Owen/Cox Dance Group
4220 Mercier
Kansas City MO 64111-1916
OCDG Dancers
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 2256209
Mission Statement

The Owen/Cox Dance Group's mission is to create new music and dance collaborations, to present high-quality contemporary dance performances with live music, and to engage as wide an audience as possible through affordable live performance, education and outreach programs.

CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jennifer Owen
Board Chair Ms. Carlanda McKinney
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cerner Corp.
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2007
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Checks can be made out to Owen/Cox Dance Group and mailed to:
Owen/Cox Dance Group
4220 Mercier
Kansas City, MO 64111
  • Credit card donations may be made on our website at www.owencoxdance.org 
  • In-kind donations in the form of office space, marketing and accounting services, and office supplies are greatly appreciated.
  • Volunteers are needed to assist in the lobby at performances.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement

The Owen/Cox Dance Group's mission is to create new music and dance collaborations, to present high-quality contemporary dance performances with live music, and to engage as wide an audience as possible through affordable live performance, education and outreach programs.

Background Statement

The Owen/Cox Dance Group, an ensemble of dancers and musicians dedicated to creating and performing collaborative new works, was founded in 2006 by dancer/choreographer Jennifer Owen and composer Brad Cox. Owen danced professionally with the Moscow Renaissance Ballet, Russian State Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, BalletMet, and Kansas City Ballet. Cox, recipient of the 2010 Charlotte Street Foundation Generative Performing Artist Award and 2009 Tanne Foundation Award, has composed for such artists as Sony Classical recording artist Nathan Granner and Grammy Award-winning producer Russ Elevado. Since its debut performance in 2007, the company’s accomplishments include: 

  • Two world premieres commissioned by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Creative partnerships with Urban Culture Project, The People’s Liberation Big Band, YWCA of Greater Kansas City, Bach Aria Soloists, Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City, and Paseo Academy
  • Collaborations with artists Peregrine Honig, Peggy Noland, Mark Southerland, and NEA Fellow Nate Fors
  • Participation in annual events “Spring to Dance Festival," "Modern Night at the Folly," “Dance in the Park,” "New Dance Partners," and "Festival on the Vine"
  • Quality free educational programs in conjunction with performances, and "Take the Stage," an educational initiative bringing dance and music to students in Kansas City schools
  • 501(c)3 recognition from the IRS, October, 2007
  • Over 100 performances, 50 new works including 7 full-length productions, presented to over 50,000 people
  • Press from major media sources in the Kansas City area
  • Serving as fiscal sponsor for "Kansas City Dance Festival"
  • Recipient of a Public Diplomacy Grant to perform "The Goldberg Variations" in Ukraine
  • Inclusion in Missouri Touring Performers directory
  • Meeting or exceeding fundraising goals
  • Recipient of Pitch Weekly 2012 Artopia Award
  • Selected as a 2014-2015 participant in PerformARTS
  • Selected as the 2016 Resident Company for the Great Friends Dance Festival in Rhode Island
Impact Statement

Accomplishments from OCDG’s 2018-2019 season:

  • Owen/Cox Dance Group’s 2018-19 season was its most successful to date through its creative partnerships, performances and educational programs.
  • OCDG was thrilled to present its 12th season featuring four performances.
  • In September 2018, the ensemble performed in “New Dance Partners” in collaboration with JCCC, KCBallet, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, and Störling Dance Theater. The performance included 4 world premieres by renowned choreographers
  • In October 2018, the ensemble premiered “Morena” with soprano Victoria Botero at JCCC’s Polsky Theatre. In addition to the two public performances, OCDG presented a performance and master class for students at Paseo Academy.
  • In February 2019, the group collaborated with composer Brad Cox, in presenting “What Keeps Mankind Alilve” at MTH Theater in Crown Center. The performance featured Paris-based singer/songwriter Krystle Warren.
  • In May 2019, OCDG performed “Partita No. 3” at the Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis, MO.
  • In June 2019, OCDG performed “Strung Through Time”, a program of contemporary dance works to music by Bach, Shostakovich, and Ravel, performed with a string quartet featuring violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane, at UMKC’s White Recital Hall.
  • The ensemble celebrated its 6th anniversary of "Take the Stage," an educational initiative bringing dance and music to students in area schools.

Funding goals for programs continue to be fully realized through individual donations, foundations and government grants.

