PLATINUM2023

Union Station Kansas City, Inc.

Where Kansas City Celebrates

Kansas City, MO   |  www.unionstation.org

Mission

Union Station Kansas City is dedicated to preserving its historic monument and its stories, inspiring lifelong learning , and creating lasting memories for our community.

Ruling year info

2000

President & CEO

Mr. George M. Guastello II

Main address

30 West Pershing Road Suite 400

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Union Station Assistance Corporation

EIN

43-1890025

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Science & Technology Museum (A57)

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Union Station Kansas City is dedicated to preserving its historic monument and its stories, inspiring lifelong learning, and creating lasting memories for our community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Science City/STEM Education Programming

Science City is a dynamic, hands-on science center featuring 250+ individual interactive exhibits and daily programming. Recognized as one of the Top 25 Science Centers in the country by PARENTS Magazine, Science City annually educates and entertains hundreds of thousands of guests. Prior to 2020 (and the COVID pandemic), Science City boasted a growth trend of eight consecutive years and is on track to surpass those numbers. Science City’s Early Childhood Learning spaces opened to the public in 2020. In addition to daily activities offered in Science City, special programming is offered throughout the year including Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair, Science City on the Road Shows and curriculum guides, and Professional Development for Teachers.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Families

Union Station Kansas City is the area’s most prominent destination for cultural and entertainment activities. Key to this designation is the changing exhibitions offered in Union Station’s galleries and public spaces. These offer visitors the opportunity to be educated and entertained about a wide variety of topics. The Bank of America Gallery is home to Union Station's large, traveling exhibits. World-class traveling exhibitions fill this 20,000-square-foot space. Union Station has earned an envied reputation across the Midwest as a proven host to world-class touring exhibitions and is now sought out by the most respected tours in the world. The Station regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions such as Titanic, The Discovery of King Tut, Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life, POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION, Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away., MAYA: The Great Jaguar Rises, and most recently, Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Families

Relive 100 years of fascinating Union Station history and learn 100 years of history in a rich, culturally diverse experience as you explore Union Station Stories. The 5,000-square-foot permanent exhibit exquisitely captures the Station's rich and diverse cultural history through significant stories and beautiful artifacts. Additions to the Union Station Stories permanent exhibit include the Shoe Shiners Exhibit, featuring stories and artifacts from the shoeshine trade at the Station; the Haverty Railroad Gallery Exhibit featuring the rich history of the twelve (12) railroads that founded Union Station Kansas City; and RPO: The Romance of Rail and Mail exhibit featuring the tools of the daily trade used by RPO workers, including an original electric cart (dating from 1918) used to transport mail to and from rail cars at Union Station.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Families

What does 8,000 square feet of toy trains look like? Come and see Union Station Kansas City's Model Train Gallery and find out! From tiny N-scale model trains to the big G-scale giants of the model train world, sample the hobby and enjoy the fun of model railroading. The Model Train Gallery is a FREE family favorite at the Station and requires more than $50,000 annually to maintain and operate. At Union Station’s Model Train Gallery—visited by tens of thousands of guests annually—enthusiastic USKC volunteers delight in visiting with guests and sharing ideas and know-how.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Families

The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium combines interactive astronomy education with spectacular public shows and night sky viewing opportunities. The Planetarium’s 60-foot dome and state-of-the-art projection system make it one of the largest and highest-resolution planetariums in the Midwest.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Awards

Hot Spot 2023 2023

Romantic Spot Kansas City

Best Christmas Attraction 2023

Best of KC (KC Magazine)

Best Family Fun Center 2023

Best of KC (KC Magazine)

Best Local Landmark 2023

Best of KC (KC Magazine)

Best Local Landmark 2022

Best of KC (KC Magazine)

Best Family Fun Center 2022

Best of KC (KC Magazine)

Favorite Historical Attraction 2019

Visit KC

Favorite Landmark or Monument 2019

Visit KC

Travel Stop 2019

Missouri Life

Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction 2018

Visitors Choice Awards

Favorite Landmark 2018

Visitors Choice Awards

Favorite Historical Attraction 2018

Visitors Choice Awards

Best in Kansas City 2018

Visitors Choice Awards

Best Place to Take Your Kid on a Rainy Day 2018

435 Magazine

Favorite Indoor Destination 2017

KC Parent Magazine

Best Kept Secret 2017

KC Parent Magazine

Sustainability Award 2017

Kansas City Industrial Council

Top Banquet Facilities 2016

Kansas City Business Journal

Affiliations & memberships

Smithsonian Museum - Affiliate 2003

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Science City/STEM Education Programming

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To develop and nurture successful and financially sustainable museums and attractions within Union Station Kansas City and to ensure those facilities serve as the destination of choice for local residents and visitors.

To collect, preserve, and interpret materials and artifacts that represent the broad scope of history within the diverse Kansas City metropolitan area, and to safeguard those collections for future generations.

To embrace our role as stewards of Union Station, and to invite visitors and assist them in understanding the importance of historic preservation in contemporary society.

To educate people of all ages in the area of Kansas City regional history and in the exploration of science, and to assist in experiencing old and new technologies affecting our lives and inspiring others to become innovators in developing technologies for the future.

To attract quality and diverse traveling exhibits for visitors of all ages.

