Previous Special Events

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Women comprise about half of the U.S. labor force, including half of all professional and management positions. But they account for fewer than 15 percent of the executive officers of Fortune 500 companies.

How are both women and men perceived in the workplace? How does that affect the way they feel about themselves? Ashley Milne-Tyte, a regular contributor to Public Radio International’s Marketplace and producer and host of the podcast The Broad Experience: A Conversation About Women, the Workplace, and Success, examines the ways in which gender affects people’s working lives.


Friday, April 3, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Students from the private elementary Community School #1 stage a new look at the story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Incorporating memorable music and witty lyrics, the adapted script reflects their love for Kansas City and for having a good time. Appropriate for all ages.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On the morning of May 3, 1863, on the cusp of one of the most remarkable tactical battlefield victories in American military history, Gen. Robert E. Lee rode to a crossroads clearing in Virginia known as Chancellorsville amid the cheers of his high-spirited Confederate troops.

Few in that moment of triumph could envision the South’s complete defeat in less than two years. Ethan S. Rafuse of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the factors and events leading to Lee’s surrender in April 1865, including an examination of Lee’s legendary generalship.

Co-sponsored by the Command and General Staff College Foundation.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Screening: 2 p.m. * Discussion following

Since 2011, the after-school Play On, Philly! initiative has provided daily musical instruction to hundreds of Philadelphia students in communities that otherwise have little access to music education. Modeled after Venezuela’s acclaimed El Sistema youth orchestra project, it is one of two U.S. programs—with New York’s Sistema-inspired Harmony Program—featured in the 2014 documentary Crescendo: The Power of Music.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thanks to Shakespeare, Julius Caesar’s stabbing is the most famous assassination in history. But what actually happened on March 15, 44 B.C., is even more gripping than the Bard’s depiction.

In a discussion of his newly released book, Cornell University’s Barry Strauss details the true story. While Shakespeare portrayed Caesar’s murder as an amateur and idealistic affair, it actually was a carefully planned paramilitary operation executed by disaffected officers. Brutus and Cassius were, indeed, key players but had the help of a third man, Decimus, a leading general and lifelong friend of Caesar who became a mole in his entourage.


Sunday, March 29, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library’s ninth season of Script-in-Hand performances, featuring the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre continues with Barefoot in the Park.

Neil Simon’s longest-running Broadway hit, which became a 1967 movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, focuses on newlyweds Paul and Corie as they begin their life together in a tiny, fifth-floor apartment in a New York City brownstone. He is a strait-laced attorney. She’s a far more spontaneous free spirit who wants him to loosen up — to walk barefoot in the park. The young couple also must contend with a lack of heat, a skylight that leaks snow, several long flights of stairs, oddball neighbor Victor Velasco, and Corie's well-meaning mother. Marriage, it turns out, isn’t so easy.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

There is a movement along the nation’s political right encompassing younger voters who cling to the tenets of smaller government, fewer regulations, and fiscal conservatism but not necessarily social conservatism. They take a more libertarian approach to such issues as gay marriage and drug control.

Can these “conservatarians” feed the momentum gained by Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections?

National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke examines this hybrid constituency in a discussion of his new book – what defines them, where they stand on the hot-button issues of the day, and how they could instigate change within the GOP.

Co-sponsored by the National Review Institute.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

For the Greatest Generation, memories of World War II replay as vividly as motion picture newsreels. Whether they parachuted into France or joined an assembly line, virtually every American—every Kansas Citian—went to war.

Launching a new series, War Stories: World War II Remembered, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle interviews three of the city’s most recognizable veterans of the six-year conflict. Civic giants Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., and Bill Dunn Sr. were barely out of their teens when they rallied to the cry of “Remember Pearl Harbor." Now, 70 years after the war's end, they share their personal stories and reflect on the leadership of President Harry S. Truman, their hometown commander-in-chief.


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

You don’t just sit and watch a Peanut Butter Hamster performance. Terry and Melissa Wright make you a part of an interactive show – singing, dancing, laughing, having more fun than humans young or old should be allowed. Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

As underscored by The Huffington Post six months ago, when it named Kansas City one of America’s “coolest” cities, things are looking bright for the onetime cowtown. While much of the buzz is about downtown’s revitalization, the historic West Bottoms has slowly and quietly undergone its own transformation over the past decade, emerging as a destination for restaurants, art studios, vintage shops, and other businesses.

What is behind the revival, and what does the future hold for the West Bottoms? Gina Kaufmann, host of KCUR’s Central Standard, moderates a timely conversation with local stakeholders.