kauffman Center spotlights future generations of performing artists at Future Stages Festival

First-time Future Stages Festival performers Live Jazz KC High School All Star Big Band take to Helzberg Hall stage in 2023. (photo by Bernadette Hursh)

A young artist with Reflections of Polynesia Performing Arts dances on Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage. (photo by Starra Zweygardt)

Each year, Future Stages Festival engages the Kansas City community by creating access to exceptional arts experiences for the novice and enthusiasts — making this community event memorable for families and the young artists who grace the stages. These key goals make the festival a staple year after year at the Kauffman Center.

Hundreds of local performers ages 5 to 18 will take to the Kauffman Center stages at this free community event, which returns for its 11th year on Sunday, June 9, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout its past 10 years, Future Stages Festival has had more than 6,000 talented youth grace the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall stages, as well as the Saint Luke’s Outdoor Stage, with groups presenting a myriad of cultural disciplines and genres of performance arts, from aerial and dance to music, poetry and many others.

“Future Stages Festival is an entertaining and educational event for youth and families where they can learn about different performance styles and cultural traditions through the arts,” said Kauffman Center President and CEO Paul Schofer. “This community event opens minds, hearts and imaginations. The festival has something for everyone to enjoy.”

Aerial artists with The Last Carnival demonstrated teamwork and artistry during their performance at Future Stages Festival in 2023. (photo by Bernadette Hursh)

Last year’s performers at Future Stages Festival included Reflections of Polynesia Performing Arts, MSACP Orchestra, The Last Carnival, Ice Studios School of Dance, The Young MAIsterSingers, Pythons Drill Team and Live Jazz KC High School All Star Big Band, to name a few. In addition to the performances, festival attendees can participate in interactive arts activities presented by the Kauffman Center and community partners that regularly include The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Mattie Rhodes Center, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Public Library and other partners.

Future Stages Festival is FREE and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP to receive the latest event updates and schedules. Visit kauffmancenter.org/futurestages to RSVP and for more information about the event.

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 & Robert Gourley Children’s Fund, Evergy and Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust, John H. Mize Jr., and Bank of America, NA Trustees.

–Keyonna Steele

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