Previous Special Events

Friday, March 6, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Eric Vaughn’s passion for magic started when he was 10 years old. He’s now one of the busiest magicians in the Midwest, keeping audiences laughing and scratching their heads at the same time with performances that are wacky, enthusiastic, interactive, and entertaining. Appropriate for all ages.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Barbecue, jazz, Steamboat Arabia, and the Liberty Memorial, you probably know. But a comprehensive list of must-dos in Kansas City and the surrounding area also includes such lesser-known attractions as ghost tours at Belvoir Winery in nearby Liberty; the fusion of dance, aerial acrobatics, fashion, and live music in a performance by the imaginative ensemble Quixotic; and the eclectic collection of bracelets, brooches, and other adornments at Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence.

Longtime journalist Traci Angel walks through an array of Kansas City’s bucket-list experiences, offering the best day-trip destinations, draws for out-of-towners, and offbeat pleasures in a discussion of her new book.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products, and build businesses – even $100 million businesses. We just have to know how to crack the code.

Strategic adviser Amy Wilkinson presents the keys to turning ideas into enduring enterprises in a discussion of her new book. From interviews with 200 of today’s leading entrepreneurs, including the founders of eBay, Under Armour, Chipotle, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, JetBlue Airways, and Dropbox, she has distilled six fundamental strategies that helped them rise to the top. Creators, she finds, are not born but made. They work at it, sharing skills that can be learned, practiced, and passed on. Wilkinson passes them along to you.

Co-presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.


Sunday, March 1, 2015
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.

March's Selection:
Pigs Ahoy! by David McPhail

Appropriate for all ages.


Saturday, February 28, 2015
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

PLEASE NOTE: At the request of spelling bee organizers, the start time for the Jackson-Clay County Spelling Bee championship has been changed to 1:30 p.m.

Last year’s Jackson County Spelling bee delivered an unforgettable duel between two finalists — one a fifth-grader, the other a seventh-grader — that stretched into overtime, lasting 95 rounds and attracting worldwide attention.

An expanded bee is back. This year’s contest included qualifiers from 102 schools in both Jackson and Clay counties who went through division competition earlier in the month. Those still standing now contend for the Jackson-Clay County Spelling Bee championship, with a single winner advancing to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

The bee is presented in partnership with the Mid-Continent Public Library and Local Investment Commission (LINC), and is co-sponsored by the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School Personnel.


Friday, February 27, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Celebrate the Irish in everyone with a performance by Kansas City’s O’Riada Manning Academy of Irish Dance. The academy has offered a wide range of classes for both children and adults of all levels and backgrounds for more than 20 years. Appropriate for all ages.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Join Kansas City Public Library staff for film screenings and animated conversations centered on quality film versions of books that are official selections of the Love on the Rocks 2015 Winter Reading Program. Discussions immediately follow film presentations. These screenings are open to the public. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source book prior to the film screening.

In a forgotten Mexico, Tita and Pedro fall in love but are forbidden to marry. When Tita is forced to make Pedro’s wedding cake, the guests at the wedding are overcome with sadness, and Tita discovers she can do strange things with her cooking. 105 minutes. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.


Thursday, February 26, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Harry S. Truman’s relationship with Canada has received limited attention from historians. But the 33rd president’s appreciation for our “good neighbor to the north” resulted in significant political and economic advances on both sides of the border while fostering an alliance that underpinned America’s global engagement.

Approaching the 70th anniversary of Truman’s move into the White House in April 1945, Roy Norton — the new Canadian consul general to Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin — discusses key elements from the period 1945-53 that saw Canada attain its ongoing status as America’s best customer and closest ally.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kansas City novelist and Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell sits down with author Elizabeth Gaffney for a public conversation about her new book and the New York-based literary magazine A Public Space, for which she is editor-at-large.

When the World Was Young, her second novel, follows the country’s changing physical and emotional landscape after World War II through the eyes and experiences of a girl growing up in the author’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

Joining Gaffney and Terrell is April Wolfe, one of three inaugural winners of Emerging Writer Fellowships from A Public Place (and once a former semipro wrestler). She discusses her work in fiction and poetry and role in writing and directing two short films.

The event is co-sponsored by the Writers at Work Roundtable and the UMKC English Department.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The latest installment of the Library’s Emmy Award-winning series, Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III, spotlights one of the preeminent figures in 20th century African American literature, Zora Neale Hurston.

Kemper, the Library’s director, holds a public conversation with Hurston as portrayed by longtime Johnson County Community College professor Carmaletta Williams. The presentation will be taped by KCPT-TV for later broadcast.