Previous Special Events

Friday, January 27, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Celebrate the birthday of Loula Long Combs – the famous equestrienne daughter of Kansas City’s Robert and Ella Long – with cake, punch, and a special performance of The Long Story of Corinthian Hall by the Paul Mesner Puppets.

Explore the lives of the illustrious Long family through the creative animation of the Paul Mesner Puppets and watch as the puppets build the Long’s magnificent home, Corinthian Hall, on Gladstone Boulevard. All ages are welcome.


Thursday, January 26, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

University of Pennsylvania historian Stephanie McCurry offers a new interpretation of the Confederacy that contends the South sowed the seeds of its demise in creating a regime that excluded white women and slaves, which together comprised a majority of the population.

Confederate Reckoning was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for History. McCurry’s talk is the keynote address for the Richard D. McKinzie Research Symposium.

Co-sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of History.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Richard B. Frank examines the new international scholarship on the first five years of China’s “War of Resistance” against Japan from 1937-42.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre returns for the sixth season of Script-in-Hand performances. The 2012 series, Women of the Years, features some of the most compelling female leads in drama.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012
7:00am @ Plaza Branch

An initiative of Kansas City’s leading business organizations, The Gigabit Challenge solicited business plans from technology entrepreneurs seeking to use Kansas City’s upcoming Google Fiber network to get their businesses off the ground.

Conducted from October 1 – November 18, 2011, the contest drew 113 submissions from around the globe. In this daylong session, finalists will present their business plans before a live audience.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The artistic team from the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer discusses their new and imaginative staging of Mark Twain’s literary classic, celebrated this past fall during The Big Read. Actors will perform a well-known scene from the novel, and the creative team will discuss the unique process of adapting literature into exciting theatre.

Described by The New York Times as “near perfect,” the script for this production was written by award-winning playwright Laura Eason.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Filmmaker Terence O’Malley discusses his new book Black Hand Strawman: The History of Organized Crime in Kansas City, a companion to his documentary of the same name.

O’Malley chronicles the Black Hand era in Kansas City that saw the beginnings of Italian organized crime, its later alliance with the Pendergast political machine, and its rise to dominance in the early 20th century. O’Malley also discusses the lives of the overwhelming majority within the city’s Italian American community who suffered as victims of organized crime.


Sunday, January 15, 2012
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The annual Searching the Psyche through Cinema series returns for an examination of the most deliberately neurotic American filmmaker, Woody Allen.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a romantic comedy-drama about two American women whose summer in Spain is defined by their relationships with an artist and his unstable ex-wife. Written and directed by Allen, the film stars Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson, and Penélope Cruz. Rated PG-13. (96 min.)


Thursday, January 12, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A newborn baby is kidnapped from a Kansas City hospital. A New Year’s Eve bank robber takes hostages in a stand-off. A pharmacist dilutes the medication of 4,000 patients. Over the past 20 years, some of the highest profile FBI cases were investigated in Kansas City.

Retired Special Agent Jeff Lanza, who served as the FBI’s Kansas City spokesman, tells the real stories behind the headlines and reveals how he learned to interact with local and national media. Lanza is author of the recently released Pistols to Press.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wendell Potter, a former VP of CIGNA, argues that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.


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