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Archive for Friday, December 13, 2002

Funding endorsed for K.C. arts center

December 13, 2002

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— A Performing Arts Center that has been in the planning stages for six years got a boost when a Kansas City Council committee endorsed a proposal to provide at least $45 million in city funds.

The council's Finance and Audit Committee on Wednesday also directed City Manager Bob Collins to put together a financing package designed to enhance Bartle Hall and the Performing Arts Center.

"We haven't got all the details, but the city manager will work that out," committee chairman Evert Asjes said. "This says we're supportive."

The full city council will vote on the resolution Dec. 19.

The performing arts complex is projected to cost $304 million. Supporters anticipate $100 million will come from public funds and $204 million from the foundation and other private donors.

The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation pledged $80 million for construction costs, plus $25 million for an operating endowment.

With the center now in the design stage, project manager Ken Dworak told the council committee, "It's time to partner with the city and bring this concept to reality."

Dworak said the city's willingness to commit public money would help persuade private and philanthropic donors to contribute.

If the council approves the resolution, the city's money would be used mostly to help pay for land acquisition and underground parking. The city also would help performing arts representatives pursue state taxes and other revenue sources to make up the difference between the city's contribution and the $100 million in public money that's needed.

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