Previous Special Events

Thursday, April 14, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

It is one of the world’s most iconic images: a nude man, arms and legs outstretched, inside a square within a circle. Vitruvian Man – completed by Leonardo da Vinci around 1490 – perfectly reflects the great inventor and artist’s keen interest in proportion and attempts to relate man to nature. It has become visual shorthand for creative genius and scientific inquiry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Guido Ruggiero underscored his position as one of the world’s leading authorities on the Italian Renaissance with his most recent book, The Renaissance in Italy: A Social and Cultural History of the Rinascimento. Winner of the American Association for Italian Studies’ prize for the best work of 2014 on premodern Italy, it posed a major rethinking of the period from the mid-13th through the 16th centuries as both a movement and a historical era.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech – delivered 70 years ago at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri – still resounds today. Most contemporaries, and subsequently historians, took it as a call to resist Soviet expansionist policies in Eastern Europe. Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev regarded the remarks as the opening shot of the Cold War.

Monday, April 11, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Libraries were an essential part of life for Jane Austen – and for the characters in her novels. She made ample use of her father’s collection of more than 500 books, and borrowed from lending libraries on trips to London and other cities.

Those circulating libraries, as they were called, differed from today’s libraries in a number of ways. Most notably, they were chiefly business ventures and charged patrons a fee for books.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Kansas City Public Library plays host to the annual Missouri 5th Congressional District student art exhibit and celebration, at which U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and his wife, Dianne Cleaver, will honor local high school artists.

Saturday, April 9, 2016
11:00am @ Plaza Branch

Can one be pro-life and pro-gun? Evangelical minister Rob Schenck, an anti-abortion activist and far-right fixture, is an unlikely person to answer “no.”

The documentary The Armor of Light points to the common ground we sometimes share with opponents – and differences we might have with ideological allies – in following Schenck’s effort to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. He aligns with Lucy McBath, the mother of a black Florida teenager shot and killed in 2012 by a white man who objected to the loud rap music blaring from the youth’s car.

Friday, April 8, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Get to know the instruments played in the Kansas City Symphony up close and personal. Young attendees can see and hear the sources of some of the nation’s most beautiful orchestral music. Ages 7 and up.

Thursday, April 7, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City, Kansas, native Nichole Pinkard is a nationally recognized leader in the area of digital learning, founding the Digital Youth Network in 2006. Three years later, DYN and the Chicago Public Library opened the first YOUmedia lab, a 5,500-square-foot space dedicated to learning through hands-on experience. There are now more than two dozen such labs nationwide.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Philanthropy is essential to making America what it is. Individuals, foundations, and businesses donate more than $360 billion annually, underwriting efforts to solve social problems, enrich culture, and strengthen society. Rates of giving are as much as 20 times higher than in comparable nations.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Seventy years ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson called the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg “the greatest tribute power has ever paid to reason.” It was.

The IMT, which put 22 members of Hitler’s regime on trial for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, began in November 1945 and lasted almost a year. Jackson served as chief prosecutor. Beyond its focus of administering justice to Nazi leaders, the tribunal became the foundation for international law and planted the seed for the International Criminal Court.

Kansas City Public Library Beta