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

Hien Nguyen CC Flickr

   

At "cuddle houses," you can pay a stranger to cuddle with you--it's supposed to be a form of touch therapy. Professional cuddling has set up shop in Wisconsin, New York and has now come to Kansas City. How does touch affect our physical and psychological well-being?

Guests:

  • Anne Graham, ​former professional cuddler
  • Jason O’Brien, director, Cuddle: A Documentary
  • Carolyn Guenther Molloy,  infant touch therapist, Stress Free Start LLC

KU / Creative Commons

For the past few decades, American communities have been trying to foster this thing called "multiculturalism." As we continue to debate notions of privilege and perception, how is this experiment going? Are we more empathetic than we used to be? Plus, having "the talk"... about race.

Guests:

Sneebly / Flickr, Creative Commons

A recent community meeting gathered in response to high levels of sulfur dioxide pollution in neighborhoods near downtown Kansas City. What's in our air, where is it coming from, and what exactly do our lungs do with the contaminants we breathe, anyway?

Guests:

A new social media platform that helps people connect with their neighbors has entered into partnerships with Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. Which got us wondering: What happened to a friendly wave across the driveway?

Guests:

The sound of a motorcycle revving its engine signaled trouble back when the Shangri-Las sang "Leader of the Pack," but the biker image has grown more nuanced since then. This conversation explores the evolving reality of motorcycle culture in Kansas City. 

Guests:

Western Historical Manuscript Collection

  Festering tensions reach a boiling point, erupting into a stand-off between police and the African-American community. This basic scenario has played out in Kansas City, Mo., Lawrence, Kan., St. Louis, Ill. and now Ferguson, Mo.

Guests:

After paddling solo 340 miles down the Missouri River, stopping only briefly to catch the teensiest bit of shut-eye, two competitors in the MR340 share their experiences, from paddling through fog to hallucinating on the water.

Guests:

  • Doug Jennings, organizer and longtime participant
  • Amy Sevcik, first-time competitor

With more than 60 percent of Americans admitting to not keeping a basic budget, the Cash Money Crew explores the state of financial literacy, offering tips for teaching young people about money management. 

Guests:

  • Sandi Weaver, financial planner, Financial Security Advisors
  • David Jackson, financial planner, Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City
  • Lucas Bucl, financial planner, KHC Wealth Management

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Fresh tomatoes are a pleasure of summer, but they typically come at a price. Discover what goes into setting that price, whether it's worth it, and what you can do with them when you get home.

Guests:

The community response to the death of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo. has varied from rioting and looting to peaceful protests and calls for civil discourse. Is there a way of responding to police shootings that can effect personal, social, or political change?

Guests:

Alzheimer's and dementia can make loved ones appear unreachable, like shells of their former selves. A new documentary and increasingly popular treatment program use music to connect with the dynamic inner lives of patients. 

Guests:

In many school districts, immigrant students with low English comprehension aren't always immediately identified as needing ESL (English as a Second Language) courses when they enroll. A new proposal in Kansas City, Missouri would help identify these students earlier so they have access to the assistance they need. We look at this program as well as the latest trends in ESL education. 

Guests:

Courtesy of Vi Tran

When Vi Tran was a young boy growing up in Garden City, Kan., his mother made the most of what the refugee family had. She would take rice and roll it into a ball, adding a little bit of soy sauce. 

“Honey, look,” she’d say. “It’s an egg, it’s a treat.”

More than a quarter of Americans self-identify as being under a great deal of stress. What's troubling us, and why do some people respond to stressful situations with greater resilience than others?

Guest:

Paul Sableman / Flickr -- CC

To conclude KCUR's extended investigation of Troost Avenue as a border that Kansas Citians perceive as a dividing line, Central Standard asked a question that often goes unspoken. That is, when we talk about Troost, as a city, are we really talking about race?

When we talk about Troost in Kansas City, are we really talking about race? A panel of people who live, work and think on the street discuss whether our Troost meme is useful, or causes further divisions.

Guests:

The Kansas City Star recently published a report indicating that UMKC's highly-touted Bloch School of Management's rankings might be misleading. Money's Kim Clark and Kaplan's Arthur Ahn discuss how publications rank universities, and what those rankings mean to prospective students and employers.

