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

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

In 2015, Missouri Statehouse interns came forward to report sexual misconduct. It was a pretty big scandal, leading to resignations, restraining orders and a spotlight on the pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol. Two years later, what has changed?

Then: Las Vegas. Lawrence. Sandy Hook. Orlando. Mass shootings are part of our news cycle. How do you feel about going out to public events and public spaces?

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A "Love Kansas City" mural on Southwest Boulevard was recently vandalized. What the artist did to repair the damage, and address the possible reasons for the vandalism. 

Plus, one woman has collected over a century of Kansas recipes. She joins us ahead of her speaking event on October 4 in Shawnee, Kansas.

After a photo of local high school students drinking alcohol from cups arranged in a swastika went viral, many alumnae have spoken out, focusing on a code of conduct at the school. We ask, what should schools do to respond to hate speech?

Plus, Kansas City native Derrick Barnes has written a new children's book, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Guests:

Steve Bozak / Flickr -- CC

It's finally feeling like fall. To celebrate the start of crisp-weather season: a cocktail blogger shares her seasonal drink, The Early Fall Lowball, and we also talk to the 2017 winner of the World Champion Squirrel Cook Off. Then, a visit to a Bavarian-style biergarten, and the Food Critics search out the best outdoor dining spots in and around KC.

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In 1973, Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs met up on the tennis court to see whether women could cut it in sports. Inspired by Battle of the Sexes, we take a look at how their legendary match influenced feminism and women in sports today.

Plus: a teacher at Shawnee Mission East wrote a song that addresses sexual assault ... and invited his students to collaborate on it. Hear the story behind his song, "Fallen Roses."

 

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Kansas-based singer Vanessa Thomas, who tours the country sharing a bill with Grammy Award-winning tumpeter Doc Severinson, doesn't know why she's wearing a cast in her baby pictures.

"It was a foot cast that went all the way up above my knee," she says.

The rest is lost in what she calls a no-man's land of forgotten memories. A story she knows is hers, but almost can't believe is true, except that paper files full of documentation insist that it is.

Sean Davis / Flickr - CC

In this encore presentation: Patsy Cline's last show was here in Kansas City in March of 1963; she died in a plane crash as she was leaving town. Nearly 55 years later, a young local singer shares how Patsy Cline has influenced her.

Then: Have you noticed that more and more people are saying "y'all"? A look at how the word has spread beyond its Southern roots.

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The Kauffman Foundation has released a list identifying 222 people who they consider the real leaders of Kansas City. And, for the most part, these leaders aren't the mayor or the chief of police ... So who are they?

Plus, recent hurricanes and earthquakes in Puerto Rico and Mexico have many wondering what to do, perhaps especially those who hail from those regions. What it's like to wait for information, and attempt to help from afar.

Cities across the nation are dealing with the effects of Airbnb, and Kansas City is one of them. Is the in-home hospitality service changing your neighborhood?

Plus, the Coterie Theater is putting on a production called 'We Shall Not Be Moved.' Whether it's a department store in 1960, or a football field in 2017 . . . how civil rights protest has and hasn't changed.

Vanessa Thomas

Sep 22, 2017
Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Vanessa Thomas is a singer who is living her dream life in Lawrence. She's a vocal coach, a church music director and a mom of four. Oh, and she also tours the country to perform with the legendary Doc Severinsen. Hear her story: how she overcame the trauma of abuse through music, and how her hometown of Clay Center, Kansas, played a big part in connecting her to the world.

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Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Julián Zugazagoitia came to Kansas City in 2010, to take a job as CEO and director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The new guy from Mexico by way of New York and Paris made a fast impression as a lanky intellectual with a worldly resume and a lot of energy.

The Midwest made an equally large impression on him.

"Coming to the Midwest definitely was as foreign a country as I have ever been," he jokes.

Kansas City initially felt like a tiny village.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

When one local woman found out she was pregnant, her doctor said, "Are you going to call your husband, or are you going to start calling child care centers?" It's a funny story we heard from a local daycare worker, but it's a prevalent issue. Local parents share their struggles.

