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

Segment 1: A Kansas City avocado toast tutorial.

Avocado toast is very popular. We get explanations, tips and recommendations from a local fan, who also happens to be a nutrition expert.

Segment 2: A search for great neighborhood coffee shops.

Segment 1: An artist makes us look more closely at the disposable still life piling up on the kitchen table.

When Yoonmi Nam looks at the takeout containers, junk mail and plastic bags that accumulate around her, she sees a still life. Translating these objects into ceramics and putting them on a pedestal, she gives weight and permanence to the things that briefly populate our lives before getting tossed aside.

Segment 1: How a fractured school system contributes to problems with transportation.

Kansas City, Missouri, public school kids travel to school on dated buses that crisscross the city inefficiently. That cuts into school budgets, as well as time spent in class and on extra-curriculars. Big thinkers are taking on the issue and envisioning new models for getting kids to and from school.

Segment 1: A mass shooting on Central Avenue leaves a community grief-stricken.

Our reporter describes the weekend's shocking news from Wyandotte County, and a community leader asks Kansas Citians to understand what happened as an isolated incident that struck a growing, hard-working, tight-knit neighborhood.

Segment 1: A Kansas City dance performance is a transatlantic collaboration.

Krystle Warren and Brad Cox have been musical collaborators for years, continuing to make music together across an ocean. As Warren prepares to head from Paris to Kansas City for an October performance, the two discuss their shared history and their craft.

Segment 1: New research on how climate change coverage varies from country to country.

A KU journalism professor is at the forefront of research into how climate change stories are framed by journalists based on where on the globe they are working. The greatest divide occurs along the lines of relative wealth and economic development.

 

Segment 1: How Ukranians view the whistleblower case

For many Americans, the whistleblower scandal surrounding President Trump is a matter of politics and presidency. For the other country involved, Ukraine, the perception of these events is part of a larger web of scandals.

  • Anna Yakutenko, Journalist for Kyiv Post

Segment 2: Hispanic Leadership Lowrider Bike Club

Seg. 1: Holocaust Survivor Photos | Seg. 2: Barnstorming Tour

Sep 30, 2019

Segment 1: Kansas City is part of a global mission to collect and exhibit Holocaust survivor portraits.

Luigi Toscano wants people to look in the eyes of Holocaust survivors. His large-format photographs displayed in cities worldwide have elicited strong responses, ranging from a reunion of two former schoolmates separated by war to violent attacks in Vienna, where entire communities showed up to repair and protect the art.

Country Music

Sep 27, 2019

Ken Burns' Country Music series inspires interviews with Kansas City musicians about what country music means to them.

Segment 1: Generational differences in responding to climate change are complex.

Last week's climate strikes in Kansas City were organized by a young Kansas Citian who left the film industry and moved halfway across the country to take on this fight. His story represents a differing sense of urgency around climate change, but more than that, too. 

Segment 1: A KU researcher's studies provide context for news from the Amazon.

As global leaders gather for a climate change summit, a KU researcher shares new satellite-based data on the impact of deforestation in the Amazon, with particular insights into where this year's fire (which is still raging) fits in, both environmentally and politically. 

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

On Friday, when Jerry Bausby got two life sentences for the sexual assault and murder of his 18-year-old daughter, it was the culmination of three years of work for Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Daizsa Bausby was a star student at the now-closed Southwest High School. She was a rule-follower and a go-getter with big dreams. But just a couple of months before her graduation, her body was found in a Kansas City motel room, dressed as though by someone else, according to examiners, who also concluded that she'd been sodomized and suffocated.

Jean Peters Baker

Sep 19, 2019

Jean Peters Baker has been the Jackson County Prosecutor since 2011, and she's often in the news, but usually talking about everything but herself. Today we learn about her personal life experience and how it's shaped her indignation in the courtroom and beyond. Plus, insights into her political aspirations and the future of the Democratic Party in Missouri.

Americans spend an average of 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime. So what we do at work isn't separate from life. It is life. At a recent event hosted by Central Standard, people gathered to tell true stories from life on the job. We're sharing a few of those stories with you here.

Segment 1: A new documentary explores the life of abstract expressionist painter Albert Bloch.

Albert Bloch lived the final decades of his life in Lawrence, Kansas. But at the height of his career, he was a member of a band of artists that helped create modernism in Europe.

White Castle Dreams

Sep 16, 2019

If fast food is an American ritual, the hamburger is our "secular wafer." That's according to the author of a new book, Drive Thru Dreams. He says the story of fast food begins with the invention of the hamburger in Wichita, Kansas.

Segment 1: Artists are reviving the shopping mall experience.

There's a new trend in malls. Whereas the spaces artists were transforming a couple decades back tended to be abandoned warehouses in industrial parts of town, now the suburban shopping mall's providing that canvas. 

  • Dave Claflin, marketing consultant for area shopping malls

Segment 2: Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski is in town with a cookbook.

