Activities the Week of Monday, September 12, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016
Courtney Lewis
Electing Abraham Lincoln * Shaping Cities * Cuba Bound * West Side Story * Fashion Forward * City of Tomorrow

Hail to the Chiefs: Electing Abraham Lincoln: The Revolution of 1860 - Jonathan Earle
Tuesday, September 13 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

In 1860, the nation roiled over the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln captured the Republican nomination over New York Senator William Seward, and then took on a divided Democratic Party. His win in November - with less than 40 percent of the popular vote - prompted the immediate secession of South Carolina, roused the rest of the South, and ushered in the Civil War.

Jonathan Earle, dean of the Honors College at Louisiana State University and, before that, director of the University of Kansas' honors program, examines the election-year turning points that yielded our 16th president in a discussion of Earle's upcoming book Electing Abraham Lincoln: The Revolution of 1860. The event is co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Shaping Cities - John Ruble
Wednesday, September 14 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

John Ruble - co-founder and now partner in the Santa Monica, California-based architectural firm Moore, Ruble, Yudell - examines urban design issues now confronting Kansas City and other metropolitan areas.

Ruble has collaborated on a broad spectrum of residential, academic, cultural, and urban design work in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Included in that acclaimed portfolio: the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and comprehensive master plan for the University of Washington, Tacoma.

The event is part of the Kivett/Seligson Lecture series sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design. Ruble also discusses his work, and that of his firm, and its emphasis on creating meaningful, memorable, and sustainable places.

Exhibit: Cuba Bound: Photographs by Jesse A. Fernández
Thursday, September 15 - Saturday, December 31 | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

Cuban-born Jesse A. Fernández (1925-1986) lived intermittently in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. With an extraordinary ability to connect with the expressive essence of each place, Fernández photographed the artists, performers, dancers and writers within the intellectual circles through which he moved.

Portraits by Fernández will be shown simultaneously at three venues: artists at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, writers at the Kansas City Public Library, Central Library and jazz musicians at the American Jazz Museum.

Off-the-Wall film series: West Side Story (1961)
Friday, September 16 | Doors open: 8 p.m. | Program Starts: 8:45 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

Shakespearean drama dances across the streets and rooftops of New York in West Side Story (NR, 152 min., 1961). This classic musical reimagining of Romeo & Juliet substitutes a gangland feud between the Jets and Sharks gangs for the royal rumble involving Montagues and Capulets.

The 2016 Off-the-Wall film series is presented by The Kansas City Public Library and The Pitch. Sample some locally brewed ales and lagers courtesy of Kansas City Bier Company.

Doors open at 8 p.m. (Note: The Central Library closes at 5 p.m. on Fridays, but the doors reopen at 8 p.m. for Off-the-Wall audiences.) All movies begin at dusk (approximately 8:45 p.m.) Blankets and folding chairs welcome. No glass containers, please. In case of bad weather, screenings are moved indoors to the adjacent Helzberg Auditorium.

Fashion Forward: Look to the Past to Inform the Future
Saturday, September 17 | 1 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Are you a fashion designer or manufacturer? Do you love Kansas City's rich Garment District history? The nonprofit organization Rightfully Sewn goes inside the industry at its inaugural Fashion Forward event, examining the effective business practices behind a local enterprise that employed thousands and supplied the nation with high-quality clothing in its 20th-century heyday.

The afternoon begins with a screening of A Stitch in Time, Terence O'Malley's documentary about the city's greatest fashion entrepreneur, Nell Donnelly Reed. O'Malley then joins a discussion with individuals who have worked in various Garment District capacities: Suzie Aron, Barbara Bloch, Murline Hayes, and Carl Puritz. Rightfully Sewn founder Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer moderates. A reception follows.

Co-presented by Missouri Bank.

City of Tomorrow - Michael Wells
Sunday, September 18 | 2 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

President Truman's American Housing Act of 1949 empowered cities to replace blighted structures with safe public housing, and soon was altered to allow the rezoning of cleared areas for commercial development. Along with legislation to expand the nation's interstate highway system, it gave Kansas City leaders the tools to forever change the city's landscape.

But was that redevelopment mishandled? The question, and thus the legacy of urban renewal, remains far from settled. In conjunction with a new Library exhibition, Missouri Valley Special Collections librarian Michael Wells discusses urban renewal in Kansas City, its "creative" uses by developers, and the lasting effects on the built environment and populace.

Wells researched and curated the exhibit, City of Tomorrow: Kansas City's Postwar Urban Renewal, opening at the Central Library on September 10.

Programming is free at the Kansas City Public Library and free parking is available at all Library locations. Event attendees can RSVP at or at 816.701.3407.

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