Uniquely KC logo

Starlight launched Uniquely KC Campaign, a $40 million fundraising campaign, to further its mission of connecting our community through live arts experiences that entertain, inspire, and engage.

The first capital campaign in more than 20 years, this project aims to attract and develop new live arts audiences, enhance arts access and youth education opportunities, generate a positive economic impact in the region, and foster support for Kansas City’s arts and culture sector for one of the largest civic cultural assets in the city.


The arts are fundamental to our humanity. In our world today, people are seeking the connection of shared live arts experiences more than ever.

This community landmark – its history and legacy – is irreplaceable. Starlight’s goals are bigger and bolder than venue improvements that serve patrons. For many individuals, attending performances at Starlight has become a family tradition.

The Uniquely KC Campaign will not only enhance the Starlight tradition but extend it to new, diverse participants of all ages. There is only one Starlight, and with your help, it can be the home for accessible live arts experiences for generations to come.

The Uniquely KC Campaign will fund the following:


Please consider investing in the future of Starlight by contributing to the Uniquely KC campaign:

Recognition Opportunities

For questions about your gift or any recognition opportunities, contact Claire McEwen at claire.mcewen@kcstarlight.com or (816) 997-1159. 

Gifts of $1,000+ will be recognized on our website. 
Gifts of $10,000+ will be recognized on a plaque on one of Starlight’s new towers. 
Naming opportunities across the venue are available starting at $25,000.  

The arts make you believe in yourself. It makes you believe in others. It gives you this whole new perspective that your life can be whatever you want it to be. It fills you with this joy that you’ll only experience if you truly decide, ‘I’m going to follow my dreams.’

Gabby Petentler Starlight Program Participant

Supporters + Updates

Honorary Chairs:  

Jean and Don Wagner 

Campaign Co-Chairs:  

Nikki and Brett Emison 

Jeanette Prenger and the Prenger Family 

Campaign Cabinet:  

Jeff Anthony

Cathy Baier

Jeff and Jen Carson 

Carl and Jean Chinnery 

Dr. Valerie Chow and Judge Jon Gray (retired) 

Don Dagenais 

Sandi Fried and Gabbie Fried 

Amy Guerich 

August L. Huber, III 

Jonalee McLaughlin, Cara McLaughlin and Anna McKee 

Dan and Mary Schulte 

Mark and Amy Thompson 

Carolyn Watley and Ellen Woltkamp 

Board Leadership: 

Howard Cohen, Starlight Board of Directors Chair 

Mark Fortino, Starlight Board of Directors Immediate Past Chair 

Mike T. Lanning, Starlight Board of Directors Vice Chair of Facilities  

Special thanks to the tremendous donors of $1,000+ as of March 8, 2024, that have contributed to our Uniquely KC Capital Campaign. 

The City of Kansas City, Missouri
Hall Family Foundation
Levy Restaurants

Sunderland Foundation

The State of Missouri

Live Nation

The Morgan Charitable Foundation, in loving memory of Sandi Morgan
William T. Kemper Foundation

The Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation
Sherry + Gary Forsee

The Goppert Foundation
Shirley & Barnett Helzberg Jr. Donor Advisory Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Harry Wilson Loose Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee

McLaughlin Family Charitable Fund
Muriel McBrien Kauffman Family Foundation
Mike O’Connell & Sara Hicks Family Foundation
The Ronald D. Deffenbaugh Foundation
The Deramus Foundation and Don & Jean Wagner Charitable Foundation

$100,000 – $249,999
Al & Sharon Cinelli
Howard E. & Debra L. Cohen Family Donor Advised Fund
Jeannette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Howard & Ro Jacobson, and Elaine & Arlen Rubin
Ann & Gary Dickinson Family Charitable Foundation
JE Dunn Construction
Kearney Wornall Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee
Langdon & Emison
The McDonnell Foundation

John & Bridget Murphy
Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts

Daniel & Mary Schulte Charitable Fund
Victor E. and Caroline E. Schutte Foundation Trust E, David W. Frantze and Bank of America, N.A., Trustees
The Sherman Family Foundation
The Patrick & Janna Stueve Family Foundation
Byron & Jeanne Thompson Family & Country Club Bank

$50,000 – $99,999
Rick & Cathy Baier Foundation
Matt & Kate Beem

Pat & Don Dagenais
Steve & Cathy Doyal
The Elsberry Family Foundation
Brett & Nikki Emison
Mark & Sarah Fortino
Morgan Family Legacy Foundation
George & Wendy Powell
Debbie & Russell Welsh

