Previous Special Events

Thursday, May 31, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Choral director Simon Carrington and members of his Simon Carrington Chamber Singers join their voices to those of 32 elite high school vocalists in an “open rehearsal” of works by Frank Ticheli, Cesar Carrillo, and Matthew Harris. This is the third year Carrington and members of his ensemble have held a master class for young performers, but the first time the students have sung with the professionals.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The 2008 financial collapse of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resulted in a sweeping government bailout that cost the American taxpayers $150 billion. Economist Viral V. Acharya, co-author of Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance, argues that given government policy, the meltdown was virtually inevitable. He discusses how economic damage can be limited and how to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Historian Barry Strauss delves into the personalities and methodologies of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, three generals of the ancient world who had to look beyond the battlefield to decide what constitutes victory, when to end the fighting, and how to bring stability to the lands they conquered. These warrior-statesmen, Strauss argues, provide valuable lessons 2,000 years later.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Kansas City Public Library hosts a screening of the documentary film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2003). This documentary film screening takes a look at an unheralded pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement. It contains valuable archival footage that reviews Rustin’s activism over six decades, including debates between Rustin and radical Civil Rights leaders such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. Not rated. (83 min.)

Admission to this event is free.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Willa Cather, portrayed by Jan Chapman.

Growing up in small-town Nebraska, Cather (1873-1947) was moved by the people and landscape she encountered. In novels like O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, My Antonia, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning One of Ours she celebrated frontier life on the Great Plains. Though she spent most of her life in New York City, Cather continued to draw from her Midwestern roots.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Author Zachary Karabell examines Chester Alan Arthur, who was propelled into the presidency by the assassination of James Garfield and turned his back on the patronage system that had nurtured him.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Curator of decorative arts Catherine Futter and her colleagues from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art provide an illustrated behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s new exhibit running through August 19, 2012.

Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939 features 200 objects introduced at world’s fairs over nearly a century. These events were the first global marketplaces, where manufacturers and artisans promoted their most ingenious innovations.

Watch a YouTube video for Inventing the Modern World:

Sunday, May 20, 2012
2:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Former Kansas City Star columnist Bill Tammeus discusses his anger over the loss of his nephew in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 - and how he came to terms with it.

The event also serves as the regular monthly meeting of Anger Alternatives (, a local group that teaches the tools and skills to manage anger and promote healing. The group's current series is Making Peace with Anger.

Sunday, May 20, 2012
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library invites children and parents to be part of monthly interactive story times presented by the Coterie Theatre. Theatre artists read from their favorite children's books while audience members enjoy an opportunity to "jump into the story" on stage.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Historian Brooks Blevins examines a brutal 1929 murder and rape in the Arkansas Ozarks and demonstrates how press coverage of the ensuing trial has resulted in unfair generalizations about life in that corner of the Midwest.

A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. His other books include Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State and Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image.

Kansas City Public Library Beta