kansas city art gallery
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art

Kansas City is an ideal destination for art enthusiasts.

From the Crossroads Art District, where every wall tells a story, to the internationally acclaimed Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, every neighborhood of Kansas City has its own creative narrative.

In this guide to Kansas City’s art scene, us locals share three different aspects of art in Kansas City: galleries, museums, and performing arts.

So, whether you’re an occasional gallery visitor, an avid collector, or someone who simply enjoys the performing arts, we’re sharing all the opportunities to immerse yourself in Kansas City’s art scene.

kansas city art galleries
Jones Gallery

1. Kansas City’s Art Galleries

We’re sharing nine of Kansas City’s most visited art galleries.

If you think you need to be a connoisseur to appreciate Kansas City’s art, we’re here to tell you that’s not the case.

Most of these galleries open to the public on Crossroads Arts District’s First Friday weekends, making themselves accessible to art appreciators at all levels.

Belger Arts Studio, Belger Crane Yard, & Belger Glass Annex

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm

Belger Arts has carved out a unique position within the Kansas City’s contemporary art scene.

The space has been showcasing a diverse range of 2D, 3D, and 4D artworks since its inception in 2000. With over 100 major exhibitions, it has become a platform for local, national, and international artists.

In 2021, Belger Arts expanded its reach by opening the Belger Glass Annex, the first public glassblowing studio of such scale and scope in Kansas City.

This cutting-edge facility, equipped with state-of-the-art tools and a furnace capable of holding 300 pounds of molten glass, is setting the stage to become a Midwest hub for glass art and education.

Gallery Bogart

Neighborhood: West Bottoms
Open to the Public: Saturday, 12p – 4p

Gallery Bogart focuses on bringing talented Latin American artists and their artwork to Kansas City.

Because Latin American artists are the least represented in museums and commercial galleries, they are committed to increasing exposure of these artists.

Gallery Bogart’s bright, modern exhibition space showcases emerging and established contemporary artists.

They have rotating exhibits open to the public and by appointment. For more information about current featured artists, visit their website.

Blue Gallery

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Thursday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm

Blue Gallery, a fixture of Kansas City’s art community for over 22 years, represents and showcases 40+ local and nationally known artists.

With a deep commitment to integrity, passion, and quality, Blue Gallery offers an inspired experience for art enthusiasts.

Recognized as one of the premier galleries in Kansas City, it has received numerous awards and accolades for its exceptional contributions to the art community.

Cerbera Gallery

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Monday – Wednesday, 1pm – 5pm; Thursday – Friday, 1pm – 6pm; Saturday 11am – 5pm

Cerbera Gallery for Contemporary Fine Art showcases a diverse range of art, including small to large-format innovative and abstract works by talented artists from Europe, North America, and Asia.

The small exhibition showcases a rotating collection of artwork by acclaimed and emerging artists, encompassing functional and sculptural ceramics, paintings, photography, mixed media, limited edition prints, lithographs, and jewelry.

kansas city art galleries
Cerbera Gallery

Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm

The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, founded in 1985 by Jim Leedy, aims to establish a vibrant and enduring art community in Kansas City.

It showcases rotating exhibits of exceptional artwork by local artists, including painters, sculptors, ceramicists, photographers, designers, printmakers, and craftsmen.

With a focus on supporting students and local talents, the center fosters the growth of Kansas City’s creative scene.

The space is rather large with several rooms, each dedicated to showcasing a different artist.

Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm

Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, established in 1985, is one of the oldest sustained contemporary art galleries in Kansas City and the Midwest.

They represent emerging, mid-career, and internationally established artists, showcasing their technically proficient and exciting works in various fine art mediums.

The gallery’s contributions extend beyond showcasing art, as it has placed over 150 works in museum collections and played a key role in the revitalization of the Crossroads Arts District.

Jones Art Gallery

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm

Located in a historic building, this bright, spacious gallery offers two floors of displayed artwork from both local and national artists in a variety of mediums.

kansas city art galleries
Jones Gallery

Mod Gallery

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Friday Fridays, 5pm – 10pm (times may vary by season)

MOD Gallery & Space is a must visit on First Fridays.

With its bold gallery space, hip urban vibe, and regular First Friday celebrations featuring local art, music, and cuisine, it’s ideal for those looking for an eclectic art vibe.

The Bunker Center for the Arts

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Open to the Public: Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 6pm

Located in the East Crossroads, the Bunker Center for the Arts is a gallery and active studio space combining museum style exhibitions with artists studios in a unique 10,000 sq. ft. building.

Leopold Art Gallery

Neighborhood: Brookside
Open to the Public: Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm; Saturday, 10am – 5pm

Leopold Gallery, founded in 1991 by Paul Dorrell, is a nationally-ranked art gallery.

They believe that art has the power to transform spaces and people.

With a mission to help build regional culture, they offer a wide range of art options to suit any budget.

Clients include renowned names like Warner Brothers, H&R Block, and the US Capitol Building. Their gallery occupies 3,200 square feet of display area – and Stella, the gallery dog.

kansas city art galleries first friday
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

2. Kansas City’s Art Museums

Be inspired by a visit to one of Kansas City’s incredible art museums.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Neighborhood: Midtown
Open to the Public: Monday, Saturday, Sunday; 10am – 5pm; Thursday – Friday, 10am – 9pm

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City was founded in 1933.

Over the years, the museum has grown and now houses over 35,000 works of art.

With an annual visitor count of 500,000, the Nelson-Atkins Museum continues to be a cultural hub for art enthusiasts.

kansas city art museums nelson atkins
Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

The collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art includes works from all corners of the globe, spanning over 5,000 years of human history.

Visitors can explore ancient Egyptian art, European paintings and sculptures, Asian art, photography, and contemporary pieces.

