Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, February 15 in observance of Presidents' Day.

Saturday, February 13, 2016
11:00am @ Plaza Branch

The name – the Black Panthers – is seared into ’60s history, evoking both clenched-fist activism and leather-jacketed, Afro-coiffed cool. The radical group stood at the vanguard of the era’s movement for social change in America before its decline and eventual disintegration in the 1970s and early ’80s.


Friday, February 12, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

While the best-known cowboys of the Old West were white, it’s believed one in four were African-American. Through storytelling and song, vocalist and cultural historian Brother John Anderson helps young audience members explore their history. Appropriate for ages 5 and up.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Abraham Lincoln and William Shakespeare rose to prominence centuries and continents apart. But one of America’s greatest presidents felt a real connection to one of mankind’s greatest writers, beginning with their shared belief in the power of language. Lincoln read Shakespeare and quoted him often in conversation, finding particular resonance in Hamlet, Macbeth, and their reflections on the dangers of excessive ambition, the horrors of civil war, and the corruptions of illegitimate rule.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

They are the most famous and controversial directors in the history of the CIA – Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey – and they shared a professional history from start to finish. All were recruited by William “Wild Bill” Donovan to the CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services. Each would see his career end badly.

In a discussion of his new book, a follow-up to his earlier, acclaimed biography of Donovan, former TIME magazine correspondent Douglas Waller examines the four protégés who adopted Donovan’s adventurous ways in overseeing missions during and immediately after World War II.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City’s Barkley advertising agency hatched the enormously successful “Two Guys” campaign for Sonic Drive-In a little more than 12 years ago, letting a couple of improv actors comically pitch tater tots and slushy drinks from the front seat of their car. It became a pop culture phenomenon.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Library joins the UMKC Black Studies Program and the Black Archives of Mid-America in presenting a series of screenings of four memorable films adapted from books by African American authors. Funding provided by the Bebe and Crosby Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee.


Sunday, February 7, 2016
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema film series returns in January and February with psychological studies of films starring three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. A discussion follows each screening.

Actress Suzanne Vale (Streep) is a recovering drug addict trying to pick up the pieces of her acting career and get on with life after her discharge from a rehab center. For insurance purposes, she must stay with a “responsible” individual such as her mother (Shirley MacLaine), a comedy star in the 1950s and ’60s whose shadow Suzanne had struggled to escape. The screenplay by Carrie Fisher is based on her semi-autobiographical, 1987 novel about her and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

Post-screening discussion led by psychoanalyst Michael Harty and Tom Poe, associate professor of film and media arts at the University of Missouri- Kansas City.


Friday, February 5, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join in a special evening of all things STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Enjoy LEGOs, art projects, computer coding, and more.

The creative fun continues every Saturday with KC Kids Create. Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, February 4, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library joins the UMKC Black Studies Program and the Black Archives of Mid-America in presenting a series of screenings of four memorable films adapted from books by African American authors. Funding provided by the Bebe and Crosby Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee.

This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

While perceived as a mostly southern phenomenon, racist violence existed everywhere in the decades following the Civil War – including Kansas and the larger Midwest despite the region’s identification with pastoral virtue and racial harmony.

In a discussion of his new book This Is Not Dixie: Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley associate professor Brent M.S. Campney exposes the reality of the era. There were systemic and enduring white-on-black abuses in Kansas, from sensational demonstrations of white power such as lynchings and race riots to property damage, rape, forcible removal from town, and other, more routine means of intimidation. The South’s reputation offered cover, allowing commentators to deem each Midwest episode an anomaly and cultivate a sort of historical amnesia.


Kansas City Public Library Beta