What is the Center For Recorded Music?

Updated: Oct 9

In 2020 we founded the The Center For Recorded Music -- commonly known to us as “the Center.” We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity with our base in Kansas City.


Some of you may have gotten to know us through Listyn KC, a curated listening event that reintroduced the joy and fun of communal listening to Kansas City audiences. These events are just a part of what the Center offers.


Where is the Center for Recorded Music?

As of 2021, we are in the growth stage -- building a community resource that is anchored in celebrating the artistic, technical, and societal history of recorded music.


What is the next stage of our growth? Creating a state-of-the-art facility that will be a cultural center, museum, and living archive, with world-class music reproduction and a full range of musical exhibits, presentations, and educational programming for all ages. A major differentiator for the Center is that it will put listening to the music in the forefront, as opposed to many other facilities that focus on visual media and memorabilia.


Our board continues to search for for a suitable facility and ideal location for the Center. In the meantime we focus on growing awareness, support, and holding fundraising events and shows when and where we are able.


How we are Different

Across the nation, billions in public and private funds have been allocated to live music performance arenas and theaters. The Recording Academy (the Grammys) is well known to celebrate and advocate for musicians.


The Center for Recorded Music is the first organization to focus on the experience of listening to and sharing music from recorded media. Here's how:


1. Planned Programs

  • The Center will include exhibits, guided musical tours, and educational programs for K-12, post-secondary, casual learners, and music fans

  • Evening and weekend genre, themed, or artist-driven listening sessions and programs

  • Events presented by local, national, and international musicians, educators, scholars, and industry professionals

  • Live performances from musicians and bands including presentations and discussions before and after their shows

  • Record-release events where bands and musicians can play and explore new recordings

  • Unique performance opportunities comparing live musicians to their recordings

  • Outdoor music programming if the property supports this use

2. Primary Spaces

  • 150-200 person main venue “The Listyning Room” will feature some of the finest audio equipment in the world. The room will be outfitted with equipment to support listening sessions, live performances, live-streaming, film screenings, and recording

  • Other listening rooms allow for concurrent events and special group gatherings. Every listening space is designed for world-class playback of recorded music as well as live performances and the capability to livestream

  • Archive and library featuring some of the most important recordings of all time across a variety of media. It will be heavily weighted towards physical formats such as vinyl and reel-to-reel. This will serve as a base from which to draw recordings for our shows and events

  • Exhibit rooms, organized by time period, theme, and technology

  • Recording studio with vintage and current equipment for educational or needs-based use

  • Outdoor music events utilizing parking lot and adjacent spaces (space and zoning permitting)

3. Additional and Support Spaces

  • Conference rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment

  • Classrooms for educational and music therapy use

  • Rotating displays of memorabilia and historical ephemera drawn from our archives, on loan, or traveling exhibits

  • Gift shop carrying branded and music related merchandise, equipment, and recordings

  • Commercial kitchen and bar(s) will provide food and beverages, featuring local ingredients and brands

Ultimately, the Center for Recorded Music will be an asset, not only for the enjoyment of recorded music, but also for teaching the art of active listening and helping people gain a deeper understanding of our history as it relates to musicians and the important art they contribute to society.


Interested in contributing to the Center's growth? Donate now or buy some swag! Thanks!

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