Brian Ellison

Host/Contributor

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

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.

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Mark Bedell faces a big challenge; leading Kansas City Public Schools back to full accreditation. Today, the superintendent talks about his first sixth months on the job, and his plans to improve grades and raise graduation rates. Then, jazz icon Ramsey Lewis explains how he's using his piano to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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President-elect Trump's first formal news conference lasted into today's Up To Date broadcast, so the show is shorter than usual. 

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  After Missouri Governor Eric Greitens delivered his inaugural address in Jefferson City, KCUR's Statehouse Blend Missouri teamed up with St. Louis Public Radio's Politically Speaking podcast to interview the Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

Guests:

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In light of what will likely be his final televised address as president, we remember Barack Obama's greatest speeches and dissect the rhetoric behind them. Then, a conversation about whether the historic buildings and eclectic personality of Westport can survive in the modern economy.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

After Missouri Governor Eric Greitens delivered his inaugural address in Jefferson City, KCUR's Statehouse Blend Missouri teamed up with St. Louis Public Radio's Politically Speaking podcast to interview the minority and majority leadership in the House of Representatives.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

It's official; Eric Greitens is the governor of Missouri. On this special edition of Up To Date, recorded live in Jefferson City, we bring you coverage of the inaugural address, the swearing-in, and the pomp and circumstance. Reporters and legislators from around the Show-Me State guide us on this historic day.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

As the 99th General Assembly convenes in what might be an historic year for Missouri politics, Statehouse Blend Missouri sits down with state senators from both sides of the aisle to find out what to expect from the 2017 legislative session. Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) and Sen.

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From the Standing Rock protests to the European migrant crisis, we explore the stories of faith and values that made headlines in the last year. Then, we meet a community activist who has spent decades working on behalf of urban neighborhoods in Kansas City.

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President-elect Trump's one-off deal making with the likes of Carrier, Ford, and SoftBank have raised concerns about crony capitalism. The Ethics Professors tackle that issue, and discuss whether U.S.

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Thirty years. That's how much experience the trio of actors starring in a new Kansas City Actors Theatre production have ... each. They tell us about the challenges of sustaining an acting career in the Midwest.

Greitens workout
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Laying out a central theme of his first-year agenda, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens told a group of law enforcement officers, recruits and their families Tuesday that he would have their back when he takes office next week.

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As the 115th U.S. Congress meets in Washington for the first time, new state legislatures will soon take the reins in Jefferson City and Topeka. Today, we look forward to possible political developments and legislation likely to arise in the Missouri and Kansas capitals.

Capitol
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The head of Eric Greitens’ transition team outlined the Missouri governor-elect’s legislative priorities for 2017 and new details on inaugural and transition activities during a conference call on Thursday.

Greitens will be sworn in at noon on Monday, January 9.

Austin Chambers, who will be a senior adviser in the new administration, says Greitens will focus his legislative efforts on laws related to jobs, ethics reform, public safety and education reform.

In Kansas City, there is a connection between where people live and the economic realities of their lives. Today, we air a conversation hosted by American Public Square that looks to understand how poverty, race and place interact to affect the people who live in urban neighborhoods. 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has endured for decades, but former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell believes a nonviolent resolution is still possible. Then, one data scientist says expanding misuse of algorithms and mathematical modeling is creating Weapons of Math Destruction.

Uncertainty surrounds the Affordable Care Act, as some Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace it. Today, a former Obama administration official discusses possible changes to the law. Then, Brian McTavish presents a Thanksgiving version of his Weekend To-Do List.

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After being mugged by two teenagers, one educator sought understanding instead of revenge, and founded The Learning Club of KCK, which tutors at-risk children in the neighborhoods where they live. Then, the 2016 elections were kind to marijuana, just not in Missouri. Advocate groups NORML KC and New Approach Missouri are looking to change that.

With so many things competing for our attention these days, building an arts audience can be a challenge. Today, we learn how organizations like ArtsKC work to get people off the couch and into the concert hall. Then, find out what it was about a life on stage that brought award-winning guitarist Peter Himmelman to develop his own methods for more fully engaging creative potential.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Missouri, House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) talks about the House Democratic platform and where she hopes to find common ground with the Republican majority during the upcoming session.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Having returned in March from 340 consecutive days aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly reflects on the mission, the science, and the unconventional life he carried out there. Then, Victor Wishna contemplates uncertainty and sports fandom in times of turmoil.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas and Statehouse Blend Missouri, hosts Brian Ellison and Sam Zeff talk with KCUR's Peggy Lowe and Amy Jeffries about the future of the Kansas and Missouri Statehouses going forward after the 2016 elections.

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On a night when Democrats and moderate Republicans in Kansas had some significant wins, the case can be made that Missouri took several steps to the right of its neighboring state.

1. Republicans rule the top of the ticket.

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On this special elections episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas and Statehouse Blend Missouri, hosts Sam Zeff and Brian Ellison discuss results and us give an idea of where things stand in Kansas and Missouri.

American Public Square

On October 13, American Public Square and KCUR co-hosted a conversation at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum for the public about an increasingly hostile political environment, and whether civility can help correct the course. An edited version of this discussion aired on KCUR's Up To Date on Monday, November 7.

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On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, we get a local and national perspective on the tight race for the U.S. Senate between Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, his Democratic challenger.

Guests:

Bill Weld in Kansas City
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the Libertarian party vice presidential nominee, told a rally of 200 people in midtown Kansas City Thursday that only he and his running-mate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, could change Washington.

Calling political paralysis “the elephant and the donkey in the room,” Weld said something needs to be done to reign in the major parties’ hold on power.

Hawley/Hensley
Courtesy of Hawley campaign; Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Every Missouri attorney general since 1969 has sought higher office at the conclusion of their term, just as gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster is doing this year. Even so, the race to be the next attorney general hasn’t received much attention. Perhaps it should; this year’s two major candidates have completely different ideas about what the job even is.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the 17th District Senate seat discuss the issues, a lawsuit one filed against the other and their campaigns as we approach the final weeks of the 2016 election season.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the 17th District Senate seat discuss the issues, a lawsuit one filed against the other and their campaigns as we approach the final weeks of the 2016 election season.

Guests:

In a time of diminishing budgets, guest host Brian Ellison learns how fine-arts program Harmony Project is helping underserved kids in Kansas City do better in school. Then, actor Bryan Cranston says a large part of his successful career has to do with hard work and good luck. This week's Local Listen features the classic rock band Kansas, touring in support of its first album since 2000.

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