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

York College ISLGP / Wikimedia Commons

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." For Maya Angelou, these words were a way of life. Her poetry and prose, even her off-the-cuff remarks during interviews, made people feel things deeply.

On Tuesday's Central Standard, local artist Peregrine Honig and writer Natasha Ria El-Scari join host Gina Kaufmann to share how Maya Angelou impacted their lives.

public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." 

But making excellence a habit is easier said than done. For most people, the word habit evokes thoughts of junk food or television, not excellence.

Psychologist Bruce Liese stopped by Central Standard to talk about the ins and outs of habit formation, and help us recognize the difference between a good habit and a bad one. He offered advice on getting to the root causes of our most deeply ingrained patterns and offered insight into the common problem of relapse. 

Tim Samoff / Flickr, Creative Commons

 

Highways connect people and places with a speed we've come to take for granted. But highways also have a history of dividing and sometimes nearly obliterating the very communities they intersect.

Perhaps the most controversial example of this phenomenon in Kansas City is U.S. Highway 71. 

Greg L at English Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

Who's digging in the street outside your window? Hopefully, it's Kansas City Water Services.

The city recently embarked on a major, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of the combined sewer and wastewater system, which was first laid out in the nineteenth century.

Four years into the overhaul, officials from the Water Services Department visited the Central Standard studios to remind us why we're doing this in the first place, and to let us know how it's going so far. 

Jessica Salmond / University of Missouri

Professors from the University of Missouri and Duke University have been working to design self-sustaining toilets.  While this may not seem like a need in counties with developed sewer system, in places without sewer networks dealing with human waste can be a serious health problem. According to the World Health Organization, 2.4 billion people do not have access to any type of improved sanitation facility and roughly 2 million people die every year due to diarrhoeal diseases, most of them younger than 5 years old.

EG Schempf

Danny Orendorff arrived in Kansas City a year ago to serve as Curator-in-Residence for the Charlotte Street Foundation. Before he arrived in town for this rotating position, his career was split between San Francisco and Chicago.

With a year of close observation under his belt, Danny Orendorff shares his notes on Kansas City's strengths and weaknesses as an art city. He also tells us about his current exhibition at La Esquina gallery, provocatively titled The Stench of Rotting Flowers

A University of Kansas professor's recent research at a domestic violence shelter indicates that the way survivors must tell their stories in order to gain access to resources could be working against the emotional recovery process.

Courtesy of Julie Levin.

Julie Levin has worked with Legal Aid of Western Missouri since 1977.

In that time, she's had some monumental cases, from a suit against the Kansas City Housing Authority in 1989 that changed the face of public housing, to a case on behalf of a client who lost her job while on maternity leave. That last case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Keva999 / Flickr--CC

Fourth-generation Kansas Citian Joel Goldman has set all of his crime novels in the Kansas City area, in places like the Country Club Plaza, the Quindaro neighborhood, and the historic Northeast neighborhood.

These places aren’t just settings. Goldman considers them characters in his novels. Strawberry Hill, the Kansas City, Kan. neighborhood where many Serbians and Croatians settled, is one of the backdrops in his book Shakedown.

Courtesy of Joel Goldman

Joel Goldman was a trial lawyer in Kansas City when he came down with a medical condition that meant he couldn’t practice law. So he took all that knowledge of the law, plus some intriguing true crime stories, and turned them into fiction.

Edward the Bonobo / Flickr/CC

In 1942 the U.S. Department of Agriculture produced a film promoting the many uses of hemp and touted its production as part of a patriotic mission to win the war effort. But, shortly after World War II domestic production of any form of cannabis, hemp or otherwise, became prohibited. But, the legacy of this once cash crop lingers and you don't need to look far off the roads of Kansas and Missouri to find wild varieties of "ditch weed" growing.

Christpoher Lucka / Flickr/CC

Graduating seniors of 2014 will, on average, be the most indebted graduating class ever. This debt carries with it real consequences. For the first time having a college education makes someone less likely to have a home mortgage by age 30.

Ten years ago, the people of Missouri overwhelmingly voted to change the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Last week, when openly gay football player Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, in Missouri, the outcry condemning Sam's lifestyle stood in stark contrast to an overwhelming outpouring of support.

Terance Williams / Facebook

When Glenn North read a poem at the grand opening for the American Jazz Museum in 1997, something clicked.

From that moment on, the poet and the museum grew in tandem.  In 2004, North officially joined the museum's staff, establishing a nationally recognized spoken word scene at the museum's Blue Room.

North recently left his post as education manager and poet-in-residence. He plans to finish his master's degree and focus on his poetry.

Upon his departure, Central Standard invited him to sit down for a talk. Among the highlights:

Jean / Flickr, Creative Commons

A recent article in the New York Times compiled a growing body of evidence suggesting that the more frequent our interactions with strangers, the happier we tend to be. The findings apply to introverts and extroverts alike. In response to the enthusiasm around that article, Central Standard asked whether the people of Kansas City encounter strangers often enough in their day-to-day lives. Does Kansas City's built environment facilitate or prohibit these kinds of interactions?

