In my line of work I try to keep up on philanthropy efforts around the country, so I read The Chronicle of Philanthropy regularly.
Many of the articles in the Chronicle are about organizations located on the east and west coast but in the current edition of the Chronicle there is a feature story about the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. While those of us who live here know the importance of this new building, it is remarkable to me how much national attention this center and all its programming is receiving.
I remember many years ago when the concept of building a world class performing arts center was simply an idea…thanks to the leadership of Julia Kauffman, and to a host of others devoted to the arts, this new structure was built with love and determination. It took longer to raise the money to build the Center because of the economic recession we have been going through, but Ms. Kauffman and her colleagues never gave up hope.
I remember when the new building had an open house, more than 55,000 people showed up to see the new building on a gloomy Sunday. To her credit, Julia Kauffman greeted virtually every person with a smile and a personal thanks for coming to see the new landmark in our city.
Her actions reminded me of when Mr. K used to stand out at the baseball stadium and greet folks who entered the stadium and then gave all of us his big smile and wave at the seventh inning stretch. This kind of personal touch mattes to Kansas Citians.
Congratulations to Julia Kauffman, Dave Lady, Jane Chu, Paul Schofer, Jan Kreamer and many others for your efforts in making this world class community resource available to the residents in our region.