Gina Kaufmann | KCUR

Gina Kaufmann

Host, Central Standard

Gina’s background combines print and broadcast journalism, live event hosting and production, creative nonfiction writing and involvement in the arts. Early in her career, she followed a cultural beat for The Pitch, where she served as an editor and art writer in the early 2000s.

She also worked as a contributing editor of Heeb magazine out of New York, assisting with the Heeb Storytelling series and ultimately starting her own live storytelling event series in Kansas City. Gina got her public radio chops working first as an intern for KC Currents with Sylvia Maria Gross, then as a co-host of The Walt Bodine Show.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Ways to Connect

Pedestrian Life In Kansas City

Aug 23, 2018

With more neighborhoods and municipalities considering 'walkability' as a goal, is the pedestrian experience in Kansas City improving? On this episode, we discuss the obstacles preventing us from having a safe, thriving pedestrian culture in Kansas City.

Segment 1: A new documentary illustrates the tension between police and African-American communities.

Black and Blue is a new documentary by Kansas City native Solomon Bass. In it, he follows a former police officer named Donald Carter, who struggles with the question of being both black and a police officer. Solomon Bass joins us to talk about the story behind the documentary.

Segment 1: 2018 has been an interesting year for politics in Clay County.

From a grassroots petition to audit the Clay County government to controversy surrounding a candidate running for Missouri House District 15, we look at meaningful headlines affecting communities north of the river.

  • Amy Neal, Regional News Director for NPG Newspapers in the Northland

Segment 2, beginning at 15:59: Many Americans have polarizing viewpoints on the media. The truth is even more complicated.

Melody Rowell / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The Queen of Soul passed away last week. We pause to remember her legacy.

 Aretha Franklin had musical connections in Kansas City. On this episode, we learn about that history and listen to a few of her most iconic songs.

As the filmmaker's latest collaboration with Spike Lee becomes the must-see movie of the moment, we talk to Kevin Willmott about BlacKkKlansman, race in America, the purpose of satire, and his own life story, which begins in Junction City, Kansas. This hour-long interview is part of our Portrait Session series.

  • Kevin Willmott, filmmaker and KU professor of film and media studies

Segment 1: There are a lot of acronyms in education. How do those phrases affect kids?

In the education world, 'STEM learning' refers to an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math. Shortly afterwards, arts and reading were thrown into the mix changing the acronym from STEM to STEAM and now STREAM. On this episode, we dive into a conversation on how terminology and buzzwords shape modern learning.

Segment 1: 10 years have passed since the Recession. How are people doing now?

In the depths of the Great Recession, KCUR did a series of interviews about how the economic downturn was affecting people's lives. On this episode, we look back to find out how a couple of interviewees are faring now.

Segment 1: The average age of the U.S. farmer is 60. Who will step up to feed America?

A recent documentary looks at the challenges the next generation of farmers in America are experiencing.

Violence In Kansas City

Aug 13, 2018

There's been a lot of attention on the recent spate of shootings and homicides in Kansas City. On this episode, we take a deeper look into what's happening now in regards to violent crime, compare it with the broader trends of Kansas City and learn about the actions both activist groups and the city government are taking to prevent it. 

Guests:

Segment 1: Summer may be close to ending, but canning season is just getting started.

From jams to mustards to pickles, we'll hear how a husband and wife took an interest in canning and turned it into a business.

Segment 2, beginning at 16:09: The food critics share their favorite sandwiches in town.

Segment 1: Study on black, queer-identifying men takes new approach to research.

A new study spearheaded by a local grassroots organization conducted a comprehensive health and wellness assessment for black, queer-identifying men in Kansas City. We hear about what they learned.

  • D. Rashaan Gilmore, president and founder, BlaqOut

Segment 2, beginning at 21:36: The status of women's baseball in Kansas City.

The several waterways that weave through Kansas City make a big impact on shaping The Metro. Especially after heavy rains. On this episode, we learn how flooding shaped our city.

Guests:

Segment 1: Remembering a Kansas artist who made furniture as he made sculptures.

Wendell Castle revolutionized art. The Holton, Kansas, native was known as the father of the studio furniture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Hear his story and what he meant to the art world.

Segment 1: New voters are projected to make a huge impact on the upcoming midterm elections. 

First time voters are less likely to affiliate with a political party, which makes them an attractive demographic for politicians from either side of the aisle. We find out how this offset of voters can impact the upcoming midterm election and what issues new voters are interested in. 

Rural Movie Theaters

Jul 31, 2018

Movie theaters are more than a place to watch the latest blockbuster. They're a place of first dates. A place to get out of the rain. A place where communities can share an experience. But what happens to a small town if they lose that theater? On this episode, we explore what's causing rural movie theaters to close and learn about the efforts to keep them alive. 

As school winds down, one question always comes to most people's minds: what did you do this summer? On today's show, we speak with students and teachers who spent their summer doing surprising things like helping clean water efforts in South Africa or creating a campaign strategy. Oh, and winning "Jeopardy!"

