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

From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. 

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Ronnie Burt's job, as president and CEO of Visit KC, is to make Kansas City appealing to people who don't live here. What are the selling points, and what holds us back?

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  • Ronnie Burt, president and CEO, Visit KC
Charlotte Street Foundation

Rodolfo Marron is an artist who grew up in the 1990s, on Kansas City's West Side. It was a grittier place back then, he says. For an escape, he started creating characters who inspired him. Now, he draws on Kansas City stories and the materials that grow wild in backyards and along highways.

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If you like to learn about the inner lives of musicians, as though they're the friends or older siblings who are way cooler than you, then music podcasts might just be your thing. This show compiles great music podcasts with an emphasis on the musician-interview approach, plus a handful of new, non-music podcasts to refresh your general playlist. Timed in anticipation of KCUR's upcoming Podcast Party featuring Central Standard and The Grisly Hand. 

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Wikipedia

Does the Kansas we see in The Wizard of Oz have anything to do with the Kansas on this side of the rainbow? From tornadoes to costumes to politics, we explore the different interpretations of this classic American film.

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It's that subconscious little kernel of prejudice that probably exists within all of us. We explore implicit bias: where it comes from, how it influences our decisions and what we can do about it.

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It's spring, and the sound of lawn mowers is starting to echo around town. We explore what lawns mean to us: Why do we love caring for them, and does environmental progress mean rethinking the concept of our grassy domain?

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Coy Dugger / KCUR

Hardware store memories are about more than that tell-tale hardware store smell. How the story of industry in Kansas City mirrors the story of hardware stores, and what communities lose as those mom n' pop neighborhood shops fall away. Plus, how one of the oldest hardware stores in town has reinvented itself to survive. Hint: it involves a flying dolphin.

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Jane Austen lived centuries ago, yet she still inspires best-sellers and box-office hits. What's the secret to her staying power? This is a search for the authors who embody those Austen-esque qualities today, including some unexpected picks that might surprise you. Plus, a second look at Austen's least popular novel: Mansfield Park.

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Pixabay

I remember getting rid of my cassette tapes.

Through the early 2000s, when my journalism career was just beginning, I drove a beat-up used car built in 1991. The bonus was, it had a tape deck. And I had a great collection of music on tapes.

We visit the kitchen of a local chef to learn how to make ice cream if you don't have an ice cream maker (hint: it involves bananas ... and some liqueur, if you're so inclined), then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best ice cream in and around KC.

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Ian T. McFarland/Flickr -- CC

What should we do with the Missouri River and the land around it? From seeing more barges on the river to letting the area revert to nature, we dream big and explore the options.

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Inspired by KCUR's series, When I'm 64, we examine the future of retirement. Will it still be around for future generations, or will it become something entirely different?

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Neighborhood Radio

Apr 12, 2016

Two local organizations are gearing up to start low-power FM stations to broadcast to specific communities within a 3-5 mile radius of the broadcast location. One of them, broadcasting from the Mutual Musicians Foundation, will focus on local jazz, gospel and soul at 18th and Vine. The other has an educational and community service mission. What's the story?

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  • Lewis George Walker, co-founder, KUAW 98.5 FM
  • James McGee, general manager, KOJH 104.7
commons.wikimedia.org

1992 is calling and it wants its cassette tapes back: a local record store can't keep tapes in stock, a St. Joseph pawn shop sells tape decks as quickly as they come in, and a Springfield-based cassette manufacturer just had its best year since 1969. Sounds like a cassette-tape revival to us.

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mariathemexican.com

Maria Elena Cuevas calls her sound "roots music." In her case, roots have special significance. Her grandmother founded one of the first all-female mariachi bands in the country. That's where Cuevas and her sister/bandmate, Tess, got an early start. Hear songs from Maria the Mexican's new album, including a live in-studio performance.

  • Maria Elena Cuevas, frontwoman, Maria the Mexican, out with a new album called South of the Border Moonlight
Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

With his silvery hair, his sun-and-wind-weathered skin, formidable stature and a booming, resonant voice, Wes Jackson steps out of his pickup truck in a blazer, radiating confidence. But 40 years ago, when he'd just given up a tenured professorship in California to set up shop in rural Kansas with the goal of transforming not just agriculture but the way humans live, he was appropriately daunted by the scale of his own ambition.

"I did it with a lot of doubt," he says with a laugh. "Especially in the middle of the night."

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Meet a prominent thinker who's a Kansas farm boy and "prairiebilly" turned geneticist, and hear the story of how and why he became a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement back in the 1970s. Jackson is retiring as president of the organization he started: The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. 

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Are advanced degrees, especially in arts or humanities, a safety net when it comes to building a career? One local artist, who has several degrees but hasn't landed the ideal long-term gig, shares how she built her arts career — outside of academia.

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Jen Chen / KCUR 89.3

We chat with a local musician, whose genre has been described as "avant-garde folk" and "guitar-and-growl." Plus, a live, in-studio performance.

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Walker Evans / Public Domain/Documentary Portraits of Mississippi: The Thirties, Selected and Edited by Patti Carr Black

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: Kansas City is known as the "Crossroads of America" for its major interstates and sizable rail network. What is it like to hitchhike here? Plus, a discussion on the best — and not-so-great — bathrooms in town.

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University of Texas Press

Mary J. Blige has been called the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, but what fans love most isn't her status as pop culture royalty, but her vulnerability and honesty, especially with her own struggles. What is it about this artist that accounts for her staying power, since 1992?

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KOMU News / Flickr

Why do some graduating high school students, in 2016, consider historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs) over PWI (predominantly white institutions)? Hear how these schools struggle to match the resources of their competitors, and why they continue to have a distinct appeal for many students nonetheless.

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A graduating high school senior without US citizenship reflects on her journey so far. With several college options to choose from, how does this accomplished student's immigration status influence the decision about where to go?

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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

We visit a Filipino restaurant in Grain Valley, and we hear more about a French-Korean bakery that set up shop in Overland Park. Then, our Food Critics search out the best Asian food in and around KC.

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Mike Licht/Flickr -- CC

We explore how technology has changed our relationships with our homes ... and society.

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As we're in the midst of another election season, we hear a lot about how each candidate seems "presidential." What does that word mean, and what does it say about us? An editor who publishes books about the presidency shares his thoughts.

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A KU professor, who studies how lizards branch into various species, has come to some pretty big conclusions on what defines a species.

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Jessica Spengler / Flickr

The food of Kansas City has a life story to tell. Author Andrea Broomfield tells it. The origins of Kansas City chili, tamales and tailgating, an affinity for dining al fresco and cinnamon rolls, and what local beer has to do with our sports teams and stadiums. Every food tradition can be explained through the lens of history.

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Men In Uniform

Mar 28, 2016

According to Pellom McDaniels, when African-Americans served in World War I donning uniforms, the experience empowered them, not just as Americans but as men. On the homefront, they relived that dignity in their baseball careers. 

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