Meet the Past Series Continues With Dr. Bill Worley as Walt Disney

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For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2009
Contact: Steven Woolfolk
Meet the Past Series Continues With Dr. Bill Worley as Walt Disney

 Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews Walt Disney, portrayed by Dr. Bill Worley, as part of the Library’s Meet the Past series on Tuesday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.


Disney’s early years as a professional artist can be traced to Kansas City. He is responsible for several iconic cartoon characters, including Mickey Mouse. From 1919-23, Disney worked for the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio and the Kansas City Slide (later the Kansas City Ad) Company before striking out on his own as an
animator and founder of Laugh-O-Gram Films, Inc., located at 1127 E. 31st St. in Kansas City.


Though the studio went bankrupt after being locked into a distribution controversy, it introduced many of Disney’s classic characters to the world.


Worley is an instructor in history at the Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City – Blue River and a longtime Kansas City historian. He is the author of J.C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City. He has performed as Disney countless times and has earned several honors for his portrayals of Disney, President Harry S. Truman, basketball inventor James Naismith, and others. Worley portrayed Tom Pendergast in the first Meet the Past event.


Production for the Meet the Past television series begins in April with three programs filmed before a live audience at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. Additional episodes will be filmed in May, June, and July. The series will air in a regular prime-time timeslot on KCPT (channel 19) in the fall of 2009.


Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the filming. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage located at 10th and Baltimore.


Meet the Past features Kemper interviewing prominent historical figures (as portrayed by veteran Chautauqua performers) with Kansas City-area connections.


Major funding for Meet the Past has been provided by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Kansas City Public Library Beta