Kansas City Symphony Alliance Begins the 2017 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse Event

The Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA) had the first event at the 2017 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse on January 22, the Public Preview. Members of the pubshowhouse-public-preview-1lic were allowed to tour the house in its “before” condition, prior to the time the house is turned over to our talented designers for a makeover.

Shown at left are Kami Toben and Kate Hodel, two of the important volunteers for the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse this year.

Please make plans to join us for Showhouse events later this spring. The Symphony Designers’ Showhouse itself opens on April 22 and closes on May 14.



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Join Us for the KCSA Membership Meeting on February 21

The KCSA Winter Membership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 21 at Prairie Baptist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, at the intersection of 75th Street and Roe Avenue.

The meeting will be held in the community room of the church (enter through the back of the church, at the north door) at 6:00 p.m.  KCSA Board members will supply the food, but contributions of non-alcoholic beverages are appreciated (alcoholic beverages are not permitted).

This will be your opportunity to learn the latest about the 2017 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse project as well as our wonderful ongoing Symphony Shop. 


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2017 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse Kicks off with Candlelight Preview Party

Members of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance celebrated the first party at the 2017 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse on January 12 with the Candlelight Preview party.  B.J. Batson was the chair of the party, whose theme was “Death on the Nile” from the Agathie Christie mystery.  Shown in the photos below are former President Sylvia Brush and Barbara Holzmark, chair B.J. Batson and KCSA Vice President for Public Relations Kate Hodel.

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candlelight-g candlelight-hAt right are Kate Hodel and “Cleopatra,” otherwise known as Linda Hartman. At left is KCSA President and Symphony Designers’ Showhouse chair Patty Bibler. Below at right at Sharon Reimal and Helen Miller.

Be sure to join us for other exciting Symphony Designers’ Showhouse events later this spring!

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Two KCSA Projects Win Gold Book Roundtable Awards from the League of American Orchestras

The League of American Orchestras has selected both the 47th Symphony Designers’ Showhouse project and also the Rising Symphony Stars project for its Gold Book Roundtable Awards.  The volunteer projects which win these awards are presented at a roundtable discussion and organizers of the projects discuss their programs at the national conference of the League of American Orchestras.

This year’s conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan in June 2017.

These awards are presented each year by the League of American Orchestras.  This year, eleven outstanding volunteer projects from around the country were selected, and two of them were KCSA projects.

According to KCSA President Patty Bibler, in submitting the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse for the award, KCSA focused on the educational aspect of the Showhouse project, geared toward design students at the high school and college levels.  The Showhouse exposes these students to the professional work of design through “before” and “after” school tours.  KCSA also emphasized the participation of these students in the Showhouse project by their submission of a bid board and designing a room in the Showhouse as a college project.

The Rising Symphony Stars dinner was held in 2014 and 2015, and featured performances by young people who were finalists in the Symphony’s Young Artist Competition.  The event was suspended in 2016, but still won an award and will be discussed at the League of American Orchestras conference.

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Kansas City Symphony Alliance Members Celebrate at Holiday Luncheon

Members of KCSA celebrated the holidays and the success of their ongoing projects at the KCSA Holiday Luncheon held at Piropos Restaurant on December 3, 2016.  Here are just a few of the photos from the event.

Shown (clockwise) are Mary Friend and Linda Hartman, past president Sylvia Brush and Sharon Reimal, Jack Rosenfeld and Zack Hangauer, and Jim Holzmark with treasurer Peggy Jacobson.

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Kansas City Symphony Alliance Board Sets 2016-17 Goals

On June 24th & 25th, 2016 your Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA) Board of Directors met to develop plans and goals for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  The planning sessions were facilitated by Kirk Hardcastle.  During and following these days the Membership Committee, Symphony Shop, Symphony Designers’ Showhouse Committee, and the Board of Directors developed the following written goals.

