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: 2014-08-01
Format: 2014-08-01
  • Harvard’s Ali Asani explores the art and literature of Islam in a discussion of the sacred, complex, and culturally diverse world of Muslim culture.
    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    “God is beautiful and loves beauty,” said the Prophet Muhammad. Now Harvard’s Ali Asani explores various artistic and literary forms to open the sacred, complex, and culturally diverse worlds of Islam. “The arts help to humanize cultures where political discourse based on nationalist ideologies tend to dehumanize,” Asani says.

    Asani is chair of the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department and the director of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University.

  • Think you’re film literate? Not until you’ve experienced the masterpieces of world cinema presented as part of this series.    The Bride of Frankenstein (1935; NR)
    Sunday, October 27, 2013

    James Whale’s Frankenstein was a somber adaptation of Mary Shelly’s 1818 novel about a scientist who builds a creature from dead bodies and gives it life. It made an overnight star of actor Boris Karloff, who played the mute “monster.” The Bride of Frankenstein employed most of the same creative team that produced the original Frankenstein four years earlier. Yet this sequel is a much different animal – and much superior.

  • Members of the Out Loud Teen Readers’ Theatre present their interpretation of this year’s Big Read pick, True Grit. Appropriate for ages 11 – 18.
    Friday, October 25, 2013


    Members of the Out Loud Teen Readers’ Theatre, made up of local teens interested in reading, performing, and sharing stories, bring to life the compelling and complex characters of this year’s Big Read pick, True Grit.

    The young actors will have spent three weeks rehearsing their performance. Their efforts culminate in this interpretation of Charles Portis’ classic Western novel. Appropriate for ages 11-18.

  • Moderator Jane Wood and panelists Brenda Bethman, Crystal Gorham Doss, and Adrianne Russell discuss whether True Grit’s Mattie Ross is a genuine feminist hero or merely a woman who mimics traditional manly virtues.
    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Is True Grit’s Mattie Ross a genuine feminist hero or a merely a woman who mimics traditional masculinity?

    Panelists Brenda Bethman, Adrianne Russell, and Crystal Gorham Doss — led by moderator Jane Wood — discuss the concept of the female hero and how this image has evolved. They delve into questions of the media portrayal of women (with special note of the Western genre), diversity in female depiction of heroism, and current activism in the Kansas City area to empower women and girls.

     

  • Harvard University professor and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore discusses her new biography of Benjamin Franklin’s younger sister, Jane-a passionate reader, gifted writer, shrewd political commentator, and mother of 12.
    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Like her older brother, Benjamin, Jane Franklin was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and a shrewd political observer. While he was rich and famous, she was poor and obscure. Yet Jane was a constant presence and influence in her brother’s life—in fact, Benjamin Franklin wrote more letters to her than to any other individual.

    Historian Jill Lepore explores this extraordinary, overlooked life in a discussion of her new book Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.

    Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

  • Martin Espada, widely recognized as “the Latino poet of his generation,” reads from and discusses his most recent award-winning collection of poems, The Trouble Ball.
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Martin Espada, widely recognized as “the Latino poet of his generation,” joins Angela Elam from New Letters on the Air for a reading and discussion based on his most recent collection of poems, The Trouble Ball, winner of the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award, and an International Latino Book Award.

  • In a discussion of his new book, Sports Illustrated senior editor Mark Godich dissects not only the history-making 2007 football game between Kansas and Missouri but also a century and a half of bad blood between the two states.
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    In a 2007 college football season filled with unfathomable twists and turns, Missouri and Kansas—unranked at the start of the season—kept winning, setting up the biggest game ever played in the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. The winner would be ranked No. 1 in the nation.

  • 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.