To ensure that Union Station Kansas City and our representatives always provide outstanding customer service in museum, entertainment, commercial, dining, and retail services.

In 1914, Union Station Kansas City opened its doors as the third-largest operating train station in the United States. Today, the same as when it opened, Union Station is a working train station capable of accommodating hundreds of thousands of passengers each year. But to tell the story of Union Station predominantly as a train station ignores the majesty, history, and grandeur that is this iconic landmark. Union Station Kansas City is the site of generations of farewells and reunions; a place where memories are both told and made. After over 100 years, Union Station Kansas City stands not as a monument to the past but as the heart of Kansas City. It is the city’s signature historic landmark, a thriving civic center, and a first-class Science Center, Science City Powered by Burns & McDonnell; it is the place where people of all ages, nationalities, religions, and races gather to learn, connect, discover, and celebrate. The story of Union Station is the story of Kansas City and is marked by the determination, diversity, entrepreneurship, and leadership that make Kansas City a one-of-a-kind place.

In addition to developing a sustainable funding model, Union Station Kansas City has articulated three strategic goals that guide its work, inform decision-making, and provide the framework for how staff and leadership will make resource allocation and other key decisions.

Preservation: Union Station Kansas City—occupying a massive 17-acre campus—is a nationally significant, iconic, architectural masterpiece. As a piece of living history, Union Station must be meticulously maintained and preserved so that its culturally rich relevance can be shared and celebrated both now and for generations to come.

Celebration: For over 100 years Union Station has been a place to make memories that will last a lifetime. Twenty years after its renovation, Union Station has been restored to its full glory and reclaimed its rightful place as an anchor and gathering place that unites the community. Union Station strives to be the heart of diverse civic life and a destination for countless, year-round community, professional, and family celebrations.

Lifelong Learning: Through the procurement of educational, historical, and entertaining permanent exhibits, spaces for traveling exhibits produced by renowned world-class exhibition organizations, the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, and the international award-winning Science City, Union Station has established itself as a premier interactive learning experience for people of all ages.

Union Station is committed to programming that inspires a lifelong love of learning and will continue to invest in educational and historically relevant exhibits and programming and lead with a STEM-focused curriculum, further cementing Science City as the destination for fun, informal learning to serve early learners, students, educators, and families in Greater Kansas City and beyond. Science City will continue to establish engaging, experiential STEM programs inside and outside of Union Station. All Science City assets are tied to key educational learning outcomes.

One tactic for enhancing Union Station Kansas City’s Lifelong Learning goal is a focus on accessible programming. With this Union Station and Science City will explore the funding and creation of programming and exhibits for people with physical and mental limitations.

The final strategic goal of the plan is to move Union Station Kansas City to the next phase of organizational development and financial success: Sustainable Vitality. Under the current Executive and Board Leadership, Union Station has turned around previously failed financial models, and achieved renewal and growth to ensure Union Station is operating in the black and able to forecast and plan for future financial challenges. It has leveraged a wide array of earned income strategies and maximized income from facilities and partnerships while proving that the community will provide philanthropic support to the Station as evidenced in special gift campaigns like the Western Expansion, Early Childhood Education, and the Now & Forever Endowment Campaign.

To continue its success and achieve sustainable vitality, Union Station will amplify its current successful earned income model, substantially build on a burgeoning philanthropic revenue model, and explore potential future government funding opportunities. These three financial models, when operated in concert, will diversify and scale revenue sources to build a long-term reserve fund, address future capital replacement and maintenance needs, and insulate Union Station against challenges in future financial environments.

Key achievements from the past year include:

• Attendance numbers for Science City exceeded 309,000 guests in 2022, making it the second-highest attended year since its opening in 1999, and we are currently on target to have 2023 as our highest attendance year ever.
• Over 56,000 guests attended shows at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, representing 48% growth over 2021.
• The Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre welcomed 55,000 guests, representing a 131% increase from 2021.
• We completed important capital projects to maintain our historic building, including touching up our historic ceilings, window restoration, and modernization and energy conservation of the LINK.
• We closed our record-breaking Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. traveling exhibit. It was the highest-attended exhibit in Station history, welcoming over 318,000 people of which over 90,000 came January-March 2022.
• Following Auschwitz, we welcomed Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises, which showcased artifacts that had never left Guatemala. Along the way, we made important partnerships with our Hispanic community.
• In 2022, Union Station was able to provide 7,714 students with free educational opportunities across our attractions thanks to the generosity of Jackson County Outside Agency Funding.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Union Station Kansas City, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/03/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Ray Kowalik

Burns & McDonnell

Bucky Brooks

Copaken Brooks

Jon Cook

VMLY&R

Peggy Dunn

Mayor of Leawood, KS

Michael Haverty

Kansas City Southern

Ramón Murguía

Murguía Law Offices

Robert Regnier

Bank of Blue Valley

Thomas Sack

MRIGlobal

Quinton Lucas

Mayor of Kansas City, MO

Charles Sosland

Sosland Companies

Dr. Mauli Agrawal

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Metropolitan Community College

Michael Brown

Euronet Worldwide, Inc.

Erin Stucky

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City

Thomas Sack, Ph.D.

MRIGlobal

Angie Long

Palmer Square Capital Management, LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/2/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data