Previous Special Events

Friday, January 22, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Doo-Dads, a Kansas City-based band, have won a loyal following with its kid-cool, adult-friendly, rock- and-roll licks. Founder, lead singer, and songwriter Mike Niewald – aka Doo-Dad Mike – packs his solo performance with interactive, high-energy presentations featuring Doo-Dad favorites and other age-appropriate numbers. Appropriate for all ages.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

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

Kansas City’s new streetcar line will run from the River Market through downtown and to on Crown Center. Where should it go in the future? North to KCI? South to Brookside and Waldo? East? Is this the future for public transit in the city? If so, who pays for it?

Co-presented by American Public Square.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Over the span of 30 days a little more than two years ago, a group of female filmmakers made a 7,000-mile trek from Los Angeles to New York in search of stories and examples of inspiration for America’s next generation of women. The result was The Empowerment Project, a full-length documentary spotlighting 17 women in a variety of fields – from pilot and biologist to congresswoman, ballerina, and beer maker.

A screening of the film, directed and produced by Emmy winners Sarah Moshman and Dana Michelle Cook, is followed by a panel discussion revolving around its central question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?”

Sunday, January 17, 2016
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library kicks off its 10th season of Script-in-Hand performances and launches more than six months of special programming surrounding one of the cultural events of the year – an exhibit featuring a rare, nearly four-centuries-old First Folio collection of Shakespeare’s plays.

Much Ado About Nothing, one of the Bard’s best comedies, is the first Script-in-Hand production to be staged by Kansas City’s Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Later performances will be produced by the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and likewise revolve around Shakespeare, part of an extended celebration in conjunction with the First Folio exhibition at the Central Library from June 6-28. The rare volume will be on loan from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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.

Kansas City Public Library Beta