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

Embracing (or Rejecting) The Midwest

21 hours ago
Beao / Wikimedia Commons

What does it mean to be a Midwesterner? It's a hard question to answer, but there's definitely something unique about this land between coasts. From our hardworking ethic to our passive-aggressive attitude, we discuss the characteristics, attitudes and habits (both good and bad) that define being Midwestern.

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On the southwest corner of Troost and Linwood Boulevard, Katz's Drug Store was quietly torn down after years of vacancy. Today, we learn what old landmarks have to teach us about Kansas City's history and why the demolition of Katz has garnered so much attention — even from young people who never shopped there.

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The McFadden brothers are musicians, singers and tap dancers. They learned how to tap from their father, the legendary Smilin' Jimmy McFadden, and they've just received a 2017 Living Legends awards from the Tapology Music Institute, a national organization. Hear their story, which starts at 29th and Euclid.

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Domestic violence happens privately at home, but it tears at the fabric of entire communities. A look at the impact of domestic violence over generations.

Then: the hallowed halls of government are supposed to represent our highest ideals. But what happens when civility breaks down? Why the rules of debate are important.

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The holidays are approaching, and some of us will be frantically cleaning our homes — and getting rid of clutter — in preparation for guests. Or we'll be visiting parents and relatives, where we might confront the stuff from years past.

On this show, we take a closer look at clutter. It's bad and we should get rid of the things that don't bring us joy, right? Maybe not...

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Public Domain

Vincent Van Gogh loved to paint "en plein air" which meant battling the elements: rain, wind and ... grasshoppers? Today, we speak with the painting conservator at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art who found a century-old grasshopper embedded in Van Gogh's Olive Trees. But first, we learn about the history of a Kansas City hero, Primitivo Garcia.

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Tools, lumber and bolts are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about a hardware store — but how about the smell? Today, meet a local perfume maker who decided to recreate the scent of a Kansas City hardware store. Also, we discuss how the community is affected when these old "mom n' pop" businesses close shop.

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alanagkelly / Flickr -- CC

Hear the story behind a classic Kansas City restaurant, then visit a new cafe that's located inside an antique mall. Plus: our Food Critics search out the best Italian food in and around KC, from beloved old-school favorites to interesting new takes on the cuisine.

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The Missouri French Creole community, located mainly in the eastern part of the state, has its own language and culture. We hear more from a filmmaker who is working on a documentary about them.

Plus: the overlooked history of how Jews shaped small towns in the Midwest. It's the topic of a symposium this weekend: Jews in the Midwest: 1850 to 1950.

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In the early 2000s, an artist from Japan came to study at the Kansas City Art Institute. She made a big impression on the arts community here ... and it made one on her as well. She shares the story behind "Thank You for Teaching Me English," now on display at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Phil Prater / Public Domain

Members of the hearing-impaired community often face unique, and sometimes difficult situations even when living in America. Today, we discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in this country and the milestones alongside the path to equal rights. For a full transcript of that show, click here. 

Then, Charles Phoenix, a purveyor of Americana culture, shares what he finds fascinating about United States history, geography and folklore.

Future Atlas / Flickr-CC

According to a recent report from the Census Bureau, more millennials are moving out of the inner city and into the suburbs. But are they leaving because they actually want to? Today, a discussion on the reasons why young adults are moving out of the urban core and how their generation may change the future of suburbia.

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We talk with artist Amy Sherald, who has two paintings at the Kemper Museum (one of which is part of a new portraiture exhibit). Sherald is also painting the official portrait of Michelle Obama for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Then: the story of two friends from Fairway who hitchhiked across the Sahara desert in 1971. They're featured in a documentary that will be at the Kansas International Film Festival this weekend.

Mitch Bennett / Flickr -- CC

Meet a young musician who's starting to make a name for herself in Kansas City ... and who is putting some of her success towards helping the city's homeless.

Then: how often do you think about the trees in our area? Since the 1940s, an organization called American Forests has been tracking the oldest and largest trees in the country — champion trees. We hear about the champion trees near us, along with the beloved trees in and around KC.

Hear the stories behind this year's Day of the Dead altars at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery, then meet a local spoken word poet/minister.

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Kansas City's Joe Pace builds cars. But not just any kind of car... He makes replicas of well-known movie cars, like Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, the DeLorean of Back to the Future, and Dumb and Dumber's Shaggin' Wagon. 

Plus, why do we like being scared? Featuring a visit to Exiled: Trail of Terrors

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In food circles, there have been a lot of questions about the idea of authenticity and appropriation. We explore the intersection of food, race and culture.

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Pumpkin + Pies

Oct 27, 2017
Ervins Strauhmanis / Flickr -- CC

Pumpkins are everywhere. They're being carved, painted and eaten by squirrels all over town. But what about cooking them? Two local chefs share their tips for savory pumpkin dishes.

Plus: a visit to Rye to learn more about pie crusts, then the Food Critics search out the best pies — both sweet and savory — in and around KC.

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Tensions have been rising on college campuses over freedom of speech issues. From pressure to cancel controversial speakers to debates about safe spaces, what does free speech mean on campus?

Plus, a city planner shares the story of when his dad, a migrant farmworker, lost his job, and the KCK social worker who changed their lives.

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Dierk Schaefer / Flickr - CC

You used to hate apples, but now you love them. We change our minds on many different things, but what about when it comes to politics — especially when things are so polarized? We explore why it's so hard to change our minds.

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The Westport Post Office recently moved to shut down the DIY herb garden in its front lawn. The gardener, and neighbor of the post office, shares her story.

Plus, a rebroadcast of our conversation with queer artist Carrie Hawks, whose film black enuf* encapsulates a childhood search for black identity. The Kansas City native returns to their hometown for a showing this Friday at the Kemper.

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The International Sculpture Conference is in Kansas City this year. We hear from three local artists on what's changing in the world of sculpture. 

Keith Stanfield

Oct 20, 2017
Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

He started playing the violin at age 3, then he taught himself how to play soccer at 12. Meet local violinist Keith Stanfield, who not only went to music school, but he also played soccer for Western Samoa's World Cup team.

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On September 15 in St. Louis, a former police officer was acquitted in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. We check on the protests on the other side of the state. Plus, how the MeToo campaign is affecting Kansas Citians.

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At a time where groups are banding together to start new high schools in Kansas City, what do we expect from a high school education?

Plus: a look at KC's own psychotronic film festival.

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Courtesy Mary Anne Andrei

Author Ted Genoways is coming to town this Saturday for a reading from his book, The Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm. Why he advocates for more stories of ordinary Midwesterners.

Plus, there are no women composers in the Kansas City Symphony's classical composer series. Why is there a gender gap in classical music? 

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Before she accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award in Bioethics, we talk with Myra Christopher about what it's been like to spend decades at the center of the debate on the dignity of death. 

Jun Seita / Flickr -- CC

Dining out can be a form of entertainment. We take a look at the trends that play into this experience, from communal tables to open kitchens and more.

Then, the Food Critics discuss the latest restaurant news in KC: openings, closing, new menus and chefs.

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Last month, at Milan Fashion Week, the models at the Missoni show walked the runway under a colorful fabric canopy that was created by a Blue Springs native. We chat with artist Rachel Hayes about her fabric sculptures.

Patrick Doheny / Flickr -- CC

At many metro parks, you'll see players from around the world playing cricket. We take a closer look at the growing culture of the sport in Kansas City.

Then: a recent article in Time Magazine stated that kids' sports is a $15 billion dollar industry. With the rise of club teams, is the way that kids play sports good for them? Or is it a sacrifice — not only for them, but for the whole family?

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