UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby DaveKCMO » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:37 am

Yeah, there's something going on with the ownership. We all thought that Downtown Council cleared and controlled the site, which would then be handed over to UMKC. Apparently that's not actually the case.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby FangKC » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:41 pm

They should take a holding pattern until the Greitens' situation is resolved. If he is forced out, the issue could be opened up for discussion again.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby smh » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:45 pm

I was told yesterday that Mike Parsons is a strong supporter of the UMKC arts campus.

...this sounds sarcastic but I'm being serious.

No really.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby Pork Chop » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:49 pm

Will UMKC's Downtown Arts Campus get a second chance for state funding?


Missouri Rep. Noel Shull, a Republican from Kansas City, has reintroduced a bill that would fund half the cost of building and furnishing a downtown conservatory near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It's a plan that has long had community and bipartisan political support.


http://www.kansascity.com/news/article203982919.html

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby rxlexi » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:43 am

Counterpoint - I might actually prefer a new conservatory on the UMKC campus. I badly want to see this happen either way, and the Juilliard-esque synergy with Kauffman Center would be unique, and ideal. But I'd also like to see UMKC campus become a much more desirable destination.

The lots surrounding Kauffman are so prime; any number of interesting, vibrant projects could take advantage. Further, UMKC (campus and university as a whole) still badly needs an identity, a sense of self and status in the region. Putting the conservatory downtown further dilutes an already underwhelming commuter school.

A new facility on campus, near the recently renovated KC Rep @ Spencer Theater, starts to create a little cultural destination off the Plaza, continues to encourage student life on campus (desperately needed) and gives the rest of the region another reason to pay attention to the school.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby flyingember » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:04 pm

This would be UMKC's third campus. Which existing campus do you think it should be on? And in what way is the brand dilluted by both being in the urban core? Plenty of colleges spread out from a single spot. UCM has their Lee's Summit campus ~30 minutes away from Warrensburg and people don't say the brand is diluted.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby JBmidtown » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:45 pm

Yeah, this needs to be near the PAC if for no other reason than to keep increasing downtown’s daytime population. UMKC’s main campus is not well integrated with the Plaza (not even south Plaza) and putting the conservatory on campus blows an opportunity to add another educational/cultural amenity to the fabric of the urban core. Downtown needs this. Time to walk over the corpse of Greitens political career and resurrect this jewel in the crown of downtown.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby rxlexi » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:49 pm

Good points above and I don't disagree; particularly with adding another cultural jewel downtown. Frankly it would be awesome to see a cultural village along the lines of Lincoln Center with the conservatory, PAC, a film center, etc.

However, the comments regarding "which existing campus" and "main campus not well integrated with Plaza" are my point. It would be hugely beneficial for the region if UMKC could ever step up into more powerful institutional role, and a vibrant, desirable urban campus is a part of that. The location is already excellent, it just need more amenities, more student living, etc. etc.

Look at other successful urban universities that function as significantly more than car-based local commuter schools (SLU, Cincinnatti, SMU, whatever); KC would benefit in a big way if UMKC could ever begin to evolve in that direction and become a desirable destination in itself, not a 3rd choice regionally after KU/MU/K-State.

A major investment in the conservatory on campus might be a step in that direction, starting to build critical mass on the flagship campus. That being said, if a deal can be salvaged near PAC, I'm all for that as well. Should have broken ground by now!

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby FangKC » Fri May 11, 2018 8:47 am

New location, new expanded plan includes theater department.

Downtown UMKC Arts Campus Idea Revived, Barney Allis Plaza in the Mix

The possibility of a UMKC arts campus in downtown Kansas City is being floated again and this time Barney Allis Plaza is the apparent preferred candidate.

University of Missouri-Kansas City officials announced Thursday they will seek proposals, described as a “request for interest (RFI),” for a new arts facility that would house not only the Conservatory of Music and Dance, but the Department of Theatre as well.

...


https://cityscenekc.com/downtown-umkc-arts-campus-idea-revived-barney-allis-plaza-in-the-mix/

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby earthling » Fri May 11, 2018 8:58 am

Filling in Xroads surface lots would be more ideal...

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby KCPowercat » Fri May 11, 2018 9:06 am

Sounds like from the story that lot now has another purpose....that's how I read "no longer available"

I like the BAP idea because you can get the garage redone with part of the state money and it will finally liven up the immediate area that's really pretty dead/sad....I don't like it because it basically eliminates any public park options.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby KCPowercat » Fri May 11, 2018 9:07 am

I ultimately think it will sadly end up on campus

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby moderne » Fri May 11, 2018 10:00 am

If it is built on Barney Allis Plaza the park can be replaced with a smaller park with no garage under it so there can be real trees. How about the lot on Wyandotte west of the Power & Light Bldng? It could serve both residents and convention activities.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby KCPowercat » Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

like that idea. Lot owned by a NY property firm so not getting a friendly deal for it I'm assuming.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby FangKC » Fri May 11, 2018 10:49 am

Barney Allis Plaza does have benefits for an arts campus. The Folly, Music Hall, and Little Theatre would likely all benefit from proximity, and more usage. The Copaken Stage is within walking distance. It's still close to the Kaufmann Center.

