Previous Special Events

Friday, January 17, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Enjoy a silent, one-man circus act as pantomimist Richard Renner entertains with physical comedy, pratfalls, and a marriage of circus talents with everyday life.

This program is appropriate for all ages.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In the face of federal gridlock, economic stagnation, and fiscal turmoil, power in the United States is shifting away from Washington and toward our major metropolitan areas.

In a discussion of his new book, The Metropolitan Revolution, Brookings Institution Vice President Bruce Katz describes how the emerging metropolitan-led "next economy" will produce more and better jobs driven by innovation, exports, and sustainability.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

For nearly a quarter of a century, journalist and educator John C. Tibbetts spent most of his weekends hobnobbing with actors and filmmakers on Hollywood press junkets.

But he did more than just interview his famous subjects. With ink and watercolors, Tibbetts created portraits of the famous folk with whom he visited. And his subjects almost invariably autographed the finished work.

Tibbetts will discuss the creation of these portraits — featured in the Library’s current exhibit, Stargazing — and share stories about many of his celebrity encounters in a talk complementing the exhibit Stargazing, which remains on display through January 31, 2014, at the Central Library.


Sunday, January 12, 2014
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A free series of films by Alfred Hitchcock who used film to explore his own neuroses and phobias, in the process revealing the psychological complexities we all share.

A seminal film for Hitchcock both artistically and thematically, Notorious stars Ingrid Bergman as the “kept woman” of a cultured sophisticate (Claude Rains) who after World War II has relocated with his fellow Nazis to Brazil. She is recruited by a cynical American agent (Cary Grant) to inform on her lover, thus putting her life in danger. What’s more, both men are in love with her.


Friday, January 10, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The folks behind the Kansas City FilmFest lend insight into the world of animation through a variety of old-fashioned, film-related crafts and children’s film presentations.

This program is appropriate for grades K-6.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On January 8, 1815 — 199 years ago — the vaunted British Army suffered an epic defeat by makeshift American forces under the command of Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in what became the closing act of the War of 1812. Jackson’s remarkably improbable victory, which took place two weeks after the peace treaty ending the war had been signed, brought him national acclaim and led directly to his election to the presidency in 1828.

Richard Barbuto, deputy director of the department of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, delves into this triumph of American arms, the last time U.S. and British forces ever fought against each other.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What if Adolf Hitler had realized his dream of an art career and never turned to politics? What if Judas had saved Jesus of Nazareth? What if Ho Chi Minh had leveraged his experience as a cook in a Harlem restaurant into a corporate empire selling oven-ready dessert pastries? Or if Benjamin Franklin had become a clergyman? Or if Napoleon had kept Louisiana for the French?

Phong Nguyen, author of the new book Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History, reimagines the biographies of a dozen of history’s heroes and villains, and explores how the world would be a far different place.


Sunday, January 5, 2014
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre Artists read from favorite children's books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to "jump into the story" and participate in an improvised story of their own making.

Appropriate for all ages, Dramatic Story Time programs take place one Sunday each month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2013-2014 school year, beginning October 6, 2013.


Sunday, December 29, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Gone With the Wind. The Wizard of Oz. Stagecoach. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Wuthering Heights.

Hollywood’s greatest year was 1939, with more memorable movies released than at any other time. Each week throughout 2014, the Library will screen one film from that year: Westerns, musicals, dramas, romances – even titles from the long-running Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, and Andy Hardy series.

To kick off this celebration of celluloid, former Kansas City Star film critic Robert W. Butler — now with the Library’s public affairs staff — provides an introductory survey of the films and personalities that made 1939 so memorable.


Friday, December 27, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Christmas is over . . . now what?

Come in from the cold and celebrate winter. Plaza Branch staff members will have crafts, stories, and other fun activities centered around our coolest time of year.

Appropriate for all ages.