Goals for OCDG’s 2019-2020 season:

  • Increase earned and contributed revenue in order to compensate artistic and administrative staff at or above the professional standard for performing arts.
  • Present the world premiere of “Love Songs” in a collaboration with singer/songwriter Krystle Warren.
  • Present the world premiere of “Iberica” with composer Matt Otto at MTH Theater.
  • Present the world premiere of “aRound & aRound” in collaboration with NEA Fellow Nate Fors and composer Brad Cox at the Spencer Theatre.
  • Expand audience by increasing number of individuals served and broadening audience demographic.
  • Perform “The Goldberg Variations” in Ukraine with the support of a Public Diplomacy Grant from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
  • Expand “Take the Stage” to more students in the Kansas City area.
Needs Statement
  1. Expanded funding base
  2. Expanded marketing potential
  3. Touring sponsorships
  4. Accounting services
  5. Rehearsal and office space
Service Categories
Areas of Service
KS - Franklin County
KS - Johnson County
KS - Lawrence
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
MO - Clay County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
MO - Ray County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

I have been involved with Owen/Cox Dance Group since its inception, both as a board member, and funder. It has been my privilege to play a small part in supporting their creation of original, professional productions, and their efforts to promote the arts through educational and community outreach.

As with any emerging arts organization, our primary challenges are funding, recognition, and assuring the viability of Owen/Cox Dance Group over the long term. We have been fortunate in the funding area, as a dedicated donor base has provided consistent support. Recently, contracting with a specialized grant writing consultant has proven beneficial, and efforts to increase our donation base are making solid progress. It goes without saying, however, that financial concerns will continue to be a priority, as they are with any arts organization, and especially with one as new as Owen/Cox Dance Group.

We have had success in recognition. Reviews for productions have been uniformly positive, and a devoted core audience has developed. To remain viable and grow, however, it is essential to expand our audience. Bringing in advisors, and board members, with backgrounds in advertising and promotion, has been an important addition. Finding new ways to increase visibility and recognition will continue to be a challenge.

As an arts organization, Owen/Cox Dance Group has shone brilliantly. Dancers, musicians, and creative artists from many backgrounds have found a place with the company. Collaborative productions with classical, operatic, and jazz artists have been enthusiastically received. Providing a platform to showcase such varied talents is tremendously rewarding, and the future for these endeavors is bright, and exciting.

The Board of Owen/Cox Dance Group are a diverse panel of community leaders. We are dedicated to responsible management, and are working to create a solid framework that will allow Owen/Cox Dance Group to carry its artistic vision into a brilliant future.


 Owen/Cox Dance Group presents a performance season of 4-5 productions annually. The ensemble’s 2019-20 season will feature four large-scale performances and a diplomatic tour to Ukraine:

  • “New Dance Partners”—featuring four world premiere dance works commissioned by JCCC, in collaboration with KCBallet, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, and Störling Dance Theater at JCCC’s Yardley Hall, September 27-28, 2019
  • “Love Songs”—a world premiere in a collaboration with singer/songwriter Krystle Warren, at JCCC’s Polsky Theatre October 19-20, 2019
  • “Iberica”—a world premiere in collaboration with composer Matt Otto and Ensemble Iberica, at MTH Theater March 6-8, 2020
  • “The Goldberg Variations”—Public diplomacy tour to Ukraine, April 2020
  • “aRound & aRound”—a world premiere in collaboration with NEA Fellow Nate Fors and composer Brad Cox, at the Spencer Theatre June 13, 2020.

OCDG will also sponsor and perform in the 8th annual Moving Arts (formerly known as Kansas City Dance Festival).

Owen/Cox Dance Group’s 2019-2020 performances will feature some of the finest dancers and musicians from the Kansas City area and around the country.

Program Budget $250,000.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance Performances
Population Served US, Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Owen/Cox Dance Group performances receive consistent critical praise from reviews in the Kansas City Star and the online publication KC Metropolis. Audience feedback at performances are also positive. Below are some quotes from printed reviews:

"The fusion of ballet and modern complemented each dancer’s personal style, all of whom delivered seamless executions." Laura Vernaci in her review of "A Body of Work" for KCMetropolis.

