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

The Los Angeles Times / Creative Commons

There's a federal surveillance file from the early 20th century that refers to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas during World War I as a "University of Radicalism."

"That's not hyperbole," said researcher Christina Heatherton of Trinity College in Connecticut during a conversation on Central Standard

Heatherton was writing a book on the Mexican Revolution.

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

The situation at Mizzou has brought a bunch of potentially unfamiliar terms together in one place. Systematic oppression and safe spaces: what they mean, and their relevance on college campuses today. Also, a little clarity on the first amendment. 


To outsiders, last week's protests at the University of Missouri in Columbia were eye-opening first encounters with race at the school. For others, they were reminders. A nuanced look at the history of race on MU's Columbia campus, including past protests.


Witnessing the death of his brother, moving to Bleeding Kansas during the border war, losing his father and protecting his family. All of this happened in the life of Billy Cody before he ever turned into the legend known as "Buffalo Bill."


What is the environmental impact of hunting? Two hunters share their views on hunting and conservation — and encourage people to interact with nature, even if it's just with a camera.


The Breakthrough Moment

Nov 12, 2015

Enrique Chi of the band Making Movies stopped by the studio to tell the story of his band's breakthrough moment. Which included a broken van, a crowded bus and a car engulfed in flames. This story kicks off a Generation Listen KC storytelling event at Knuckleheads with the theme Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

We explore how veterans are using art to reconnect with civilian life, and we'll also investigate how we thank veterans for their service.


Paul Sableman / Flickr

If white flight is making a u-turn and the suburbs are seeing an influx of black residents, are we becoming any more integrated, or are we just trading places?


In the early 20th century, new laws inspired by World War I ensnared revolutionary thinkers all over the country, and sent them all to the same place to do time: Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas. It turns out Leavenworth was a hotbed of radical training and thought. At the center of it all was Mexican revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magon.


  • Christina Heatherton, professor of American Studies, Trinity College
Paul Andrews /

Lee Meisel starts his days by slinging whole pig carcasses over his shoulder and carrying them on his back into the kitchen of his own small restaurant in Lawerence, Kansas. 

He's a slender guy and the pigs weigh about 200 pounds each. "The pigs might have a few pounds on me," he admits.

Perhaps it's not clear, but this is the picture of a man living his dream.

Flesh And Bone

Nov 6, 2015
Paul Andrews

Lee Meisel, the owner of Leeway Franks in Lawrence, discusses his approach to butchering — and how his time working at an old-school butcher shop and going to Haskell University helped him find his direction in life.

Jen Chen/KCUR

Murals are more than just decorative outdoor projects. Two local muralists and the co-director of Called to Walls, a new documentary about community-based art in the Midwest (screening tonight at KU) discuss the process of creating a piece of public art that can reflect the past, present and aspirational future of a community.


He predicted that the Royals would win the 2015 World Series ...  in 2011. We talk with Joe Posnanski about the team "that loves to be on the brink," his prognosticating skills and how he writes for his mother.


We've all heard it: Exercising is good for you; it's beneficial to your health, both physically and mentally. But what happens when you exercise for a long time — such as with marathon-running or other endurance sports?

A local cardiologist shares the results of his research: Prolonged stressful exercise isn't good for your heart.


When Anthony Ladesich found his father's youthful correspondence with an old Navy friend on a stack of reel-to-reel tapes, he also found so much more: a portal into Kansas City's jazz history, material for his films, and a way of keeping his dad with him a little longer.

Ladesich is showing his movies in the Kansas International Film Festival.


  • Anthony Ladesich, filmmaker, Be It Ever So Humble, There Is No Place and Studio A

In the entire history of the natural world -- that's hundreds of millions of years -- only four groups of animals have developed the ability to lift up off the ground and fly. A KU professor has been piecing together that story.


Now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, what has and hasn't changed for same-sex parents in our region? Three local parents tell their stories.


  • Jacqueline Smith, Central Grazing Company
  • Dustin Cates, Heartland Men's Chorus
  • Lynn Barnett, MidAmerica Family Treatment Center
Frank Morris / KCUR

The morning after the Royals take the crown in the 2015 World Series, KCUR listeners tell us what this moment means to them. Plus, what fireworks have to do with the Kansas City-style of celebration.


  • Frank Morris, national correspondent and senior editor, KCUR


Oct 30, 2015
Jen Chen/KCUR

Crunchy vegetables, tangy dressing, melted cheese, warm and tender meat (or not), encompassed in soft, chewy bread ... sandwiches have it all.

A grilled cheese expert shows demonstrates the art of cooking them low and slow; we visit a kitchen that pickles all sorts of things in-house; then KCUR's Food Critics search for the best sandwiches in and around Kansas City.


Two standout high-school debaters share their stories and assess last night's third Republican presidential debate.


  • Monica Medeiros, senior, Lincoln Prep
  • Michael Franklin, junior, Sumner Academy

You may have seen it on social media: The could-it-be-true-maybe-not? tidbits about various Royals players with the hashtag "Friendly Royals Facts." But really, who are these guys? KCUR's sports reporter tells us about the personal lives of Salvy, LoCain and more.


From the podcast the memory palace, by Nick DiMeo: The Ballad of Captain Dwight, an African-American astronaut who, during JFK's administration, almost made it to the moon.

photo courtesy of the author

Delays, misplaced reservations, waking up hungover and discovering your money is gone ... those are the hazards of travel today. Or are they? A writer with Kansas roots tells us about The Misadventures of Wenamun, his new comic about an ancient Egyptian priest who is known as "history's original literary traveler."


Single people play an increasingly significant role in a city's social fabric. But is Kansas City a good place to live the un-coupled life?


  • Bella DePaulo, author, How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century and Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored and Still Live Happily Ever After
  • Andy Limpic
  • Taylor Miller
Creative Commons, Wikipedia

With Kansas City and New York about to face off in the World Series, KCUR's Central Standard challenged the Brian Lehrer Show at WNYC to a battle of wits, demonstrating once and for all why New York is a terrible place to live and Kansas City is a bastion of love, happiness and joy.


  • Brian Lehrer, The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC

When we explored the life of Charlie Parker earlier this year, we were told that you can't talk about the history of jazz without talking about drugs. Is that true about the arts in general?


  • Jan Schall, curator, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Clancy Martin, writer
  • Chuck Haddix, host, The Fish Fry on KCUR

Meet the Patels is a documentary about an Indian-American man who is considering an arranged marriage. Along with our resident film critic, two local residents — one who has an arranged marriage, another who doesn't — review the film and share their thoughts on having a foot in two different cultures.


  • Russ Simmons, KCUR's resident movie critic
  • Michael Abraham
  • Reetu Singh

How does design influence the way we absorb information? Three local design experts weigh in on the redesign of The Kansas City Star — and on how good and bad design affects our lives.


Kyle Smith/KCUR

They're difficult, they're demanding, they're egocentric, passionate, creative — and they make for great book fodder. KCUR's Bibliofiles discuss the best books about artists.



Carl Van Vechten / Wikimedia Commons

To some Kansas Citians, he's a local grandpa-type figure. To others, he's best known for his sinuous paintings with a Midwestern spin. We get a primer on Thomas Hart Benton, who is the subject of a new exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.