Previous Special Events

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Titanic weekend kicks off with an outdoor*, Rooftop Terrace concert by veteran folk-rockers Howard Iceberg & the Titanics. Mainstays of the local music scene for decades, Howard and his band make their Library debut with a set of original songs and tributes to the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

*In the event of rain, this event will be moved indoors to Helzberg Auditorium.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose murals bejewel many a public building. From the 1930s to his death in 1973, Benton’s distinctive visual style and nationalistic views made him the object of both veneration and scorn. The issues raised by his art and attitudes dominated debate in the post-war world of painting.

Wolff is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Maine. He is the author of Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

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
3:00pm @ Plaza Branch

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
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

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.


Kansas City Public Library Beta