Previous Special Events

Friday, December 12, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Enjoy holiday music with a percussive twist. Tri-Percussion Ensemble members John Currey, Mark Lowry, and Ray DeMarchi are joined by drummer Sam Wisman in celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, and of course Christmas.

The festive program brings seasonal favorites to life on the marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, chimes, and an eclectic array of rhythmic percussion instruments including West African and Afro-Latin hand drums.

Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gabriella Polony-Mountain is one of Kansas City’s most talented and diverse artists. Her bold, colorful body of work encompasses sculptures, mosaics, stained glass, repoussé, and weavings. Among her compositions was the mosaic floor of the old Main Library at 12th and McGee.

Christian Cutler, the director of the University of Central Missouri’s Gallery of Art and Design, tells the fascinating story of the 96-year-old Hungarian émigré who arrived in America in 1951 with her first husband, their luggage, and $120 and soon was winning awards for her architectural commissions. When a loss of strength in her hands made it difficult to work in other mediums, she turned to a loom and weaving.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Civil War may have reached a turning point in 1864, when Ulysses S. Grant became general-in-chief of the Union armies, Confederate defeats continued to mount, and Northern voters in November sustained the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

On the 150th anniversary of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s arrival in Savannah — approaching the end of a 36-day, 265-mile March to the Sea that was both materially and psychologically devastating to the South — military historian Ethan S. Rafuse leads a panel of colleagues with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in a discussion of the events of the year. Did they, indeed, tip the balance of the war decisively and irretrievably to the North?

Co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Founded in 1839 as the first publicly supported institution of higher education in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase territory, the University of Missouri has grown from a cluster of buildings on a field in rough-and-tumble Boone County to an economic and scholastic powerhouse with an enrollment of nearly 35,000 and annual research expenditures of approximately $250 million.

One of its more than 275,000 graduates, Kansas City Star reporter Brian Burnes, discusses the book he has written for Kansas City Star Books commemorating the school’s 175th anniversary. The 220-page, coffee-table publication features historical and contemporary photos along with Burnes’ history of the university.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

George Creel, the onetime head of President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, recalled in his memoir “how we advertised America.” But more accurately, his legacy was selling World War I to the country’s largely neutral populace.

Sunday, December 7, 2014
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

December's Selection:
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

Appropriate for all ages.

Saturday, December 6, 2014
10:00am @ Plaza Branch

The Friends of the Library’s 8th Annual Pre-Owned Cookbook Sale offers hundreds of vintage, nearly new, and collectible cookbooks featuring eye-catching, mouth-watering recipes that will delight family and friends. Learn to cook like a top chef. Or make these recipe books a holiday gift.

Most are priced under $3. “Collectible” and newer books are priced from $5-15.

Friday, December 5, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kids are the stars in this production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Professional actors with Kansas City’s Theatre of the Imagination invite children in the audience to take the stage and help tell a magical story filled with laughter, song, and dance.

Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Seventy-five years ago this week, shortly after the start of World War II, tiny Finland began a valiant, 105-day stand against a massive Soviet invasion that became the stuff of modern military legend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sonny Gibson began his 25-year effort to unearth Kansas City’s African American past with serious doubts. So much was unrecorded and seemingly unknown that he feared “the history of ‘Negroes’ was as good as lost.”

He pressed on, however, scouring libraries, archives, flea markets, and old book stores. He waded through old magazines, newspapers, and other memorabilia. What Gibson found was a trove of materials – photographs, handbills, advertisements, newspaper clippings, social announcements, and other artifacts dating to the 1860s – that he features in his new coffee table-style book, Kansas City Early Negro History.