Your Chamber at Work - February 4, 2019




UMKC has announced the Volker Campus as the location for new facilities for the Conservatory of Music and Dance. Chancellor Mauli Agrawal explained the decision to the Chamber Board of Directors at last week’s Board meeting. (Dr. Agrawal is also a member of the Board.)

He said students and faculty both wanted the Conservatory to remain on-campus – students take non-arts related classes on-campus and it’s more convenient for them. In addition, the theatre department may become part of the Conservatory and access to theatre facilities is important. Seeking funding for the new Conservatory facilities is the next step to be followed by the design process.

The decision is welcome – the Conservatory had faced losing its accreditation had plans for new facilities not been put in motion by 2020. As a center of excellence for the university, that would have been catastrophic. It is exciting to know that there is a plan to ensure this center of arts excellence remains an asset for our entire KC region.

We understand the university’s desire to keep the UMKC Conservatory close at hand on the Volker campus, and believe the new - and much-needed - facility will enhance the cluster of outstanding arts organizations located nearby. We plan to work with UMKC in Jefferson City in any way we can to move this critical project forward.



According to the CityHealth report, Kansas City pre-K programs have a very high score on quality. The problem is low enrollment: less than 30 percent of four-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education programs. Researchers say that while Kansas City has done an admirable job of designing a very high quality program, this vital tool is reaching too few children.

“High-quality Pre-K provides benefits that go beyond the early years and lays a stronger foundation for later social and economic success and even improved physical health,” said Ellen Frede, Senior Co-Director of NIEER. “Forward-thinking city leaders realize that dedicating local funds for Pre-K access and quality improvements can improve the health of their cities.”

This report underscores Kansas City's need for more Pre-K resources, which April's KCMO ballot measure will provide - one reason behind the KC Chamber's endorsement of the proposal which calls for a 3/8 cent sales tax to fund early childhood education.



Have you been to the newly renovated HyVee Arena yet? Here’s a great opportunity. KC Crew is hosting the next Neighborhood Networking event in their new facility at the old Kemper Arena. Come enjoy breakfast, networking and some excellent door prizes Friday, February 8, 8:30 - 10 a.m. at HyVee Arena, 1800 Genessee St. Members are free, and non-members are just $15.

KC Crew is a cutting-edge adult recreational sports league and special events company. From kickball to zombie runs to murder mystery events, KC Crew offers something for everyone. Thanks to our overall 2019 networking sponsors Mazuma, SS&C/DST, and Sprint. A special thanks to our Neighborhood Networking sponsors Andrews McMeel Universal and Spectrum Reach. Register here. Contact Brandon Krekel with any questions at



Representative Sharice Davids (KS-3) wants to hear from you. The Chamber invites you to join Congresswoman Davids for a lunch meeting and dialogue Tuesday, February 19 from 11:30 - 1 pm in the Chamber Boardroom at Union Station, next door to Pierpont’s, 30 W Pershing Road. Congresswoman Davids is newly appointed to the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. She has spoken about the impact the committee has on nearly all aspects of our lives - particularly focusing on the Kansas City Metro because of our strategic location as a major transportation hub.

The event is $15 for KC Chamber members. Public Policy Council members receive two complimentary seats. Members can register here. For more information, contact Tiffany Friend at



What does the next mayor of Kansas City have in store for businesses here? Enjoy some refreshments while hearing from a lineup of mayoral candidates at the next KC Chamber Polsinelli Public Policy Speaker series Monday, March 18, just two weeks before the primary election. This is an informal event where the candidates will give brief presentations then mingle with chamber members during the reception from 3:30 – 5:30 pm in the Chamber’s Board Room at Union Station, next door to Pierpont’s, 30 W Pershing Road. Cost is $20 per person for KC Chamber members, with Public Policy Council members receiving up to two admissions free with discount code. Register here today, as space is limited.

The Polsinelli Public Policy Up Close Speaker Series is focused on keeping KC area businesses up-to-date on the issues, policies, and policy trends that impact our region and the nation.