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: 2014-07-22
Format: 2014-07-22
  • New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam holds a public conversation with prize-winning writer Charles Baxter about his work and his new collection of short stories, Gryphon: New and Selected Stories.
    Monday, October 21, 2013

    In Gryphon, his career-spanning collection of short stories, author Charles Baxter offers yarns in which our acutely observed reality is rocked by the exotic, the surreal, and by Baxter’s comic-melancholic world view.

    Now Baxter—whose novel The Feast of Love was a National Book Award finalist and became a feature film starring Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear—holds a discussion about his work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

  • Western specialist Jim Hoy provides an insider’s look at the Library’s exhibit of photos by F.M. Steele chronicling cowboy life at the turn of the century. The event complements this year’s Kansas City Big Read selection, True Grit.
    Sunday, October 20, 2013


    American West specialist Jim Hoy provides an insider’s look at the Library’s exhibit What True Grit (Might Have) Looked Like: The Photographs of F.M. Steele (on display through December 1, 2013). Shot on the open ranges of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, these photographs provide insight into how cowboys worked and played.

    Hoy is a professor of English and director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University, where he specializes in Medieval English literature and literature of the American West.

  • Award-winning children's books come alive with music from the Fine Arts Chorale!  Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal with this program filled with stories and music.  Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Children's books come alive with music from the Fine Arts Chorale! Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal with this program filled with stories and music.

    After reading excerpts from award-winning children’s books, music director and conductor Terri Teal leads the Chorale in music inspired by the literature.

    The Fine Arts Chorale has been part of the Kansas City musical community since 1972.

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • In recent years the Missouri-Kansas “border war” has taken on economic implications, with both states enticing businesses to jump across the state line. KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney moderates a panel of experts discussing whether this practice is healthy or harmful.
    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Competition between Kansas and Missouri goes back to the years before the Civil War, when Jayhawkers and “border ruffians” battled over the issue of slavery. But in recent years the “border war” has taken on economic implications, with both states launching initiatives and introducing legislation to entice businesses to jump across the state line.

    Is this poaching of jobs and industries healthy or harmful? A panel of experts examine the history and impact of this conflict and discuss what—if anything—should be done about it.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle and Washington Post reporter David Finkel explore the shocking, riveting, unflinching, and ultimately deeply humane stories of those who must live the rest of their lives with the realities of war.
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with Washington Post reporter David Finkel on the Aftermath of the Long War, the fourth offering of the Dateline: Washington series.

    Finkel was embedded with an infantry combat team in Iraq—an experience that resulted in his book The Good Soldiers. He followed those soldiers once they returned to the States, resulting in a second volume, the just-published Thank You for Your Service.

    Finkel, a 2012 MacArthur Fellow, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his reporting on U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen.

  • Author Herbert Alan Johnson  examines the lasting impact of an 1824 decision that became a key moment in the ongoing tug-of-war for power between individual states and the federal government.
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Author-educator Herbert Alan Johnson explains how a lawsuit over a steamboat monopoly ultimately led to Congress gaining the power to regulate interstate commerce. Johnson is distinguished professor emeritus of law at the University of South Carolina.

    Legal Landmarks is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Truman Library Institute, and the Federal Court Historical Society. The series is funded by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund with additional support provided by Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP and co-sponsored by the University Press of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law.

  • Grammy-nominated children’s musician Zak Morgan presents his unique blend of wordplay and humorous storytelling. Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, October 11, 2013

    With a background in children’s literature plus a Grammy nomination for his kids’ songs, Zak Morgan brings all of his life experiences and a simple delight in words and music to his live performances.

    Morgan’s celebration of wordplay and humorous storytelling are typical of his songwriting. Morgan aims to inspire his listeners to enjoy learning for its own sake while providing nonstop entertainment

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • Be part of the studio audience as KCPT tapes the latest installment of Meet the Past in which Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews legendary African American horseman Tom Bass, as portrayed by Walter Coppage.
    Thursday, October 10, 2013


    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Tom Bass, portrayed by veteran actor Walter Coppage.

    Born a slave, Tom Bass became a world-famous horse trainer and equestrian showman. Though he spent most of his life in Mexico, Missouri, in the 1890s he operated a stable in Kansas City and became the first African American to ride in the American Royal Horse Show. He won countless equestrian awards and invented the Bass bit, a humane mechanism that protects a horse’s mouth during training. It is still in use today.

  • Former Royals great Willie Wilson discusses his 19 seasons as a Major League Baseball player, his record-setting career, and the drug conviction that might have ruined his life at the official launch of his new memoir, Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life.
    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Former Kansas City Royal Willie Wilson retired from Major League Baseball with 668 stolen bases (ranking 12th all-time) and 13 inside-the-park home runs (the most of any major leaguer playing after 1950). He was also among the first active major league players to serve jail time, having pled guilty to misdemeanor drug charges in 1983.

    Now Wilson and his co-author, former Kansas City Star sportswriter Kent Pulliam, discuss his life and career as chronicled in a new memoir.

  • Christopher Leitch moderates a panel of Kansas City residents who participated in the Bracero Program (1942-1964), which brought 300,000 Mexican laborers to the U.S. to work as farmhands and railroad workers.
    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Between 1942 and 1964, as many as 300,000 Mexican laborers—called braceros—were employed as farmhands or railroad workers in the United States. The Bracero Program eventually became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history.

    Veterans of the Bracero Program now living in the Kansas City area discuss their experiences in this panel conversation moderated by Christopher Leitch.

    The presentation complements Bittersweet Harvest, a bilingual exhibit about the Bracero Program on display through October 27, 2013, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.