Sylvia Maria Gross | KCUR

Sylvia Maria Gross

Storytelling Editor

Sylvia Maria Gross manages creative projects at KCUR, including overseeing Central Standard, KCUR's daily talk/magazine show and the podcast Midwesternish. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, The World and Studio 360. Gross grew up in New York City, Brazil and the suburbs of Washington, DC. She came to public radio after a long stint as a middle school teacher, and has continued to spend her career trying to capture the attention of wandering minds.

Ways to Connect

Orestie "Rusty" Tucker died last week at the age of 80 after a brief illness. A singer, drummer, and trumpeter, Tucker was a member of the Tim Whitmer K-C Express band, and played with a number of other groups in Kansas City. But Tucker was probably best known for his work with the Scamps, a group he joined in the late 1970s. The Scamps are considered Kansas City's version of the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band.

Kansas City, MO – When Kansas City native Ginger Damron first went to Uganda as a volunteer, she ended up in the city of Jinja. She says people thought her name was a joke.

Kansas City, MO – In the fifth of a six part series on financial planning, David Jackson talks about pensions and planning for retirement. David Jackson is a financial planner for Waddell & Reed and writes a regular column for the Kansas City Call.

Kansas City, MO – On April 10, thousands of people gathered at Ilus Davis Park near City Hall to advocate for immigration reform that includes some kind of legalization for undocumented immigrants. A week later, a rally against illegal immigration drew several hundred people to Mill Creek Park, next to the Country Club Plaza. Many of the protestors there said they support legal immigration, but think existing laws are not being enforced by the government. Sylvia Maria Gross has more.


Kansas City, MO – It's been two years since Kansas City Kansas native Janet Murguia was named president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, a leading Latino civil rights organization. She was in town on Friday to address young people at a leadership conference at UMKC. Sylvia Maria Gross asked her about some current challenges in educating Latino youth, both locally and nationally.

Kansas City, MO – A Kansas state representative introduced a bill on Tuesday to repeal the law that allows undocumented immigrants who live in Kansas to pay in-state tuition. The law passed in 2004, and 221 students are now enrolled in Kansas colleges and universities under its provisions. Sylvia Maria Gross reports.

Kansas City, MO – It's become almost a cliche to comment on the growth of the Latino community in every part of the United States - including the Kansas City area. But few can accurately answer the question - how big is this community? And what are its characteristics?

Kansas City, MO – In order to unravel the mystery of the Steptoe neighborhood in Westport, you'd have to go back about one-hundred-forty years to the times of the Civil War when Missouri's fate as a free versus a slave state hung in the balance.

Joe Louis Mattox, a historian at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, has looked into the neighborhood's history. He sat down with Sylvia Maria Gross to tell us how he first became interested in Steptoe.


Kansas City, MO – Muslims began fasting from dawn to dusk earlier this month when a new crescent moon signaled the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month. The month-long holiday commemorates the time 1500 years ago that Muslims believe the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The faithful try to be especially pious this month and refrain from food, drink, smoking and sex - all the sensual pleasures - during daylight.

Kansas City, MO – In some cases, a disaster provides an opportunity for communities to come to together. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross speaks to one local Vietnamese family who takes in relatives from New Orleans and finds a new connection here.

The Vietnamese American Community of Greater Kansas City donated funds for the Nguyen family to get back on their feet in Kansas City.

Goin' to Kansas City Plaza at 12th and Vine

Kansas City, MO – In recent years, the 18th and Vine area has been redeveloped, but 12th and Vine has really been the jazz center of Kansas City. Ollie Gates of Gates Barbeque is now coordinating the redevelopment of the 18th and Vine plaza and tours the area.

Kansas City Latin American Film Festival

Kansas City, MO – UMKC professor Louis Imperiale talks about the Argentine film Wild Horses. Imperiale will be presenting the 1995 film at the Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City, which begins this month at the Rio Theater in Overland Park. Films from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Peru will be presented every Saturday until October 1.

Intro to Financial Planning

Kansas City, MO – Host Delores Jones talk to David Jackson, a Certified Financial Planner with Waddell & Reed and a columnist with The Kansas City Call. Jackson defined financial independence in the first of a series on KC Currents.

Kansas City, MO – A little over a week ago, city officials approved the final design for the 250 million dollar Sprint Center - the mayor says it looks like a crystal bowl. Construction begins soon on the city-financed site . . . but some black and Latino contractors and construction workers are concerned that they won't be included on the site.

Harmony-NCCJ Unite

Maria Hinojosa, Mary Sanchez on Latino news coverage

Kansas City, MO – Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa was in town last week to speak at the Midwest Latina Conference. Hinojosa recently left CNN to become a senior correspondent on PBS's NOW, with David Brancaccio. A few days ago, she joined the Kansas City Star's Mary Sanchez and KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross for a conversation about Latinas in the media.