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

In the wake of another round of layoffs at Sprint, we explore if there's such as thing as a "safe" job in Kansas City. Plus, a local entrepreneur wonders if "Kansas City nice" is holding us back on the innovation front.

Guests:

Creative Commons

What does it mean to be a "Renaissance Man" today? Hint: it's more than being an expert multi-tasker. 

Guests:

As the time comes for old suburban developments to reinvent themselves, one community after another has questioned the conventional wisdom that big box stores are desirable anchors for retail. Is Kansas City part of a trend?

Guests:

Stained glass was nearly banned by legislators in the United States, back in the late 1970s. At the same time, there was a resurgence in art glass, or stained glass created not for churches or important buildings, but for its own sake. The Stained Glass Art Association, now based here in Kansas City, stepped in.

Guest:

This city was founded on a geological anomaly called a rock ledge. Surrouded by cliffs and gorges, no less.  Back then, what we now call downtown Kansas City was dense wilderness. A geology professor explains.

Guest:

  • Richard J. Gentile, professor emeritus of geology, The University of Kansas

Broad City is about the friendship between two twenty-something women scraping by in New York City. In light of the Season 3 premiere in February, we ask: Are Abbi and Ilana feminist heroes or depraved slackers ... or both? (Or neither?)

We delve into Abbi and Ilana's world with a comedian, two young feminists and a TV critic. Plus, an interview with Mike Perry, a KC native who animates the opening title sequences for the show.

Guests:

Meet Sonia Warshawski, a local Holocaust survivor and tailor. Her family tells her story in a documentary-in-progress called Big Sonia. Selected scenes will be screened at the Jewish Film Festival this Sunday.

Guest:

  • Sonia Warshawski

In the Landry Park series for teen readers, local author Bethany Hagen pictures the year 2300. From class warfare to energy sustainability issues, it's a dark vision informed by the author's own experience growing up in Kansas City.

Guests:

  • Bethany Hagen, author, Landry Park and Jubilee Manor

Until recently, the idea of living in your parents' basement might have been viewed with some derision. Now, more families here have been stacking two, three — or even four generations — under one roof. We take a close look at the growth of multi-generational living in Kansas City.

Guests:

Wikipedia, Creative Commons

Photographer Gordon Parks was one of the first African Americans to show white America what discrimination looked like to people of color. But his story begins in poverty and obscurity, in Fort Scott, Kansas. A window into his life, his beliefs and his work, based on conversations with those who knew him.

Guests:

There are ways to make a living that sound too good to be true. But they do exist. Consider the guy who makes stuff out of Legos for a living, or the one who plays his favorite records for several thousand friends on Friday and Saturday nights. How do you get those jobs?

Guests:

In this encore presentation, we explore KC's diverse Latin American food scene. A local chef shows us how to prepare cactus (and cooks his specialty dish, chicken with cactus, in the studio), then KCUR's Food Critics uncover the best Latin American dishes in and around Kansas City.

Guests:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Paying for care is expensive — whether it's child-care, in-home nursing or help for an aging relative. And according to the Economic Policy Institute, home health care and child-care workers are among the lowest-paid professionals in the United States.

What is the cost of care, both financially and emotionally? We take a close look at the delicate dance between families and professional care providers.

Guests:

It's been an amazing year for KC sports fans. The Royals won the World Series, and the Chiefs made the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

Is Kansas City a football town or a baseball town? Is the spirit of KC more deeply connected with baseball or football ... or something else?

Guests:

Pexels / Creative Commons

The con-man may be someone  you want to avoid in real life, but he is a beloved figure in literature. Why do readers and writers love the con artist so? And why is he always a "he"? Lots of reading recommendations, plus the story of a local writer who's not only written about the con-man; he's also been one.

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On a day set aside for commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., we revisit a conversation with a local civil rights activist: Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson, who died on January 11, 2014. Along with the Mutual Musicians Foundation's Anita Dixon, he discusses the fight for racial equality here in Kansas City.

