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

From high-end restaurants to drive-through eateries, fried chicken is a staple on local menus. And some places are putting a spin on that nostalgic comfort dish.

In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we invite the chef from Blvd Tavern to talk about his Korean fried chicken, then the Food Critics uncover the best fried chicken dishes in and around KC.

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In this encore presentation of Central Standard: A KU professor, who studies how lizards branch into various species, has come to some pretty big conclusions on what defines a species.

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In this encore presentation of Central Standard: On the face of it, the 1983 Royals-Yankees insanity known as the Pine Tar Game is all about a technicality and a tantrum. But scratch beneath the surface and it's a Shakespearean-caliber drama with complex characters and a generations-long feud.

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Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

When you picture a break-dancer, or "b-boy," you may envision a skinny kid who drops to the ground and pops back up like it's no big deal, like gravity has no say in the matter. But the hip-hop culture that gave rise to break-dancing isn't getting any younger. Now that the original hip-hop generation is bringing kids to the club for events featuring crayons, how is the culture growing up with them? Bonus: profiles of three icons in Kansas City's hip-hop scene.

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Miguel Calderon / courtesy University Daily Kansan

In July 2017, a Kansas law that permits concealed carry in state hospitals and universities takes effect. We explore the idea of safety in places of healing and learning.

Guests:

  • Reinheld Janzen, Professor Emerita of Art History at Washburn University
  • Miguel Calderon, recent KU graduate

A new Missouri law (SB 919) has been a source of contention among craft brewers and beer lovers in the state. Craft brewers feel that it will give a big boost to companies like Anheuser-Busch in convenience stores by letting them lease out refrigerator space. Lawmakers say that stores could stock craft brews in those cases.

It's a question you hear a lot, especially if you have young children and live on the Missouri side of the state line: Where are you sending your kids to school?

We explore the world of charter schools — they're getting so big in KC that even the district is opening one. Who chooses charter schools and why? Are charters bringing on a new era of thriving public education in KC or taking away from struggling district schools? Are they integrating urban neighborhoods or segregating communities in new way?

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Wikipedia

Once upon a time, a paleontology expedition to dig up dinosaur bones might have been funded primarily by grants and major philanthropists. But KU's Natural History Museum has its eye on a tyrannosaurus rex, and if they succeed in bringing the specimen home from Montana this summer, guess who's footing the bill? You are, through crowd-sourcing. How the crowd-funding model is changing education, from grade school classrooms to university museums.

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A new book about Wichita artists has us intrigued. What's the art scene like in the biggest city in Kansas?

Guests:

  • Larry Schwarm, photographer
  • Elizabeth Stevenson, artist

Curve Ball

May 23, 2016
Greg Echlin / KCUR

A swanky new baseball facility in the 18th and Vine district, sponsored by Major League Baseball, raises big questions: Are black kids still playing baseball? Are sports a "way out" for youth? Will the coaches come from the surrounding neighborhood? And what about the kids?

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Her new album has stunned her fans ... along with people who might not have paid attention to the pop star until now. We explore some of the themes and images in Lemonade, Beyoncé's visual album.

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Pop

May 20, 2016

We explore the latest in pop culture news with our panel of critics.

Guests:

  • Loey Lockerby, freelance writer
  • Shaun Hammontree, video director, motion graphics designer and composer
  • Natasha El-Scari, poet

He's been a gravedigger, a roadie, a truck unloader and more; now, he runs two popular Lawrence restaurants. We hear the stories behind Matt Hyde's eclectic resume ... and why he sometimes breaks plates on purpose.

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Many people dismiss Kansas as flyover country: squares and rectangles in a vast farmland quilt. A Lawrence author begs to differ; he spent years exploring the undiscovered wilderness in the state. He shares the last wild spots that still exist around Kansas ... and in the KC suburbs.

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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Yesterday, Southwest Early Campus in Brookside closed its doors for the last time. We explore the legacy of the 100-year-old Southwest High School.

We also hear the story of Daizsa Laye Bausby, whose death in a hotel room was ruled a homicide. She was supposed to graduate from Southwest this year. Was the life of this young black woman ignored by local media?

