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 our January arts show: we hear more about a new exhibition at The Nelson that features artifacts from the tombs of kings of ancient China — including a burial suit that's made from over 4000 pieces of jade.

Anna Weber worked on the set of the Steven Spielberg's movie, The Post. She shares how recreating the newsroom made her think about history and the role of journalism ... and about her dad, a longtime editor at The Kansas City Star.

Then: a look at the ongoing challenges for families who are trying to find a great school for their kids with special needs.

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naturalflow / Flickr -- CC

What makes a song a Kansas City song? We revisit the classic "standards" that once defined the KC sound. Plus: a local writer takes us on a tour of the nearby breweries, distilleries and vineyards on both sides of the state line.

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Bibliofiles: Romance

Jan 2, 2018
Stewart Butterfield / Flickr-CC

Love is hard to define — so how do you analyze a whole literary genre with rules built around the concept? Today, KCUR's 'Bibliofiles' explain the themes, constructs and plot devices behind the romance genre. They also recommend their favorite books featuring romantic elements and wade through controversy stirred up by a condescending article on romance novels featured in the New York Times.

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Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Scott Hawley is a geneticist at the Stowers Institute. In this encore presentation, we hear how his career has its roots in a high school gym class ... and how that influences his work today.

Plus: get to know the man behind your morning commute. He shares a story about the time he spent New Year's Eve playing Missile Command.

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We explore what the theatrical release of a new Wonder Woman movie says about evolving perspectives on femininity and feminism. 

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Members of the hearing-impaired community often face unique, and sometimes difficult situations even when living in America. Today, we discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in this country and the milestones alongside the path to equal rights.

For a full transcript of that segment, click here.

Plus, the story behind the song, "Hold On," by Isaac Cates & Ordained.

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Protest Music (R)

Dec 26, 2017

Three musicians discuss the influence of protest music, what makes a song political and how protest songs of times past compare (or differ) to today's.

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Shelby L. Bell / Google Images -- CC

It's the time of year when KC expats come home for the holidays. We take a look at the restaurant meals that they have to have during their visit, and a chat with a KC native whose New York barbeque restaurant has become a hangout for homesick Kansas Citians.

Plus: we say goodbye to Fun House Pizza in Raytown, which is closing after 53 years, and our Food Critics search out the best pizza in and around town.

From a collaboration between a big-band trombonist and two local rappers to an opera about an ill-fated expedition on Mt. Everest, it's been a busy year in the local arts scene. Our panel of avid arts-goers share their favorite moments from 2017.

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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It seems like news is constantly breaking about men accused of sexual misconduct, harassment or assault. There's a feeling of change in the air, but there is also confusion.

We explore how Kansas Citians are responding. We hear what women want in the workplace, and we talk to men who are rethinking their behavior and perspectives. Plus: your thoughts and questions.

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Jake William Heckey / Pixabay-CC

Looking back, this year was slammed with national news: tropical storms, wildfires, protests and even Twitter wars. But plenty happened here in Kansas City, too! So before entering a new year, we check in with community newspapers to learn about the important local stories of 2017.

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Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Today, Stuart Swetland is the president of Donnelly College, which U.S. News & World Report recently recognized as the most diverse college in the Midwest. But in 1985, when TWA Flight 847 was hijacked, he was a Navy officer who was called to participate in a rescue mission with grim chances for survival. Hear his story.

Guest:

  • Stuart Swetland, President, Donnelly College

Kansas City is home to the best brass band in the country. Hear more about the Fountain City Brass Band, which recently placed second and third at two international brass band competitions.

Then, the concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony discusses his labor of love: performing in Shir Ami, a group that revives the lost music of the Holocaust.

Public Domain

Few people bring Kansas City's history to life like Monroe Dodd. But in light of our resident chronicler's move to Colorado, we indulge on one more journey through the great folklore of our town. Then, Kansas City Ballet's lead dancer, Lamin Pereira, shares his experience performing in The Nutcracker. ​Also, learn about a crisis rural America is facing through the lens of a novelist.

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In light of a new Evel Knievel museum opening in Topeka earlier this year, we look back at the legacy of an all-American daredevil.

