Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Few creative artists before or since Walt Disney have left as deep an imprint on our culture. Nearly a half-century after his death in 1966, the man who gave us Mickey Mouse, the first feature-length animated film (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and Disneyland remains an American icon.

What imprint did Disney’s early years in Marceline, Missouri, and Kansas City leave on him? On the morals and messages in his creations? Join Steven Watts in a sneak peek at PBS’ upcoming documentary Walt Disney, in which Watts is one of the featured historians, followed by a discussion led by the University of Missouri professor and author of The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Beyond fathering a nation, founding a great university, and leaving a legacy as an architect and inventor, Thomas Jefferson was a forefather of modern organic and sustainable garden movements. In gardens on the grounds of his Monticello estate, he nurtured 170 varieties of fruits, 330 different herbs and vegetables, and an array of flowers, experimenting with seeds and plants discovered during his travels and sent to him from friends abroad.

As the director of gardens and grounds at Monticello for 35 years, Peter J. Hatch brought Jefferson’s horticultural work back to life with a painstaking restoration of the 1,000-foot-long vegetable garden. Hatch looks back at the careful work—Jefferson’s and his own—in a discussion of his award-winning book “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello.


Thursday, August 27, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Award-winning chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts discuss some of the 50 handcrafted recipes included in their new book, Made in America.

These recipes—American classics redefined by easy, chef inspired techniques, quality ingredients, and a love for regional flavors from their Midwestern roots—will soon be the classics you refer to again and again for true Americana cooking. Made in America features recipes sorted by the cooking methods commonly used in American kitchens from daybreak to the bakeshop. Many recipes begin with a childhood memory from Colby or Megan that describes the roots and the journey of each recipe.

The Garrelts are chef-owners of Bluestem in Kansas City and Rye in Leawood.

Co-presented by Andrews McMeel Universal.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jessica Neuwirth, founder of the women’s rights organization Equality Now, discusses her new book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now.

In a series of short, accessible chapters looking at several key areas of sex discrimination recognized by the Supreme Court, Equal Means Equal tells the story of the legal cases that inform the need for an Equal Rights Amendment, along with contemporary cases in which women’s rights are compromised without the protection of an ERA.

Neuwirth has worked with Amnesty International, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She has lectured for Harvard Law School on women's rights and holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Yale University.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Author Cynthia Bond is joined by the Library’s Director of Readers’ Services Kaite Stover for a discussion of Bond’s debut novel which chronicles the story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from a town desperate to destroy her.

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York; but when a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Doors open: 8 p.m. • Program: 8:45 p.m.

The Library’s annual summer Off-the-Wall film series takes filmgoers Down the Rabbit Hole, celebrating movies about people cast into strange, through-the-looking-glass lands.

The fate of the world lies in the hands of a couple of truant air-guitar enthusiasts whose partnership is destined to bring about world peace. Bill and Ted might just save the future—if they can pass high school history class. They have the ultimate study aid, though: a time-traveling phone booth. Starring Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.


Friday, August 21, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Sparking the imaginations of children in the Kansas City area since the summer of 2002. Students and adults will have a great time learning the science behind levitation, invisibility, camouflage, and more! Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, August 20, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City boasts a largely unrecognized importance in the history of the advertising business. Even before 1900, advertising “agents” were emerging and gathering into a professional group, and by 1902 had organized into a club – very possibly the first Ad Club in the nation.

Kansas City, through its entrepreneurial heritage, has been a bastion of independent agencies and major brands, including TWA (whose iconic building Barkley now inhabits), Guy’s Potato Chips, the Rival Crock-Pot, the McDonald’s Happy Meal (courtesy of Bernstein-Rein), and many more.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Bestselling author and former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski discusses his new book about the most remarkable rivalry and (eventual) friendship in modern golf.

The first time they met, at an exhibition match in 1967, Tom Watson was a 17-year-old high school student and Jack Nicklaus, at 27, was already the greatest golfer in the world. Tom revered Jack. Jack barely knew who Tom was. But over the next 20 years they battled again and again for championships, a place at the top of the sport, and the title of greatest living golfer.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Journalist and local historian Cindy Higgins presents an illustrated talk about the brewers and breweries of early Kansas, their role in fostering a sense of community within the state’s German enclaves, and their surprising legacy among today’s beer aficionados.

As settlers streamed into Kansas, brewers followed and set up their strange contraptions – “mash tuns” and “wort kettles.” The manufacture of beer was as much art as craft during a time before out-of-state competition, temperance societies, and state prohibition laws killed the budding industry. Kansas boasted more than 90 breweries, fixtures in German communities. Leavenworth had at least six operating at one time in the 1850s.


Kansas City Public Library Beta