Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Caitlin Doughty is out to change the way we deal with dying.

Founder of the Order of the Good Death, a web forum promoting the open discussion of death, and host of the wry and popular web series Ask a Mortician, the 30-year-old Los Angeles funeral director sits down for a public conversation with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, about U.S. attitudes toward death and death practices.

Doughty’s appearance coincides with the release of her first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, both a witty memoir and an eye-opening examination of the American way of death. It was The Kansas City Star’s FYI Book Club selection in September.

Sunday, November 2, 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.

November's Selection:
The Night the Scary Beasties Popped Out of My Head by Daniel & David Kamish

Appropriate for all ages.

Friday, October 31, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, join us a screening of Tim Burton’s 1993 classic animated film.

Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Jack Skellington – the Pumpkin King – longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere.

Rated PG, the movie is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Americans unfamiliar or perhaps unconcerned with the Islamic State — ISIS — snapped to attention with the group’s beheading of two journalists.

Middle East specialist Brian L. Steed, a military historian at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, lends historical context to the expanding Sunni organization. Its leader has taken the name of the first Caliph, or Muslim head of state, and like Islamic warriors of the 7th Century has pledged to “conquer Rome.” ISIS also echoes the words of 12th-Century Muslim leader Nur al-Din and his successor, Saladin, as they sought to extend their control from Mosul to Damascus and then Cairo.

Steed presents a cultural, religious, and historical backdrop to today’s events.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It has been a little more than 4½ years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, sharply easing restrictions on political and campaign spending by corporations and labor unions. The argument over its merits has scarcely subsided.

Supporters hold to the court’s assertion that political speech is “indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual.” Jeff Clements is among the opponents — along with President Obama and a majority of the U.S. Senate — who see a ruinously unfair advantage for candidates who can cultivate the wealthiest donors. Clements, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and the founder of Free Speech for People, a nonpartisan movement to overturn the 2010 decision, makes his case in a discussion of his book, Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
10:00am @ Plaza Branch

An offshoot of KC FilmFest’s annual Reel Spirit youth film competition, this all-day family event screens award-winning shorts and a free family feature and offers interactive filmmaking workshops on important storytelling principles.

Making a special appearance is Hallmark Cards artist and head of character development Pedro Martin, who works with the animated hoops&yoyo characters and created Asteroid Andy. He discusses and shows clips of his work, including the conception of new Hallmark character Penny Paperheart, and introduces the animated movie hoops&yoyo’s Haunted Halloween.

Friday, October 24, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The renowned Native American artist and storyteller known as Black Pinto Horse talks about his artwork, how it has empowered him as an adult, and how it made him a successful student in his younger years. Weaving in traditional Native stories and teachings, he encourages healthy choices and respect.

Co-presented by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In 1864, Confederate Gen. Sterling Price mounted a last-gasp raid into Missouri in hopes of capturing St. Louis and ultimately the state. The end of the line, for all practical purposes, was Westport, where Price’s army – after passing up St. Louis and then failing to take Jefferson City – absorbed a decisive defeat and began its retreat.

On the 150th anniversary of the October 23, 1864, Battle of Westport, military historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth explains how the encounter ended the conventional Confederate military presence in Missouri. He also examines the worst aspects of the guerrilla war that plagued the state from 1861-64.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In the shadow of the Civil War, a circle of radicals in a rowdy New York tavern altered American society and helped set Walt Whitman on the path to poetic immortality.

Author Justin Martin discusses his book, Rebel Souls, the first ever written about the colorful band of artists who hung out at Manhattan’s Pfaff’s saloon and were considered the country’s original Bohemians. Besides a young Whitman, they included actor Edwin Booth; trailblazing standup comic Charles Farrar Browne; author and psychedelic drug pioneer Fitz Hugh Ludlow; and actress, painter, and poet Adah Menken.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jason Pollen grew up in New York, and has lived and worked in Paris, London, Zurich, and Chennai, India. But the internationally recognized artist, designer, and teacher — known for his fiber artwork and use of innovative techniques — has made Kansas City his home since 1983, when he accepted a one-year teaching appointment at the Kansas City Art Institute. It grew into the chairmanship of the institute’s fiber department until his retirement in 2010.

Pollen, who continues to expand upon an impressive portfolio, discusses the Kansas City chapter of life and career in conjunction with an exhibit of his work, Unfurled, in the Library’s Guldner Gallery. It runs through November 2, 2014, and will be followed by a second exhibit of his art opening November 9. The exhibit is underwritten by Pam and Gary Gradinger.

Kansas City Public Library Beta