Julie Denesha / KCPT

The Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas is restoring its iconic Panorama of North American Plants and Animals, a 360-degree display of wildlife from North America. The Panorama was originally created in 1893 by KU professor Lewis Lindsay Dyche for the Kansas Pavilion of the World's Columbian Exhibition of the World's Fair in Chicago.

Two museum exhibitions currently in Kansas City are using tomb relics to bring ancient times and faraway places to life.  These artifacts have survived journeys of thousands of miles and thousands of years.

Anita Wood / Flickr, Creative Commons

Kansans sometimes get picked on. They've heard every joke in the book about Toto and Dorothy, and they're not amused.

On Central Standard, we met with two people whose love for the state is both unconventional and all-consuming. They discuss the many rewards that await those willing to explore a state so often dismissed as empty and flat, suggesting ideas for enjoyable daytrips (see below).  They also offer suggestions for how Kansas can overcome some of its less flattering stereotypes. 

Guests:

julie / Flickr, Creative Commons

You could be forgiven if you happen to believe that Mother's Day is a holiday invented by florists, candy stores and greeting card companies. In point of fact, however, this holiday has a hard-won, grassroots history that puts today's celebrations in context.

On Central Standard, a historian introduced us to three women who lobbied for a mother's day of sorts: the first out of a desire for peace, the second to decrease infant mortality through education, and the third in service of her own professional yearnings.

Share economies are trending in the Kansas City marketplace. These are networks that give people access to goods and services without ownership. Airbnb, for example, is a service in which travelers can rent a living space from a complete stranger for a short time.

US Department of Education / Flickr, Creative Commons

Recent studies from the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association point to what some are calling a diversity gap in American schools. While student populations are growing more and more racially diverse, the teaching pool isn't changing at a pace that reflects that reality.

Creative Commons

Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series recently received the dubious distinction of topping the American Library Association's list of most-challenged books of 2013. With the author on his way to Kansas City, Central Standard took a look at what makes some of the most-challenged books so controversial.

Graduation Anxiety

May 5, 2014
Dave Herholz / Flickr/CC

    

Spring is the season of change. Many high school seniors are preparing to leave the familiar to experience the independence that comes with university life. College seniors are expected to go out into the "real world" and take on new responsibilities. On today's Central Standard, psychologist Bruce Liese guides both students and parents through the uncertainties of this transitional period.

Guest:

Robyn Lee, Creative Commons / Flickr

Merriam-Webster defines pastry as "sweet baked goods made of dough having a high fat content." The definition leaves out a few key words and phrases, like "delicious" and "tasting great with tea or coffee."

The Central Standard food critics swung by our studios to guide listeners on a quest for the most delectable pastries in Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Flickr user Sue Craske

There’s a new resource in town for Kansas City gardeners: a seed library. Starting this spring at the Ruiz branch of the Kansas City Public Library, anyone with a library card can check out seeds for typical garden plants, from cilantro to tomatoes. At the end of the season, patrons return the seeds they harvest from the plants they grow.

On her way to Kansas City to play a springtime gig, retro rocker Holly Golightly chatted with Gina Kaufmann about her danceable songs inspired by pre-rock Americana. We listened to a few good songs and heard why Holly likens her distinctive sound to a "bourbon-soaked front porch."

bkern1989 / Flickr -- Creative Commons

While the population of the United States continues to grow, new census reports show that more people are moving out of Kansas than are moving in. According to the census reports, Kansas lost more than 10,000 people between 2010 and 2013. This population decrease is most acute in the rural counties of Kansas. 

On Wednesday's Central Standard we explore why Kansas is shrinking, what impact this will have on the state and what actions are being taken to reverse the trend.

Jodi Cobb

National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb travels great distances to discover the secret realms of world culture. She has documented fascinating visual stories about many subjects, including the quirky nature of twins, the hidden lives of Saudi Arabian women and Japanese geishas.

Matteo Bittanti / Flickr / Creative Commons

Nathan Darrow, an actor from Overland Park, Kan., has rocketed to stardom in his role as Edward Meechum on the Netflix show House of Cards. Darrow got his big break when he completed a world tour with a Sam Mendes production of Richard III, also starring Kevin Spacey. (A one-time screening of a documentary about that world tour will take place at the Tivoli April 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The U.S. National Archives / Flickr / Creative Commons

On today's Central Standard, culinary historian Andrea Broomfield joins us to discuss the importance of food during the first World War.

Broomfield explains what the food industry was like during that time at War Fare: Chow Challenge on April 30. Chefs from area restaurants will compete in an Iron Chef-style event using food available during World War I. 

 Guest:

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