Event Archive

All Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 24 and remain closed on Thursday, December 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday.

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: 2014-12-22
Format: 2014-12-22
  • Local historian Joelouis Mattox examines the role of African Americans in World War I, focusing on the 92nd Infantry Division popularly known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Among its ranks was a Kansas City private for whom the American Legion’s Wayne Miner Post 149 is named.
    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Despite their country’s institutionalized prejudice, hundreds of thousands of African Americans fought in the U.S. military during World War I. They manned two combat divisions, one of them the 92nd Infantry Division popularly known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

    Besides fighting Germans “like devils from hell,” members had to deal with racism, character assassination and the myth that they were “subhuman.”

    Joelouis Mattox, a frequent Library speaker, discusses the role of African Americans in World War I, focusing on the 92nd Division. Mattox is the historian for the American Legion’s Wayne Miner Post 149, named for the Kansas City serviceman who served in the 92nd. Miner was one of the last Americans killed in World War I in 1918.

  • The 15th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration opens with a Friday Night Family Fun concert and ghost tales. Saturday’s Storytelling Spectacular features multicultural folklore and more from a diverse lineup of storytellers.
    Friday, November 7, 2014

    The 15th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration offers folk tales, multicultural stories, and animal stories, songs, and rhymes.

    Opening the evening is a Friday Night Family Fun concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Kids’ Corner with LaRita Wright and Rosie Best-Cutrer. All ages are welcome.

    It’s followed by a ghost-tales session at 7 p.m. in the Truman Forum Auditorium featuring four visiting storytellers: Lyn Ford, known for her “Affrilachian” tales; singing storyteller Anthony Clark; bilingual Carrie Sue Ayvar; and Antonio Rocha, a native Brazilian whose career spans nearly three decades and six continents. Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

  • Kansas City author and Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell joins accomplished novelist Jayne Anne Phillips in discussing Phillips’ 2013 book based on the real-life murder of a lonely widow and her three children.
    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Kansas City author and Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell sits down with one of the country’s most accomplished novelists, Jayne Anne Phillips, for a public conversation about her mesmerizing 2013 book based on the real-life murder of a lonely widow and her 14-, 12-, and 9-year-old children. Stephen King hailed it as “the novel of the year.”

    Phillips, a professor of English and director of the MFA program at Rutgers University-Newark, grew up near the scene of the 1931 crime in Quiet Dell, West Virginia. She took an In Cold Blood approach to the story, using real names and details of the case and filling in the characters’ thoughts, perceptions, and relationships.

    Co-sponsored by the Writers at Work Roundtable and the UMKC English Department.

  • Philip White retraces Harry S. Truman’s remarkable (and ultimately successful) effort to salvage the 1948 election in a discussion of his new book, Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved the Presidency of Harry Truman.
    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    His approval rating low and his own party disenchanted, Harry Truman had the look of a one-term president — unlikely to win a return to office — in the summer of 1948. With ingenuity born of desperation, his aides hit upon a plan: Take to the rails, crisscrossing the country and putting Truman in front of as many voters as possible.

    Philip White, a guest lecturer at MidAmerica Nazarene University, recalls the remarkable journey in a discussion of his new book Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved the Presidency of Harry Truman. The trek, of course, ended with an election-day upset of Republican Thomas E. Dewey.

  • Caitlin Doughty sits down with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, for a public conversation about the Los Angeles funeral director’s new book – both a witty memoir and eye-opening examination of the American way of death.
    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Caitlin Doughty is out to change the way we deal with dying.

    Founder of the Order of the Good Death, a web forum promoting the open discussion of death, and host of the wry and popular web series Ask a Mortician, the 30-year-old Los Angeles funeral director sits down for a public conversation with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, about U.S. attitudes toward death and death practices.

    Doughty’s appearance coincides with the release of her first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, both a witty memoir and an eye-opening examination of the American way of death. It was The Kansas City Star’s FYI Book Club selection in September.

  • Coterie Theatre artists read from their favorite children’s books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to “jump into the story” on stage. This program is appropriate for all ages.   The Night the Scary Beasties Popped Out of My Head by Daniel & David Kamish
    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

    November's Selection:
    The Night the Scary Beasties Popped Out of My Head by Daniel & David Kamish

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, join us a screening of Tim Burton’s 1993 classic animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, October 31, 2014

    If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, join us a screening of Tim Burton’s 1993 classic animated film.

    Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Jack Skellington – the Pumpkin King – longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere.

    Rated PG, the movie is recommended for ages 8 and up.

  • Americans unfamiliar or perhaps unconcerned with the Islamic State – ISIS – snapped to attention with the group’s recent beheading of two journalists. Brian L. Steed of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College lends historical context to the expanding Sunni organization.
    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Americans unfamiliar or perhaps unconcerned with the Islamic State — ISIS — snapped to attention with the group’s beheading of two journalists.

    Middle East specialist Brian L. Steed, a military historian at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, lends historical context to the expanding Sunni organization. Its leader has taken the name of the first Caliph, or Muslim head of state, and like Islamic warriors of the 7th Century has pledged to “conquer Rome.” ISIS also echoes the words of 12th-Century Muslim leader Nur al-Din and his successor, Saladin, as they sought to extend their control from Mosul to Damascus and then Cairo.

    Steed presents a cultural, religious, and historical backdrop to today’s events.

  • Jeff Clements punctuates the argument in his book that the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision  to ease restrictions on political spending by corporations and labor unions “upended the American ideal that we are a government of people rather than a government  of corporate wealth.”
    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    It has been a little more than 4½ years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, sharply easing restrictions on political and campaign spending by corporations and labor unions. The argument over its merits has scarcely subsided.

    Supporters hold to the court’s assertion that political speech is “indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual.” Jeff Clements is among the opponents — along with President Obama and a majority of the U.S. Senate — who see a ruinously unfair advantage for candidates who can cultivate the wealthiest donors. Clements, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and the founder of Free Speech for People, a nonpartisan movement to overturn the 2010 decision, makes his case in a discussion of his book, Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations.

  • This all-day family event screens award-winning shorts and a free family feature and offers interactive filmmaking workshops on important storytelling principles. Making a special appearance is Hallmark Cards artist and head of character development Pedro Martin.
    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    An offshoot of KC FilmFest’s annual Reel Spirit youth film competition, this all-day family event screens award-winning shorts and a free family feature and offers interactive filmmaking workshops on important storytelling principles.

    Making a special appearance is Hallmark Cards artist and head of character development Pedro Martin, who works with the animated hoops&yoyo characters and created Asteroid Andy. He discusses and shows clips of his work, including the conception of new Hallmark character Penny Paperheart, and introduces the animated movie hoops&yoyo’s Haunted Halloween.