Previous Special Events

Friday, January 15, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join a musical safari, encountering an array of African animals whose names are set to rhythm. Then, pick a percussion instrument and let the jungle jam begin. As the rhythms of the animals blend, a joyful sense of community begins to develop.

All Ages.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The new documentary Refugee Kids puts a human face on the politicized debate over America’s role as a safe haven for refugees. Spotlighting the Refugee Youth Summer Academy in New York City, it follows newly arrived students granted asylum from some of the world’s most conflict-stricken areas – Burma and Tibet, Egypt and Iraq, Liberia and elsewhere in West Africa – as they transition from the everyday violence of their homelands to school and life in the U.S. Their individual stories are both heartbreaking and inspiring.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

On their first date, a canoe outing in southern Africa, where they both lived, Alexandra Fuller and husband-to-be Charlie Ross were charged by an elephant. An unflustered safari leader, he held his ground. She came away impressed.

Their marriage of 20 years brought a move to America and produced three children, but it ultimately fell apart. Fuller, the author of two acclaimed, searingly honest books about her upbringing in Rhodesia and her colorful, often dysfunctional parents, discusses her third memoir – about the divorce, about her relocation to the U.S., and about her enduring connection to Africa and all she left behind there.

Sunday, January 10, 2016
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema film series returns in January and February with psychological studies of films starring three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. A discussion follows each screening.

Dustin Hoffman plays Ted, a workaholic advertising executive who comes home one day to discover that wife Joanna (Streep) is leaving him and their young son Billy. She needs to find herself, she says. Father and son make a difficult adjustment, learning to live without her, until Joanna returns 15 months later to claim the boy, touching off a nasty custody battle.

Post-screening discussion led by psychoanalyst Bonnie Buchele and Trey Hock, an assistant professor in the filmmaking department at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Saturday, January 9, 2016
11:00am @ Plaza Branch

Football holds a natural appeal to America’s emerging Polynesian population, whose warrior heritage fits a sport noted for stunning athleticism and on-the-field violence. The documentary In Football We Trust spotlights the connection, following four young Polynesian players in Salt Lake City, Utah — a chief source of the modern influx of Pacific Islanders into the NFL — as they strive to overcome gang violence and near-poverty through the promise of college and professional football. It’s seen as a pipeline to the American Dream.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

College graduates last May held an unenviable distinction: They left school deeper in debt than any class before them. Those who’d taken out student loans owed, on average, a little over $35,000, more than doubling the amount of two decades earlier.

In a discussion of their new book, William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis examine the dilemma of young people beginning their careers with a negative net worth. The two University of Kansas professors call, in part, for states and the federal government to establish savings accounts for students during their childhood rather than awarding thousands of dollars at the end of high school – a move they say would promote dramatically different behavior and saving strategies for families.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
3:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City's Shane W. Evans, who has earned national acclaim as the illustrator of more than 30 children's books, joins actress, model, and singer Holly Robinson Peete in a discussion of their heartwarming picture book My Brother Charlie.

Sunday, January 3, 2016
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books while young audience members can “jump into the story,” adding their own improvisation. Appropriate for all ages.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Celebrate the new year a day and a half early! Young ones who can’t stay up ‘til midnight can enjoy their own countdown to 2016 during this morning of games. Appropriate for ages up to 8 years old.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kids can show off their food-based architectural skills by building a graham cracker house (like a gingerbread house, only with graham crackers) during a morning of holiday crafts and games. Non-holiday crafts will also be available. Appropriate for ages up to 8 years old.

Kansas City Public Library Beta