Last month, steelworkers installed beams between the concert hall and the theater at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Set to open in 2010, the future home of the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera is beginning to make what should be an ultimately dramatic mark on the skyline.
The project could still use a little cash, however. A $60 million shortfall remains. Jane Chu, a spokeswoman for the center, says the $405 million project is 85 percent funded.
Most of the money that's yet to be pledged is needed to build a $40 million endowment. To jangle the money loose, the performing arts center is offering the chance to buy seat naming rights. A "recognition plaque" will be affixed to a seat for donations of $2,500 to $10,000.
Chairs not your style? For $1,000, arts patrons can put a child or grandchild's hand print on a wall near the escalators that rise to the center's "majestic glass lobby."
The building's main benefactor is Julia Irene Kauffman, the daughter of Ewing and Muriel McBrien Kauffman. Figures released in 2004 indicated that Kauffman family foundations and funds had comitted $263 million to the project.