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Kansas City Public Library

Through a public-private partnership headed by the Downtown Council, and utilizing funds from federal, state and municipal sources, corporations, foundations, individuals and the Library district itself, the Library raised the nearly $50 million needed for the project. As a result, the new Central Library opened its doors in 2004. The location features state-of-the-art technology, improved and increased services, meeting rooms, a screening room, a coffee shop and much more, all within the walls of a building originally constructed to convey a sense of strength and continuity. It is upon that foundation the Library places its vision for the next century to come.

Upcoming Events

September 2016

Cuba Bound: Photographs by Jesse A. Fernández

September 15, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Admission is free. Cuban-born Jesse A. Fernández (1925–1986) lived intermittently in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. With an extraordinary ability to connect with the expressive essence of each place, Fernández photographed the artists, performers, dancers and writers within the intellectual circles through which he moved. Portraits by Fernández will be shown simultaneously at three venues: artists at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, writers at the Kansas City Public Library, Central Library and jazz musicians at the American Jazz Museum.

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November 2016

Saving Plants, Saving Ourselves

November 1 @ 6:00 pm

Scientists point to a sobering reality: Our planet appears to be entering a “sixth great extinction” as animal and plant species die out at an alarming rate. It’s a calamity, unlike the previous five, wrought mostly by man. With the peril to plant life comes a threat to countless foods, medicines, building materials, and means of absorbing pollutants and regulating climate. Celebrated botanist Peter Raven examines the implications and the need to take measures he says could save most of…

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Women and (In)Justice

November 2 @ 6:00 pm

It was the plight of women in Afghanistan, where the oversight of morality extends to the imprisonment of rape victims for extramarital sex, that moved Nadia Hashimi to write her new novel A House Without Windows. But Hashimi is clear that the murder mystery, set in Afghanistan, is more than a commentary on injustices there. At a time when U.S. college campuses are under fire for failing to investigate sexual assault charges and questions are too often raised about the…

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The Earth is Weeping

November 3 @ 7:00 pm

With the end of the Civil War, the U.S. resumed its westward expansion and absorption of Indian tribal lands, setting off a conflict that would last more than three decades. Historian Peter Cozzens offers an evenhanded look at that bloody struggle between whites and Native Americans, drawing from his new book The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West. Cozzens, recently retired as special assistant to the historian of the U.S. State Department,…

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Storytelling Celebration

November 4 @ 6:30 pm

The 17th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration features a lineup of lively stories, anecdotes, myths, legends, and lessons. Opening the evening is a Friday Night Family Fun session featuring singing storyteller Anthony Clark. It’s followed by a 7 p.m. ghost-tales session – for ages 10 and up – with four visiting storytellers: Charlotte Blake Alston, who features stories from African and African-American oral and cultural traditions; Geneva Greenfield, a specialist in folktales, slavery stories, and ghost stories; Choctaw Nation of…

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Dave (1993)

November 5 @ 1:30 pm

No matter the November outcome, polls have long suggested that this unusual election year would end in the appointment of the most unpopular president in American history. For solace, we turn to film and three likable, laudable, and (lamentably) fictional commanders-in-chief with sky-high approval ratings – plus a worthy acting president in Air Force One. SATURDAYS AT 1:30 P.M. Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. November 5      Dave (1993; PG-13) November 19  …

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Storytelling Spectacular

November 5 @ 7:00 pm

Alston, Tingle, and Wallen return, and are joined by award-winning Michigan storyteller Judy Sima for a grand storytelling finale. Appropriate for ages 10 and up. Co-sponsored by Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods.

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