The museum also features temporary exhibitions that showcase various themes and artists.

exhibit at the nelson atkins art museum
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
egyptian exhibit at the nelson-atkins museum of art
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Neighborhood: Midtown
Open to the Public: Wednesday, Friday – Sunday; 10am – 4pm; Thursday, 10am – 9pm

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri is a leading presenter of modern and contemporary art.

Since 1994, it has connected Midwesterners with modern artists.

With nearly 1,500 artworks in its permanent collection, the museum showcases a rotating selection in its Gunnar Birkerts designed building, alongside special exhibitions.

It focuses on emerging and mid-career artists, as well as historically excluded groups.

Admission, parking, and public programs are always free.

H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute

Neighborhood: Midtown
Open to the Public: Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 5pm

H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute is a dynamic teaching museum dedicated to artists, art, and ideas.

Since 1999, it has been engaging, educating, and inspiring the next generations of artists, designers, and culture workers.

Through innovative exhibitions, public programs, and collaborations, the Artspace contributes to the artistic advancement of the city and fosters cultural understanding.

Its mission is to enhance and sustain a strong regional arts ecology by showcasing established and emerging artists, both locally and internationally.

3. Kansas City’s Performing Arts

Spend an evening catching a performance at one of Kansas City’s many performing arts venues.

They are all located around downtown, so you have several options for dinner if you want to make a date night out of it!

kauffman center for the performing arts kansas city
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Neighborhood: Westside

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is a beacon of artistic excellence.

Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the Kauffman Center has become an iconic symbol of the city’s cultural renaissance.

With its sweeping, rounded lines and glass façade, the building seems to dance gracefully with the city’s winds.

Opened to the public in 2011, the Center houses two unique performance venues – the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the Helzberg Hall.

Both are masterpieces in their own right, designed not just for visual impact but with acoustical excellence in mind.

The Center is home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet.

  • The Kansas City Symphony offers a diverse range of performances for all audiences. Their repertoire includes classical, pop, family, and special events. The Kansas City Symphony has rapidly ascended to rank among the top 25 orchestras in the United States.
  • The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is renowned for its innovative and compelling productions, the Lyric Opera’s repertoire spans a wide spectrum, from time-honored classics to contemporary works.
  • Kansas City Ballet is a professional ballet company with 30 members. They perform in fall, winter, and spring at the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts, showcasing over 400 works. Established in 1957, the company has a diverse repertoire of classical and contemporary ballets, including original works by renowned choreographers.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Neighborhood: Spencer Theatre is in Midtown, Copaken Stage is in Downtown Power & Light

Founded in 1964, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCRep) is a premier, professional theatre company creating theatre by and for Kansas Citians.

Known for its high-caliber performances, the Repertory Theatre offers a diverse program that includes both classic and contemporary plays.

The company is committed to promoting the development of new playwrights and frequently features new works in its season lineup.

City Stage Theatre at Union Station

Neighborhood: Downtown Union Station

Located in beautiful, historic Union Station, City Stage Theatre provides day and nighttime performances for young theatre lovers of all ages.

They showcase a variety of performances, from dramas and comedies to musicals.

Enjoy the talent of Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT) and Theatre for Young America (TYA) in this exceptional theater experience.

Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre at Warwick Theatre

Neighborhood: Midtown

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (MET) is a renowned nonprofit professional theatre company founded in 2005.

Today, MET proudly calls the historic Warwick Theater its home, a magnificent 1000-seat movie theater built in 1914.

MET’s mission focuses on accessibility, creativity, and community bonds. They achieve these goals through performances, readings, artistic training, and educational programs.

Storytelling is at the heart of their endeavors, recognizing stories as the shared heritage of humanity.

MET shines a light on the diversity and richness of our community, supporting emerging artists and fostering new narratives.

Crown Center’s Music Theatre Heritage

Neighborhood: Downtown Crown Center

Musical Theatre Heritage (MTH) is a dynamic professional musical theater organization celebrating and preserving the rich history of American musical theater and its impact on our culture.

Established in 1997 by George Harter, MTH started with the award-winning radio show “A Night on the Town.”

Today, MTH is a professional Equity Theater attracting 50,000 visitors annually.

With two stages, production facilities, studio space, and a welcoming lobby, MTH continues to thrive in musical theater.

Folly Theatre

Neighborhood: Downtown

The Folly Theater, the oldest historic theater in Kansas City, and once a burlesque house, holds a rich history.

In 1973, after seven decades, the Folly faced demolition. However, concerned citizens rallied to save it.

They purchased the building, securing its place on the National Register of Historic Places. With a million-dollar grant, history was preserved.

Since reopening in 1981, the Folly has become a world-class theater. Its exterior is a marvel, while the interior offers comfort and elegance.

As the “Grand Lady of 12th Street,” the historic Folly Theater continues to present quality events for the community.

From live theater to jazz series and national touring shows for children, there is always something for everyone.

Unicorn Theatre

Neighborhood: Midtown

Unicorn Theatre enriches the Kansas City community through the development and production of unique, provocative, thought-provoking plays.

Their focus on minority stories, encompassing race, religion, and gender identity, sheds light on important social issues.

Unicorn also provides opportunities for emerging and established actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians, and administrative staff to thrive.

Just Off Broadway Theatre

Neighborhood: Midtown

Just Off Broadway Theatre Association (JOBTA) is an organization dedicated to enriching the Kansas City arts community.

They provide flexible and adaptable space for art organizations, artists, and other community entities.

Just Off Broadway theatre, a historic building located in Penn Valley Park is home to many production companies.

Past performances have included theatrical productions, musicals, comedy shows, gospel plays, circus acts, and clown/mime shows.

That’s a Wrap!

Don’t miss our other guides that cover Kansas City’s art and culture scene!