Search the Signature Event Archive to discover past Library events. Watch videos, hear speaker interviews, and listen to audio recordings of previous presentations. Search by keyword (event title, subject, or presenter name), location or by date range.
UMKC professor and author Clancy Martin joins Angela Elam, formerly of public radio’s New Letters on the Air, in a discussion of Martin’s new book How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of a Suicidal Mind – about living with addiction and suicidal thoughts and his several attempts to take his life. He assures others who similarly struggle that they’re not alone and self-destruction is almost always avoidable.
Former Sumner High School band and orchestra teacher Leon Alexander Brady recounts an impactful career and its 1972 pinnacle: the Sumner stage band’s victorious performance in the Paris Jazz Internationale Festival, stamping it as the best in the world. He joins author Steve Penn in a discussion of Penn’s book From the Heart of the Hood to the Pinnacle of Paris.
Lawrence, Kansas, photographer Ann Dean discusses the impact and inspiration found in three seminal books – The Learning Tree, A Choice of Weapons, and Half Past Autumn – by Kansas-born Black author, photographer, and filmmaker Gordon Parks, one of the most renowned documentarians of American life and culture in the 20th century.
Lindsey Doolittle, Kristen Devlin, Ryan Sikes, Brad Friedman
In conjunction with the Library exhibition Peripheral Visions, filmmaker Lindsey Doolittle screens and discusses her award-winning, 8-minute short film Emerging Artists, inspired by Johnson County Developmental Supports’ Emerging Artists program. She is joined by JCDS Arts Program Specialist Kristen Devlin and artists Ryan Sikes and Brad Friedman.
Drawing from her KC 1900 blog series, local author and historian LaDene Morton details how Kansas City rallied from a devastating setback – a fire in April 1900 that destroyed the grand new convention hall set to house the Democratic National Convention. It was rebuilt in time to welcome 11,000 delegates and spectators at the convention’s opening three months later, on July 4.
Think barbecue is all Kansas City has to offer? Matt Stewart says that’s far, far from true. The Fox4 News reporter discusses his new book Unique Eats and Eateries of Kansas City with the Library’s Anne Kniggendorf, exploring a few of the 86 best – and most unusual – dishes and restaurants the city has to offer.
Joy Poole, the retired deputy state librarian for the New Mexico State Library and co-founder of the Santa Fe Trail Association, examines the challenges, exploits, and adventures of three 19th-century merchants who made the trip from Independence or Kansas City, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the Santa Fe Trail.
Bradley Debrick, Naphtali Faris, April Roy, Crystal Faris
In conjunction with the nationally touring exhibition Young at Art: A Selection of Caldecott Book Illustrations at the Central Library, a panel of individuals who’ve served on the Caldecott selection committee discusses what makes a winner and shares behind-the-scenes judging experiences.
In a discussion of his book Mount Washington Cemetery: In Search of Lost Time, local historian Bruce Mathews spotlights the contributions of those buried in the historic cemetery – including mountain man Jim Bridger and newspaper mogul William Rockhill Nelson – and examines efforts to preserve its historically significant landmarks.
Perhaps no one took more meaning from the advent of the automobile—and its promise of freedom and adventure, power and self-expression—than African Americans. With the aid of the famed Green Book and other travel guides, black-only businesses, and informal communication networks, they could navigate the mid-20th century’s Jim Crow landscape.