Since 2007, the Conservatory Bridges program (formally Musical Bridges) at the UMKC Conservatory has helped students from underrepresented populations in the Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas public school systems explore their interest in the performing arts.
Conservatory Bridges assists students in achieving academic success in secondary education and prepares them for a collegiate performing arts program. Participants receive one-on-one instrumental and performance instruction from UMKC faculty to prepare them for selective university program auditions.
“Our students work extremely hard, so it is incredibly rewarding to see them grow into capable talented artists who are being accepted into performing arts programs all over the country,” said Elizabeth Valle, director of the UMKC Conservatory Academy.
Recently, the Conservatory Bridges program connected with two Kansas City nonprofits; Band of Angels, a charity that provides at-risk students with free musical instruments, and KC Scholars, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to Kansas City students. This connection created the possibility for students to receive an instrument to play while in Conservatory Bridges coupled with scholarships that helped reduce the cost of postsecondary education.