Then, we visit with Kansas City native and ballet icon Misty Copeland. Also, we learn about the story of the 'lone tater tot' at Winstead's. 

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Cheese + Beer

Dec 8, 2017
Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife / Flickr -- CC

Forget wine and cheese ... now there's beer and cheese. A local cheese expert tells us about the best beer and cheese pairings. Plus: a visit to a classic KC restaurant that brought back its fondue nights from the 1970s, then the Food Critics search out the best cheese dishes in and around town.

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TheNaska / Flickr -- CC

Meet a soon-to-be-NASA engineer from Missouri who raps about math.

Plus: what are the smells of KC, both past and present? We explore the rich tapestry of Kansas City scents, good and bad, and how they affect our experience of a place.

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When it comes to fighting for a cause, some may picture protestors chaining themselves to machinery or going on hunger strikes. But a former journalist in Kansas fought a proposal for saltwater injection wells in a different way: she read a lot of documents and examined the tiny administrative details.

Then: two area researchers on how dogs and humans became friends, then an encore presentation of how a local musician found one family's long-lost Christmas tape at a thrift store.

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Public Domain

If you voted last election, you may have noticed a few measures concerning parcels of park land. Today, we learn the reasons why they appeared on the ballot and what it means for undeveloped areas in Kansas City. Then, we learn the history behind a controversial series of Thomas Hart Benton paintings made shortly after Pearl Harbor.

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On this December arts show: the story behind "Uplift," a new exhibit that's inspired by ladders, and a local science fiction writer on her book, which takes place in the aftermath of the second civil war in the United States.

Plus: pajamas and punk rock at the museum? The Nelson hosts a pj party for grown-ups, featuring the music of The Architects. We catch up with drummer Adam Phillips ... and talk about fuzzy onesies.

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'Big Sonia'; Changing Your Mind

Nov 30, 2017

Sonia Warshawski is a Holocaust survivor who ran a tailor shop in Metcalf South Mall. A documentary about her life is in theaters now. What does this survivor story mean to a younger generation?

Plus: On KCUR's Central Standard, we're examining what it takes to change someone's mind. We talk to a local man, who tells us about leaving the religious sect in which he was raised.

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We are hearing more stories of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. But these stories aren't new. How much has changed over time? Three women from three different generations share their perspectives from one industry.

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CCAAL Inc.

For an artist, one year is plenty of time to develop new techniques and mature. Today, we check in on local artist Rodolfo Marron, who, after two residencies in New York, has returned to Kansas City with a new exhibit. Then, learn about Liberty's African-American heritage from the group dedicated to documenting and preserving its history.

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Pixabay-CC

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Those are words etched on the Statue of Liberty, an icon of our nation's immigrant heritage. But its message barely skims the surface of the various reasons why people migrate to the United States. Today, we dive deeper by listening to Americans — with roots from across the globe — share their personal stories about how they got here.

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Beao / Wikimedia Commons

What does it mean to be a Midwesterner? It's a hard question to answer, but there's definitely something unique about this land between coasts. From our hardworking ethic to our passive-aggressive attitude, we discuss the characteristics, attitudes and habits (both good and bad) that define being Midwestern.

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On the southwest corner of Troost and Linwood Boulevard, Katz's Drug Store was quietly torn down after years of vacancy. Today, we learn what old landmarks have to teach us about Kansas City's history and why the demolition of Katz has garnered so much attention — even from young people who never shopped there.

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The McFadden brothers are musicians, singers and tap dancers. They learned how to tap from their father, the legendary Smilin' Jimmy McFadden, and they've just received a 2017 Living Legends awards from the Tapology Music Institute, a national organization. Hear their story, which starts at 29th and Euclid.

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Domestic violence happens privately at home, but it tears at the fabric of entire communities. A look at the impact of domestic violence over generations.

Then: the hallowed halls of government are supposed to represent our highest ideals. But what happens when civility breaks down? Why the rules of debate are important.

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The holidays are approaching, and some of us will be frantically cleaning our homes — and getting rid of clutter — in preparation for guests. Or we'll be visiting parents and relatives, where we might confront the stuff from years past.

On this show, we take a closer look at clutter. It's bad and we should get rid of the things that don't bring us joy, right? Maybe not...

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