The Folly 2020 Campaign

A Campaign to Secure the Future of the Folly Theater and Expand the Performing Arts

Our Mission: To preserve Kansas City’s oldest historic theater as a premier performance venue, we commit to maintain our building’s heritage, diversify our program and entertainment offerings, and be an enthusiastic participant in the continuing revitalization of downtown Kansas City.


A Campaign to Secure the Future of the Folly Theater and Expand the Performing Arts

Answering a Call to Action


About the performing arts in general, Oscar Wilde observed, “The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.” About the Folly Theater, in particular, Walter Cronkite declared, “There is no one building … so expressive of the Kansas City past,” calling the Folly “a wonderful monument to Kansas City’s colorful history” when it was “the embodiment of the frontier spirit and the entertainment capital of the plains.”

Both men were right. And their sentiments describe the vision that animates the Folly’s leadership every day: bringing the transformative power and personal renewal of performing arts to real people in meaningful and engaging ways – and doing so in the physical context of an invaluable historic building rich with its own personality and stories. This vision guides our resources and actions.

To those points, we have undertaken a self-assessment and scanned the environment for insights about the Folly’s vital role in Kansas City’s creative arts and culture ecology. We have listened to our resident performance companies and strategized about how to expand performing arts in Kansas City. At the same time, we continually address the ongoing demands of maintaining an irreplaceable 116-year-old iconic theater. To round out what we have learned, we are engaging in a series of conversations during the summer of 2016 with a variety of current and potential Folly supporters.

Thus far, our research demonstrates a powerful need to enhance our presence as Kansas City’s world-class, mid-sized performance venue. Conversations with community leaders confirm this need. In answer to a growing call for action, the Folly Theater introduces The Folly 2020, a multi-year, $3,650,000 campaign to meet the Folly’s urgent capital improvement needs and to develop a fund that will secure our financial future. Importantly, this campaign will celebrate and honor the life and contributions of C. Stephen Metzler in a manner consistent with his bold, visionary leadership of the Folly Theater and countless other organizations and causes in Kansas City.

The Folly 2020 Campaign is a comprehensive plan developed by the board and staff. To continue learning more, download the PDF with the button below, or click the next button to go to the next section.



Learn More about The Folly 2020

We need your help. Please join us in supporting The Folly 2020:  A Campaign to Secure the Future of the Folly Theater and Expand the Performing Arts! We welcome your feedback and questions, as well as your gifts. Please feel free to contact us as follows:

Brian Williams, Director of Development

[email protected]  or 816-842-5500, ext. 102