NPR in Kansas City
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Central Standard

Seg. 1: Urban Heat Islands | Seg. 2: AY Young (R) | Seg. 3: Bird Fleming

Segment 1: Metro areas experience hotter summers, and Kansas City is no exception.

An urban heat island is a city that gets signigicantly warmer than its surrounding area, just by virtue of having a lot of buildings and a lot of people in one place. Downtown Kansas City is one place that feels the effects of urban heat, especially in the summer. We talk with local Kansas Citians who have studied this phenomenon and how to combat its effects. 

  • Kyle Reed, environmental and urban geosciences master's student, UMKC 
  • Tom Jacobs, environmental program director, Mid-America Regional Council
  • Roosevelt Lyons, deputy director, Parks and Recreation for Kansas City, MO

Segment 2, beginning at 20:07: A spotlight on a Kansas City rapper (Repeat)

Local music artist AY Young isn't quite like other rappers: He learned to rap without having ever heard rap music, and last fall he went on tour performing solar-powered, community-centered concerts. We revisit this conversation with AY about his music and the inspiration behind his songs.

  • AY Young, musician and performer

Segment 3, beginning at 41:12: Commemorating African American history through a traditional African artform.

This month will mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to America. One Kansas City artist plans to commemmorate those four centuries of African American history through a traditional African drumming and dance performance. We talk with him about the artform, its roots in African culture and the significance of Juneteenth.

  • Bird Fleming, artistic director, Traditional Music Society 
Michelle is a reporter covering race, identity and culture and is an assistant talk show producer.