Previous Special Events

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The concept of genius is a bit cheapened today, invoked too easily in assessments of football coaches, rock musicians, and savvy market traders. But history’s true masterminds — the Michelangelos, da Vincis, Shakespeares, and Einsteins — still inspire awe and a hint of mystery, a sense that these men have had almost otherworldly power to divine the secrets of the universe, to create, even to destroy.

Darrin McMahon, the Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University, details their stories in a discussion of his book, the first comprehensive history of the elusive concept of genius and how it has evolved over the centuries.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, You Can’t Take It With You centers on the Sycamore family, whose members initially seem crazy. After spending a bit of time with these loveable eccentrics, however, audiences conclude that it’s the rest of the world that is mad. The plot centers on the Sycamore daughter’s betrothal to the son of respectable, stick-in-the-mud parents. Director Frank Capra turned the play into a hit film in 1938.

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre performs its eighth season of Script-in-Hand – a series of classic comedies called Exit Laughing.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Join University of Kansas instructor and choreographer Anjali Tata-Hudson and members of the Asian-Indian community for an afternoon of Indian poetry, live and recorded music, dance, visual art, and personal narratives. Following the presentations, sample a variety of Indian cuisine.

The program and post-event reception are presented by the Vox Narro project, which pairs writers and immigrant groups in presenting the cultural traditions and stories of immigrant communities. Vox Narro is supported by the Rocket Grants program, which is funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and administered by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in support of innovative, public-oriented work in nontraditional spaces.


Friday, April 11, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City magician Scott Henderson astounds and amazes in a show packed with audience participation, fun, and laughter – all with a positive message.

Things disappear, change color, and one lucky kid will float before your eyes. It’s as much fun for parents as it is for children.

Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

We’re bombarded with numbers that purport to tell us how our economy is doing and where it is headed. Statistics on unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence guide our actions, yet few know where they come from or what they mean.

In a discussion of his new book, Zachary Karabell explores these indicators — born of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War — and the need to tap into a modern data revolution that makes far more useful information available. If you want to buy a home, look for a job, start a company, or run a business, you can formulate your own, more localized and meaningful indicators at the click of a button.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Remember Barack Obama’s subtle 2008 putdown of Hillary Clinton, when he called her “likable enough?” Maybe the joke is on him.

Not since Ronald Reagan remade the Republican Party in his own image in 1980 has a presidential nomination seemed as inevitable as it does for 2016. The Democratic Party appears settled on Clinton. Her likability rating has climbed in four years, and Democrats are more united than Republicans were in 1980 (or are today). The GOP, meanwhile, lacks a true frontrunner.

Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle and RealClearPolitics’ Washington bureau chief, Carl Cannon, examine the race and likelihood that the U.S. will elect its first female president.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In a discussion of his book, business management and leadership expert Joel Kurtzman makes the argument that America remains by far the world’s dominant manufacturing power, that most of what we produce is recession-proof, and that we boast a stunning level of talent and creativity in the world’s fastest-growing economic sectors — including biotech, pharmaceuticals, computer hardware and software, and telecommunications. Further, the country has a staggering $4.4 trillion in capital now idle. When the business community fully grasps its opportunities and capabilities, he says, prosperity will return.


Monday, April 7, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Retired CIA officer turned political activist Ray McGovern examines whether 4th Amendment guarantees “against unreasonable searches and seizures” have become part of the debris of 9/11.

In his talk, Speaking Truth to Power, McGovern draws on his 27 years as an intelligence analyst — topped by a visit with Edward Snowden in Russia last fall — to question the political manipulation of vital intelligence, the National Security Agency’s collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, and the future of American security and civil liberties.

As a CIA analyst during a period spanning the administrations of John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush, McGovern has chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief.


Sunday, April 6, 2014
3:30pm @ Plaza Branch

This French-Belgian film – dubbed in English, featuring the voices of Forest Whitaker and teenage Twilight actress Mackenzie Foy – was one of five Academy Award nominees for best animated feature in 2014. Sweet and artfully animated, it revolves around an unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear and the inability of their respective bear-fearing, mouse-eating brethren to accept their bond.


Sunday, April 6, 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.