Plus, NPR's Jessica Deahl shares the personal story that informed her reporting on working parents and child care.

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With Nazi rallies and swastikas showing up close to home in today's headlines, how one high school teacher is answering students' questions about World War II. 

Plus, why KU professor Kevin Willmott is wearing a bulletproof vest to class

Guests:

Sebastian Dooris / Flickr -- CC

Our reporter re-visits Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard, where she worked during high school, then the Food Critics search out the best guilty pleasures on local menus.

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Last week, Amazon announced that it's looking for a new city for its second headquarters. Could KC be that city? And do we want to be the kind of city that Amazon would make us?

Then: wildfires out west, tropical storms and floods. We hear from people who have personal connections to climate devastation in Florida and Texas.

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He's been called the "fastest-rising public-radio star in memory." Our conversation with Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington, from his upbringing in a religious cult to how he's innovating storytelling.

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This week, the University of Kansas is hosting the Black Love Symposium. We meet keynote speaker, NYU professor Pamela Newkirk, here to talk about her anthology, "A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters."

Plus, the "first Beverly Hillbilly" got his start here in Missouri. 

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Some see memoir writing as a shameless act of navel-gazing. Fair enough . . . But a great memoir is about more than the person who wrote it. It's about what it means to be human. KCUR's 'Bibliofiles' join us to recommend their favorite memoirs. 

Guests:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Julián Zugazagoitia runs a classic Kansas City institution, but his own story is international. His grandparents fled fascism in Europe, and he grew up in Mexico as the son of a renowned actress. Hear more of his story.

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A local college student talks about the contested future of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)  and how it's shaping her life; an exhibit at the Kemper Museum raises questions about identity politics and art; the tacos of KCK.

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A local writer and playwright tells us about her irreverent grandma, who she calls an "R-rated black Yoda."

Then: Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with Cesar Chavez, but she may be one of the least-known activists in American history. In light of a new documentary coming out this month, we hear more about Huerta from her great-niece, who lives in KC.

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Julie Denesha / KCUR

Take me out to the ball game . . . or not? Salina, Kansas is home to one of the worst professional baseball teams in the country. Why the Salina Stockade team is still proud. 

Plus, the Buck O'Neil Bridge is reaching the end of its projected lifespan. What does the future hold?

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Ziegler Family / KCUR 89.3

Reporter Laura Ziegler reflects on what bringing her family and her father under one roof really meant.

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Meet the creative forces behind some of the exciting art stuff going on in September. We talk to the director of a play where ten manly explorers are played by women. Then, the dance troupe that choreographs shows off the sides of buildings. Finally, a KC musician who activates local dance floors and local politics.

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Empty Houses

Aug 31, 2017
Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

In Kansas City, there are so many vacant properties that the city tried to sell some of them for a dollar. We take a look at the stories of abandoned homes — why are they empty and how do they affect communities, both urban and rural?

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Hungry kids need good food. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. According to a Huffington Post article from February, school lunch programs are one of the most regulated nutritional programs. 

In this encore presentation, we'll get to know a few local "lunch ladies" and check in on school lunch programs in our area.

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In the wake of Charlottesville, and growing visibility of extremist groups like white supremacists and neo-Nazis, we ask, what does it mean to be white? 

Plus, with unprecedented flooding in Houston, we take a moment to see how prepared Kansas City is for heavy rainfall. 

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The racial divide in Kansas City and across the U.S. is not just the result of individual prejudice, and developers like J.C. Nichols. We'll discuss this and more, with author Richard Rothstein, who's coming to Kansas City soon to talk about his new book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Plus, is Kansas City's art scene homogenous? One outgoing artist weighs in. 

Guests:

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr -- CC

Filipino food in Kansas City, a visit to a local restaurant that specializes in poke bowls, then the Food Critics search out the best bowl dishes in and around KC.

Guests:

Paul Andrews PAUL ANDREWS / Paulandrewsphotography.com

For his day job, he smoked ribs at a barbecue joint. But his secret identity was a playwright. Hear Nathan Louis Jackson's journey to becoming a writer for television and stage, including the Netflix series Luke Cage.

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