Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has a unique mission among U.S. museums: to reveal biography and history through the portraits of the men and women who have had a decisive impact on American society from the country’s origins to the present day. From grand manner-style oil paintings to the latest video installation, Senior Historian David C. Ward gives a virtual tour of the Portrait Gallery’s collection, discussing the ways portraiture works both as an artistic statement and as a visual portal into past times and lives.
Additionally, National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet outlines plans for the museum as it approaches its 50th anniversary and announces the latest addition to the America’s Presidents exhibition: a portrait of Harry S. Truman purchased with support from the William T. Kemper Foundation. A reproduction of the portrait, which will hang permanently in the Truman Forum, will be unveiled as part of the evening’s program.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema film series returns in January and February with screenings of movies starring the late Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. A discussion featuring experts in cinema and psychoanalysis follows each screening.
Hoffman won a best-actor Oscar for his brilliantly layered portrayal of author and social gadfly Truman Capote. Post-screening discussion led by psychoanalyst David Donovan and Tom Poe, associate professor of film and media arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Saturday, January 10, 2015
The KC Keepers Chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance and Plaza Branch Teen Services Cordially Invite You to the Yule Ball, a Harry Potter themed Holiday Party!
There will be games, dancing, snacks, live music, and lots of Hogwarts Holiday Cheer. Proceeds from a silent auction of wizarding-world goodies will go to benefit reStart. Requested dress code is either semi-formal or ugly holiday sweater.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
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.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Appropriate for all ages.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Washburn University’s Tom Averill, an O. Henry Award winner, discusses his inventive new novel, which subtly evokes Charles Dickens’ Christmastime classic in telling the story of a small-college librarian in Topeka, Kansas, who’s fascinated by transition – among other things, from the Victorian age to the modern age. Her life, incidentally, is going through major change.
Averill is a professor of English and writer-in-residence at Washburn, and has written three other novels: rode, Secrets of the Tsil Café, and The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson. He spoke at the Library in September 2013 as part of its Big Read initiative focusing on the classic Western novel True Grit.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Enjoy holiday music with a percussive twist. Tri-Percussion Ensemble members John Currey, Mark Lowry, and Ray DeMarchi are joined by drummer Sam Wisman in celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, and of course Christmas.
The festive program brings seasonal favorites to life on the marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, chimes, and an eclectic array of rhythmic percussion instruments including West African and Afro-Latin hand drums.
Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Gabriella Polony-Mountain is one of Kansas City’s most talented and diverse artists. Her bold, colorful body of work encompasses sculptures, mosaics, stained glass, repoussé, and weavings. Among her compositions was the mosaic floor of the old Main Library at 12th and McGee.
Christian Cutler, the director of the University of Central Missouri’s Gallery of Art and Design, tells the fascinating story of the 96-year-old Hungarian émigré who arrived in America in 1951 with her first husband, their luggage, and $120 and soon was winning awards for her architectural commissions. When a loss of strength in her hands made it difficult to work in other mediums, she turned to a loom and weaving.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The Civil War may have reached a turning point in 1864, when Ulysses S. Grant became general-in-chief of the Union armies, Confederate defeats continued to mount, and Northern voters in November sustained the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
On the 150th anniversary of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s arrival in Savannah — approaching the end of a 36-day, 265-mile March to the Sea that was both materially and psychologically devastating to the South — military historian Ethan S. Rafuse leads a panel of colleagues with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in a discussion of the events of the year. Did they, indeed, tip the balance of the war decisively and irretrievably to the North?
Co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Founded in 1839 as the first publicly supported institution of higher education in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase territory, the University of Missouri has grown from a cluster of buildings on a field in rough-and-tumble Boone County to an economic and scholastic powerhouse with an enrollment of nearly 35,000 and annual research expenditures of approximately $250 million.
One of its more than 275,000 graduates, Kansas City Star reporter Brian Burnes, discusses the book he has written for Kansas City Star Books commemorating the school’s 175th anniversary. The 220-page, coffee-table publication features historical and contemporary photos along with Burnes’ history of the university.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
George Creel, the onetime head of President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, recalled in his memoir “how we advertised America.” But more accurately, his legacy was selling World War I to the country’s largely neutral populace.