Event Audio

To listen to an audio recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The audio file will launch the media player on your computer.

The most recent recording displays at the top. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter. Please allow 7-10 days for the recording to be posted.

  • Launching a new series, Real/Modern: KC, social media and digital marketing veterans Ramsey Mohsen and John Kreicbergs lead a fast-paced public discussion about the ways organizations and businesses use Kansas City as a selling point.
    Selling Kansas City - Ramsey Mohsen, John Kreicbergs
    Tuesday, June 16, 2015
    Central Library

    The Library launches a new series, Real/Modern: KC, that takes a humorous, opinionated, intimate, and informative look at the modern world of design, technology, and media engagement. In this inaugural installment, social media and digital marketing veterans Ramsey Mohsen and John Kreicbergs lead a panel discussion about the ways local organizations use Kansas City as a selling point. Is the current Cowtown buzz helping area firms attract clients and recruit talent? Are developments like Google Fiber making KC a major player on the tech scene? Does the city need more than hometown sports and cultural offerings to elevate its reputation?

    The fast-paced format features three elements: a quick rundown of timely industry news and topics followed by an interactive, in-person and online question-and-answer session and finally a lively conversation among Mohsen, Kreicbergs, and a panel of featured guests.

  • On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past. Seamstresses from the Garment District’s 20th-century heyday share their stories with fashion show co-executive producer Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer.
    West 18th Street Fashion Show Kickoff Event
    Friday, June 12, 2015
    Central Library

    Program: 6:30 p.m. • Reception Follows

    On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past – to the golden age of the 20th century when more than 150 garment design and manufacturing companies boasted a workforce of more than 5,000.

    A panel of seamstresses from the Garment District heyday—Cherry Barthel, Sarah Guillen, Loretta Ortiz, Catalina Reyes, and Fatma Konyalioglu—sit down with Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, the co-executive producer of this year’s fashion show, to share their unique stories. It was their skill and work ethic that powered the Garment District, and they serve today as a valuable resource for the growing number of individuals making a living in Kansas City’s fashion community.

    Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library and the West 18th Street Fashion Show.

  • Stuart Anderson, who heads the nonprofit National Foundation for American Policy, draws from his report American-Made 2.0: How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Continue to Contribute to the U.S. Economy in discussing the substantial impact of immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals in the country today.
    American Made 2.0 - Stuart Anderson
    Thursday, June 4, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    A growing number of well-known companies including Google, Facebook, Intel, eBay, and LinkedIn have this much in common: They were founded or co-founded by immigrants.

    Stuart Anderson, who heads the nonprofit National Foundation for American Policy, draws from his report American Made 2.0: How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Continue to Contribute to the U.S. Economy in discussing the substantial role of immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals in the country today. Despite continued federal restrictions on skilled immigrants, a third of all U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder and employ nearly 65,500.

  • Michael Auslin, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, examines Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revive the country and what the outcome could portend for America and Europe.
    Japan’s Future and the Fate of the West - Michael Auslin
    Wednesday, June 3, 2015
    Central Library

    Japan is in the middle of a historic experiment. Nearly a quarter-century after the end of its post-World War II economic miracle, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is boldly attempting—through massive government spending, monetary easing, and an overhaul of Japan’s highly regulated economy—to end a long period of political paralysis and revive the country, lifting it into a leadership role in Asia.

    Michael Auslin, a resident scholar and the director of Japan studies at the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, examines the effort and the lessons it may hold for the West. Many of Japan’s problems are mirrored in America and Europe. Its success, or lack of it, could signal whether they are on a similar path to low growth, political incompetence, and social malaise.

  • Fundraising and political consultant Annie Presley talks with UMKC’s Allan Katz, a former U.S. ambassador to Portugal, about her eventful life and new book – a guide to organizing important information and wishes before you die. Co-author Christy Howard joins them.
    Read This When I’m Dead - Annie Presley
    Wednesday, May 27, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Having spent a quarter-century in the political arena, Annie Presley has had a full life: enduring a near-plane crash with Missouri Gov. John Ashcroft and Sen. Christopher Bond and sitting tight for an hour with Margaret Thatcher while a couple of armed protesters were hauled to jail, among other memorable episodes.

