Gina Kaufmann

Host, Central Standard

Gina’s background combines print and broadcast journalism, live event hosting and production, creative nonfiction writing and involvement in the arts. Early in her career, she followed a cultural beat for The Pitch, where she served as an editor and art writer in the early 2000s. She also worked as a contributing editor of Heeb magazine out of New York, assisting with the Heeb Storytelling series and ultimately starting her own live storytelling event series in Kansas City. Gina got her public radio chops working first as an intern for KC Currents with Sylvia Maria Gross, then as a co-host of The Walt Bodine Show. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Ways To Connect

In Inside Out, emotions are personified into characters — just like in Greek mythology. A critic, a local mom and a scholar of Greek myths discuss the drama of human emotions.

Photographer Lara Shipley discusses Devil's Promenade, her photo series that depicts life in the Ozarks, where she grew up.

A Kansas Citian with ties to Greece shares his perspective on the financial crisis there, and a UMKC professor who predicted trouble in the Eurozone in 1998 discusses how it all came about — and how UMKC approaches economics in a radical way.

Responding to our query about garage sales, two of our listeners explain their favorite finds.

Guests:

  • Brad Lieffring
  • Lynette Fisk

A KU professor discusses the history of Japanese desserts, and how they contain less sugar than their Western counterparts.

A food historian discusses why we prefer bold, dry wines like Cabernet and Chardonnay — and how Missouri grapes saved the French wine industry.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Research into income mobility across US counties inspires Central Standard to take a roadtrip, talk to an economist and hear from locals with their own research and experience to share. Is the "land of opportunity" created by individuals or their environments?

Guests:

Class issues can be all over the headlines, even when the word 'class' never appears. So says Kansas writer Sarah Smarsh. A quick breakdown of recent headlines through the lens of class in Kansas.

Guest:

On the face of it, the 1983 Royals-Yankees insanity known as the Pine Tar Game is all about a technicality and a tantrum. But scratch beneath the surface and it's a Shakespearean-caliber drama with complex characters and a generations-long feud.

Guest:

Bake-Off

Jul 24, 2015
Katie Knight/KCUR

We explore the landmark case of pie vs. cake. Two baking experts — one pro-pie, the other pro-cake — defend their desserts in a lively debate, then our Food Critics search for the best pies and cakes in Kansas City.

A KU ornithologist discusses how climate change has affected birds in Mexico and what this means for life on earth.

Should universities police student behavior on social media? Recently, a KU student was expelled for comments he made about an ex-girlfriend on Twitter. A reporter and a student discuss the case and whether social media is part of a school's learning environment.

Meet actor and Kansas City native Mark Patton. During the 1980s, he was an openly gay actor in Hollywood. After starring in Nightmare on Elm Street 2, his big-screen career took a hit because of homophobia in Hollywood. Patton is back in town for a screening for one of his movies, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

For generations, fast-pitch softball united some of Kansas City's Mexican-American community. A new documentary and exhibit shines a light on local players and their histories. We invite the documentary's filmmaker and a fast-pitch softball player/coach to discuss the impact that softball has had on our community.

Wikipedia--CC

The 1974 Ozark Music Festival lives on in infamy.

It drew as many as 350,000 people to the small, family-oriented town of Sedalia.

Traffic ground to a halt. Temperatures were in the triple-digits. Nudity ran rampant and the cost of ice skyrocketed.

Residents came home to festival-goers camped out on their lawns, using garden hoses for "baths." People sent their children out of town for safety. Hungry, drug-addled music fans stole a cow. And it only gets crazier from there.

Guest:

Schoolchildren have been admiring Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird for generations. With the publication of Go Set A Watchman, readers are learning about a side of Atticus they're having a hard time stomaching. But fictional characters change all the time in their private lives with their authors.

Guest:

  • Catherine Browder, author of three collections of fiction, associate in UMKC's Creative Writing Program
Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

In 1966, the Kansas City Board of Trade Building was new. Then it got old. Now, the iconic modern structure is getting a makeover. How do you transform an iconic piece of architecture, and what's the state of modernism in the Kansas City area?

Guests:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Democrat Katheryn Shields, who will take her seat on Kansas City Council on Aug. 1 after a close election win, didn't grow up dreaming of political campaigns, though the Parkville farm where she grew up as an only girl with four older brothers did teach her to be "a bit of a scrapper." 

The Shield

Jul 17, 2015

As she's about to take her seat on the Kansas City, Missouri Council, Katheryn Shields talks about her political career — how she got her start, her accomplishments and how she dealt with with adversaries and scandal.

Next week, KU will host a Black Arts Poetry Conference, which will feature readings by poets Frank X. Walker and Kevin Young at the Black Archives of Mid-America. A poet and one of the conference organizers discuss the past, present and future of African American poetry.

Most Kansas Citians have heard of Claycomo — officially called The Village of Claycomo — but how much do we really know about it? The mayor of Claycomo tells us more about his village — and dispels some myths.

What is life like for LGBTQ folks in rural Kansas and Missouri? A Kansas City actor/writer and residents from Kearney, Missouri and Hiawatha and Hays, Kansas share their perspectives.

All Aboard

Jul 14, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

It was smelly, crowded and potentially life-threatening, but riding on a steamboat was de rigeur for travelers to Kansas City in the mid-nineteenth century. For a brief and some might say "golden" era, the steamboat was also the primary agent of settlement and change. How steamboats shaped Kansas City.

Guests:

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Heidi Van says that Kansas City needs to send original, locally created theater out into the world every bit as much as it needs a baseball team. That means experimenting on stage, taking risks, re-tooling scenes and sometimes failing. In front of an audience. Get a window into the world of experimental theater in Kansas City. 

Guests:

Fork-Free

Jul 10, 2015

Chocolate hazelnut sea salt, pimento cheese, cilantro pesto aioli ... dips and spreads have gotten fancy on area menus. We talk with a local hummus purveyor, then our food critics uncover the best dips and spreads in Kansas City.

When it comes to refreshing summer drinks, sour isn't a characteristic that usually comes to mind. We invite two local brewers to guide us through the sour beer trend, and our in-house expert samples their wares (for research purposes, of course).

Missouri Valley Special Collections/Kansas City Public Library

Hear the stories of historic Midtown Kansas City, from the heart of Westport to Manheim Park.

Guest:

  • Mary Jo Draper, author, Kansas City's Historic Midtown Neighborhoods
Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The National Council of La Raza is holding its annual conference in Kansas City. The series of events brings together advocates, business leaders, politicians and others around issues of importance to Hispanic populations throughout the United States.

But the organization's name, La Raza, gives some people pause. 

Ford's auto assembly plant in Claycomo employs 6000 auto workers. In a town of only 1500. We explore the relationship between Claycomo the factory and Claycomo the place.

Guests:

  • Dan Verbeck, former KCUR reporter, Northland resident
  • Lonnie Bush, auto worker, Ford
Celeste Lindell/Flickr -- CC

It's a well-known cycle: Artists move into neglected neighborhoods, use their creativity to transform the area, then get priced out. In a recently published article in Lumpen Magazine, two local thinkers wonder, do artists make these places? Or do they just move in? We invite one of those authors and another arts developer in town to discuss.

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