Previous Special Events

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

President Calvin Coolidge gets a bad rap, says author Amity Shlaes, who notes that under his leadership the economy grew at a rate of four percent annually, taxation was low, and the budget was balanced.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rebecca Solnit offers a guided tour of the Bay Area through her latest book, Infinite City, which reinvents the traditional atlas, expanding it from a mere collection of maps to a vibrant depiction of a city’s inner life.


Monday, February 27, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Angela Elam, host of the New Letters on the Air radio program, conducts a public conversation with novelist and short story writer Jim Shepard as part of the 2012 Writers at Work series.

Shepard has written six novels and four collections of stories including Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which won the Story Prize and was nominated for a National Book Award. He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre continues the sixth season of Script-in-Hand performances with Terrence McNally’s Master Class. The 2012 series, Women of the Years, features some of the most compelling female leads in drama.

This confrontational drama portrays opera diva Maria Callas as she conducts abusive one-on-one singing lessons with promising young students who are quickly disillusioned by their interactions with the once-great star.


Sunday, February 26, 2012
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The 28th Annual Shakespeare Competition encourages exploration of William Shakespeare’s works while developing students’ speaking and critical thinking skills.

Participants select, memorize, and present a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet. The prizes: $150, a full scholarship to the Shakespeare Exploration Advanced Camp, and a trip to the national competition in New York.

Co-sponsored by the Kansas City Branch of the English Speaking Union.


Friday, February 24, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Area filmmaker Emiel Cleaver debuts his documentary film Freedom Is Now about Freedom, Inc., Kansas City’s pioneering African-American political organization.

Not only did Freedom, Inc. give many blacks their first taste of politics, for decades it tirelessly fought for self determination for African Americans frustrated with racism and political irrelevancy.

Co-sponsored by Black Archives of Mid-America.


Friday, February 24, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In this blues and folk concert Kevin M. Kraft performs music from his Songs from Inside the Box CD and discusses the history and construction of cigar box guitars.

There will also be a drawing for one lucky audience member to win their own cigar box guitar.

This is an interactive family event. All ages are appropriate.


Thursday, February 23, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library hosts local author J. Alexander Greenwood for a discussion about the inspiration behind his first novel, Pilate’s Cross.

In 1950, a professor in tiny Peru, Nebraska, strode into his college president’s office and shot him dead. The killer then turned the gun on himself.

Though few remember this event, it inspired Greenwood to write the acclaimed novel Pilate’s Cross and its sequel, Pilate’s Key, which will be released in February.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Historian Bud Bowie looks at economic miscalculations by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and other Southerners that in effect doomed their cause even as it was winning on the battlefield.

Foremost among these was the belief that the North would never risk ruining the immensely important cotton trade by waging war on secessionist states.

Bowie is a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.


Monday, February 20, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Historian of the United States Senate Donald Ritchie discusses presidential relations with Congress since Harry S. Truman.

Ritchie, author of Congress and Harry S. Truman: A Conflicted Legacy, says the constitutional principle of checks and balances coupled with partisanship is a recipe for heated conflict in Washington and on the campaign trail.


Kansas City Public Library Beta