KCYA kicks off construction on Main Street home

By the end of this year, Kansas City Young Audiences will make this building at 37th and Main home.

Photo courtesy of Helix Architecture + Design. 

Saturday marked the start of a new home for the Kansas City Young Audiences. Construction will begin in early August on the 18,000 square foot property located at 3732 Main Street in the heart of the city and along the future streetcar route.

A kickoff event on Saturday featured performances by the students of KCYA. Mayor Sly James attended and participated as the children were able to draw on the walls for a unique take on a typical groundbreaking.

Helix Architecture + Design is leading the design for the project and will incorporate a flexible interior that serves the educational, workplace, event and performance functions of the organization. The new space will include dance studios, a multi-purpose classroom for art and theatre classes, a mixed-use performance and event space, offices for the staff and office space for a resident partner. McCown Gordon Construction is providing construction management services.

“Our team is thrilled to be a part of creating Kansas City Young Audiences’ first permanent home," McCown Gordon Construction CEO Pat McCown said. "Engaging youth in the arts is transformational and we see firsthand the impact it has on our youth and our greater community. We fully embrace and stand behind KCYA’s vision to open a window to the world of art for so many in our region. I love the work that KCYA does to make this happen and believe this new facility will make KCYA even better in serving our youth. I cannot wait to welcome KCYA into their new home.”

Photo courtesy of Helix Architecture + Design. 

Mayor Sly James celebrates the kickoff of construction of the project last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Helix Architecture + Design. 

KCYA began a $3.5 million capital campaign in May. The organization has already received strong community support for the project, most notably a lead gift of $500,000 from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, a $600,000 pledge from the Hall Family Foundation and a $200,000 Challenge Grant for the building renovation from the J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation.

Other generous foundation supporters include Impact KC, the David T. Beals III, Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N. A., Trustee, the Sosland Foundation, the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation, Michael and Leatha Cline with Kansas City Southern, the Gary Dickinson Family Foundation, various individuals and corporate donors. Purchase of the building was financed through IFF, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, specializing in strengthening nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Renovations will begin in August and KCYA will move into the new space by the end of 2016. The first acting, dance and music classes will begin in early 2017.