Welcome Back Jennifer Wampler

Kansas City Ballet Chief Development Officer Jennifer Wampler
Kansas City Ballet Chief Development Officer Jennifer Wampler

Kansas City Ballet is happy to welcome back veteran staffer Jennifer Wampler to the role of Chief Development Officer.

A Long History with Kansas City Ballet and KC Arts

Jennifer Wampler’s longtime relationship with KCB started in 1990 as she worked on her MBA from UMKC. She did an internship with the Ballet in the marketing and development departments. Then as an employee from 1992 to 1995, Ms. Wampler served as the Ballet’s manager of audience development. She spent most of the next 9 years working at UMKC’s School of Pharmacy before coming back to the Ballet in 2005 as the Development Director.

In 2012 after leading a highly successful capital campaign for the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, helping drive kick off events like the first KC Dance Day in 2011 to establish the Bolender Center as a community asset, she again parted ways for another exciting project.

She led the capital campaign for UMKC’s Downtown Campus for the Conservatory project which is planned to locate just south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

“It was a pie in the sky project with lots of fits and starts, which was similar to Kansas City Ballet’s capital campaign. But I took my experience from here, and knew there would be similar players in the process. I knew the ups and downs were normal but that we must stay the course. And, in the end, the campaign was successful,” Ms. Wampler says.

“With both high profile projects I got to meet some amazing people who make great things happen in our community. I’m so grateful for these experiences.”

Rendering of UMKC Conservatory of Dance Downtown Campus
Rendering of UMKC Conservatory of Dance Downtown Campus

What keeps her coming back to KCB?

The truth is she’s never truly left. Ms. Wampler has remained actively engaged with the Ballet through her involvement in the Guild, as a member of the Patrons Society, and as an Academy parent. She has a personal love of dance. She started dance lessons at the age of 3 and continued dancing thru grad school before becoming a founding member of Aha! Dance Theatre here in KC.

“Dance is a true passion of mine. These dancers are so phenomenal! I know the people and love the Company and the way it has grown and developed,” Ms. Wampler says. “I am grateful the way the city has embraced the Ballet. Arts growth in this city is amazing! It’s a part of who I am and who my family is with our involvement in this wonderful company.”

What are major goals going forward?

  • Continuing to raise funds for ongoing support of the company
  • Looking to future needs
  • Engaging donors in meaningful ways long-term.

Ms. Wampler knows that the growth of this organization is set to continue and that means her job is bigger and more important than ever.

No matter what lies ahead, she says, “I’m happy to be back!”

Welcome Devon Carney – New Artistic Director Designate

Last week we announced the selection of our new Artistic Director designate, Devon Carney. We are very excited to welcome him to Kansas City, and are looking forward to the future of Kansas City Ballet under his artistic direction.

DevonCollage

Devon comes to us from Cincinnati Ballet, where he has spent roughly a decade of his career. In 2003, he was appointed chief ballet master, and was named associate artistic director in 2008.

Prior to Cincinnati, Devon was a company dancer with Boston Ballet. Joining their second company in 1978, he became a principal dancer with the main company eight years later.

Devon will see a few familiar faces when arrives at KCB, as two former dancers of Cincinnati Ballet are current dancers with us here at KCB – Jill Marlow and Anthony Krutzkamp.

AnthonyJill

As quoted in KCUR’s article, “Devon (Carney) is a really passionate person, so his personality really demonstrates that,” says Kansas City Ballet company member Jill Marlow, who danced with Cincinnati Ballet for eight years. “He’s extremely passionate about dance as an art form.”

Devon brings a wealth of knowledge to Kansas City Ballet, and we are all looking forward to his arrival in July.

He has already received a warm welcome from many of our patrons who have reached out to us via email and social media. There were also many great articles written about Devon’s selection. If you were like to learn more about him, you can find links to the articles below.

Kansas City Star | KC Metropolis | KCUR Cincinnati.com 

We hope you will join us beginning this fall for the 2013-14 Season for Devon’s first year as Artistic Director of Kansas City Ballet!

Production Manager: Amy Taylor

Q: Why did you decide to work at Kansas City Ballet?
A: While I was a graduate student at UMKC, I was offered the chance to come and assist the lighting designer. Joe Appelt, who was head of the program at UMKC, and also a former lighting designer for KCB, knew that my primary interest was in dance. I felt I would be a good fit.

Q: Do you have a previous background in dance or theatre? If so, tell me a little bit about that.
A: Dance has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being something of a show off, my parents enrolled me in ballet and tap classes early; I was four. I continued dancing all the way through college.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to have a role in theatre production?
A: No, my practical side told me to head into business, accounting to be specific; theatre was just a fun sideline. There came a point where I had to make a choice and I decided that I really belonged in the theatre world. As part of my classes I had to take a lighting class and I loved it. My instructors encouraged me to pursue the field further, and I was accepted to the graduate program at UMKC.

Q: What is your main role as Production Manager?
A: My primary role is to oversee the technical aspects for each performance.

Q: What is the most challenging Ballet you have worked on and why?
A: This is a definite tie. One is when “The Nutcracker” was redesigned. There were some challenges with the design that took a lot of time and patience to solve and meet with Todd Bolender’s approval.

The second is “Tom Sawyer.” So much time and thought had been put into all aspects of this production that by the time we reached technical rehearsals in the beautiful new Kauffman Center, there were a couple days that I really just wanted to hide. During technical rehearsals, it is stressful to balance the desires of the entire team while tackling the unavoidable changes that happen once the production hits the stage for the first time. It was tremendously satisfying to know that Bill Whitener and all the designers were pleased and proud of what had been accomplished when the curtain went up opening night.

Q: What has been one of your most memorable moments at the Ballet over the past 20 years?
A: We were invited to perform at Ballet Across America in June of 2008. I had the opportunity to light Todd Bolender’s “The Still Point.” It was thrilling to be part of the festival, and it was a highlight of my design career.

Q: Working for a company for 20 years is quite an accomplishment. What has been your motivation behind your decision to stay with Kansas City Ballet for this long?
A: Ultimately, I love this art form. Being able to contribute my technical skills to bring what the artistic staff and dancers create in the studio to the stage is what keeps me motivated.