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

Eric Wesson of The Kansas City Call says that Kansas City's black community is like Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

"I am a man of substance," wrote Ellison's invisible narrator, "of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids -- I may even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

Wesson read those words for the first time in sixth grade, but didn't relate to them until he was in his 20s, at which point, he said to himself, 'Oh, I get it. We're here, but nobody sees us or pays attention to us.'"

KU News Service/University of Kansas

From the hydrozoan Ectopleura larynx physically fusing to its offspring, to the fish Geophagus altifrons protecting mobile juveniles in their mouths, mothering styles vary from species to species. We invited two professors from KU's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the director of living collections at the Kansas City Zoo to discuss the maternal instinct — or lack thereof — in the animal world.

Guests:

Just 80 years ago, the word racism barely existed. How did it — along the word racist — become such loaded terms? We invite a New York Times reporter, the president of the Urban League and a professor of linguistics and sociocultural anthropology to discuss how we talk about racism today — and the power of those two words.

Guests:

This time of year, the sight of greenery cropping up is exciting, and the urge to grow your own fresh herbs can be overwhelming. How can you get in on the action if you don't have a lawn or plot of land to use? 

Guest:

  • Debbie Glassberg, owner, HomeContained, and rooftop gardener

The Vietnamese-American Community of Greater Kansas City just participated in an annual commemoration the Fall of Saigon, which the organization calls its Black April Commemoration. This year's anniversary marked forty years since the moment when communist power extended to South Vietnam, and Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City. People fled in large numbers, and for many in the local Vietnamese community, a long perilous journey ended here in Kansas City. 

Guests:

Mysteryman28/Google Images -- CC

After last season's incredible run, the national spotlight has been on the Kansas City Royals — and the team's recent bench-clearing brawl and skirmishes with opposing teams. We invite KCUR's sports reporter and sports columnist at the Kansas City Star to discuss the unspoken code of conduct in baseball — and how the Royals are changing the game.

Guests:

  • Lee Judge, cartoonist and sportswriter, Kansas City Star
  • Greg Echlin, sports reporter, KCUR
Kristin Conard

Spring is finally here and outdoor enthusiasts around the Midwest are ready to hit the trails and take in some fresh air. Acccording to authors Jonathan and Kristin Conard, the Great Plains offers a wide variety of hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails, ranging from simple beginner paths to more advanced ones. 

Wikipedia

This is our Missouri trivia quiz, with answers in bold. To attempt the quiz without answers, click here.

In March of 1871, this man was arrested for pocketing the tax money he collected to support the county schools. Two weeks later, he was charged with horse-theft. Nine days after that, he was charged with fraud. In June of 1871, this man dug his way out of Barton County jail and skipped the state. Who was this man

kopper / Flickr

State rivalry is big along the state line. So is state loyalty. After all, rivalry and loyalty are two sides of the same coin.

Ross Malone has written a compendium of Missouri trivia, The Book of Real Missouri Records. He and the Central Standard team have collaborated to write this state trivia quiz.

We've posted the answers so you can check your work.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Joseph Tomelleri is trying to discover a new species of trout. That's why he was just in Mexico, and that's why he'll be returning again soon.

Working as a scientist and an artist rolled into one, he's created upwards of 1,100 hyper-realistic colored-pencil illustrations depicting fish species for scientific books and magazines. He goes on research expeditions, documenting the distinguishing characteristics of each species, in some cases more faithfully than even a photograph could capture. 

Robert Viglasky/The Weinstein Company

What happens to art during and after wartime? And what happens when that painting that you're trying to reclaim is considered the Mona Lisa of Austria? We invite a curator, a relative of Holocaust survivors and our movie critic to discuss the new film Woman in Gold.

Guests:

  • Antonia Bostrom, director of curatorial affairs, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Russ Simmons, movie critic
  • Karen Pack, past president, Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City
Rob DiCaterino/Flickr --CC

Mention Pac-Man, Galaga or BurgerTime, and a generation of Kansas Citians will conjure up memories of going to Fun Factory at Bannister Mall or Malibu in Overland Park. Well, good news, '80s kids: The arcade is back. KCUR's Cody Newill visited two bar arcades that opened in the Crossroads and discusses his experiences at both places — and reveals where he got the second-highest score.

www.FBI.gov

Many Kansas Citians have heard of the Union Station Massacre or the River Quay explosion — two of the more infamous episodes in KC's mobster history. But what about the lesser-known mob landmarks?

Gary Jenkins, a retired KCMO police officer, created a new app that reveals the history behind all of those spots. He talked to Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann about Kansas City Mob Tour.

"Kansas City is a great place for trans people and [supportive]." So says Luke Harness, a UMKC alumnus and transgender advocate. The new reality show New Girls on the Block follows transgender women in Kansas City--we explore what KC is really like for the transgender community.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

LaShonda Katrice Barnett remembers going out with a quarter to buy the latest issue of The Call for her grandmother. Now, Barnett has written a novel about the trailblazing founder of a fictional African-American newspaper called Jam on the Vine. If it resembles The Call, that's no coincidence. 

