Filmmaker Hosts Local Debut of New Documentary at Kansas City Public Library

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For Immediate Release:
September 18, 2009
Contact: Paul Smith
Filmmaker Hosts Local Debut of New Documentary at Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Public Library welcomes film director Andrea Kalin for a screening of her new documentary Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story on Wednesday, September 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.  


Soul of a People tells the story of the Federal Writers’ Project, one of just four arts programs under the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The project gave much to unemployed writers – including Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison and Saul Bellow – to fan out across America, interview its citizens, and produce a portrait of the USA from the ground up in a series of state travel guides. The resulting American Guide series captured a unique portrait of 1930s Americana. But what began as a program to create guidebooks for every state ended up igniting a storm of controversy when writers sought out not only the triumphs of America, but also its tragedies.


The Soul of a People documentary debuted on the Smithsonian Channel HD ( over Labor Day weekend.


Kalin will lead a Q&A session following the screening.


An internationally recognized documentary filmmaker, Kalin is founder of Spark Media, a production company based in Washington, D.C. that specializes in creating programs on social change. Spark has won over 50 major awards including a Primetime Emmy and the Erik Barnouw Award for Best History Documentary. Her films include Partners of the Heart, The Pact, and Prince Among Slaves.


Admission is free. Call 816.701.3407 to RSVP.


This event is part of Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story, a six-week series of events at the Kansas City Public Library that commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Federal Writers’ Project with speakers, film screenings and a focus on important writers – like Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Saul Bellow – who joined its ranks.


This presentation is presented in part by the American Library Association Public Programs Office with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life.

Kansas City Public Library Beta