Radio Interviews

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.

KCUR, Kansas City's local NPR station, hosts on its programs many of the authors and speakers that visit the Library. This page lists these interviews and provides links for you to listen to the programs.

  • Brian L. Steed, a military historian at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and specialist on the Middle East, examines the makeup, motivations, and operations of the violent Islamic State (or ISIS).
    Mesopotamia on Fire: Changing the Conversation on ISIS - Brian Steed
    Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    Central Library

    The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is more than a place or a terrorist group. It is a set of ideas rooted in centuries-old beliefs and wrapped in a philosophy of violence. Adherents believe they are an army of the righteous working to create an ideal state for today’s believers and fighting a war that is destined to end with the coming of Jesus and defeat of the Antichrist.

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City sociology professor Theresa Torres examines Kansas City’s Guadalupanas, the remarkable Mexican American women working as effective agents for change despite what once were gender-limited roles within both church and community.
    Latina Religious Leadership in the Catholic Church in Kansas City - Theresa Torres
    Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Central Library

    As part of a yearlong, statewide Missouri Latinos initiative, the Kansas City Public Library is offering an array of special programming. Theresa Torres explores how the Guadalupanas, a religious organization of Mexican-American women, began a grassroots movement in Kansas City, Missouri, ultimately preventing the closing of their church. Religion and social action, though, both empowered and limited these remarkable Latina women.

  • Kansas City's Shane W. Evans, the nationally acclaimed illustrator of more than 30 children's books, and actress, model, and singer Holly Robinson Peete discuss their heartwarming picture book about a boy who happens to be autistic.
    My Brother Charlie - Holly Robinson Peete, Shane Evans
    Tuesday, January 5, 2016
    Plaza Branch

    Kansas City's Shane W. Evans, who has earned national acclaim as the illustrator of more than 30 children's books, joins actress, model, and singer Holly Robinson Peete in a discussion of their heartwarming picture book My Brother Charlie.

  • Award-winning filmmaker  Tim Matsui shines a light on the issue of sex trafficking with a screening of his documentary The Long Night. Following the film, local advocates discuss how Kansas City is combating the issue.
    The Long Night - Tim Matsui
    Tuesday, December 1, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    We hear and read of it abroad, but the trafficking of underage girls for sex is all too common in America. Emmy-nominated multimedia journalist and producer Tim Matsui shines a light on the issue in his riveting documentary, The Long Night, weaving together the stories of seven people — young girls who were forced or coerced into the sex trade, their parents, and police — whose lives have been forever changed.

    Set in Seattle, the 72-minute film was named Pictures of the Year International’s top documentary project of 2014. It is screened at the Plaza Branch’s Truman Forum Auditorium. Matsui leads a subsequent discussion with Kristy Childs, a trafficking survivor who founded the service organization Veronica’s Voice; Craig Hill, a retired Leawood, Kansas, police detective now working as a training consultant with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and FBI sex crimes investigator Megan Kline.

  • Four of the area’s top sports photographers – David Eulitt  and John Sleezer of The Kansas City Star and KC-based freelancers Jamie Squire and Denny Medley – share a number of favorite images as they discuss their  work and what makes a great sports shot.
    Shooting Sports - David Eulitt, Denny Medley, Jamie Squire, John Sleezer
    Tuesday, November 17, 2015
    Central Library

    From baseball’s Royals to football’s Chiefs to soccer’s Sporting Kansas City, KC’s sports teams play to a notably enthusiastic fan base – amid a rapid-fire click of shutters as local photographers chronicle the thrills, spills, and on- and off-the-field drama.

    Three of the best, David Eulitt and John Sleezer of The Kansas City Star and KC-based freelancers Jamie Squire and Denny Medley, share samples of their work and discuss what makes a great sports photo. The event complements the Pictures of the Year International exhibit Visions of Excellence on display at the Central Library through November 29.

  • In a discussion of his new book, world chess champion-turned-human rights activist Garry Kasparov discusses what he says is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s evolution from local to regional to global threat. His advice: Stand up to the bully..
    Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped - Garry Kasparov
    Wednesday, November 11, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    World chess champion-turned-human rights activist Garry Kasparov sounded his first warning about Vladimir Putin in 2001.

    He now compares the Russian president with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and the Islamic State as an enemy of political liberty and the modern world order. In a discussion of his book, Kasparov examines what he says is Putin’s evolution from local to regional to global threat and advocates that the U.S. and its allies stand up to the bully rather than try to appease him.

  • David Chancellor, one of the world’s most decorated photographers, presents an illustrated talk about his work, which increasingly focuses on the complex relationship between man and wildlife and the commodification of animals on the African plains.
    Images from the Wild: Surviving Man - David Chancellor
    Tuesday, November 3, 2015
    Central Library

    David Chancellor, one of the world’s most decorated photographers, has increasingly focused his attention on the complex relationship between man and wildlife, between the hunter and the hunted, and on the commodification of animals on the African plains. It’s a subject that burst into the news earlier this year, when a Minnesota dentist on an illegal hunt brought down a beloved lion in Zimbabwe.

    In conjunction with the Pictures of the Year International exhibit Visions of Excellence on display at the Library through November 29, the South Africa-based Chancellor presents an illustrated talk about his work – which most recently earned POYi’s Environmental Vision Award.

  • Amy Von Lintel and Michael R. Grauer, both native Kansas Citians who are now art historians in the Amarillo, Texas, area, discuss the close connection between KC and Amarillo dating to the cattle-hauling days of the 1800s.
    Cattle, Cowboys and Culture: Kansas City to Amarillo, Making an Urban West
    Thursday, October 22, 2015
    Central Library

    A century and a half ago, trains hauling cattle and cowboys brought the real west from Amarillo, Texas, to Kansas City. Return trips carried a trove of materials to Amarillo — canned and dry goods, chemicals, furniture, and fashionable clothing — and Kansas City’s influence there ultimately extended to banking, education, architecture, and art.

    Amy Von Lintel and Michael R. Grauer, both native Kansas Citians who are now art historians in the Amarillo area, discuss KC’s role in reshaping Amarillo’s culture and the lasting connections between the two cities. Von Lintel is an assistant professor of art history at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Grauer is associate director for curatorial affairs and curator of art and Western heritage at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, also in Canyon.

  • In conjunction with the Great City | Great Read initiative celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, artist Peregrine Honig discusses the  art world’s fascination with the book’s heroine and peculiar supporting cast.
    Looking at Alice with an Artist’s Eye - Peregrine Honig
    Wednesday, October 14, 2015
    Central Library

    Internationally recognized Kansas City artist Peregrine Honig fixes her creative gaze on Lewis Carroll’s classic work of children’s literature, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and curates an exhibit that invites viewers to experience a sense of psychedelic discovery and bewilderment akin to Alice’s dreams and conflicts while wandering the Wonderlandscape. Honig has assembled an acclaimed collective of award- winning artists and fashion designers for her exhibit Intimate Riot.

  • Kevin Briggs, who drew from his own personal struggles in talking scores of troubled souls out of jumping from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, discusses his new memoir – co-written by Kansas City Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger.
    Guardian of the Golden Gate - Kevin Briggs
    Wednesday, October 14, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Among the swarms of visitors to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge each year are, tragically, hundreds of troubled souls intent on committing suicide. Many who didn’t follow through have Kevin Briggs to thank.

    The former highway patrol officer and sergeant has talked scores of people back to safety along the 220-foot-high span, drawing from his own personal struggles — a bout with cancer, multiple heart operations, divorce, and depression — to strike the right tone of empathy while using an instinct for improvisation. In two decades of work on the iconic bridge, he lost only two would-be jumpers.

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