TedxKC is happening at the Kauffman Center this weekend. Here’s who’s speaking

·2 min read
Dugan Arnett / The Kansas City Star

Do you have a favorite TED talk? Did you know that you can see speakers from the popular video and event series live in Kansas City very soon?

TEDxKC is happening Friday at 6 p.m. at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. Eleven different speakers will take the stage to share life stories, knowledge and expert advice. The event was not held last year because of COVID-19, so this will be the first one since 2020, with an all-new set of speakers.

This year’s theme is “Emerge. Breaking Through. Branching Out.” Each speaker embodies the theme in their respective fields, which is what brings them together.

While some of the speakers are from Kansas City, like musician Calvin Arsenia, they also come from all over the United States, like Arthur Brooks, who hails from Spokane, WA., and have backgrounds in a variety of topics. The event aims to include a diverse array of voices.

Speakers like forensic investigator Katie Randall and author Majora Carter have spoken at TED talks before, but for many of them this is their first time on the big stage.

After the speakers are finished, there will be an after-party on the Kauffman Center’s front lawn. Food, beverages, live music and more will await you as you chat with other viewers or speakers.

TED is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to spread ideas through short, impactful talks on all topics. Videos from TED conferences are shared and circulated online as TED Talks. TEDx events are local, self-organized events that try to bring people together to share the TED experience of spreading ideas. Kansas City has hosted TEDx events since 2015.


  • Calvin Arsenia: Local harpist, songwriter, singer, performance artist

  • Arthur Brooks: Harvard professor of happiness

  • Majora Carter: MacArthur Genius author and real estate developer

  • Karen Faith: Ethnographic researcher and empathy trainer

  • Bettymaya Foott: Photographer and environmental advocate

  • Jonathan Friedman: Free speech advocate and journalist

  • Lyla June: Indigenous habitats expert and musician

  • Alexandra Lockwood: James Webb Space Telescope scientist

  • Carolyn Buck Luce: Business coach and life planner

  • Katie Randall: Medical sleuth and forensic investigator

  • Taylor Sullivan: Arctic climate scientist


Tickets for seating inside Muriel Kauffman Theater are almost sold out. Prices range from $60.50 to $103.50, and options are limited.

There are more ticket options if you want to attend. Helzberg Hall inside the Kauffman Center will be open and tickets for these seats all $28.50. The difference between the two seating options is that Helzburg Hall is a watch party.

If you miss out, don’t worry. All the TEDxKC talks will be available on the TED website for free after the event.