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MoBikeFed / Twitter

Kansas City's bicycle infrastructure is in the midst of an overhaul. But progress can be slow. Every year, KCUR's Central Standard does a check-in, to see how it's going. This year, it's all about turning miles of added bike lanes into continuous routes. Plus, a Kansas City cyclist's fatal collision raises concerns about safety. Why are accidents on the rise in Missouri?

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Getting Out

May 13, 2016

It's one of the best times of the year to eat outside. A visit into the kitchen of one of the cooks for this summer's Greek Festival, and how a food truck becomes a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Then, KCUR's Food Critics search out the best alfresco dining spots in and around KC, from parks to rooftop terraces and more.

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Corpus Christi Caller-Times-photo from Associated Press

Inspired by a one-woman play about Marilyn Monroe at The Fishtank Theater, we explore the phenomenon of female celebrity in the United States, then and now.

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If you could go back in time, what would you tell your future self?

When she was in high school, KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez wrote a letter to herself. She just received that letter in the mail, in time for her 10-year reunion. She opens the letter for the first time and reads part of it on-air.

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  • Lisa Rodriguez, KCUR

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: We look at Kansas City's buzzwords with the people who best understand the true meaning of our favorite catch-phrases. 

In this installment, we ask what it really means to be an entrepreneur, how you pronounce the word, and how to correctly use it in a sentence. It's an important step for us to take, as a city, if we want to be known for our entr... entrep... entrepreneurial spirit.

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Jeremy Thompson / Flickr

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: The roller coaster ride where you almost had your first kiss. Or what about the one you were finally tall enough to ride ... only to chicken out? Or the one where you met your spouse, or even got married?

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Attitudes toward marijuana are shifting, nationally. But which way does the wind blow in the Midwest? Are attitudes changing here, too? And what's happening on the legal front?

Guests:

  • Jamie Kacz, executive director, NORML KC
  • Jennifer Lowry, pediatrician, Children's Mercy Hospital
  • "Jessica", sufferer of an auto-immune disorder and advocate for legalization of medical marijuana
Robert Clark / Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage, Chronicle Books, 2016

Kansas native Robert Clark has grown up to be a National Geographic photographer whose most recent book depicts beautiful feathers from all over the world. How a Kansas youth spent feather-collecting and a job photographing athletes for a Hays, Kansas newspaper helped his career take off.

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Dan Brickley / Flickr

For the first time ever, a student has been admitted to the UMKC Conservatory's composition program using the computer as his instrument. How Sega Genesis, Dungeons and Dragons, math and a couple of well-worn laptop computers make music in the hands of Tim Harte, and why it's making waves in the academic music world.

Guests:

  • Tim J. Harte, student and composer, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
  • Paul Rudy, professor of music composition, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Krystle Warren's "To the Middle" is a song that sounds a little like a carnival ride, but it's actually her love song to Kansas City. Written when she lived in New York, the lyrics express a deep longing for the mainstays of her hometown: toothy smiles, tree-lined avenues and Gates barbecue. In the chorus, the chanteuse demands to know, over and over, Why you wanna go away, Why you wanna go away, again?

"I missed my hometown and it felt like Kansas City was kind of scolding me for leaving."

KC To Paris

May 6, 2016

She’s an acclaimed singer-songwriter who has been compared to Nina Simone and Roberta Flack. Rufus Wainwright has called her "one of the greatest living singers at the moment." From her base in Paris, she tours the world ... yet one of her favorite spots is still the Midtown porch of her 8th grade teacher. Meet Kansas City native Krystle Warren.

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From post-breakup T-shirts to a candle that evokes the smells of MLB's opening day, some local makers tell their stories.

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We chat with the creators of Red Bird, a new web series out of Lawrence. It tells the story of Kitty Mae, who is seeking revenge after Quantrill's Raid.

Guests:

  • Jeremy Osbern and Misti Boland, co-creators of Red Bird

We check in with two local artists who, about a year ago, quit their jobs to travel the country in a 16-foot Airstream trailer.

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Coming to America is a dream, an ideal, for some people. Inspired by a KU project that's collecting stories from African immigrants, we explore the stories behind the migration experience — and how they shape what we know about ourselves and the world.

On Monday, May 9, there's a forum on migration stories at Unity Temple on the Plaza; it's the kickoff event for the KU project.

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