storytelling | KCUR

storytelling

Segment 1: A key player in Kansas City's hip hop community died unexpectedly.

In addition to being a producer for Ces Cru, Justin "Info Gates" Gillespie started the Beat Academy of Kansas City at the Plaza Academy, touching a lot of teens. Now the hip hop community is banding together to carry on his legacy and make sure those teens will continue to be supported.

Segment 1: Who gets to tell what stories? 

Controversy over a novel called “American Dirt” led to a canceled book tour—a week before author Jeanine Cummins was set to come to Kansas City. Critics have a problem with the fact that Cummins is white, yet wrote a book about a Mexican family trying to make it across the US-Mexico border.

Segment 1: He came to Kansas City as the youngest concertmaster in the country in the 1950s; he died this year, leaving a poweful legacy behind.

courtesy of Natasha Ria El-Scari

When it comes to talking about sex, the accepted wisdom is that parents and kids alike would just rather not. But Kansas City poet Natasha Ria El-Scari doesn't think that's healthy.

Neither does her college-age son, who says he's benefited from his mother's openness and candor in a way his peers are missing out on.

"You need to write a book and call it the 'Mama Sutra'," he once told her. "You can thank me later."

Americans spend an average of 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime. So what we do at work isn't separate from life. It is life. At a recent event hosted by Central Standard, people gathered to tell true stories from life on the job. We're sharing a few of those stories with you here.

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.

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.

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.

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: Telling the American story through art by acclaimed African-American artists. 

There's no hyphen in 30 Americans, an art exhibition featuring masterworks by four decades of African-American artists. That's by design. Hear how Kansas Citians have made this traveling show their own, and why the curator who brought it to the Nelson-Atkins says it's "a long time coming."

Advice For High School Graduates

May 22, 2019

Graduation season is upon us, which means celebration and cliché advice. But a lot of the age-old wisdom doesn't quite ring true in today's changing world. Hear about the helpful and not-so-helpful nuggets doled out to high school seniors. Plus, Kansas Citians share their own tips.

Guests:

Focus Features

Update: Feb. 25.

When Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman," a satire about race in America, won an Academy Award Sunday night for best adapted screenplay, one of the Oscars went to Kansas filmmaker Kevin Willmott, who co-write the film with Lee, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

Samantha Ruggles came out as a transgender woman long after her grandparents and parents had passed away.

"If they were still alive, how would that conversation have gone? Your coming out?" her friend Darin Challacombe asked.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

"What was it like being the only woman in most of your classes?" Michelle Bertuglia-Haley asked her mother, Lynn Bertuglia.

In the 1970s, it was uncommon for engineering programs in U.S. colleges to accept women. But the University of Kansas did, so Bertuglia decided to give it a shot.

David Hawley

Hundreds of steamboats are buried underground along the banks of the Missouri River. We just don’t know where they are. One of them, however, was recently discovered under a cornfield near Malta Bend, Missouri, about 80 miles east of Kansas City.

StoryCorps

Mariana Hildreth felt like she had done everything right when she decided to come to the United States from Mexico: She had a degree, years of professional experience and worked through legal channels to get a work permit.

She felt privileged.

"'I'm just going to conquer the world, I'm going to move there and I'm going to make it work,'" Hildreth thought before she moved. "But when I came here, nothing that I thought I was mattered."

StoryCorps

The StoryCorps MobileBooth came to Kansas City this summer to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

Sada K. Jackson's mother, Ileana Watson, passed away in 2016 after battling breast cancer. So when Jackson got a chance to record at the StoryCorps MobileBooth, she chose to sit down with her mother's good friend Angela Morehead-Mugita.

Segment 1: Big development shifts in Kansas City's East Bottoms.

There's been a lot of economic buzz in the East Bottoms lately. A local distillery looks to expand operations to the historic Heim Brewery bottling plant, while a well-known meat shop moves out to a new location in the River Market. On this episode, we discuss the past, present, and future of the East Bottoms.

As school winds down, one question always comes to most people's minds: what did you do this summer? On today's show, we speak with students and teachers who spent their summer doing surprising things like helping clean water efforts in South Africa or creating a campaign strategy. Oh, and winning "Jeopardy!"

  • Luciana De Anda, student, Olathe East High School
  • John Kevern, professor, UMKC School of Computing and Engineering
  • Larry Martin, teacher, Belinder Elementary

Segment 1: StoryCorps is coming to Kansas City.

With the magic of an airstream trailer and a couple of microphones, StoryCorps turns simple conversations into meaningful moments. On this episode, we find out how they plan to make the magic happen here in Kansas City.

  • Jacqueline Van Meter, site manager, StoryCorps Mobile Tour

Segment 2, beginning at 31:00: New plans for an old hospital in the heart of downtown Kansas City.

Drag Queen Storytime; Why Birds Matter

Feb 6, 2018
Mary Nemecek / Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City

According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, this is the year of the dog. But National Geographic says otherwise, naming 2018 as 'year of the bird' in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Today, we speak with a photographer who captured moments of bird migration across the world and with local bird watchers right here in Kansas City.

The Missouri French Creole community, located mainly in the eastern part of the state, has its own language and culture. We hear more from a filmmaker who is working on a documentary about them.

Plus: the overlooked history of how Jews shaped small towns in the Midwest. It's the topic of a symposium this weekend: Jews in the Midwest: 1850 to 1950.

Guests:

He's been called the "fastest-rising public-radio star in memory." Our conversation with Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington, from his upbringing in a religious cult to how he's innovating storytelling.

Guest:

John Evans / iconoclastofthings.com

It's hot out, which means you're probably spending a lot of time indoors... Running low on podcasts? Fear not! Our panel of in-house audio nerds joins us with their top podcast recommendations this season. Plus, the story behind new Kansas City podcast 'Iconoclast of Things.'

And, we take a moment to remember our own, broadcast legend Steve Bell, who passed away a year ago today.

Guests:

Tomorrow is Independence Day, which makes us think . . . what's more American than voting? Back on Election Day, we took a trip down memory lane to the first elections many of us got to participate in: class elections. From elementary school to college, these early elections were an opportunity to practice being members of a democracy.

Join us for this encore episode of Central Standard

Guests:

Christopher Bulle / Flickr -- CC

A local fashion designer put out a call to see if people would be interested in sewing lessons. The answer was a resounding yes. In a time when clothes are so cheap that they're practically disposable, we look into why there's a renewed interest in making and mending garments.

Plus, the National Storytelling Network's big annual conference kicks off in KC today. We hear from one of the participants.

Guests:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In a tiny plane over the Amazon rainforest, Kansas City writer Candice Millard plummeted to what she was sure would be her death.

Every great story starts with an unforgettable opening line ... that's especially true at The Moth. Now, some of the best, most courageous stories you've heard, can be found as chapters in a book, that you can go back to, again and again.

Artistic director Catherine Burns, editor of All These Wonders, joins us as The Moth celebrates its 20th anniversary. 

Guest:

Senate Democrats / Flickr - CC

From his vantage point in the U.S. Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse is of the mind that the longstanding tradition of honor in American politics is disappearing. Today, he argues corporate infiltration into the political system is to blame.

A rural farm in Kansas. A wealthy family with a dark secret. A missing young woman. That's the basis of a new book by a local author. She shares how a real-life small Kansas town — and her background as a criminal defense attorney — helped inspire her novel.

Then, a look at how police department throughout the country (including in KC) are using technology that mines cell phone data.

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