800 W 47th Street, Suite 717, Kansas City, MO 64112 info@francisfoundation.org 816-531-0077

Grantee Highlights


In 2016, talented writer and speaker Vu Le (“voo lay”) came to Kansas City to speak to the nonprofit community about best practices. His appearance was sponsored by the Francis Family Foundation and hosted by Nonprofit Connect. If you missed his presentation - Kicking Some Sacred Cows to the Curb - the webinar is for sale at Nonprofit Connect. Vu Le is currently the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle with the mission of developing and supporting leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of communities-of-color-led nonprofits and foster collaboration between diverse communities to effect systemic change.



The Kansas City Symphony brings the trans formative power of great music to people throughout the region. The Symphony performs more than 150 times each season but perhaps the most important performances are those for young people in our community.

Because of generous support from the Francis Family Foundation, the Kansas City Symphony’s Youth Education and Community Engagement programs reach nearly 40,000 students, teachers, and community members each year, including students from more than 200 schools in 22 districts as well as many home-school students.



Musical Bridges is offered through the Conservatory of Music and Dance at UMKC. It is a pipeline of opportunity for underserved children with musical talent. The Foundation recently provided a one-time leadership and sustainability grant of $100,000, recognizing the outstanding effort of the Conservatory to provide one-on-one musical training and other experiences to promising young student musicians from the Kansas City urban core. Innovative programs like Musical Bridges create a "bridge" of opportunity often needed to succeed in the performing arts. http://conservatory.umkc.edu





The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has built a vibrant community outreach program thatengages students throughout the greater Kansas City area in the art of critical thinking. Using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) training as a teaching tool, the Museum has partnered with schools in the Shawnee Mission, Kansas City, Kan., and Raytown School Districts to introduce many programs from its School and Educator Services department that reach more than 60,000 students and 6,000 teachers. The VTS model is aligned with common core standards to help increase a student’s ability to observe, articulate verbally and in writing, and develop critical thinking skills that impact all areas of their lives.



The PBF Summer Fellowship Program provides valuable and unique medical research opportunities for Kansas City area undergraduate students pursuing careers in medicine and medical research. Since 2012, promising full-time graduate students are matched with faculty mentors at the University of Kansas Medical Center for 8-10 weeks of intensive research. Summer Fellows receive a weekly stipend and are mentored by Dr. Navneet Dhillon, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and a former PBF Fellow. In addition to their research and bio-weekly meetings with Dr. Dhillon, they participate in eight, one-hour training sessions with medical students on a variety of topics. At summer’s end, each student presents their research work at a special PBF Research Presentation Day. In 2015-2016, six Summer Fellows successfully completed the program.