Previous Special Events

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.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kansas City Star sports reporter Blair Kerkhoff explains why the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City was instrumental in the demolition of racial barriers in college athletics.

Long before the NCAA and NIT tournaments accepted them, college basketball teams from historically black colleges and universities found a home in Kansas City. The basketball tournament of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was a fixture on the city’s sports calendar; but to African Americans around the country, it meant something special.


Sunday, February 19, 2012
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The annual Searching the Psyche through Cinema series returns for an examination of the most deliberately neurotic American filmmaker, Woody Allen.

This dramatic thriller written and directed by Woody Allen stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson as outsiders trying to navigate their own separate ways into a rich British family – all the while resisting a mutual attraction. A deeply plotted and surprising story, Allen considers it one of his favorites.
Rated R. (124 min.)


Saturday, February 18, 2012
10:30am @ Plaza Branch

Children in kindergarten through eighth grade are encouraged to tap their creative energies and create masterpieces at the Westport Center for the Arts’ Team Up for Art this winter.


Friday, February 17, 2012
10:00am @ Waldo Branch

Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic Show honoring the Tuskegee Airmen plays at five Library locations. For ages 4 and up.


Kansas City Public Library Beta