Event Archive

Search our archive of past events at the Library! You can search by keyword - such as event title, subject, or presenter name - or by a date range. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotation marks. If you know the specific date of an event, enter the same date in both fields. Search results will only show events that match ALL entered terms.

Format: 2015-04-25
Format: 2015-04-25
  • Former State Department and CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout discusses the birth of modern American espionage during World War I, from aerial reconnaissance and battlefield code-breaking to the search for spies and saboteurs back home in the States.
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Former State Department and CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout discusses the birth of modern American espionage during World War I, from aerial reconnaissance and battlefield code-breaking to the search for spies and saboteurs back home in the States.

  • Carl Weber continues the first season of the Library’s urban fiction series with a discussion of his sequel to the best-selling The Choir Director, further following the career and challenging personal life of title character Aaron Mackie.
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    The behind-the-scenes lives of African American clergymen and their families make up a major sub-genre of contemporary urban fiction. To date, most of these novels have been written by women.

    Author Carl Weber offers a male point of view in books such as The Choir Director. In his latest novel, a sequel to that bestseller, title character Aaron Mackie’s nationally renowned success has him in line for a huge recording contract. But his private life comes crashing down when his fiancé leaves him at the altar with no explanation, and Mackie turns to his mentor, Bishop T.K. Wilson, for help. Unfortunately, the line Mackie asks him to cross will force the bishop to choose between friendship and faith.

  • Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.
    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.

  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Director Julian Zugazagoitia discusses the ways in which art can be a manifestation of the human spirit and experience. The event marks the opening of a new Library book collection, The Human Spirit, housed at the Plaza Branch.
    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    The Kansas City Public Library and Cultural Crossroads will mark the opening of a new collection – The Human Spirit – with a presentation by Julian Zugazagoitia, director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

    Zugazagoitia’s talk, Art of the Human Spirit, addresses the ways in which art can be a manifestation of the human spirit and human experience.

    The Human Spirit Collection features more than 140 books intended to enhance understanding and mutual respect among the diverse faiths, traditions, and cultures within the greater Kansas City community. It provides a central repository of multicultural and interfaith materials for educators and the public at large.

  • This summer’s Off-the-Wall film series features music-heavy titles from 1984. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a movie under the stars on the Rooftop Terrace.
    Friday, August 15, 2014

    The 2014 edition of the long-running Off-the-Wall Film Series, co-presented by The Kansas City Public Library and The Pitch, features musically-themed titles from 1984.

    In Repo Man, Young Otto (Emilio Estevez) gets a crash course in repossessing cars from old hand Harry Dean Stanton in this cult effort that mixes anti-social rebellion with black comedy and even a dab of science fiction. Director Alex Cox’s film isn’t technically a musical, but it has a killer soundtrack featuring Iggy Pop, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, the Circle Jerks, and other bands your mother wouldn’t approve of. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

    These five films, presented on one Friday each month from May through September on the Rooftop Terrace of the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., offer a tuneful sampling of what Americans were listening to 30 years ago. Featured are such musical artists as Prince and the Talking Heads, an early cinematic celebration of break dancing, and a classic cult film noted for its innovative musical soundtrack.

  • Decorated Kansas City magician Eric Vaughn delivers an interactive, enthusiastic – and just plain wacky – performance that keeps audiences simultaneously laughing and scratching their heads.  Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Prepare to be amazed. Eric Vaughn – Kansas City’s Magician of the Year in 2000 – delivers a wacky, enthusiastic, interactive performance that keeps audiences laughing and scratching their heads at the same time. Appropriate for all ages.

  • One day shy of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal, Kansas City Southern President and CEO Dave Starling joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about KC Southern's role in rebuilding the parallel Panama Canal Railway.
    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    On this date 99 years and 364 days ago, the Panama Canal opened and revolutionized maritime trade.

    It also threw the Panama Railroad and its parallel, 47-mile track into near-disuse and decay – until it was taken over in 1998 and restored by the Panama Canal Railway Company, which is 50 percent owned by Kansas City Southern. The Panama line now provides continuous Atlantic-to-Pacific freight and passenger service.

    Kansas City Southern President and CEO Dave Starling oversaw that rejuvenation during his tenure as president and director general of the Panama Canal Railway from 1999-2008. He sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a conversation coinciding with the 8½-month run of the centennial exhibit on the canal, The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal, at the Linda Hall Library.

  • Historian Paul Jankowski discusses his book about one of history’s greatest and most demanding battlefield encounters,  a 302-day nightmare in northern France that left an estimated 303,000 French and German soldiers dead and more than 400,000 wounded.
    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    At 7 in the morning on February 21, 1916, the ground in northern France began to shake. For the next 10 hours, some 1,200 German guns showered shells on a salient in French lines. The onslaught collapsed dugouts, obliterated trenches, severed communication wires, and drove men mad. The Battle of Verdun had begun.

    Drawing from his book, Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War, Brandeis University historian Paul Jankowski looks back on what became one of history’s greatest and most demanding battlefield encounters – a 302-day nightmare that left an estimated 303,000 French and German soldiers dead and more than 400,000 wounded.

  • John E. Miller discusses his book about how giants of American art, industry, and politics – the likes of Walt Disney, Henry Ford, George Washington Carver, and Ronald Reagan – were nurtured and shaped by their boyhoods in small Midwestern towns.
    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    The Midwest’s small towns have produced the entrepreneurial likes of Henry Ford, George Washington Carver, and Walt Disney; artists and entertainers such as Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Carl Sandburg, and Johnny Carson; and political titans William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan, and Ronald Reagan.

    In a discussion of his new book, Small Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America, author John E. Miller explores the lives of those and other notables and the small-town environments from which they came. In their stories, as Miller tells them, all appear in a new light – unique in their backgrounds and accomplishments, united only in the way their lives reveal the persisting, shaping power of place.

  • Opera Institute performers deliver a semi-staged production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, re di Creta – Italian for Idomeneo, King of Crete – a time-honored opera that historians suggest might have been the composer’s favorite work.
    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    The Kansas City Opera Institute is settling into a second season of classes, workshops, and productions designed to prepare and showcase “the next generation of great performers.”

    Those performers deliver a semi-staged production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, re di Creta — Italian for Idomeneo, King of Crete — a time-honored opera introduced more than 230 years earlier in Munich, Germany. Music historians suggest it might have been Mozart’s favorite work, a classic Greek myth that captures the growing tension of the social and political landscape of the late 18th century while exploring the value of a single human life.