Previous Special Events

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What is it like to be the son or daughter of an absolute and ruthless dictator? To bear a name – Stalin or Mussolini, Mao or Ceausescu, Qaddafi or Hussein – that’s synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil?

In a discussion of his new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators, author Jay Nordlinger speaks with Library Director Crosby Kemper III about the offspring of 20 of the world’s most notorious despots.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Library, in partnership with American Public Square, launches a series of discussions of polarizing local issues – minus the incivility and invective that all too often feed polarity.

Experts on both sides of the debate join University of Missouri-Kansas City professor and moderator Scott Helm in examining the future of Kansas City International Airport. Remodel or rebuild? Stay with multiple terminals or move to just one? The panel includes Skopos President Kevin Koster, a member of the KCI Airport Terminal Advisory Group; Rockhill Strategic President Jon Stephens, interim executive director of the Kansas City, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce; and Pitch writer Steve Vockrodt. There are fact checkers and a “civility bell.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The stories seem more prevalent and disturbing today than ever: kids being pushed in one or more sports to the point of burnout before high school, parents fighting with referees and umpires, coaches berating their pint-sized players.

Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery, psychologist Andrew Jacobs, and Hall of Fame swimming coach Peter Malone have seen firsthand the issues that are making youth sports increasingly difficult for all – especially the young participants.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

We hear and read of it abroad, but the trafficking of underage girls for sex is all too common in America. Emmy-nominated multimedia journalist and producer Tim Matsui shines a light on the issue in his riveting documentary, The Long Night, weaving together the stories of seven people — young girls who were forced or coerced into the sex trade, their parents, and police — whose lives have been forever changed.

Set in Seattle, the 72-minute film was named Pictures of the Year International’s top documentary project of 2014. It is screened at the Plaza Branch’s Truman Forum Auditorium. Matsui leads a subsequent discussion with Kristy Childs, a trafficking survivor who founded the service organization Veronica’s Voice; Craig Hill, a retired Leawood, Kansas, police detective now working as a training consultant with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and FBI sex crimes investigator Megan Kline.

Friday, November 27, 2015
10:30am @ Plaza Branch

Skip the craziness of Black Friday shopping. Make it a playful “Bright Light Friday” instead. Sing, dance, and celebrate the start of the Christmas season with KC-based kid rocker and Library favorite Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove.

On the day of the show, Jim will collect winter clothing items on behalf of the nonprofit Artists Helping the Homeless (artistshelpingthehomeless​.org). Items of need range from socks and long underwear to gloves, scarves, and hats. All sizes accepted (adult large and XL items needed most). Appropriate for all ages.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Antonio Vivaldi wrote more than 500 concertos, none more famous than “The Four Seasons.” The renowned composer’s depictions of rustling leaves, shimmering snow, and the rejuvenation of spring are as vivid today as they were when the set was first published nearly three centuries ago.

Kansas City’s Bach Aria Soloists and Heart of America Shakespeare Festival meld the memorable music with the glorious language of Shakespeare’s poetry. The concert features BAS violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane, harpsichordist-organist Elisa Williams Bickers, and guest guitarist Douglas Niedt along with Heart of America Shakespeare Festival actors.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

RSVP: 816.701.3482

Attorneys from Sly James Law Firm — Malik James, Brian Noland, and Jim Breckenridge — offer advice for dealing with legal issues that can have big ramifications on your life and career.

Programs take place on Tuesday evenings with the same topic repeated the following Saturday morning.

Friday, November 20, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Billy Cody lived as a boy on a homestead in Kansas, went to work at age 11 when his father was killed in the Civil War-era border war with Missouri, became a Pony Express rider at 14, and ultimately learned the skills of a scout, Indian fighter, and buffalo hunter. He gained worldwide fame as Buffalo Bill, star of the traveling Wild West shows.

Award-winning author Andrea Warren discusses the subject of her latest nonfiction book for young readers, The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas. Appropriate for ages 9 and up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The U.S. Army wanted something lightweight, fast, and versatile when it put out a call to auto manufacturers for an all-terrain reconnaissance vehicle at the advent of World War II. It got that and more – the Jeep, which rolled out on Armistice Day in 1940, spawned a civilian version five years later, and became the forerunner of the modern SUV.

Louis DiMarco, an associate professor in the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, looks at the development, history, and legacy of the Jeep in conjunction with its 75th anniversary. Famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle marveled in 1943 that “it does everything. It goes everywhere. It's as faithful as a dog, as strong as a mule, and as agile as a goat.” The brand remains iconic today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

From baseball’s Royals to football’s Chiefs to soccer’s Sporting Kansas City, KC’s sports teams play to a notably enthusiastic fan base – amid a rapid-fire click of shutters as local photographers chronicle the thrills, spills, and on- and off-the-field drama.

Three of the best, David Eulitt and John Sleezer of The Kansas City Star and KC-based freelancers Jamie Squire and Denny Medley, share samples of their work and discuss what makes a great sports photo. The event complements the Pictures of the Year International exhibit Visions of Excellence on display at the Central Library through November 29.

Kansas City Public Library Beta