Guests:

Missouri Department of Conservation

Crappies, blue gills, blue bass and catfish. If that menu sounds tasty to you, then you are in luck, because that's what you stand to catch if you go fishing in and around Kansas City.

Who has the power in capitalism? The critics of capitalism say the rich have the upper hand. But author John Hope Bryant thinks the story is more complex than that. He thinks that capitalism works best when it benefits not the few, but the many.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Kyle Hatley arrived in Kansas City to serve as Assistant Artistic Director for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in April 2008. He drove into town in the midst of a tornado, and he hasn't stopped moving since.

After eight years of tireless immersion in both the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and the grassroots theater scene, Hatley has decided it's time to return to Chicago. There, he will join his fiance, actress Emily Peterson. 

Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

If you've ever seen the large murals or spray paint writing on the sides of buildings along Southwest Boulevard, you've probably seen some of Kansas City based graffiti writer Gear's work.

On Monday's Central Standard, Gina Kaufmann sat down with Gear in studio to discuss the nuances of graffiti and street art. 

Gina also went out into the field and took photos of just a few of Gear's writings that can be found around Kansas City. 

University of Kansas

Ethnomusicologist Daniel Atkinson describes Louisiana State Penitentiary (commonly called "Angola") as a “living, breathing plantation.” The land where the prison stands today was converted from plantation to penitentiary after slavery was abolished. 

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David Goodrich, 52, a Kansas City artist whose expressionistic paintings conveyed a perpetual state of motion, was found dead Tuesday.

Goodrich enjoyed hiking and was found dead in Horseshoe Canyon, just north of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. His body was identified on Thursday.

Authorities speculate he suffered from heat stroke, but the cause of death has not been confirmed.

Alyson Raletz, KCUR

With a ukelele and jazz guitar in tow, the traveling Kansas City-based musical duo known as Victor & Penny stopped by Central Standard on Wednesday to talk with Gina Kaufmann — and to perform a few of their signature "antique pop" songs live for our listeners.

Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

Kansas City architect Clarence Shepard was deeply influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School Style when he designed more than 600 homes and churches in the region a century ago.

Shepard was a native of New York, grew up in Clay Center, Kan., and came to work in Kansas City at the beginning of the 20th century for the Kendall Co. and the J.C. Nichols Co., among others.

Christina Lieffring / KCUR

Counties and states all over America host seasonal fairs. Originally, they were organized to share the latest technology in agriculture and genes among livestock. But in an age of instant information are state and county fairs still relevant? On Tuesday's Central Standard, we investigate the modern function of fairs, and talk with some professional livestock judges about their criteria for appraising animals and producing the food of tomorrow.

Guests:

Trevor / Flickr, Creative Commons

Expecting a new baby can force many parents to make complicated financial decisions. On Monday's Central Standard, we were joined by the Cash Money Crew to discuss how to approach and manage the monetary costs that come with a new child.

Guests:

Premshree Pillai / Flickr--CC

On a beautiful summer night, stopping by a neighborhood pizzeria for a quick slice (or five) can really hit the spot.

With a handful of exciting new pizza places opening up, Charles Ferruzza and the food critics put out a call for the best pizza in the Kansas City area. 

KCUR's food critics recommend:

Teemu008 / Creative Commons, Flickr

Former Kansas City Star columnist Bill Tammeus, who still blogs for the paper, recently released a memoir titled Woodstock: A Story of Middle Americans.

It's about his boyhood in the Illinois town of Woodstock, in the middle of the 20th century. Through critical reflection on his early experiences and observations, Tammeus arrives at a handful of truisms about life in the Midwest, offered without sentimentality or rose-colored glasses, but with measured fondness.

Lori Murdock

The barn is an icon of the American work ethic and rural nostalgia. On Wednesday's Central Standard, we explored the trend of rehabbing and restoring old barns that would otherwise fall into irreversible decay.

We also spoke with people throughout the nation and in our own area about the challenges of preserving these structures.

Do old barns -- the red ones with big huge doors -- still matter, even as larger steel structures replace them in function?

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