  • Luciana De Anda, student, Olathe East High School
  • John Kevern, professor, UMKC School of Computing and Engineering
  • Larry Martin, teacher, Belinder Elementary

Segment 1: Fred Rogers and his television show influenced generations of viewers.

Won't you be my neighbor? That's a lyric to the theme song of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, a children's television program that spanned decades in the mid-1900's. On this episode, we learn the impact Fred Rogers had on the lives of children and educators across the country.

  • Angee Simmons, Vice President of Education and Engagement, KCPT

Segment 2, beginning at 36:36: History of women's activism in Kansas City. 

Adib Khorram

Jul 26, 2018

Kansas City author Adib Khorram talks about his new buzz-generating novel for young adults, Darius The Great Is Not Okay. It turns out, Khorram has a lot in common with his teenage protagonist, from growing up half-Iranian in the United States to navigating life with depression to being obsessed with Star Trek and hot tea.

  • Adib Khorram, author, Darius The Great Is Not Okay

Segment 1: Besides being a fad, tiny houses can also help in the instance of a natural disaster.

Often the talk surrounding "tiny houses" is focused on cutting costs but their design can also help aid housing crises after a natural disaster.

Segment 1: StoryCorps is coming to Kansas City.

With the magic of an airstream trailer and a couple of microphones, StoryCorps turns simple conversations into meaningful moments. On this episode, we find out how they plan to make the magic happen here in Kansas City.

  • Jacqueline Van Meter, site manager, StoryCorps Mobile Tour

Segment 2, beginning at 31:00: New plans for an old hospital in the heart of downtown Kansas City.

Medical tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry. It's where countries or cities become known for a certain kind of medical procedure and attract patients as visitors. And with these visitors comes money. Are local health institutions trying to push Kansas City as THE place to be if you need a liver transplant? And is this practice ethically problematic?

Guests:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

It's okay not to be okay. That's the essential message of a new book for young adult readers by Kansas City author Adib Khorram.

Darius The Great is Not Okay follows a boy with an Iranian mom and teutonic, white-guy dad through the cruelty and tenderness of adolescence. Darius lives in Portland. He struggles with depression. He's bullied at school, and he's unsure of his place at home. He doesn't speak Farsi, like his mom and sister, and he's convinced he's a disappointment to his dad. His only comforts come from hot tea and Star Trek

Segment 1: Swope Park is over twice the size of Central Park. Are we using it as well as we could?

Swope Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country. It's a massive 1,805 acres in size and Kansas City, Missouri Parks and recreation refers to it as the "crown jewel" of the parks system. We explore the role of Swope Park in our community and learn how a history of segregation continues to influence it to this day.

Segment 1: Are we taking the wrong approach to education research?

Results-oriented education research often overlooks the side effects that accompany common teaching practices. We learn how the approach medical research makes can help educators avoid damaging policies from the start.

Bibliofiles: Suburbia

Jul 17, 2018

The 'dark side' of suburbia has been a running theme in American literature for at least a couple of decades. The theme has many forms: existential boringness, the soul-sucking blandness of conformity or as an evil secret lurking behind a too-pleasant veneer. On this episode, the Bibliofiles dive into a discussion about how suburban life is represented in literature and recommend new and noteworthy releases. 

Kaite Stover, Director of readers' Services, Kansas City Public Library

Segment 1: Tomato season is upon us. Here's everything you need to know.

James Worley blogs about growing and eating tomatoes in Kansas City. He also organizes the annual "totally tomato weekend." Hear his growing tips and favorite recipes as he makes the case that all local menus should revolve around tomatoes right now.

Segment 1: How soccer came to Kansas City.

Despite the local fervor over this year's World Cup, soccer wasn't always popular in Kansas City. We find out how immigrant families helped popularize the sport back in the 1950's and learn how our city's professional scene has changed over the years.

Segment 1: History of deaf discrimination in the United States.

Members of the hearing-impaired community oft face unique challenges when living in America. We discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in the United States as well as milestones alongside the path to equal rights. Also, meet the local instructor who teaches deaf refugees their first language: American Sign Language.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR 89.3

At one point in history, Atchison, Kansas was positioned to be one of the main connecting points for the railways between Missouri and Kansas. The town played an important role in the Civil War, and had many significant residents. But what's going on there today?

KCUR's Central Standard revisits a road trip to Atchison. Come along with us.

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Phillip Jackson — better known by his stage name, Eems — grew up in what he reluctantly calls "the hood."

"I mean, single-parent household, went to Kansas City, Missouri, public schools, and just living in, I don't want to call it the hood, but, the hood," he said on Central Standard on July 6.

Now, he's a touring musician with fans all over the country, a new EP and a unique sound that defies genre: a mix of hip-hop, R&B and lots of ukulele. That's right: ukulele. 

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