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Two Kansas Citians to know: Calvin Arsenia and Willa Robinson

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Calvin Arsenia, a Kansas City-based singer, harpist and composer, has a new book about coming to terms with his evangelical Christian upbringing and being queer. Plus, Willa Robinson went from selling books on the street to operating Kansas City’s largest collection of vintage African American books.

Kansas City-based singer, composer and harpist Calvin Arsenia is adding author to his already impressive resume. Arsenia told KCUR’s Laura Spencer his new book of prose and poetry , "every good boy does fine," grew out of the pandemic and a podcast, and it explores growing up as evangelical Christian and coming to terms with his sexuality.

Twenty-seven years ago, Willa Robinson began selling books as a street vendor on 18th and Vine; now, she has her own space at Willa’s Books and Vinyl on 63rd Street. Robinson recently spoke to KCUR’s Brian Ellison on Up To Date about what she calls Kansas City’s largest collection of vintage African American books.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and edited by Gabe Rosenberg & Lisa Rodriguez

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byron@kcur.org.