Central Standard | KCUR

Central Standard

Monday - Friday at 10 a.m.

Central Standard is an arts and ideas show. We tell the stories of people who matter in the Kansas City region.

Central Standard is broadcast weekdays at 10 a.m. on KCUR 89.3 and is available via podcast.

Coming up the week of August 12, 2019:

  • Monday: Pedestrians (R)
  • Tuesday: Opportunity Zones | Post Office Art
  • Wednesday: Born Just Right | Harry and the Potters
  • Thursday: Elderhood | 816 Day 
  • Friday: Portrait Session - TBD

Transit isn't about vehicles; it's about people. When Robbie Makinen lost his vision in 2013 and suddenly had to get around town without his sight, he came to understand that more clearly than ever. Here's his story.

  • Robbie Makinen, CEO, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority

Seg. 1: Elderhood | Seg. 2: 816 Day

Aug 15, 2019

Segment 1: A new book on aging proposes a third stage in life.

First comes childhood, then adulthood and finally, elderhood, which begins roughly in your 70s and can last for decades. It comes with a unique set of challenges, joys and needs, and our cultural reluctance to acknowledge that comes at a cost.

Segment 1: A thirteen year old with limb difference writes a book with her mom.

Jordan Reeves was born without the bottom half of one arm, and she's spent the thirteen years since then proving that she can do anything, "except monkey bars." She invented a prosthetic limb that shoots glitter and looks like a unicorn's horn and she's founded a nonprofit. Now she and her mom are out with a new book.

Segment 1: New distilleries revive the past, with a twist.

Why was 9th street, in the West Bottoms, once known as the "wettest block"? Why did a spirits industry thrive here in the 19th century and then fade even before Prohibition? And what's it like to ride the slide at the new East Bottoms facility for J. Rieger & Co.?

Segment 1: Could opportunity zones change the landscape of investment in Kansas City?

As part of the bipartisan 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones encouraging private investment in distressed areas have been identified in every state. We get an explainer on how it works, along with on-the-ground insights into how the five opportunity zones in Kansas City, Missouri might stand to benefit. 

Segment 1: How mass shootings in the news affect people.

Wall-to-wall coverage of mass shootings has become the norm. An expert joins callers to discuss the repercussions, and to consider what type of coverage news consumers really want. 

  • Katherine Reed, professor of practice, Missouri School of Journalism

Segment 2: The Kansas Citian writing the next generation of role playing games.

Segment 1: A hopeful billboard has a story behind it.

When artist Nicole Leth lost her father to suicide, she told herself she would focus all her energy on spreading positivity. Now a billboard in Kansas City stands testament to that promise.

  • Nicole Leth, artist

Segment 2: A Kansas City musician rocks the violin in her new EP.

Seg. 1: Llamas | Seg. 2: Food Train | Seg. 3: Crossroads Shooting

Aug 5, 2019

Segment 1: A llama show gains popularity.

What is it about llamas? They're everywhere. And that includes the Douglas County Fair. 

  • Mason Kelso, interim llama superintendent, Douglas County Fair
  • Amber Fraley, freelance writer, Lawrence Magazine

Segment 2: An Austin-based chef travels the country tasting regional cuisine.

Segment 1: Kansas City Classics

Among the new and noteworthy restaurants populating Kansas City, let’s not forget those that came first and have stuck around for a while. We talk about the classic restaurants of Kansas City, which have set the standard for diners across the metro.

Segment 1: Kansas City, Missouri's mayor reflects on his time in office. 

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James leaves office July 31. He discusses his eight-year legacy before he hands over the job to the next mayor.

  • Sly James, mayor, Kansas City, Missouri 

Segment 2, beginning at 37:13: The legacy of a Kansas City theater director, actor, and entertainer.

Segment 1: The changing culture of language-learning in professional baseball.

About 25 percent of Major League Baseball players were from Spanish-speaking countries on Opening Day in March. What role do professional baseball teams play in incorporating language-learning into their players' transitions to living and playing in the United States?

Seg. 1: Anti-Trans Violence | Seg. 2: Craftivism

Jul 22, 2019

Segment 1: The nationwide trend of violence against transgender women of color.

A man was recently charged with the murder of Brooklyn Lindsey, a black transgender woman who was found dead in Kansas City in June. Anti-trans violence is on the rise nationwide, and we talk about why.

  • Sarah McBride, national press secretary, Human Rights Campaign 

Segment 2, beginning at 20:17: How a movement combines art and activism.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Growing up in Kansas City, Harvey Williams lived near 12th Street and Vine in what used to be called the Wayne Minor Projects.

"It was the heart of the city, the heat of the city, especially for black people," he says.

But it was in the United States Army, as the Vietnam War was winding down, that he learned about diversity.

Portrait Session: Harvey Williams

Jul 19, 2019

Harvey Williams is the founder of a black-owned theater in Kansas City; he sees that as an important addition to the arts ecosystem here in town. In this intimate conversation, Williams tells his own story, which begins at 12th and Vine, and explains why despite all the major iconic roles he's played on Kansas City stages, it matters enough to him carve out a space for diverse voices that he's doing it in his retirement years, when he could be "sitting on the porch, watching the mailman run up and down the street."

