Previous Special Events

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, discusses her four trips to Afghanistan since 2010 and explains what she learned about the conditions faced by ordinary people in a country afflicted by three decades of warfare.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Welsh-born actor Guy Masterson reads A Child’s Christmas in Wales, one of the most popular works by Welsh writer and poet Dylan Thomas.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, like many of Thomas’ poems, is less a narrative than a collection of descriptive passages intended to invoke a sense of nostalgia in the reader or listener. It was first published in its current form by Harper’s Bazaar in 1950, though a shorter, earlier version called Memories of Christmas was recorded in 1945 for the BBC.

Friday, December 9, 2011
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Celebrate the holidays with The Lend a Hand Family and their “Healthy Hip Hop Movement!”

Rappin Roy,” ”Reggie Regg the Magic Man,” and “Rofessor the Professor” are hosting a community event in honor of the true spirit of Christmas … love and family!

Their positive presentation will bring music, dance, and magic together during an action-packed, interactive performance.

Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, December 8, 2011
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer discusses the role of the Court in American government and explains why he believes the justices should interpret the Constitution in a way that works in practice as well as in theory.

Breyer rejects approaches that look exclusively at the Constitution’s text or the 18th century views of the framers and instead advocates a pragmatic approach that applies unchanging constitutional values to ever-changing circumstances.

Co-sponsored by the Truman Library Institute.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Brass – a six-member ensemble comprised of Kansas City Symphony performers – returns for its annual holiday performance, offering a selection of favorites from the sacred to the secular.

The Kansas City Brass is a brass ensemble with percussion first organized in 1991. Its members are: Gary Schutza Jr. and Brian Rood (trumpets), Steve Multer (horn), Wyatt Henderson (trombone), Steven Seward (tuba), and Timothy Jepson (percussion).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Isaac Getz – a professor at the highly touted ESCP Europe international business school – discusses his new book Freedom, Inc. and explains his belief that if people can be free to act in the best interest of their company, the results will be tremendous. Citing real world examples from companies such as Harley-Davidson and Sun Hydraulics, Getz explains how innovation rises as often from the factory floor as it emerges from the corner office.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The images of the military destruction suffered on December 7, 1941, and the words that followed by President Franklin Roosevelt have been seared into the American collective consciousness, but what was the immediate impact on Midwesterners living thousands of miles away?

University of Kansas history professor Theodore Wilson commemorates the 70th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor with a discussion of the immediate and lasting effects the attack had on the nation and the Midwest.

Friday, December 2, 2011
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Enjoy an evening of classic family literature as Kansas City author Andrea Warren introduces London in the year 1835 when a compassionate, energetic Charles Dickens began changing society’s assumptions about the poor and inspired his readers to offer a helping hand to those in need.

With a special emphasis on A Christmas Carol, Warren introduces readers to Dickens and his times.

This program is appropriate for ages 8 and above.

Thursday, December 1, 2011
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Barron H. Lerner – professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University – discusses his new book One for the Road and explains why, after decades of warning, people continue to drink and drive.

Lerner examines drunk driving in the context of American beliefs about alcoholism, driving, individualism, and civil liberties and narrates the debate between two factions: those vehemently against drunk driving and those who say the problem is exaggerated.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shawn Faulkner of the Military History Department at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the conditions faced by the average Civil War soldier – on and off the battlefield – in a presentation titled Jonny Reb and Billy Yank.

Faulkner explains the many factors that shaped the daily lives of the soldiers, including the quality and availability of food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Faulkner also answers the question: What motivated soldiers on both sides to fight and to endure the hardships of war?

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