Kansas City's Kauffman performing arts center to open this weekend

Thursday, September 15, 2011 | 1:05 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — Kansas City's new $414 million performing arts center opens this weekend.

The 285,000-square-foot Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has been more than a decade in the making. It began with a vision from the late Muriel Kauffman, the widow of Kansas City benefactor Ewing Kauffman, whose pharmaceutical fortune and philanthropy have funded several Kansas City endeavors.

The Kauffmans' daughter, Julia Irene Kauffman, spearheaded the Kauffman Center project to honor her mother.

The center has been financed largely by private donations. It will host performances by the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera. The performance season begins in October and will also include appearances by Mavis Staples and Lily Tomlin.

Several local groups will perform Sunday during a public open house.

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