The Performing Arts Managers Conference (PAMC) will take place February 22-25, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. Along with great opportunities to network and learn about the latest trends and fresh ideas emerging in the performing arts sector, venue managers can tour one of the region’s newest gems, The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
The Kauffman Center began as a simple sketch on a paper napkin, broke ground in 2006, and became a reality in 2011. The facility quickly defined itself not only as an architectural icon for the skyline of Kansas City, but as a focal point for the region—delivering enriching experiences for both artists and audiences alike. Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the building’s most distinctive features are its curving, shell-like exterior, superior acoustical design, and the facility’s accessibility.
We wanted to provide a sneak peek into some of this venue’s striking features and inspire performing arts managers to attend the conference and take in this spectacular new venue for themselves. So we spoke to Patrick Donnelly, local host for PAMC and the director of theatre operations at the Kauffman Center, about the new facility and asked him a few questions about the construction process.
What do you really marvel at when you walk around in the facility?
Architecturally, the interior public spaces and the building exterior are stunning. The design of the concert hall (Helzberg Hall), both in terms of shape and construction materials, is uncommon—but very appealing to the eye and to the ear.
What surprised you about the construction process?
Once there was consensus around the opening date, everything lined up well. No delays or surprises that threw us off schedule. The slowness of the economy between 2009 and 2011 gave the project first pick of subcontractors—every firm was eager to find work. The great care that the various consultants took in planning and reviewing their pieces of the project shows in the final outcome.
One piece of advice for anyone looking at renovation/construction?
Choose the general contractor with care, and use the specialty design consultants to manage the architectural teams. Kauffman Center was very lucky in both these instances—and it made a difference in the final product.
We hope you will plan to come out to Kansas City for this year’s PAMC and experience the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in person. We are sure you’ll leave with a new sense of energy and appreciation for our industry.