Previous Special Events

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Journalist and local historian Cindy Higgins presents an illustrated talk about the brewers and breweries of early Kansas, their role in fostering a sense of community within the state’s German enclaves, and their surprising legacy among today’s beer aficionados.

As settlers streamed into Kansas, brewers followed and set up their strange contraptions – “mash tuns” and “wort kettles.” The manufacture of beer was as much art as craft during a time before out-of-state competition, temperance societies, and state prohibition laws killed the budding industry. Kansas boasted more than 90 breweries, fixtures in German communities. Leavenworth had at least six operating at one time in the 1850s.

Friday, August 14, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The event is now at capacity and RSVPs have been closed.

Join us for an evening of interactive art!

Drawing is a fundamental skill that can—and should—be learned by all children. The Young Rembrandts® method teaches drawing while developing visual learning skills that give children ages 3 1/2 to 12 an academic advantage in the classroom.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Former Library of Congress Chief Executive Officer Donald Scott discusses his new memoir Recipient of Grace.

Scott’s story begins as a poor black youth growing up in Hunnewell, Missouri, and concludes with his term as chief operating officer at the Library of Congress. In between, he recounts his service in the U.S. Army and the undercurrent of racial tensions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Travel the world without leaving Kansas City.

Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Bobbi Baker discusses efforts to re-brand Independence Avenue as Kansas City’s International Market Place.

Independence Avenue is home to a number of ethnic grocers, jewelry and apparel stores, and some of the best restaurants in Kansas City; but many outside of the Northeast have never heard of them, let alone visited.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Author Pete Dulin is joined by the Library’s director of programming and marketing Steven Woolfolk, and representatives from local breweries Torn Label and Big Rip for a discussion of the local beer scene and Dulin’s book KC Ale Trail.

KC Ale Trail offers a guide to 23 modern breweries and examines the growth of craft brewing in Kansas City and the surrounding area. Dulin also includes interviews with some of the area’s leading craft beer advocates, including Boulevard Creative Director Payton Kelly and Bier Station owner John Couture.

The event is preceded by a reception featuring samples provided by Torn Label and Big Rip.

Friday, August 7, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

After five weeks of drama classes the participants in the Young Actors Workshop need an audience.

Enjoy comedic and dramatic performances by children ages 3-17 taught by theatre instructor John Mulvey, who holds a Bachelor of Theatre Arts degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, August 6, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The influence of Latinos on America's pastime has increased significantly in the past two decades—they now account for more than a quarter of all players in baseball’s major leagues—and their early struggles and emergence parallel the integration of American society as a whole. The Kansas City Royals, whose current roster features 11 players from Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, epitomize their current prominence.

Adrian Burgos Jr., professor of history, African American studies, and Latina/Latino studies at the University of Illinois and author of Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line, and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Vice President Raymond Doswell discuss this growing Latino imprint as part of the Latinos in America: 500 Years of History series in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council, under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

History books cast William Clark as a wilderness-braving, 1800s action hero, a partner with Meriwether Lewis in the nearly two-and-a-half-year exploratory expedition that cleared the way for America’s westward expansion. But his ledger entries reveal another, less gallant side.

In a discussion of her new book, historian Jo Ann Trogdon examines Clark’s activities more than five years before his epic journey and presents evidence—gleaned from her examination of his leather-trimmed journal—that links him to a series of treasonous plots dubbed the “Spanish Conspiracy.” It involved corrupt officials who sought to line their pockets with Spanish money and convince American frontier settlers along the Mississippi River to break away from the U.S.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Presidential races are the stuff of myth, sometimes literally. Like the 1952 contest between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, both purportedly reluctant candidates who were somewhat out of touch with their campaigns.

Cazenovia College history professor and presidential scholar John Robert Greene, author of The Crusade: The Presidential Election of 1952, sets the record straight in a discussion of the race ultimately won decisively by Eisenhower. The myth makers, he maintains, underrate the political shrewdness of the two men, each of whom wanted to win and recognized that voters were more receptive to a candidate who was “above politics.”

Sunday, August 2, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Mike Yeates and Andrew Mackey explain how they took an all-but-forgotten home and made it the office site of their business, The Real Estate Store. The home (9550 NE Cookingham Dr) is possibly the oldest in the Kansas City area and a rare early example of Gothic Revival architecture in the Midwest.

The 2015 Kansas City Architecture Series examines how historic buildings in Kansas City’s downtown area have been repurposed and given new life.

Kansas City Public Library Beta