"Owen’s choreography is incredibly creative and informed by her many years of dancing in “The Nutcracker” herself." Patrick Neas, about "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" for the Kansas City Star

"[Owen/Cox Dance Group] turns out to be a first rate choice, an innovative company filled with energy and drive, fine dancing, and careful performing." -Bill Gale in his review of "Inland Roads" for Rhode Island NPR

Long-Term Success The ultimate goals for this program are:
  • To provide high-quality dance and music performances accessible to a wide audience at an affordable ticket price
  • To present new dance and music works to the community through both live performances and educational programming
  • Bring together some of Kansas City’s finest artists from a variety of disciplines in a collaborative creative effort
Program Success Monitored By The Owen/Cox Dance Group uses the following tools to measure the program's success:
  • Audience numbers/ticket sales
  • Funding goals reached
  • Assessment by Artistic Director Jennifer Owen
  • Assessment and feedback from the Owen/Cox Dance Group Board of Directors and Advisory Council
  • Audience feedback
  • Critical reviews through area media
Examples of Program Success

Owen/Cox Dance Group performances continue to draw wide audiences and receive critical acclaim. Owen/Cox Dance Group’s 2018-2019 season was its most prolific to date. The October performance of "Morena" with soprano Victoria Botero was successful in reaching new audience members by presenting the new collaboration. The February production of “What Keeps Mankind Alive” was performed to a near sold-out house, and drew interest from music and dance enthusiasts alike. “Strung Through Time" drew a large crowd of regular supporters as well as new audience members attending through Arts Alive, who were interested in experiencing the collaboration between OCDG and violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane.

Funding goals for the performances were fully met through government and foundation grants, public donations, and ticket sales.

The program received positive reviews and significant press from Kansas City area media outlets.


Owen/Cox Dance Group is committed to providing educational programs to the community through the following:

  • "Take the Stage," an educational program bringing music and dance to students in 9 Kansas City Schools reaching over 400 local K-5 students
  • In-school performances through Kansas City Young Audiences’ Arts Partners Roster
  • Artist Talks in conjunction with all performances
Program Budget $104,800.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other General Arts Education
Population Served US, Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  • "Take the Stage made me feel good. Now I am not shy when I do things." -Arely
  • "Take the Stage changed how I feel about school because it helped me make new friends." -Alma
  • "It helps me focus." -Diego

"Take the Stage has allowed my students to grow in social, emotional and physical ways. My students LOVED going to dance and even my VERY difficult students wanted to be a part of it. Our students cannot afford these activities, so it was especially neat! 

Achievement has been raised in all areas! Students practice perseverance and focus on things rather than quitting right away. It made them feel like a community and a family. It was fabulous for our diverse populations. Our students often came back and made connections in later lessons. 

Take the Stage is unlike other dance programs—the instructor was loving and kind—most of all patient. She waited and worked with ALL students. The dance was tied to history, art, culture—LOVE IT!" –Rebekah Wampler, 3rd grade educator

Long-Term Success The long-term goal for this program is to engage and educate the community in the forms of music and dance, thereby cultivating new audience members and patrons of the arts. Owen/Cox Dance Group's program "Take the Stage" has brought music and dance education to elementary students in 9 local Kansas City schools. These students were able to participate in an end-of-year performance, which focused on the history of Jazz in Kansas City. The year-end performance partnered with the American Jazz Museum and local jazz music students to provide a comprehensive learning about our important music background. 
Program Success Monitored By The Owen/Cox Dance Group uses the following tools to measure the program's success:
  • Number of audience members at Artist Talks
  • Number of students involved in educational programs
  • Assessment by Artistic Director Jennifer Owen
  • Assessment and feedback from students, teachers, and parents
  • Assessment and feedback from the Owen/Cox Dance Group Board of Directors and Advisory Council
  • Feedback from Kansas City Young Audiences
Examples of Program Success

Attendance at Owen/Cox Dance Group post-performance Artist Talks has increased 300% over the past five years. The number of students reached through Owen/Cox Dance Group in-school performances has doubled in the past three years. The group’s partnership with Paseo Academy has allowed dance students the rare opportunity to perform with a professional company. Latra Wilson, Director of Dance at Paseo Academy, commented on the students' involvement with Owen/Cox Dance Group: "I think this is a great way for young pre-professional students to reach their goals and get experience outside of Paseo Academy."

