Previous Special Events

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Educators and researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade. Students falling short often falter in later grades and are four times more likely than proficient readers to fail to graduate from high school on time.

What’s being done and what more is needed, to insure that local schools are helping students make the grade? The Library and American Public Square address the questions in the latest in a series of mannerly discussions of local issues.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Cassandra Clare, creator of the internationally best-selling Mortal Instruments series, now towers as an author of young-adult fantasy fiction. She discusses her life, her award-winning career, and her new Shadowhunters novel, Lady Midnight, the first in a new series, The Dark Artifices – a sequel to the Mortal Instruments.


Monday, March 14, 2016

For two years, Harvard University social sciences professor Matthew Desmond embedded himself in two poor neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What he found was a sobering fact of life: One of the struggling residents’ biggest challenges was holding on to a place to live. Eviction was a persistent threat.


Saturday, March 12, 2016
11:00am @ Plaza Branch

Craig Cobb was already notorious before trying to take over Leith, North Dakota, and turn it into an Aryan enclave some three years ago. The struggle for control of the tiny hamlet culminated in the white supremacist’s arrest for intimidating its residents.

As part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up community cinema initiative, the Library and KCPT-TV screen the documentary Welcome to Leith, which chronicles the saga from the days leading up to Cobb’s arrest to his release from jail six months later (he eventually was placed on probation). The film touches on Cobb’s connection to Frazier Glenn Miller, who in 2014 killed three people outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas.


Friday, March 11, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City-area performer Rockin’ Rob educates and entertains with an original style of children’s music incorporating folk, a cappella, oldies, blues, freestyle, doo wop, gospel, and rock n’ roll. Geared to 2- to 10-year-olds but appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Cote Smith sets his debut novel in the prison town of Leavenworth, Kansas, drawing from his experiences growing up there. Hurt People revolves around two brothers, 9 and 11, and a stranger who befriends them at the same time the town is gripped by a convict’s escape. As the older boy and the charismatic stranger grow closer, the younger child detects danger and desperately tries to keep his brother from slipping away.


Thursday, March 10, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The acclaimed 2010 film Black Swan offers a strange and terrifying interpretation of the dance world, revolving around a ballerina succumbing to the stress of her starring role and her conflicted feelings about her mother and demanding and seductive artistic director. Natalie Portman’s performance in the starring role earned a best-actress Oscar.

On the heels of the Kansas City Ballet’s first full production of Swan Lake—perhaps the most recognized classical ballet of all time—at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Library revisits the psychologically searing film with a screening and subsequent discussion. Leading the conversation are ballerina Tempe Ostergren, in her fifth season with the Kansas City Ballet, and psychoanalyst David Donovan.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Biographer Arnold Rampersad discusses Harlem Renaissance luminary Langston Hughes and his relationship with a number of photographers who celebrated African-American life and literary tradition. Among them: Gordon Parks, whom Hughes advised on a series of photos based on Hughes’ 1942 poetry collection Shakespeare in Harlem.


Sunday, March 6, 2016
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books while young audience members can “jump into the story,” adding their own improvisation. Appropriate for all ages.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Library continues its 10th season of Script-in-Hand performances and 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.

These two comedies by American playwright Charles George reflect on the notions of love and romance through witty repartee, puns, and direct references to the Bard’s folio.


Kansas City Public Library Beta