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: 2015-04-01
Format: 2015-04-01
  • Architecture enthusiast Ross Freese discusses the mansion that George Washington Maher designed at 45th and Warwick for the prominent Velie family – a building that may have been Kansas City’s first Prairie School style structure.
    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Chicago architect George Washington Maher was a giant of the Prairie School movement, whose buildings are treasured by communities lucky enough to have them. How did Kansas City forget that at the turn of the last century, Maher designed a significant home — possibly the city’s first Prairie School structure — for the prominent Velie family (an offshoot of the John Deere clan) in the then-fashionable Warwick neighborhood?

    Kicking off the Library’s 2014 Kansas City Architecture Series, architecture enthusiast Ross Freese describes this landmark building (razed in the early ’50s to make way for All Souls Unitarian Church) and the old postcard that piqued his interest in it.

  • 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, June 20, 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 Breakin', a struggling jazz dancer (Lucinda Dickey) finds inspiration on the streets, thanks to the moves of Adolfo “Shabba-Do” Quinones and Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers. Plotwise the film is typical hey-kids-let’s-put-on-a-show, but it provided for millions an introduction into hip-hop culture and music. Check out Ice-T in his first movie role as a rappin’ emcee.

    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.

  • Former Kansas City Royals catcher Jason Kendall and Lee Judge discuss their new book, taking you behind the scenes of major league baseball – onto the field, into the dugout, and behind the closed doors of the players’ clubhouse.
    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Jason Kendall knows baseball inside and out. Emphasis on the inside.

    The former Kansas City Royals catcher, whose career spanned 15 seasons and five teams, delivers a behind-the-scenes look at the Grand Old Game in a conversation with The Kansas City Star’s Lee Judge – with whom he has co-authored an insightful new book.

    There’s the game everybody sees. And there’s the game within the game that fans don’t see or fail to notice – the superstitions, subtle strategies, and mind games (at which Kendall was a master). He and Judge take you on the field, into the dugout, and behind the closed doors of a major league clubhouse.

  • Fred Kaplan discusses his new biography of one of America’s most wrongly overlooked presidents, a leading abolitionist, fervent Federalist, and a leader of sweeping perspective whose progressive values helped shape the course of the nation.
    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is among the most overlooked presidents in U.S. history even though his progressive values helped shape the course of the nation.

    In a discussion of his new book, John Quincy Adams: American Visionary, Fred Kaplan sheds light on a leading abolitionist and fervent Federalist who championed both individual liberty and the government’s role in driving progress and prosperity. Adams’ forward-thinking values, definition of leadership, and vision for the future are as much about 21st century America as his own time.

    This event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by a Legacy Fund grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

  • Foreign policy strategist and American diplomat George F. Kennan kept journals that covered a staggering 88 years. Historian Frank Costigliola, who has edited Kennan’s writings into a reader-friendly volume, examines this trove of ideas, anecdotes, and essays.
    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    George F. Kennan (1904-2005) was America’s most respected foreign policy thinker of the 20th century, a man who advised presidents, raised alarms about the Soviet Union’s intentions, and outlined the policy of “containment” that guided U.S. strategy during the Cold War.

    Through most of his life, Kennan kept journals that covered a staggering 88 years in more than 8,000 pages. Historian Frank Costigliola has edited them into a more reader-friendly volume, The Kennan Diaries, and will examine this trove of ideas, anecdotes, and essays in a discussion at the Central Library.

    Costigliola is professor of history at the University of Connecticut.

  • A Cultural Celebration of Liberia
    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    Join Michelle Pond, Judith Towse Roberts, and Rhiannon Ross, Kansas City artists, writers and members of Rocket Grants 2012 Award-winning team Vox Narro, for an afternoon celebrating Kansas City’s Liberian community. Following the presentations, sample a variety of West African cuisine.

    The program and post-event reception are presented by the Vox Narro project, which pairs writers and immigrant groups for a discussion of the cultural traditions and stories of immigrant communities. Vox Narro is supported by the Rocket Grants program, which is funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and administered by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in support of innovative, public-oriented work in nontraditional spaces.

  • StoneLion and super genius Einstein R Rat star in “The Lab Rat Science Experiment,” a wacky, musical, and thoroughly entertaining introduction to magnetic attraction and other science concepts.  Recommended for preschool through 6th grade.
    Friday, June 13, 2014

    Fizz! Boom! Pow! A science experiment has gone terribly wrong, and the animals have taken over the lab. Will they take over the world? Join StoneLion and Einstein R Rat, super genius, in this wacky musical – “The Lab Rat Science Experiment” – for the answers to those questions and an entertaining introduction to the three states of matter, magnetic attraction, and other awesome science concepts.

    Recommended for preschool through 6th grade.

  • Local designers and fashion experts Hadley Johnson, Joni Johnson, Tara Light, Susan Cannon, Maegan Stracy, and Tom Paolini discuss their work in advance of KC’s premiere fashion event. KC Magazine’s Katie van Luchene moderates.
    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Featuring as many as three dozen local garment and accessory designers, the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show has become the cornerstone of forward-thinking fashion design in Kansas City. In advance of this year’s event (scheduled for June 14) celebrated fashion professionals discuss their work at the Central Library.

    Participating are fashion designers and professionals Hadley Johnson, Joni Johnson, Tara Light, and Tom Paolini, plus fashion editor-writer-stylist Susan Cannon and multimedia artist-designer Maegan Stracy. Katie van Luchene of KC Magazine and Good Health KC moderates.

  • Kansas City is brimming with trails, and a panel of experts moderated by noted pedestrian Henry Fortunato and including the heads of recreation departments in Overland Park, Liberty, and Kansas City offer a thumbnail guide to the area’s  best walks.
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    A panel of experts from Kansas and Missouri discusses ongoing efforts to develop MetroGreen, a system of nature areas, greenways, and trails throughout the Kansas City area.

    The panel includes Mark McHenry, Director of Kansas City Parks, Recreation, and Boulevards; Greg Ruether, Director of Parks Services for the City of Overland Park; and Janet Snook Bartnik, Director of Liberty Parks and Recreation. Tom Jacobs, director of environmental programs at the Mid-America Regional Council, opens the program with an overview of the MetroGreen system and its contemplated 1,144 mile network.

    The discussion and a subsequent open forum is moderated by noted pedestrian Henry Fortunato, the Library's director of public affairs.

  • S. Frederick Starr discusses his book about Asia’s medieval enlightenment, a virtually unparalleled explosion of knowledge in areas from mathematics and astronomy to music and philosophy. Its impact rippled across Asia and into European culture.
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    This event has been canceled at the speaker’s request due to a scheduling conflict. We will make every effort to notify interested persons when and if the program is rescheduled.

    Rarely has history seen a more impressive and sustained display of intellect than that of medieval Central Asia, which between the years 800 and 1200 led the world in trade and economic development, the sophistication of its cities, and advances in disciplines ranging from mathematics and astronomy to music and philosophy.