Previous Special Events

Sunday, February 22, 2015
2:00pm @ Waldo Branch

Join Bernard Norcott-Mahany and friends in an afternoon of stories and songs about “love gone wrong,” part of the Library’s Adult Winter Reading Program themed Love on the Rocks. The annual, two-month event spotlights books about broken hearts, bad romances, and the unfortunate reality that not every fairy tale ends happily ever after.

Norcott-Mahany, a senior technical assistant at the Library’s L.H. Bluford Branch, is accompanied by a cast of local actors and entertainers in staging scenes of ill-fated romance from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Homer’s Odyssey, James Thurber’s short story “A Couple of Hamburgers,” and other familiar works. Mournful ballads and classic, lovelorn blues songs intersperse the performances.


Sunday, February 22, 2015
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema film series returns in January and February with screenings of movies starring the late Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. A discussion featuring experts in cinema and psychoanalysis follows each screening.

In his last starring role before his death, Hoffman portrays a worn German espionage agent who works with an array of murky characters to develop intelligence from the Muslim community in Hamburg. The post-screening discussion is led by psychoanalyst Joanne Hindman and Tom Poe, associate professor of film and media arts in UMKC's Department of Communications Studies. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.


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

This year’s winners of the 22nd Annual Young Writers Contest are recognized at a reception sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library, Johnson County Library, and Reading Reptile.

The contest is open to youth ages 5-12, with entries ranging from poems to essays to short stories. Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Kansas City Public Library, The Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC's Black Studies Program are working in partnership to present the Black History Month Book-to-Film Series Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of February.

Denzel Washington’s Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, an employed World War II veteran, becomes a private detective and finds himself entangled in murder, corruption, and the Los Angeles underworld. From the 1995 novel by Walter Mosely. 102 minutes. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

Discussion leader: Adrienne Walker Hoard, director of the Black Studies Program and professor of art, UMKC.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kyle Gann is one of the foremost experts on American music today, having spent almost two decades as the new-music critic for the Village Voice, teaching music theory, history, and competition at New York’s Bard College since 1997, and composing more than 100 of his own works.

He draws from his latest book — which Gann terms “the greatest achievement of my life” — in a discussion of Charles Ives’ masterful Concord Sonata. First published in 1919 and revised by Ives in 1947, the innovative piece is a musical portrait of four renowned, transcendentalist authors who lived in Concord, Massachusetts, in the 19th century: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott (and her father Amos Bronson Alcott), and Henry David Thoreau.


Thursday, February 19, 2015
10:00am @ Central Library

Through storytelling and song, vocalist and cultural historian Brother John helps young audience members explore the hidden, coded meanings and messages of classic spirituals and folk tunes used by Underground Railroad conductors in spiriting fugitive slaves to freedom.

Recommended for ages 5 and older.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kansas Citians go to the polls in April and June to elect a mayor and 12 city council members who will direct the city for the next four years. What are the talking points? The priorities?

Continuing the second season of Citizens Project forums, City Manager Troy Schulte and Finance Director Randy Landes join a discussion of the issues the candidates ought to be addressing. Also on the panel is Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, a University of Kansas professor specializing in public budgeting and performance management. KCPT’s Nick Haines moderates.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015
6:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library, The Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC's Black Studies Program are working in partnership to present the Black History Month Book-to-Film Series Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of February.

Spike Lee co-wrote, produced, and directed this critically acclaimed study of the African American activist, drawing from Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X. Denzel Washington was Oscar-nominated for his performance in the title role. Rated PG-13, 202 minutes.

Discussion leader: Veronica Wilson-Tagoe, teaching professor of black studies, UMKC.


Sunday, February 15, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library’s ninth season of Script-in-Hand performances, featuring the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, kicks off a series of Love Stories with the intimate, two-character play Love Letters.

A.R. Gurney’s poignant piece chronicles the 50-year relationship between a man and a woman — first as children, then as lovers, and finally as friends — through letters they exchanged during their lives and now read on stage. Premiering in 1988, the play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1990.


Friday, February 13, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Computers are everywhere, yet only one in 10 schools offers computer programming classes. Youth can get a taste here, joining in an encore session of Hour of Code events. Participants are encouraged to bring their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices, though Library devices are available to share. Recommended for ages 5 and older.