Previous Special Events

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From the late nineteenth century through World War II, popular culture portrayed the American South as a region ensconced in its antebellum past, draped in moonlight and magnolias, and represented by such southern icons as the mammy, the belle, the chivalrous planter, white-columned mansions, and even bolls of cotton. But what if this constructed nostalgia for the Old South was actually manufactured by outsiders?

Sunday, August 28, 2011
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Bike trails, playground equipment, picnic areas, and beautiful flowers — these items (and more)are often found in well-planned parks. What would you put in a park that you designed?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Urban farming pioneer Will Allen of Growing Power Inc. hosts a workshop and presentation on growing your own food in the urban core.

Allen’s two-acre Community Food Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the size of a small supermarket, houses 20,000 plants and vegetables as well as fish, chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, and bees. Growing Power aims to improve the health of people as well as the planet.

Co-sponsored by Green Acres Urban Farming and Research Project.

Thursday, August 25, 2011
6:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Filmmakers and Kansas City natives Michael Herzmark and Melissa Wayne present 45 Years Across the Bridge: The Battle of Selma, Alabama, a one hour documentary that frames the story of modern-day Selma as a microcosm of the issues facing much of America today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cricket buff Martin Rowe, co-author of Right Off the Bat, explains the parallel and occasionally intertwined history of baseball and cricket in a presentation that includes anecdotes, diagrams, photographs, and a curve (or dipper) or two.

Along the way, Rowe examines how the two sports mirrored British and American social and racial struggles while expanding beyond the shores of their founding countries to become multinational endeavors commanding global followings that now challenge the future of both sports.

Sunday, August 21, 2011
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Frank B. Converse is considered by many to be the first great virtuoso of “America’s instrument” the five-string banjo.

Join Converse, portrayed by veteran Chautauqua performer Carl Anderton, for a discussion of his life and a demonstration of some Civil War-era banjo music. Converse worked tirelessly to dismiss the idea that the banjo was a simple instrument.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Sunshine Safety Lamp Company of Kansas City was a thriving business a century ago when many homes, outbuildings, and businesses were not yet hooked up to electric utilities.

Terry Marsh explains how Sunshine Safety Lamp founder William H. Hoffstot became one of Kansas City’s most successful early entrepreneurs. He will also show appliances sold by the company.

This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Speakers Series.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Off-the-Wall Film Series screens cult films selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert, who has curated this summer of must-see cinema.

Friday, August 19, 2011
7:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Take a break from today’s technology to experience Civil War-era toys and learn about their history and traditions.

Participants will play with toys from the bygone era as well as choose between making a cornhusk or yarn doll or a toy soldier to take home. Materials will be provided.

The program is appropriate for ages 6 – 10. Co-sponsored by the John Wornall House.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Terry Beckenbaugh of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the first Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, which took place in southwestern Missouri.

On August 10, 1861, Union General Nathaniel Lyon — who was encamped at Springfield with nearly 6,000 men — led a surprise attack on 12,000 secessionist troops camped at Wilson’s Creek. While the Confederates won the battle, they were left in no condition to pursue the retreating Federal forces, and Missouri remained under Union control.

Kansas City Public Library Beta