Segment 1: Derrick Rieke is an unlikely but powerful LGBTQ rights advocate in his community.

When Derrick Rieke spoke out, at a Shawnee City Council meeting, he told his personal story wrestling with being gay from fourth grade well into adulthood. He was addressing a room full of people he knew, many of whom were there to oppose the ordinance he was fighting for.

Changing Your Mind (R)

Sep 10, 2019

As the 2020 presidential primaries heat up, and issues like gun control and climate change continue to polarize us, we revive a timely-as-ever conversation about the obstacles that prevent us from changing our minds, even when faced with evidence that contradicts our position.

  • David McRaney, journalist, host of the podcast You Are Not So Smart
  • Randy Nudo, director, Institute for Neurological Discoveries

Seg. 1: A KU professor is raising the bar for the standard of evidence in psychology.

A recent study reveals that a high percentage of treatments long believed to be supported by evidence don't measure up to today's standards for repeatability. What that means for the field of psychology, and why a KU professor is obsessed with learning more.

Segment 1: Muralists descend on Kansas City to make art.

In its third year, Sprayseemo has become a big international festival for creating outdoor public art in Kansas City. 

  • Amy Harrington and Jason Harrington (AKA Riff Raff Giraffe), artists and festival organizers

Segment 2: A world-renowned opera singer performs in his native Kansas City, alongside his mom.

Segment 1: Making greeting cards more diverse.

Cards are about relationships. So if none of the greeting cards on the shelf represent the person you're reaching out to, or the occasion you're celebrating, it won't feel quite right. Hallmark's trying to make more communities feel "seen" in the greeting card aisle.

  • Monic Houpe, product director, Hallmark
  • Christy Moreno, editorial director, Hallmark

Segment 2: Why Kansas and Missouri astronomers are fighting to save dark skies.

Segment 1: The Gay Softball World Series comes to Kansas City.

As the Gay Softball World Series gets under way here in town, the Kansas City Royals host their first ever official Pide Night at the K. 

  • Scott Switzer, Executive Director, Gay Softball World Series 2019
  • Rick Leavitt, founder of a gay softball team and league in Florida 25 years ago, now a Kansas Citian

Segment 2: First Friday has lost its festival license. Now what?

Bibliofiles: Back-To-School

Sep 3, 2019

Segment 1: Books in school, according to a librarian.

A retired Shawnee Mission school librarian reflects on the change she's witnessed in school libraries over the decades, particularly given the role of online searches in student research. 

  • Jan Bombeck, retired librarian, Shawnee Mission School District and Johnson County Public Library

Segment 2: Books about school, according to the Bibliofiles.

Segment 1: A Waldo coffee shop looks back on 10 years.

As One More Cup approaches its announced closing date, one of the owners joins us to talk about what neighborhood hangouts mean to their communities.

  • Stacy Neff, One More Cup

Segment 2: Kansas City prepares for its first-ever Black Restaurant Week.

What's the idea behind Black Restaurant Week, and how does it fit into the big picture of race in restaurant culture, in Kansas City and beyond?

Segment 1: The way we remember Emmett Till is still rooted in race and geography.

A KU professor who thought he knew the Emmett Till story was shocked by what he learned when he traveled to the Mississippi Delta for himself. That sent him on a journey to try to sort through the tangled threads of this haunting history. 

Segment 2: Men and boys in ballet speak out.

Segment 1: Mahatma Gandhi's grandson reflects on his family legacy.

As the world begins celebrating Gandhi's 150th birthday, Park University brings the iconic leader's grandson and biographer to town for celebrations and talks. The elder Gandhi sought to attain purity as a way of leading entire nations to peace; his grandson believes that we can contribute to that greater good, even while falling short of perfection in our lives.

Shanley Cox / Facebook

It's still summer, which means it's hot dog season. But for all the democratic appeal they can rightly claim, hot dogs — also known as weiners — don't get much respect. 

"They're cheap. They have notoriously been cheap. They're just a filling, inexpensive way to get something in your tummy," says Jenny Vergara of Feast Magazine.

But The Pitch's Liz Cook thinks we need to reconsider the hot dog. 

As Labor Day approaches, the food critics recommend great hot dogs in Kansas City, and an expert offers advice on how to grill unexpected foods, such as pound cakes and apricots.

  • Mike McGonigle, McGonigles Market
  • Jenny Vergara, contributing editor, Feast Magazine
  • Carlton Logan, KCFoodGuys.com and the Kansas City Eats Facebook group
  • Liz Cook, food critic, The Pitch

Segment 1: What's up in northeast Johnson County?

As part of our continuing conversations with community newspaper editors, here's some inside perspective on the news in the Shawnee Mission Post. This episode's focus: contested municipal elections in Overland Park and Shawnee, and non-discrimination ordinances in several cities countywide.

Segment 2: The story of a new play inspired by the 30 Americans exhibit.

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