    Part of living, too, is preparing for death. And Presley and co-author Christy Howard have written Read This ... When I'm Dead: A Guide to Getting Your Stuff Together for Your Loved Ones, a fill-in-the-blank guide to organizing your key information, thoughts, and wishes for your heirs.

    Presley, a native Missourian and accomplished fundraising and political consultant, discusses both her eventful career and her new book on planning for the end in a public conversation with University of Missouri-Kansas City professor and former U.S. ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz.

  • Closing the Civil War Sesquicentennial series, historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth assess how the North prevailed and why the Civil War remains so compelling today.
    Why the North Won and Why It All Matters
    Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    Central Library

    After four of the bloodiest years of warfare in its history, peace finally had come to the United States in May 1865. For two glorious days, Washington, D.C., residents watched as the mighty Union armies that had compelled the surrender of the Confederacy’s main forces marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in triumph. “The rebels,” Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed a few weeks earlier, “are our countrymen again.”

    Historians Terry L. Beckenbaugh and Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth close the Library’s Civil War Sesquicentennial series with a discussion of how the North prevailed and the South lay broken and defeated, what the four years of fighting left unresolved, and why the Civil War remains so compelling 150 years after the final shots were fired.

  • Pulitzer winner Robin Givhan discusses her new book about the night in 1973 that a team of U.S. designers stole the show from France’s best, helped by a groundbreaking group of models featuring 10 African Americans. It changed fashion forever.
    The Battle of Versailles
    Thursday, May 21, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Fashion changed forever on November 28, 1973, when a team of top U.S. designers—including Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and Anne Klein—faced off on the runway against Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, and the rest of a well-heeled French lineup considered the best in the world. The lavish spectacle in King Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles drew many of the world’s social elite.

    The Americans stole the show, in no small part due to a dynamic and groundbreaking group of models featuring 10 African Americans.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan of The Washington Post discusses her new book about a night that altered the industry’s view of race, gender, sexuality, and economics for decades to come.

  • Behind Dwight Eisenhower’s dry smile and simple tastes was a brilliant, intellectual strategist who navigated the nation through a perilous time. Former Newsweek editor-at-large Evan Thomas launches the Eisenhower 125 series with a discussion of his new book, Ike’s Bluff.
    Ike’s Bluff - Evan Thomas
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Dwight Eisenhower was a man of simple tastes but decisive action. Behind the dry smile was a brilliant, intellectual tactician, an attribute—also evident at the poker table—that served to keep dozens of Cold War standoffs from flaring into full-scale war during his two terms as president.

    Former Newsweek editor-at-large Evan Thomas draws from his book Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World in discussing the central Kansas war hero turned commander-in-chief, who navigated the nation through some of the most perilous times the world has known.

  • The University of Missouri’s Earnest L. Perry Jr. examines  the civil rights-era tug of war between activist organizations and the African American press, including The Kansas City Call and its longtime editor and publisher, Lucile Bluford.
    Civil Rights: The Struggle Within - Earnest L. Perry, Jr.
    Thursday, May 14, 2015
    Central Library

    The Kansas City Call and its longtime editor and publisher, Lucile Bluford, epitomized the role of the African American press in the civil rights movement. The newspaper advocated forcefully for the political and economic interests of its readers, forging relationships with such key organizations as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    Beneath outward displays of unity, however, were internal disagreements between the press and activist groups about what direction the fight for equality would take and, often, who should be its voice. Earnest L. Perry Jr., an associate professor of journalism at the University of Missouri, examines that struggle, what it entailed for Bluford and The Call, and the implications for today’s social justice movement.

  • A 20-year study headed by sociologist Mariah Evans found “the presence of books in the home” to be the top predictor of a child’s ultimate educational attainment. She sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III to discuss the link.
    The Book Benefit - Mariah Evans
    Tuesday, May 12, 2015
    Central Library

    The relationship is clear: The more books a family owns, the greater the educational gains are for children.

    Mariah Evans, a sociologist at the University of Nevada-Reno, headed a 20-year, worldwide study that found “the presence of books in the home” to be the top predictor of whether a child will attain a high level of education – more significant than parents’ education, occupation, or class. On average, kids growing up amid an abundance of books get three more years of schooling than those from bookless homes.

    Evans examines those findings and sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation on the issue.