1.     Continuing positive and supportive relations between KCSA and KCS

  • Both share information
  • Have documented and repeatable expectations
  • Continue a positive culture of understanding

2.      Encouraging innovation and embracing change within KCSA

  • Commonality of purpose among all members
  • Clear, effective communication with members
  • Willingness to contribute from all members

3.      Increasing and developing Member Engagement and Attitude

4.      Recruitment and Orientation -GOAL FOR 2016-2017: Increase membership of KCSA by 5% from total membership count as of 6.30.2016.

  • Recruit Business Associates and Staff from Past/Present relationships of Showhouse Events.
  • Appropriate matching of volunteer interests and skill sets with their task assignments.
  • Training and orientate of all new KCSA members in regard to KCSA purpose, history, and symphony procedures.
  • Create a presentation and promote the KCSA Speakers’ Bureau to college and High School music department, music companies, junior league, and other civic organization via phone and/or targeted emails to those in charge.
  • Increased KCSA visibility and communication to potential volunteers.
  • East access for interested volunteers to join KCSA.
  • Expand our family campaign to encourage friends and family members to join KCSA.

5.      Retention and Renewal – GOAL FOR 2016-2017: Reduce membership attrition from KCSA to </= 5% from total membership count as of 6.30.2016.

  • Quarterly appreciation via verbal/written communication to KCSA members.
  • Reward and recognition for significant volunteer contributions.
  • Appropriate matching of volunteer interests and skill sets with
  • Training and orientation of all current KCSA members in regard to KCSA purpose, history, and symphony procedures.
  • Measurement of the dollar value that volunteers provide to their organization.
  • Increased KCSA visibility and communication to volunteers.
  • Quarterly feedback survey to volunteers.

6.     Getting to Showhouse 50

  • Active and Engaged Leadership
  • $100,000 donation to KCS
  • Operation efficiency
  • 10 new members through Showhouse
  • Increase profit by 10 percent.
  • Update Shop Guidelines Booklet before Sept. 8, 2016.
  • Each new member will staff the Shop once during the season and one-third of the membership will staff the Shop once during the season.
  • Inventory will be completed by June 30, 2017.
  • Continue past practice of Shop VP, assistant, and KCSA treasurer meeting twice with Symphony Staff.
  • Increase visibility of Symphony Shop.

The Board of Directors and committees are enthusiastically and positively working together through challenges and rewarding accomplishments using these goals for direction.   Already, the Showhouse website has been redesigned and will feature new and updated information as we proceed this year.  The KCSA website is next in the redesigning phase and the Shop is booming with record sales!  Bid days have been held and selection of designers for our 48th Symphony Designers” Showhouse will occur in early January.  More will be happening in the coming months.

I am so grateful for all the KCSA members who are embracing changes and encouraging innovation within our organization so we can sustain ourselves and purpose with the future generations.  Your participation and volunteerism are what maintain us and our projects.  I hope you all have an enjoyable Turkey day with family and/or friends.

I am thankful for you.


Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.

~Sherry Anderson 


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The KCSA Massive Wine Raffle for 2017 will include….beer!

The last several years, KCSA has sponsored its Massive Wine Raffle at the Designers’ Showhouse. The raffle has proved very popular with those attending the Designers’ Showhouse. This year, KCSA is adding something new: a craft beer raffle as well!

If you have any bottles of wine or craft beer to donate to the Massive Wine (and Beer) Raffle this year, please contact our raffle chair, Mike Minor, at (913) 558-6453 or by e-mail at cmikeminor@gmail.com. Thank you!


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Here is the new KCSA “elevator pitch.” Let’s all start using it!