Seg. 1: Immigrant Anxiety | Seg. 2: Volcano Gear

Jul 18, 2019

Segment 1: How Kansas City immigrants are dealing with threats of raids.

"Just in case" is the phrase Celia Calderon Ruiz uses to sum up how people in her community are dealing with the possibility of a raid in Kansas City. Our guests offer clarification on the constitutional rights of migrants, regardless of status.   

The Jackson County Detention Center has been a contentious topic in city and county politics, with a lot of the public debate focused on questions of funding and space. But conditions for inmates, most of whom are awaiting trial, continue to be concerning for those who know the facility.

Segment 1: A Fringe-famous performer tells his story.

Brother John is a pastor and storyteller who researches characters from African-American history then creates performances that bring history to life. He's become a regular contributor to Kansas City's Fringe Festival. This year, he's focusing on Smoky Robinson.

Friday Food Show

Jul 12, 2019

Our summery food odyssey begins with a trip to a fruit orchard, where blackberries and peaches are now in season, before heading back to the studio for ideas from a chef for how to use these tasty fruits in the kitchen. The food critics then join us on a search for the best restaurant patios in Kansas City.

Seg. 1: Women In Law | Seg. 2: Body Image Research

Jul 11, 2019

Segment 1: Bra-Gate inspires a conversation about gender in the legal profession.

Three lawyers speak from personal experience, discussing pay equity, achieving partner status, re-entry to work after maternity leave, implicit bias in the courtroom, the high number of women who leave the profession after 7-10 years and more.

Seg. 1: Recruiting Gen Z | Seg. 2: Fireflies

Jul 11, 2019

Segment 1: What changing recruitment techniques say about our changing culture.

Move over, millennials. The new new workforce is going to be made up of Generation Z, born in or after 1997. The incentives and benefits packages being offered to new recruits by major companies already reflect that generation's needs and values.

Segment 1: New research shows a difference between what we expect and what we experience when it comes to humor in romance. 

Data suggests that in heterosexual relationships, men tend not to recognize that their partner's sense of humor is a major determinant of long-term happiness. Why not?

  • Jeffrey Hall, professor of communication studies, University of Kansas

Segment 2: A nineteenth-century vegetarian settlement in Kansas inspires further investigation.

Segment 1: Should Kansas City move the Royals to a downtown baseball stadium?

In March, the Kansas City Star's editorial board issued an article stating that "it's time" to start talking about a downtown baseball stadium. In this conversation, we look into how that might play out, evaluate the pros and cons, and hear from Kansas Citians about the idea.

Segment 1: A Ralph Steadman exhibit at the Kansas City Public Library excites local fans.

Ralph Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson satirized big moments in American culture and politics in a memorably explosive way. A Steadman retrospective gives local fans a chance to see the art up close.

Segment 1: The Kansas City Public Library has joined a movement toward eliminating late fees.

Following the announcement that the Kansas City Public Library is no longer charging late fees, we dig into the reasoning behind the decision, as well as the larger movement it's a part of.

Segment 1: As the tourism industry grows, so do questions about the impact of travel.

Are there ways to enjoy greater acess to travel while also treading more lightly on the destinations we visit? Or do we simply need to cut back?

Seg. 1: Photojournalism | Seg. 2: Student Loan Debt

Jul 1, 2019

Segment 1: A difficult image re-ignites debate over ethics in photography.

In a recent photograph, a migrant from El Salvador lies face down in water alongside his small daughter. The two have drowned on their quest to enter the United States. The image is part of ongoing debate about what it means to document responsibly.

  • Keith Greenwood, associate professor, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Segment 2: What Kansas Citians would do if their student-loan debt disappeared.

Segment 1: The City Market, then and now.

The City Market continues to provide local produce to individuals and nearby businesses in Kansas City, but even those businesses have changed dramatically in the last decade. We go to Estelle’s Diner to see these changes firsthand, and talk with a historian about the stories behind them.

Seg. 1: Housing Study | Seg. 2: Sign Language

Jun 27, 2019

Segment 1: National perspective on affordable housing in Kansas City.

As new households form, additional housing stock isn't keeping pace, studies show. Meanwhile, rent is rising faster than inflation. It's a nationwide problem, but people are really feeling it in Kansas City.

  • Chris Herbert, managing director, Harvard Joint Centers For Housing Studies

Segment 2: American Sign Language finally counts as a major at the University of Kansas. 

Segment 1: How a 1990s movie on DVD saved the life of a queer Kansas teen.

Savannah Rodgers is making a documentary about her obsession, as a 12-year-old, with the movie Chasing Amy.

Seg. 1: Calm Down | Seg. 2: Blues Man

Jun 25, 2019

Segment 1: An interview with the KCAI alum who worked on Taylor Swift's new music video.

Megan Mantia gives behind-the-scenes insights into the making of a music video that's got people talking. From safety when setting real fires to building fake neighborhoods.

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