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Seg. 1: Brother John | Seg. 2: Laura Noble | Seg. 3: Hate Mail

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.

Segment 2: Kansas City singer Laura Noble on making her own music.

Laura Noble got her start performing the National Anthem for the Royals, thanks in part to her family's role in welcoming Dominican players for the Royals. She's played for a lot of bands, in other cities and other countries. And now her own band is getting ready for a free summer concert at the Kansas City Museum August 9.

Segment 3: Author Laurie Gelman on her mail from Kansas Citians.

Laurie Gelman's novel You're Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel includes a note to "the fine folks of Kansas City," which includes a request to stop sending hate mail. Although she's half-joking, the mail is real. 

  • Laurie Gelman, author, You've Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel
People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.
Anne Kniggendorf is a staff writer/editor at the Kansas City Public Library and freelance contributor to KCUR. She is the author of "Secret Kansas City."