Brian Ellison

Host/Contributor

Brian Ellison is acting host of Central Standard and co-host of the podcast Statehouse Blend. He has served in a variety of roles at KCUR since 2008, including regular substitute host, acting producer and associate producer of Up To Date and was acting producer of The Walt Bodine Show. He also contributes to KCUR news coverage, including anchoring election night coverage and conducting interviews for the "Innovation KC" series.

An ordained Presbyterian minister, Brian served as pastor of Parkville Presbyterian Church for 13 years and now is executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. A graduate of Harvard University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he is also a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in preaching at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.

Ways to Connect

Kyle Smith / KCUR 89.3

A young fashion designer, and former contestant on Project Runway: Juniordiscusses how his upbringing in Minneapolis, Kansas influences his creations — and how his design aesthetic is geared towards "BA women who want to look glamorous."

Guest:

Courtesy of Amina Hood / Amina Marie Millinery

Hats may not seem like the cutting edge of fashion, but one Brookside milliner is drawing international attention nevertheless. We invite Kansas City's own Amina Hood to share the personal story of her craft.

Guest: 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) talks about transportation funding, Right To Work legislation, and this year's gubernatorial election.

Guests:

  • Rep. Judy Morgan, (D-Kansas City), Missouri House of Representatives
  • Maria Carter, News Director, KCUR

It's the new Netflix series that's winning audiences by invoking the 1980s ... and by freaking us out. We talk about the appeal of Stranger Things, along with our nostalgia for the music and films of three decades ago.

Guests:

An excerpt from Ghost Notes, a new music podcast in KC. Host Hannah Copeland talks with local group The Buhs.

Guests:

  • Herman Mehari and Julia Haile, The Buhs

Summer Fun

Aug 11, 2016

What did you do in the summer as a kid? How important is it that kids learn something and stay busy ... or get fresh air? As summer draws to a close, we explore how summer vacation is changing.

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As part of a series on mental health care in Kansas by Heartland Health Monitor, we take a look at the history of Topeka's landmark mental health center: the Menninger Clinic.

Guest:

  • Roy Menninger, former president, Menninger Clinic

Graphic novels are becoming more popular ... and they're also evolving. What exactly are they? A chat with someone who taught high-schoolers about this, plus two local authors, whose graphic novel was a finalist for the 2016 Eisner Award.

Guests:

More than a thousand of his musical works have been published, and they're performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to your local church choir loft. We hear from Kansas City's own Mark Hayes, about his journey from playing the church piano as a teen, to becoming an internationally-known composer out of his home in KC. 

Guest:

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Legendary KCUR and Kansas City radio reporter Dan Verbeck recently had a brush with death. With the help of his speedy arrival at the hospital, and the medical team's use of a technique called "therapeutic hypothermia," he was revived from a near fatal heart attack.

We hear Dan's story from his perspective, and then we hear from his doctor about the medical advances that allowed this to happen.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

  On this week's Statehouse Blend, we look back at the Kansas and Missouri Legislature's favorite songs, and what they meant in the context of the sessions. It's Statehouse Blend's Greatest Hits.

Guests:

  • C.J. Janovy, Arts Reporter, KCUR
  • Matt Hodapp, Statehouse Blend Producer, KCUR

From The Farm

Aug 5, 2016

"Farm-to-table" has become a trendy concept, but what does it really mean? A chat with the co-founders of a local group that's trying to change the way we look at food, then our Food Critics search out the best farm-to-table dishes in and around KC. Plus, a look at what's new and noteworthy in local dining.

Guests:

An excerpt from Ghost Notes, a new music podcast in KC. Host Hannah Copeland talks with local musician Taryn Miller, who performs as Your Friend.

Guest:

  • Taryn Miller, Your Friend

Are you tired of politics yet? Neither are we! On this Audiophiles episode, we take a dive into some of the best political podcasts.

