Previous Special Events

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Winston Churchill’s 1946 speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, warned that Communism was on the march. Historian Philip White relates how the address – encouraged and attended by Harry S. Truman – was met with skepticism but came to be seen as a Cold War prophecy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Historian Shawn Leigh Alexander looks at the forgotten men and women who in the late 19th century took up the cause of civil rights for African Americans. Creating groups such as the Afro-American League, the Afro-American Council, the Niagara Movement, the Constitution League, and the Committee of Twelve, these pioneers developed the methodology of boycotts, propaganda, lobbying, and moral suasion that would bear fruit only long after they had passed on.

Alexander is an assistant professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas.

Monday, March 5, 2012
6:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The documentary The Power of Two follows “Ana” and “Isa” Stenzel, twins born with cystic fibrosis who beat the odds to not only survive but thrive. Saved by lung transplants, the siblings now run half marathons, climb mountains, and work to improve access to transplant opportunities around the world.

Ana and Isa Stenzel will participate in a panel discussion following the screening.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jewish Community Center
5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park
RSVP: 913.327.8000

Published in 1961, The Phantom Tollbooth was quickly heralded as both a classic of children’s literature and as a modern fairy tale capable of seducing readers of all ages. Fifty years later it’s as delightful as ever. Writer Norton Juster and illustrator Jules Feiffer share stories about the creation of their landmark book and answer questions from the audience.

Saturday, March 3, 2012
10:00am @ Plaza Branch

Area high school students and their families receive an eyeful and an earful about design careers at the 2012 Design Futures High School Program.

This combined panel discussion/college fair is aimed at young people considering a future in the field. Design professionals talk about their specialties and representatives of colleges, universities, art schools, and design organizations hand out literature and answer questions.

The event is part of KC Design Week running Feb. 29 to March 7.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A panel of area composers discusses the enduring beauty and power of choral music. The next day – Saturday, March 3 – their latest works will premiere in a concert by Kansas City vocal ensemble Octarium at 7:30 p.m. at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St.

The March 3 concert is a spin-off of the “locavore” trend that encourages people to eat locally-grown food. In that spirit, Octarium seeks to perform locally-composed music.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Edgar Snow, as portrayed by actor Robert Gibby Brand, on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7 p.m. on the Lyric Opera set for Nixon in China in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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.

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