Previous Special Events

Thursday, April 29, 2010
8:30pm @ Plaza Branch

One of the leading Chicano writers in the country with 14 published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, and poetry, Luis J. Rodriguez will discuss his prolific work.

Rodriguez’s master work, Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., is a 1993 memoir of gang life. With more than 300,000 copies sold, this book garnered a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program Schools, discusses an examination of KIPP-endorsed ideas such as longer school days, summer classes, and a more strenuous academic curriculum.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Former principal ballerina with the New York City Ballet Judith Fugate discusses her career and the May production of the George Balanchine work Who Cares? on Wednesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

Set to 16 Gershwin songs, Who Cares? is part of the Kansas City Ballet’s spring season and will be performed May 6-9 at The Lyric Theatre.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010
8:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A native of the American Midwest, Juliet Gael presents her novel, a mix of fact and fiction that captures the passions, hopes, dreams, and sorrows of literature’s most famous sisters.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Renowned Mexican international scholar and political scientist José Luis Valdés-Ugalde presents An Historical Assessment of the Inter-American Dilemma: The Conflict Between Security, Democratic Governance, and Progress. The presentation draws on Valdés-Ugalde’s professional and scholarly expertise in diplomacy, trade, and globalization. 


Sunday, April 25, 2010
3:30pm @ Plaza Branch

You have read the Marilynne Robinson novel—now watch the film adaptation of Housekeeping (1987) starring Christine Lahti and directed by Bill Forsyth. Join Big Read facilitator Kelly Miller for a lively conversation comparing the written word to its dramatic interpretation. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source novel prior to attending the film screening. Click here or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP.


Thursday, April 22, 2010
8:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City Royals play-by-play announcer Ryan Lefebvre discusses his struggles with depression and how he emerged with a new perspective on living a balanced and healthy life on Thursday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Award-winning novelist Chang-rae Lee discusses his new novel The Surrendered, a spellbinding story of how love and war echo through an entire lifetime, on Thursday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

The book has been called a profound meditation on the nature of heroism and sacrifice, the power of love, and the possibilities for mercy, salvation, and surrendering oneself to another.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010
9:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Daniel Wildcat, director of the American Indian studies program and the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center at Haskell Indian Nations University, discusses his book Red Alert!, which has been described as "a stirring call to action."

In his book, Wildcat says that "what the world needs today is a good dose of indigenous realism." Wildcat draws upon ancient Native American wisdom and nature-centered beliefs to advocate a modern strategy to combat global warming.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr. James H. Willbanks discusses the events that led to the end of the Vietnam War on Wednesday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

The event marks the 35th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which occurred on April 30, 1975.