Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Kansas City Symphony

Quick Facts

Kansas City, MO


To transform hearts, minds and communities through the power of symphonic music, accomplished by great performances for greater audiences.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Mr. Frank Byrne

Main Address

1703 Wyandotte Street Suite 200

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA


Arts/culture, Music Education, Community development, Symphony Orchestra





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

Music (A68)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Concert Series


Community Engagement

Where we workNew!

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The Kansas City Symphony seeks to transform hearts, minds and our community through the power of symphonic music. The Symphony's objectives include the growth and diversification of our audience, advancing the Symphony's profile in the Kansas City area and beyond, and enhancing the orchestra's artistic achievements and financial stability. Those success indicators will mark the level of engagement and transformation achieved. The arts describe and define us. The core values of a culture are communicated through its art. Music has a unique place among the arts - ephemeral in nature and yet enduring in effect. With symphonic music as one of the crowning achievements of western civilization, the Kansas City Symphony is privileged to share its transformative efforts with people throughout the region and far beyond.

The Symphony will continue to offer an extensive array of concerts across the full spectrum of musical genres, a wide variety of education programs for all ages, and numerous opportunities for community members to engage with the orchestra. Within each strategy, we will strive for excellence in concept, design, and presentation such that the Symphony becomes the arts organization of choice in our community. It is only through experiencing the Symphony that our transformative mission can be accomplished. Through Classical Series programs featuring orchestral masterworks from the past two centuries as well as world premieres of newly-commissioned works to Pops and Special concerts highlighting talented artists of our time, the Symphony's programming is designed to appeal to people of all backgrounds, interests, and levels of experience with symphonic music. In addition, by exploring new presentation formats and pricing, we aim to maximize accessibility for the broadest possible audience. Our engaging Education programs are designed to help students meet state/federal competencies and to spark the imagination for a lifetime of learning and enjoyment. Overall, the Kansas City Symphony will continue to be the engine for the performing arts in Kansas City and the surrounding region.

With a 35-year history of success, the Kansas City Symphony is well-poised to carry out our challenging programs. From a dedicated 28-member board of directors comprised of community leaders to the 35-member professional staff, the Symphony has the leadership and administrative expertise to succeed. Of course, the artistic leadership provided by Music Director Michael Stern has transformed the orchestra into one of the leading ensembles in the United States. Each of the 80 full-time musicians is an artist, committed to performing at the highest possible level. The Symphony's 700 volunteers are devoted to the organization's success and raise more than $1 million each year to support the Symphony's programs. Nearly 5,000 donors believe in the Symphony's mission and capacity, making gifts that have a far-reaching impact. And more than 250,000 people attended or participated in Symphony programs in 2016-2017, affirming broad community interest and belief in the relevance of their experience. The Symphony is successfully concluding the Masterpiece Endowment Campaign, designed to raise $55 million in additional endowment funds to help secure the Symphony's financial ability to carry out its vision. ""It is a true pleasure to read about the health and harmony that reigns at the Kansas City Symphony. The Symphony is balancing its budget and just signed a three-year contract with its musicians. It cannot be easy to achieve balance in the orchestra world today. But clearly, it can be done."" Michael Kaiser former president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Through analysis of attendance and revenue benchmarks, we will ascertain level of progress toward numerical goals. Progress toward intangible goals may be inferred from behavioral markers such as social media utilization, continued ability to draw top artists and musicians, positive critical reviews, awards from various sources, and anecdotal accounts. In addition, we maintain close contact with community and business leaders throughout the region, seeking their perceptive analysis of Symphony programs. Constituent surveys also offer a significant level of feedback that indicates progress toward goals.

Our accomplishments include sold-out concerts of superb quality, a Grammy award, new recordings released to critical acclaim and others in post-production, a PBS special televised nationwide to a cumulative audience of 10 million people, renewing the musicians' contract - one year ahead of schedule, achieving small operating surpluses for the past several years, thriving education programs, sustaining a vibrant social media presence, and successfully completing the Masterpiece Endowment Campaign. Still to be accomplished: making the Kansas City Symphony the performing arts organization of choice throughout our community, every student in Greater Kansas City hearing the Symphony live at some point during their school years, and further diversifying concert options so that more people can experience the Symphony in Helzberg Hall.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

League of American Orchestras 1984


Kansas City Symphony

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable