Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The first vice president to occupy the White House after the death of the incumbent, John Tyler was derided by critics as “His Accidency.” Yet historian Edward P. Crapol depicts Tyler as a bold leader who used the malleable executive system to his advantage and enhanced presidential power.
Crapol, author of John Tyler: The Accidental President, is the William E. Pullen professor of American history, emeritus, at the College of William and Mary.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Art, Language & Play features original artwork by Stephen T. Johnson, an author and illustrator of children’s books who has been nationally published and exhibited. Johnson’s art forges connections between words, objects, and ideas.
Much of his work is characterized by an interest in the alphabet and language, which began with his book Alphabet City, a Caldecott Honor book, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, named The New York Times Illustrated Book of the Year.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Elections are the single most important element of the American political system, the process that determines who will lead us. But elections don’t just happen – they require volunteers to ensure fairness and accuracy. Representatives of the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners lay out the requirements for becoming a poll worker: a judge, voter assistance specialist, deputy commissioner, or greeter/locator.
The KCEB Academy-Public Forum is a series of events running through August intended to educate the public about elections and motivate them to get involved.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
What, exactly, is presidential leadership? What is the current state of executive power in the U.S.? What lingering effects will the current financial crisis have on future presidents? Professor Walter Broadnax addresses those questions in the annual Park University Hauptmann Lecture on international politics, public administration, and democracy.
Broadnax is the distinguished professor of public administration at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Award-winning architect Wendell Burnette discusses his distinctive approach to architecture, one based on developing consensus to create buildings that are timeless and valuable to their clients and users. This methodology extends to using “locally appropriate construction systems and materials” to create “soulful places for our clients, our constituents, our communities, and our world.”
Burnette is the 2012 Regnier Distinguished Visiting Chair at Kansas State University.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Historian Julie Courtwright explains the role of fire – man-made and natural – in shaping the Great Plains and the lives of its residents. Taking their cue from lightning strikes, Native Americans would burn the prairie to encourage the growth of new grass. Modern ranchers and farmers follow the same practice.
Drawing upon old diary entries, newspaper accounts, and pop culture artifacts like TV’s Little House on the Prairie, Courtwright explores how fire has benefitted and sometimes terrorized humans.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
The Kansas City Public Library hosts the annual Missouri Fifth District Congressional Student Art exhibition. U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and his wife Dianne Cleaver will recognize high school artists at a town hall gathering and name the top five submissions in this annual celebration of artistic discovery.
Entries will be on display at the Central Library with many on view through April 7, 2012.
The grand prize winner will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday Night Family Fun presents The Owen Cox Dance Group for a special discussion of their latest show Bottom of the Big Top.
Owen Cox artistic directors Jennifer Owen and Brad Cox and NEA Fellow Nate Fors demonstrate the creative process behind Bottom of the Big Top, a work inspired by early 20th century circus music. The presentation is appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Fountains delight our eyes and our ears with their beauty and calming effect. And in all the world, only Rome has more public fountains than Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins conservator Paul Benson – who has often worked as a consultant in preserving and maintaining these watery jewels – delves into the stories behind some of our town’s most popular fountains.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Noah Feldman examines how four of FDR’s Supreme Court appointees – Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson – juggled rivalries, personality clashes, and individual approaches to constitutional thought to decide landmark cases on race, business and politics.
Feldman, professor of law at Harvard, has written about the Middle East, advised the writers of the new Iraqi constitution, and has been named one of “75 influential figures for the 21st century” by Esquire.