It would have made more sense to reconfigure the Lyric Theater as part of the arts campus instead of Barney Allis Plaza, instead of demolishing most of the Lyric for the YMCA, which was never a good reuse for that building. I've always been surprised Historic Kansas City has not been more up in arms over the YMCA plan. Prediction: within 30 years, the YMCA will be complaining they have outgrown their proposed Lyric building, and will want to build a larger building somewhere else. People will then be lamenting demolished the Lyric auditorium for the YMCA that was only there 30 years. :roll:

The Lyric is already set up for performances, and there is office space and studio space from when KMBC Channel 9 TV was in the building. Thus, it would seem you could find a place for KCUR inside the existing building. Having the radio station downtown would likely be more convenient for attracting radio guests from government, business, downtown arts, etc., as well as visiting artists who are performing downtown and staying in hotels there. Then you could have also added more space in a new annex building on the surface parking lot on the east side of the Lyric. Buy the Mark Twain Building and renovate it as a student dorm. Another idea would be to convert the former hotel rooms in the old Muehlebach Hotel into a student dorm, and just contract the cafeteria service out to Marriott.

Build the new downtown YMCA on the surface lot at 9th and Central and allow UMKC arts students and the Crossroads Academy schools to share the facility. It saves the Academy from having to build its' own gymnasium. Everyone wins.

You all are going to have to do a lot of work convincing me about more downtown parks. I lived downtown for years, and saw little to convince me that there is a huge demand for downtown parks. Most of them are not used at all, and now another big one (4 blocks) is being proposed for the I-670 cap project. I think--if that is constructed--there is no argument left at all for keeping Barney Allis Plaza, or even Oppenheimer Park. You could replace those parks with the deck park. Ilus Davis Park might see increased usage if you add 3000-5000 more residents to the East Village area.

If we are being honest, some of these downtown park spaces are really only used as dog bathrooms. We should probably just call them that, and name them after notorious criminal politicians. Good leaders get nice parks named after them, and bad ones get the dog bathrooms named after them. :P :D
Last edited by FangKC on Fri May 11, 2018 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby earthling » Fri May 11, 2018 11:11 am

FangKC wrote:
You all are going to have to do a lot of work convincing me about more downtown parks. I lived downtown for years, and saw little to convince me that there is a huge demand for downtown parks. Most of them are not used at all, and now another big one (4 blocks) is being proposed for the I-670 cap project. :D


Need to think long term, 10-50 years out. BAP and 12th/Walnut (Oppenstein Park?) may be the only 2 parks in CBD long term as development continues. BAP is currently functional space. There are so many surface lots yet to fill up - ideally these would be higher priority before replacing functional spaces. If 670 cap happens with park space, then maybe develop BAP.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby FangKC » Fri May 11, 2018 11:16 am

I am. Obviously others agree because we are seeing proposals to redevelop BAP. The deck park will replace the need for BAP and OP. I spent years observing BAP and Oppenstein Park usage.

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby JBmidtown » Fri May 11, 2018 11:16 am

I hope the lot south of the Kauffman PAC ends up as something worthwhile but knowing the absurdity of KC it will stay a grass lot for the next decade+

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby KCPowercat » Fri May 11, 2018 11:17 am

I'm getting the feeling that the 670 cap is going to happen.....which calms my fears of losing a redone BAP

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Re: UMKC Conservatory of Music considers move to downtown

Postby rxlexi » Fri May 11, 2018 11:32 am

I hope the lot south of the Kauffman PAC ends up as something worthwhile but knowing the absurdity of KC it will stay a grass lot for the next decade+


I wish we knew the current ownership. The lots around the PAC, as the connecting tissue with the xroads, could still be home to some great projects.

I would love to see a brand new, ground up cultural hub inclusive of UMKC Conservatory, Rep, KCUR, and other arts institutions, but don't see the ambition or financial wherewithal to make something on that scale happen. And for the record, the KC Rep's main home on campus at Spencer Theater was fairly heavily renovated by Helix (I think) just a few years ago. I would love to see them in a brand new theater but just don't see it happening...

STL sorta kinda did something similar with the Public Media Commons in Grand Center. Partnership with UMSL, public radio, etc. next to or very near flagship visual and performing arts institutions. Every time I've been it's appeared mostly unused, but I really appreciate the efforts at creating synergy between like-minded orgs. http://publicmediacommons.org/


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