The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation has pledged $20 million to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) to help establish a downtown Campus for the Arts. The $20 million will help pay for the first phase of the plan, in which the university’s Conservatory of Music and Dance will move to a site in Kansas City's Crossroads District. Subsequent phases would move other university-based arts programs to the site. The foundation's gift is contingent upon the conservatory raising the additional $70 million of funding needed to proceed with the project’s first phase within a period of three years.
UMKC says the concept for the arts campus is based on successful performing arts school/performing arts center combinations such as Juilliard/Lincoln Center in New York City, and the New England Conservatory/Jordan Hall in Boston.