At the KCSA Membership Meeting in September, Kate Hodel, the Vice President of Public Relations, announced the winning entry in the KCSA Elevator Pitch contest. You might remember that this contest was to develop an elevator pitch for KCSA, i.e. something you can say in a short elevator ride to explain and promote your business, your project or yourself.
Here is the winning entry, as submitted by KCSA member Carol Rothwell:
KCSA is a group of enthusiastic volunteers who support the Kansas City Symphony through many activities, including the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse.
Thank you, Carol!  Now, everybody… memorize this pitch and prepare to deliver it the next time you get on an elevator, or in another situation where you can give a short, punchy description of this organization in which you all are involved!
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A Message From the 2016-17 KCSA President

Why join the Kansas City Symphony Alliance?  Do we want the honor and privilege of serving the organization as a volunteer and do we want to provide financial support to the Kansas City Symphony which offers excellent concerts and educational programs for our community? Surely it is not just for the benefits listed in the Bylaws.  Is it because we want longtime membership to be listed on our resume? Is it for the social activities? We hope you belong because of the first reason – to support the symphony.

Patty Tibler

KCSA President Patty Bibler

Our mission statement states why the organization exists:  “The Kansas City Symphony Alliance is a nonprofit volunteer organization which promotes an interest in symphonic music throughout the greater Kansas City area, and in particular the welfare of the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony’s programming, young peoples’ concerts and youth activities, through volunteerism, educational projects, social activities and fund-raising projects.”

Therefore, when becoming a member we are agreeing to the following commitments; paying membership dues, serving a minimum of 20 volunteer hours, selling and/or purchasing a minimum of FIVE Designers’ Showhouse tickets (currently totaling $75).  These expectations are needed to present the level of fund-raising support anticipated.  This is a contract with KCSA to support financially as well as serving.  Substituting more of one without doing the other is not enough, unless one donates an additional $30 to opt out of volunteering.  However, FIVE tickets to the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse are always needed and expected to be sold or purchased.

Volunteer hours can easily be achieved by working at the Symphony Shop in Brandmeyer Hall at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, at Celebration at the Station, and at the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse.  There are levels of membership offered for individuals and couples.  Also, other members are willing to help with the selling of members’ Symphony Designers’ Showhouse tickets if asked.

By fulfilling membership expectations, we reap the additional benefits of developing friendships, attending social activities, and enjoying musical concerts and programs.  This commitment certifies we are a part of contributing to a highly notable and recognized venue of the cultural arts in Kansas City.  Therefore, all of KCSA’s activities are undertaken with the purpose of furthering our mission and the welfare of the Kansas City Symphony.

It is my desire, as the 2016-2017 President, to encourage new and current KCSA members to review their membership responsibilities and privileges.  Consider refreshing your membership focus and cultivate a renewed eagerness to be a more involved and supportive part of our auxiliary.  Please rise to the occasion.

Thank you for honoring me to lead KCSA and our Board of Directors as we move forward and revitalize our purpose and goals.  Please join and participate with us in our rewarding projects and events.  KCSA needs your vital support and active membership.

Here is to another memorable year in KCSA!


Patricia (Patty) Bibler

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2016 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse Was a Great Success!

Over 6,500 visitors came to the 2016 Kansas City Symphony Designers’ Showhouse in April and May. Visitors to the Showhouse paid over $40,000 for admission tickets and spent nearly $30,000 (net profit) in the Showhouse Boutique.  The Massive Wine Raffle in the Showhouse attracted over $5,000 in ticket purchases.  Overall, the Showhouse income for the year was close to $73,000.

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Honorary co-chairs Vincent and Julie Clark and Dr. Valerie Chow and Jon Gray snipped the ribbon to open the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse on April 22, along with Symphony board chair Bill Lyon.

The Kansas City Symphony Alliance thanks our sensational interior designers, and all of the many members, friends, Boutique vendors, and volunteer groups who helped make this year’s Showhouse such a success.

The Showhouse represents a great opportunity for us to reach out to members of the community and to support the education programs of the Kansas City Symphony which benefit young people throughout our community.

The Symphony Designers’ Showhouse was located at 444 Westover Road, Kansas City, Missouri. Our kind owners are once again in possession of the Showhouse, and hope to sell the house soon, perhaps to one of the many people who visited the house during our event.


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