Previous Special Events

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Kansas City Public Library, The Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC's Black Studies Program are working in partnership to present the Black History Month Book-to-Film Series Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of February.

Denzel Washington’s Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, an employed World War II veteran, becomes a private detective and finds himself entangled in murder, corruption, and the Los Angeles underworld. From the 1995 novel by Walter Mosely. 102 minutes. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

Discussion leader: Adrienne Walker Hoard, director of the Black Studies Program and professor of art, UMKC.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kyle Gann is one of the foremost experts on American music today, having spent almost two decades as the new-music critic for the Village Voice, teaching music theory, history, and competition at New York’s Bard College since 1997, and composing more than 100 of his own works.

He draws from his latest book — which Gann terms “the greatest achievement of my life” — in a discussion of Charles Ives’ masterful Concord Sonata. First published in 1919 and revised by Ives in 1947, the innovative piece is a musical portrait of four renowned, transcendentalist authors who lived in Concord, Massachusetts, in the 19th century: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott (and her father Amos Bronson Alcott), and Henry David Thoreau.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
10:00am @ Central Library

Through storytelling and song, vocalist and cultural historian Brother John helps young audience members explore the hidden, coded meanings and messages of classic spirituals and folk tunes used by Underground Railroad conductors in spiriting fugitive slaves to freedom.

Recommended for ages 5 and older.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kansas Citians go to the polls in April and June to elect a mayor and 12 city council members who will direct the city for the next four years. What are the talking points? The priorities?

Continuing the second season of Citizens Project forums, City Manager Troy Schulte and Finance Director Randy Landes join a discussion of the issues the candidates ought to be addressing. Also on the panel is Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, a University of Kansas professor specializing in public budgeting and performance management. KCPT’s Nick Haines moderates.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
6:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library, The Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC's Black Studies Program are working in partnership to present the Black History Month Book-to-Film Series Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of February.

Spike Lee co-wrote, produced, and directed this critically acclaimed study of the African American activist, drawing from Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X. Denzel Washington was Oscar-nominated for his performance in the title role. Rated PG-13, 202 minutes.

Discussion leader: Veronica Wilson-Tagoe, teaching professor of black studies, UMKC.

Sunday, February 15, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library’s ninth season of Script-in-Hand performances, featuring the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, kicks off a series of Love Stories with the intimate, two-character play Love Letters.

A.R. Gurney’s poignant piece chronicles the 50-year relationship between a man and a woman — first as children, then as lovers, and finally as friends — through letters they exchanged during their lives and now read on stage. Premiering in 1988, the play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1990.

Friday, February 13, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Computers are everywhere, yet only one in 10 schools offers computer programming classes. Youth can get a taste here, joining in an encore session of Hour of Code events. Participants are encouraged to bring their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices, though Library devices are available to share. Recommended for ages 5 and older.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Urban League of Greater Kansas City President Gwendolyn Grant hosts a discussion of data from the 2015 State of Black Kansas City. The event features remarks by authors and other individuals who contributed to the 2015 report.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Even as they were laying the framework for a new country, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many of America’s other Founding Fathers were tending to another vital duty. They were raising families.

Saint Louis University history professor Lorri Glover discusses her new book, the first to explore how the Revolution remade family life as much as it reinvented political institutions. Focusing on Washington, Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason, and Patrick Henry, she describes the colonial households that nurtured future revolutionaries, follows the development of political and family values during the revolutionary years, and shines new light on the radically transformed world that was inherited by 19th-century descendants.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Join Kansas City Public Library staff for film screenings and animated conversations centered on quality film versions of books that are official selections of the Love on the Rocks 2015 Winter Reading Program. Discussions immediately follow film presentations. These screenings are open to the public. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source book prior to the film screening.

Director Neil LaBute’s adaptation of A.S. Byatt’s novel tells the story of a pair of literary sleuths as they unearth the amorous secret of two Victorian poets only to find themselves falling under a passionate spell. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. 102 minutes, Rated PG-13.