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

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.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

As the National Council of La Raza prepares to convene its annual conference in Kansas City, a lively and heartfelt conversation about the term 'la raza' -- translated imperfectly as 'the race', but meaning something closer to 'my tribe', 'the big family' or 'my people'. 

Fear Factor

Jul 6, 2015
Pixabay

Kids are riding bikes less and less. Some of that has to do with parents' fears, and some of it has to do with a shift in community design (after all, you can only get so far in a cul-de-sac). Parents swap stories, strategies and concerns about getting the elementary-school set back in gear.

Guests:

Of The People

Jul 2, 2015
Courtesy of the Barbara L. Gordon Collection

What is folk art? It's a seemingly simple question, but answers may vary. And when you put folk art in a museum... is it still folksy? Stories, insights and observations.

Suzanne Hogan, KCUR

The Missouri River plays an important part in Kansas City's history. But for many people today, it's an obstacle that divides our city. We look into how to cross the river if you don't have a car, and discuss what "The Northland" means.

Goal

Jun 30, 2015

The US Women's Soccer team is headed to the semi-finals of the World Cup in a high-stakes match against Germany. Four of the team members are from Kansas City. Should we be hearing more about that?

Guests:

  • Yael Averbush, midfielder, FCKC
  • Greg Echlin, sports reporter, KCUR
  • Chandrima Chaterjee, editor, Women United FC
Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

If music comes as much from an instrument as from a musician, the people who build and repair instruments are invisible collaborators. The poetics of piano-tuning, the heroics of a horn-doctor and the serenade of a violin-maker.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR

And what hasn't? Kansas City couples tell us how the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage has -- and hasn't -- changed things for them. 

Guests:

  • Donna and Dorothy Loyd
  • Angela Kelly

Bill Martin studied with revered lamas in India. He was also the charismatic founder of a money-making church, and ultimately, a sufferer from mental illness who died in a hospital for the homeless. Years later, his son tries to understand the man who raised him.

Guest:

Kansas City is known as a nice town that's filled with nice people. Nice, right? Or is it? We invite an etiquette expert, a KC native and a sociology professor to discuss the history and purpose of etiquette — and what the phrase "Kansas City nice" really means.

Guests:

  • Janis Kliethermes, owner, Etiquette Kansas City
  • Rashaan Gilmore, citizen, Kansas City
  • Michelle Smirnova, assistant professor of sociology, UMKC

Podcasts are becoming more mainstream all across the country, covering topics from baseball to Macintosh product training, to mystery solving. We explored podcasts with the help of local producer and co-host, Beckett Graham — her podcast is called the History Chicks, which dedicates each episode to one woman in history — and KCUR's own Jeremy Bernfeld, editor of Harvest Public Media, and an informal podcast enthusiast and critic.

Wikimedia Commons

The car is a mechanical work of art. There are people who obsessively design, build and restore cars... and others crash them with just as much passion. From the Art of the Car Concours to the  demolition derby.

Guests:

  • Tony Jones, interim president, The Kansas City Art Institute
  • Mac McLanahan, artist and demolition derby driver

Lobbyists get a bad rap, but before we judge, let's hear from the lobbyists themselves about what they do and how they get it done. Everything you've always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask. Plus, notes on the recent legislative session in Kansas.

Guests:

  • Kimberly Svatie, lobbyist, Gencur Svatie Public Affairs
  • Bill Sneed, lawyer and lobbyist, Polsinelli

Seventeen

Jun 22, 2015

That's how many years it's been since the last time this summer's brood of cicadas came out of the ground. Why do they spend so long underground? What do they do down there? And should you consider eating them? Bonus sounds: Will Smith's Gettin' Jiggy Wit It and live cicadas in-studio.

Guest:

  • Mary McCoy, entomologist and professor emeritus in Washburn University's biology department

Pod People

Jun 22, 2015

On the newest edition of Audiofiles, an irreverent women's history podcaster tells her story and sings a drinking song. A prolific podcast-listener shares a playlist. Obama's visit to Marc Maron's garage is discussed.

Guests:

  • Beckett Graham, cocreator of The History Chicks podcast
  • Jeremy Bernfeld, editor, Harvest Public Media

It's a show about a women's prison — and it looks like nothing else on TV. We invite a critic, a federal public defender and a professor of film and media studies to give their reviews of Orange is the New Black.

Do you clean your plate? Should you keep a chicken that's been in your freezer for 10 years? We visit farms, a meat processing plant, a compost heap, grocery stores and Kansas Citians' kitchens to explore the issue of food waste.

When you smell fresh-mowed grass, you’re actually smelling botanical terror. Two MU professors fill us in on the intriguing ways plants communicate.

Guests:

  • Jack C. Schultz, director, Christopher S. Bond Life Science Center, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Heidi Appel, senior research scientist, Christopher S. Bond Life Science Center, University of Missouri-Columbia

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