Guest:

  • LaShonda Katrice Barnett, author, Jam on the Vine

Eyes are on Missouri as the state's implementation of the death penalty enters national discussions. What has already shifted in approaches to challenging the death penalty, and what further developments can be expected now that celebrity Larry Flynt has been granted the right to ask for previously sealed documents from Missouri executions?  

Guests:

Maureen Didde/Flickr -- CC

For most Kansas Citians, the only time we interact with the Missouri River is when we drive over one of the many bridges that span it. Local author Patrick Dobson has a different take; he traveled from Montana to Kansas City down the Missouri River in a canoe. 

Guest:

  • Patrick Dobson, author, Canoeing The Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer
Oonagh Taeger / Flickr

  

You can learn a lot from a sip of tequila. Explore tequila's history, taste, origins and pairings, and learn about other beverages in the mezcal family. Just in time for a citywide tequila-tasting workshop and culinary event

Guests:

  • Grisel Vargas, Chamber of Tequila
  • Berto Santoro, Extra Virgin

Brandon Ellington has been an outspoken proponent of legal reform in the aftermath of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Missouri. But he won't call the bills he's pushing in the Legislature "Ferguson-related bills." Here's why.

Plus, what it's like to be a minority in the Legislature, in every sense of that word. 

Guest:

  • Brandon Ellington, Missouri State Representative for District 2, leader of Missouri's Black Legislative Caucus
Paul Andrews

The first time Danny Cox visited Kansas City, it was not a pleasant experience.

It was 1963, a year before the Civil Rights Act banned racial discrimination in public places, and Cox was a nationally touring musician arriving for a show. When he walked in the door at the Muehelbach Hotel, the clerk told him that black people couldn't stay at the Muehelbach.

Though the word he used for "black people" was not quite so polite.

Most of Cox's fellow musicians and road crew were white, but they refused to stay in a place where their vocalist wasn't welcome.

Creative Commons -- Google Images

DeSoto is a town on the edge of the suburbs. K-10 used to run through it, but not anymore. Commuters used to drive into DeSoto for work, but now, traffic tends to flow in the opposite direction. We discuss how the transformation of DeSoto unfolded, and we'll learn what it's like to live in exurban communities like DeSoto today.

Guests:

Capoeira, karate and Krav Maga — the martial arts of Brazil, Japan and Israel, respectively — are all being taught and diligently practiced here in Kansas City. It can be a source of fun, or exercise, even philosophy. And people form entire communities and identities around them. We meet some of these martial arts practitioners and find out more about their disciplines.

Guests:

What do the different groups assembled within the LGBTQIA umbrella need in order to feel safe in a "safe space," and what are the obstacles to creating an inclusive hub that serves everyone? Plus, an exploration of the role that law and policy play in creating a sense of safety for this community.

Guests:

llovebutter / Flickr--CC

What inspires people in white collar jobs, or those just out of college, to take up farming? As the trend continues, we hear from people who have done just that about how it's going and whether they're finding whatever it was they were looking for.

Guests:

Patrick Quick / KCUR

Steve Bean is the guy who oversees Kansas City's 127 tornado sirens, each expected to alert people within a mile of potentially life-threatening storms. It's part of his job at the city's Office of Emergency Management.

Even so, he doesn't have tornado nightmares. 

"In an odd way, I love it," he admits. "We spend a lot of time preparing for the 'big one,' so to speak. So it's kind of like — I guess it's like fishing. Once in a while, you want to catch something. Now, I don't want tornados to come, but we do like to be able to see that we made a difference."

When Stephen Metzler passed away this week, many Kansas City organizations lost an avid supporter. On social media, his passing sparked a discussion about the role philanthropy plays in Kansas City. We discuss whether Kansas Citians with means have a responsibility to be philanthropic -- and whether the philanthropic community reflects its potential.

 

Guests:

The dictionary definition of the word adjunct is: "something that is joined or added to another thing but is not an essential part of it." But have adjunct professors become essential to higher ed? And if so, what are the implications for students attending local universities and colleges?

Guests:

With the advertising and design community immersed in Kansas City Design Week, we examine how local companies get people to identify with their products and their stories. Let's pull back the curtain on some popular KC brands: Shatto Milk, Sporting KC and SPIN! Pizza.

Guest:

House of Cards is one of those shows that you can’t watch without discussing. It’s so dark, so addictive and so dramatic. Plus, the worldview it establishes ties into real world issues and dynamics in a way that makes you wonder, what if this is kind of maybe a little bit accurate? We invite a politician, a media critic and a Congressional reporter to give their reviews of House of Cards.

Guests:

Charvex / Creative Commons, Wikimedia

Rashaan Gilmore is a Kansas City native with a lot to say about our city's unspoken code for polite conduct. During a January conversation about race in Kansas City's LGBTQ community, he said, "We don't like to talk about things that are uncomfortable, we don't like to talk about things that are difficult. We're Kansas City Nice."

We invited Gilmore and some fellow panelists back to to Central Standard to unpack that phrase.

Here's Gilmore's definition of Kansas City Nice:

A uniquely Kansas City behavior that gives the appearance of kindness, helpfulness or interest but which belies a true attitude or feeling of envy, anger, disinterest or apathy.

And here is his list of 9 key characteristics that he thinks should tip us off when this particular form of politeness is in full effect.

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