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How Taylor Swift brought a gold rush to Kansas City

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour had a huge economic impact on Kansas City — and then she kept coming back. Local business owners and even the city’s tourism board say they're reaping the benefits. Plus: A new book shows how Kansas City's drag performers influenced the national scene.

Over the last year, the biggest attention-drawer to Kansas City has been Taylor Swift. According to an analysis by Google Trends, searches asking, “Where is Kansas City?” more than doubled in the U.S. over the past three months, as Swift and Travis Kelce's relationship became public. And search interest in local restaurants skyrockets each time the couple visits one.

KCUR's Savannah Hawley Bates reports on the past year's "Swiftonomics."

A new book by Lucas Hilderbrand shows the historic strength of Kansas City’s gay bar scene and how it fits in to the national movement. Kansas City Public Library’s Anne Kniggendorf spoke with the University of California-Irvine professor about how the city became a nexus for gay political activity, activism and culture.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Laura Ziegler. It is produced by Anna Schmidt and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
Anna Schmidt is the fall 2023 intern for KCUR Studios. She recently graduated from Kansas State University, where she was the Opinions Desk Editor for the Collegian student newspaper and took over the role of podcast host. You can email her at anna.schmidt@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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