$25,000 – $49,999
Christine & Don Alexander
Bill & Denise Bade
Richard & Peggy Baker
Robert & Dr. Phyliss Bernstein Family Foundation at the Jewish Community Foundation
Steve and Sue Dietze

Peggy & Terry Dunn
ECCO Select
Brian & Lesley Elwell

Edward L. Enyeart
The Fried Family
Don Hall, Jr.
Joan Horan

Kaufman Family
Dean & Anita Newton
Greg & Rebecca Reid
Vicki & Bill Reisler
Ora Reynolds & Curt Roberts
Charles & Elizabeth Schellhorn

$10,000 – $24,999
Jeffrey Anthony
Barnes-Bisset Family Foundation
June Beaver
Becky Blades & Cary Phillips
Jeff Carson Family & Enterprise Bank
Castetter Johnson Family Foundation
Lindsey Rood-Clifford & Chris Clifford
Michael & Carrie Condon
Estelle S. & Robert A. Long Ellis Foundation
Fowler Family Foundation
Amy Guerich
Laura & August L. Huber III
Mark & Mary Cook Jorgenson
The Lang Family
Mary Lockton and Michael Murphy

Tondee Lutterman
Cara McLaughlin
Ramsey & Alison Mohsen
Terry & Barbie O’Toole
J.B. Reynolds Foundation
Anna C. MacAskill Schwab and Dwight L. Schwab Charitable Foundation
In memory of Megan E. Taylor, by Bill and Marilyn Taylor
Angelo & Elisa Trozzolo

Joel & Marsha Voran
Carolyn Watley
Eddy Whitley & Tracie Dittemore
Nancy Whitworth & Doug Ballou
Matt & Sabrina Wiewel
Amy & Robert Wolf

$1,000 – $9,999
Aviva Ajmera & Wayne Strickland
Wendy & Troy Burgess
Carl & Jean Chinnery
Deb Churchill

Michael Collins
Kevin Connor
Copaken Family Foundation

Mark & Stephanie Coulter
Jill Farrell
Caroline & Danny Gibel
Rick & Chris Heise
Trina & Tom
Robert & Melissa Hingula
Jenny Housley
Steve Jagoda
Heather Jones & Bryan Long
Michael Knecht
Michael & Kristin Lanning
Steven & Anna McKee
Lee & Jan Morevitska

Patricia & Michael Morrissey
Dr. Troy Nash
Daniel Nenonen
Elaine Feld Stern Charitable Trust
Christopher & Tracy Stine
Travelers Insurance
Randall Tharp

Oscar & Ratana Tshibanda
UMB Financial Services
Mark & LeeAnn Van Dyne

Vanessa Vaughn West
Tom & Loren Whittaker
Brian & Ellen Woltkamp
Mandi & Kevin Wright

Live Feed: A live feed of the construction project will be available soon. Please check back for updates. 

Project timeline and announcements: On October 16, 2023, Starlight publicly announced the campaign at 10 a.m. from the Jeannette and Jerome Cohen Stage.

Seventy Years of Starlight

Starlight is the oldest and largest continually operating performing arts venue in the Kansas City metropolitan area and is one of only two outdoor theatres of its kind in the country.

Black and white photo of singers rehearsing with a pianist
Construction of the stage house in the 1990s
Black and white photo of original construction of towers
Black and white photo of light bridge and crowd during a concert
Sunset view of Helzberg fountain
Construction of new entrance on north side in1990s
Original construction of light bridge in 1940s
Performer Tommy Tune with group of people
Students performing during Blue Star Awards
Starlight towers and stage house view from east with landscaping
Black and white photo of view from the west in the 1950s
Black and white photo of man and woman rehearsing for Peter Pan in 1956
Cast of Hairspray performing on stage
Kids and performers during a Just Imagine program
Starlight stage house and audience during a performance
Construction of new portico on north side with snow in 1990s
Stage during a performance in 1980s
Black and white aerial photo of Starlight
View of towers and stage during a sunset
Stage house during immersive van Gogh exhibition
Dancers waiting for rehearsal in 1960s
View from the west of original towers and light bridge
Singers rehearsing in 1950s
Black and white photo of a model of Starlight
Black and white photo of audience and stage during Peter Marshall performance in 1975
Family at Community Movie Night
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