Guests:

  • Reverend Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Anita Dixon, The Mutual Musicians Foundation
Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

When Dylan Mortimer was in fifth grade, he got a coveted pair of Air Jordans. 

"I was able to get some for about $60 that were a size too small for me," he recalls, "but I knew that was my only chance to afford them. I put them on and I was the envy of the school for about a year."

Of course, wearing shoes a size too small is no fun. "It was miserable and I can't say it really elevated my basketball play," he says with a laugh.

Looking Inward

Jan 15, 2016
Paul Andrews

Local artist and pastor Dylan Mortimer discusses his art, his faith and his battle with cystic fibrosis — which he addresses, for the first time, in his current exhibit, Cure.

Guest:

  • Dylan Mortimer, artist and pastor

We take a look at alcohol use throughout the metro, with a particular focus on Johnson County, where it's on the rise.

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We take a look back at desegregation efforts through school busing in Kansas City. Two Southwest High School graduates share their memories of being bused.

Guests:

  • Eric Wesson, Editor, The Call
  • Monroe Dodd, KCUR's resident historian
  • Susi Cohen

With Wyandotte County struggling to address a shortage of primary care physicians, a discussion exploring how that shortage affects doctors, patients and the health of our communities. Plus, what does it mean to be healthy, anyway?

Guests:

Drawn by A. Ruger. Merchants Lith. Co. Published by Madison, Wis., Ruger & Stoner - This map is available from the United States Library of Congress's Geography & Map Division / Wikipedia

Through a series of formal steps, it sometimes happens that a public street leaves the city's ledger to become part of a private development. One concerned citizen worries about the city losing its soul, one block at a time, in the process.

Guests:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

If soup is the answer to your cold weather woes, you're not alone. A doctor explains why soup makes us feel better, then our critics guide us to the best soups and stews in town, including insights into the new ramen craze. Bonus: what's new and noteworthy in the Kansas City restaurant scene? Our critics let us in on the people and places to watch right now.

Guests:

We examine the popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — or drones, as they're commonly called. How are they regulated around here, and how are they changing the way we live?

Guests:

Wikipedia

Eating locally during the summer is easy, but how do we eat local during a Midwestern winter?

Inspired by Harvest Public Media's series, Feasting on Fuel, we explore the history of eating locally when it's cold out, the environmental impact of obtaining fresh produce and why a grocer is stocking local products on his shelves.

Guests:

Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

The Savoy, Putsch's, the Westport Room at Union Station... even Dixon's Chili. How have the stories of Kansas City's iconic restaurants intersected with our own stories? The conversation begins at the Golden Ox; it's coming back to life as a West Bottoms steakhouse, with a few updates.

Guests:

  • Charles Ferruzza, food critic, The Pitch and KCUR
  • Monroe Dodd, journalist and historian, KCUR

Nurse, Please

Jan 4, 2016

The history of nursing started on the battlefield. The profession that emerged is still with us, but in a totally transformed medical landscape. Using an exhibit at the World War I Museum as a jumping off point, this discussion explores how the origins of nursing have shaped both the realities and misconceptions of the field today. 

Guests:

You know those gigantic dinosaur models you see in natural history museums, frozen in mid-roar? There's a good chance they were made in Kearney, Missouri by a guy named Gary Staab. From his encounter with Lucy (the famous skeleton of our human ancestor) to a mummified human known as the Ice Man, this encore presentation of our conversation with Gary takes us face to face with prehistoric life. 

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In this encore presentation, we revisit our conversation with Scott Hobart, AKA "Rex", on the occasion of his country band's first new album in ten years.

Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri-General Collection

When Kansas Citians talk about the Crossroads Arts District, they're talking about a bustling place full of innovative restaurants, vibrant art galleries, a world-class performing arts center and specialty boutiques, not to mention high-rent condos.

During prime-time, it's got all the parking congestion of a big-city destination. 

But when people talked about the Crossroads in the 1980s, well ... they just didn't. Nobody even knew it had a name.

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