Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts (KATA) has 29 successful years of teaching performing arts and presentational skills to young people. Additionally, KATA mentors young adults into post high school education and into the world of work.

Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts is a faith inspired ecumenical organization that respects and serves young people from all faith traditions. We believe that every child is uniquely created by God with a treasure of potential. The arts have been proven to have a tangible and powerful effect on students reaching this potential in academics, self-efficacy and social demeanor. We believe that these life skills can empower students to become agents of change in their communities.

Our strength and uniqueness is innovative programs for youth from varied ethnic and economic backgrounds. We promise youth a safe place to work, play and achieve program objectives.

KATA Alumni have become professionals in different career fields: theatre, music, television,  the theraputic arts, medicine, education, business and technology. Our students have received scholarships to conservatories, trade schools, and colleges/universities as a result of their training at KATA.  Our training provides social and people skills that benefit young people as they grow into the world of work.

MOST importantly alumni have become creative and productive members of our community. They are moms and dads with creative children who NOW attend KATA. We love it!

Our Mission

To promote positive
citizenship through
involvement in the arts.

Our Vision

To generate in young people a sense of positive self image

To create an appreciation of multi-cultural arts

To help the current generation become a creative asset to their community

To launch youth into the world of work

To build moral character

KATA Partners

Our workshops, classes, events and training are sustained through tuition as well as monetary and in-kind contributions from local patrons, organizations, and foundations. Collaborating and working with other community organizations is a priority and privilege.  KATA is grateful to its supporters and partners.

Who We Serve

KATA serves children and young people age 5 and up for various year-round programs and our audiences have no age limits!  Summer programs serve ages 5-18. KATA is priveleged to work with some children who have developmental disabilities, which we determine on a case-by-case basis.  Our goal is to always make sure we are able to carry out our mission while giving each child the attention he or she deserves.

Pee Wee

(aka "Little KATA")
Ages 5-7

Princess Studio

Ages 8-11

Tank Studio

Ages 8-11


"Almost Ready for Broadway Acting Troupe" Ages 12+

Judith A. Jones

Founder & Executive Director

Mrs. Judi Jones, founder, director, and visionary of Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts and Educational Director of Launch Pad Studios, grew up on the streets of the south Bronx, NYC in the early ‘50’s.  Gang violence at this time was so prominent that juvenile delinquent I.D. cards were issued in different colors. This lead her mom to put this aggressive youngster in a youth theatre company that would take her off of the streets and put her in an off-Broadway show!

“Mama Jones” as the kids call her, is committed to using the arts and the youth in our communities as change agents to ensure safety, security, and positive personal growth. “I believe students learn best from a teacher that models learning and values the spirit of the learner.”

Mrs. Jones has a B.A. in English from City College of N.Y. and a B.A. in Theatre Education from University of Missouri K.C. Mrs. Jones has many years of experience in community action, directing, teaching, administration, and Theatre Education. She holds a teaching license in Missouri.    

Board of Directors

KATA’s Board of Directors is comprised of a diverse group of people with a wide range of talents and interests, who are passionate about building the next generation of young leaders and ensuring the arts remain available to the young people of Kansas City, Kansas and beyond.

Matt Bustamante, President

Trace Warren
Kansas City Connect

Kathryn K. Sargent
Retired School Social Worker

Lacey Law
Parents As Teachers

Kimberly Hines
Boys Hope Girls Hope 

Kimberly Gatchell

Judith Jones, Founder and Executive Director
Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts

Our Team

Kata builds, trains and hires our alumni and other young leaders for summer programs.

Contact Us to learn more.