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Jennifer Owen
Term Start Sept 2009
Experience Jennifer Owen is the Artistic Director of Owen/Cox Dance Group, an ensemble she co-founded with composer Brad Cox in 2007. She has choreographed over fifty new works for Owen/Cox Dance Group, including two commissions by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and works commissioned by Island Moving Co. of Newport, RI, Kansas City Dance Festival, NWA Ballet Theatre, Kansas City Baroque Consortium, and Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. She has also created nine new works for Kansas City Ballet's "In the Wings" choreographic workshop, and a winning entry for the 2006 Columbus Choreography Project. Owen is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Honorarium. Prior to founding Owen/Cox Dance Group, Owen enjoyed a 13-year international ballet career. After training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, she went on to dance with the Russian State Ballet, Moscow Renaissance Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, BalletMet, and was a guest artist with the National Ballet of Turkmenistan. She has performed principal roles in "Giselle", "Don Quixote", George Balanchine's "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" and "Donizetti Variations", and the central pas de deux in Todd Bolender's "Arena".
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Paid Contractors 30
Volunteers 20
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 2
Other 1
Other (Please Specify) 1 Middle Eastern
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 3
Male 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Owen/Cox Dance Group prides itself on artistic and community collaborations with its performances and educational programs.
Recent collaborations have included:
  • Kansas City Baroque Consortium
  • Soprano Victoria Botero
  • Kairy Koshoeva, Pianist
  • Gilda's Club
  • Jen Harris, Poet
  • The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City
  • Composer Brad Cox
  • Composer Stacy Busch
  • Paseo Academy
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum
  • The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
  • The American Jazz Museum
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • Johnson County Community College
Artopia AwardThe Pitch Magazine2012
Resident CompanyIsland Moving Company2016
Public Diplomacy GrantUS Embassy in Kyiv2019
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Carlanda McKinney
Company Affiliation Cerner Corp.
Term Sept 2019 to Aug 2021
Email carlanda@myraaxo.com
Board Members
Ms. Hayat AbdullahiTruman Medical Center
Mr. Colin CoxNeuAnalytics
Ms. Rebecca EbertCerner
Mr. Howard HaasHyman Brand Hebrew Academy
Ms. Kimberlyn JonesKansas City Economic Development Corporation
Ms. Carlanda McKinneyCerner
Ms. Jennifer OwenCo-Artistic Director, Owen/Cox Dance Group
Mr. Logan Pachciarz
Mr. Rod ParksRetro Inferno
Ms. Rebka SakatiTake the Stage
Mr. Tom Styrkowicz
Ms. Shari L. WilsonProject Central
Mr. Jeffery ZimmermanAttorney
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Fiscal Year Start Sept 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Aug 31, 2020
Projected Revenue $359,560
Projected Expenses $358,925
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 8/31/2018, 2017, 2016: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/Corporation revenue line item may include contributions from individuals. 
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$15,652$26,192$21,709
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events$23,640$11,105$10,238
Revenue In-Kind$420$22,525$14,180
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$278,237$297,280$301,862
Administration Expense$34,846$39,619$29,422
Fundraising Expense$13,023$5,707$18,101
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.100.941.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses85%87%86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$49,231$28,227$38,123
Current Assets$49,231$28,227$38,123
Long-Term Liabilities$19,369$31,002$1,559
Current Liabilities$950$253$17,922
Total Net Assets$28,912($3,028)$18,642
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities51.82111.572.13
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets39%110%4%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Seeley Foundation $30,000Seeley Foundation $42,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Missouri Arts Council $18,932Richard J. Stern Foundation $24,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Commerce Bank, Ellis Foundation (each) $15,000Todd Bolender Fund for the Arts $20,098
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments

The organization's 2017-2018 financial statement shows Owen/Cox Dance Group performance season and Take the Stage (excluding Kansas City Dance Festival, for whom OCDG acts as fiscal sponsor) income totaling $279,159 and expenses totaling $244,233. It is anticipated that Owen/Cox Dance Group will complete its 2018-2019 FY (ending August 31, 2019) with income and expenses balancing.

Other Documents
Take the Stage Testimonials 2016-172017View
2017-2018 Season2017View
Organization Name Owen/Cox Dance Group
Address 4220 Mercier
Kansas City, MO 641111916
Primary Phone (816) 2256209
Contact Email jenocdg@gmail.com
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jennifer Owen
Board Chair Ms. Carlanda McKinney
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cerner Corp.
Year of Incorporation 2007