Guests:

  • Matt Staub
  • Kyle J. Smith

He's a nationally-known artist with a new work, Property, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. And he's also a product of central Missouri.

We chat with Nick Cave about how Property takes a thousand of his own personal objects, many from his childhood, to tell a story of who he is ... and who we all are.

Guest:

Paul Andrews/paulandrewsphotography.com

Crosby Kemper III is a library executive, the co-founder of a politically conservative think tank and the heir to a famous Kansas City name. What was it like growing up Kemper ... and then, to make a name of one's own?

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Last month, the Simons family sold the Lawrence Journal-World after 125 years of local ownership. Now, the other shoe has dropped. We talk with one of the 30 staffers who was laid off last week. What does it mean for Lawrence and for the future of journalism?

Guest:

  • Karen Dillon, journalist

She was born on August 18, 1920, the very day that women were guaranteed the right to vote in America. And she died a few hours after Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency. We remember the life of Hila "Dutch" Newman, a longtime Missouri Democratic party activist.

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You know his voice ... but did you know his life? We remember KCUR's Steve Bell, who died last week doing one of the things he loved: getting ready for the afternoon newscast.

From a broadcasting career that began in 1958 to a stint as a psychologist — plus his love of animals and bluegrass music — we celebrate the life of our friend and a cherished voice to many.

Guests:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

You may not know it, especially if you're listening to this program, but Kansas City has a heavy metal scene. In February, local producer Justin Mantooth of Westend Recording Studio released "Amplify KC" Volume 1. KCUR's Andrea Tudhope takes us out to explore some of the best of KC's heavy scene.

John Audobon marveled at its beauty; European princes crossed it in game safaris. Dan Flores’s American Serengeti tells the story of the Great Plains over the 19th Century, which saw the largest destruction of wildlife in modern history. 

We explore the historical ecology of the Great Plains. What have we lost, and what can we restore?

Guest: 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) talks about transportation funding, the Republican party platform, and this year's gubernatorial election.

Guests:

  • Sen. Ryan Silvey, (R-Kansas City), Missouri House of Representatives
  • Elle Moxley, General Assignment Reporter, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) talks about transportation funding, the Republican party platform, and this year's gubernatorial election.

Guests:

  • Sen. Ryan Silvey, (R-Kansas City), Missouri House of Representatives
  • Elle Moxley, General Assignment Reporter, KCUR
Hopper Stone - © 2016 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In 1984, Ghostbusters was the top-grossing comedy of all time ... and a cultural phenomenon. (Remember those "I've been slimed" T-shirts?)

We review the new version, along with the legacy of the original. Plus, we hear some of Kansas City's ghost stories.

Guests:

An excerpt from Ghost Notes, a new music podcast in KC. Host Hannah Copeland talks with local hip-hop artist Barrel Maker.

On Target

Jul 14, 2016

He's a 21-year-old who has gone from his small Missouri town to representing the U.S. in the Olympics. Meet Zach Garrett, an archer from Wellington, Missouri.

Guest:

H2O

Jul 14, 2016

Kansas City might be an unusual place to headquarter an international organization that helps bring clean water to people around the world. A chat with Gary White, KC native and co-founder of Water.org.

Guest:

Danny Lyon / courtesy of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The violence and horror of cell phone videos of the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have galvanized many Americans to question race relations and justice.

We take a look back at iconic civil rights era photos, and then invite a psychologist and criminologist to explore the effect of images of violence, past and present, on our minds and our culture.

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These days, political discourse may feature the occasional soaring oratory, but more often, it comes down to talking heads yelling at each other. Maybe what the world needs now is the kind of politics found only in books. As we approach the 2016 presidential election, we take a moment to explore the best books about politics with KCUR's Bibliofiles.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, Philando Castile in Minnesota, and several police officers in Dallas are still fresh in the minds of many across the country. On this edition of Up To Date, we hear from a diverse panel of community members, activists and police about how these tragedies affect us here in Kansas City.

Guests:

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