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

EVA WILSON / LEAWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH

In 2016, the homicide rate in Kansas City, Missouri, was the highest it had been in a decade. Twelve of the people killed that year were under the age of 16. Meet some of the people whose lives have become intertwined with this ongoing violence.

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E.G. Schempf / Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

Artist and pastor Dylan Mortimer has cystic fibrosis, a disease that fills the lungs and other organs with a thick mucous, eventually clogging airways and limiting the sufferer's ability to breathe. When Mortimer was growing up, the life expectancy for someone with cystic fibrosis was the late teen years. Now, thanks to advances in medicine, it's 37. Mortimer is 36.

The New York Times calls him "one of the most acclaimed travel writers of his time." A chat with William Least Heat-Moon about his Kansas City roots, his new novel and how he got his name.

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  • William Least Heat-Moon

Maybe you're a new parent who's seeking some advice as you're feeding your baby in the middle of the night. Or perhaps you're looking to connect with others who share your political view. A look at the role — both positive and negative — of online communities and how they impact our lives.

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Three musicians discuss the influence of protest music — the theme of this weekend's annual Folk Alliance International conference in KC.

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When it comes to chronic pain, opioids are the go-to treatment. But in light of the so-called "opioid epidemic," what are the viable alternatives for people living with pain? And what is it like to live with physical pain, knowing it will never fully go away?

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Courtesy of Brit Bennett

A new species of rat has made its way to Discover Magazine's list of top scientific discoveries in 2016. KU professor Robert Timm shares how he came across the Rattus detentus, and why he named it after a detainment center on the mammal's home island off the coast of Australia.

Some Valentine's Day tips for making a meal romantic, then KCUR's food critics search out the best cocktails in and around KC.

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We've all had great bosses ... and not-so-great bosses. But what makes them that way? A Mizzou professor is casting aside assumptions that we've been making about management.

In economics, only 30% of Ph.Ds are women. But in our area, some of the biggest names in economics are women. How two local professors have influenced national politics — and ruffled a few feathers— with their research and thought.

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Mid-Continent Public Library / http://www.nelson-atkins.org/calendar/film-step-plaza/

You've probably driven through this cute little neighborhood between Westport and the Plaza, with its bungalows with stone porches. But you may not know that this neighborhood used to be called Steptoe — and it's where freed slaves built new lives for themselves. Hear more about this historic area and the project to collect and preserve its oral history.

Also: Remembering Latino civil rights leader Gilbert Guerrero.

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With the new administration's immigration orders and the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, tensions have been on the rise. To get a sense of how Kansas City's Mexican immigrant communities are feeling right now, we check in with a DACA student, the head consul of Mexico in Kansas City, and an immigration lawyer.

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Courtesy of Des Moines Metro Opera

Most people are familiar with Dead Man Walking, the book and movie that's based on Sister Helen Prejean's interaction with a death row inmate. Well, there's also an opera that's inspired by her story.

We talk to some people from the Lyric Opera about their upcoming performance of this contemporary American work ... and the community outreach they've planned around it.

It's no secret that Lawrence is a spot of blue in a pretty conservative state. That's true of a lot of university towns ... but should it be? A look at whether the University of Kansas is separated from the communities it's meant to serve, and how it could connect to the rest of the state.

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billsoPHOTO / Flickr -- CC

The Kansas City chapters of the NAACP and the SCLC are under new leadership. We sit down with the new presidents of these two organizations to hear their vision for the future of KC.

A recent New York Times article said: "Calling Peter Voulkos a ceramist is a bit like calling Jimi Hendrix a guitarist." We learn more about KC's rock star of clay.

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Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

How are Russians living in our community reacting to the allegations that Russia hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election? We explore the nuanced conflict and pride that Russians living in Kansas City feel about their homeland.

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Lee Judge / Kansas City Star

A week and a half into the Trump administration, we'll find out whether political cartoonists still think of this president as a gift to satire.

Plus, we check in with Lawrence musician Matt Pryor, whose band The Get Up Kids had a big following in the 1990s.

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www.facebook.com

A visit to Nazareth Sweets, which is in a part of Lenexa that's becoming a "Middle Eastern strip," and a culinary instructor talks about a beloved Syrian dish that she grew up eating.

Then, the Food Critics search out the best Middle Eastern food in and around KC.

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Yukiko Matsuoka / Flickr -- CC

How do you get information from the government, especially after the recent lockdown on communication from federal agencies? Two veteran investigative reporters explain how they deal with governmental transparency and secrecy.

Plus, a chat with local musician Kenn Jankowski about his new group, Jaenki.

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Randy OHC / Flickr -- CC

Echinacea. That's a word you've probably heard a lot, especially during cold and flu season. A chat with a KU botanist about this native Midwestern plant, which has been harvested and used medicinally in the Great Plains for a long, long time.

Mike Mozart / Flickr -- CC

Based on a true story, the new film 'The Founder' tells the tale of how struggling salesman Ray Kroc found the McDonald's brothers and their California burger shop. We meet a few Kansas Citians whose own personal stories cross paths with growth of the family burger joint turned billion-dollar chain.

Plus, one long-time McDonald's worker shares his story, and his fight for higher wages.

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In the wake of President Donald Trump's inauguration, local artists weigh in on how they address politics with their work. In our latest Story of a Song, we hear how one Kansas City musician chose to address the current political climate with his song 'Revolution.'

Plus, how a special poetry contest came from Poland to Kansas. 

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David Jones / Flickr -- CC

Before you pack away your Chiefs gear: A look back at the history of the team and how they helped shape KC.

Plus, Question Quest discovers why people keep leaving little bird figurines around a statue in Brookside.

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  • Monroe Dodd, KCUR's resident historian
  • Joel Thorman, Editor, Arrowhead Pride

She recently made history as the first transgender person to be featured on the cover of National Geographic. A chat with Avery Jackson and her mom.

According to national statistics, when rent goes up, so does the number of evictions. What does this look like locally? From 2000 to 2015, Kansas City saw an average of 27 evictions per day. As part of an ongoing conversation about Kansas City's changing rental market, we discuss the causes and consequences of eviction.

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Vincent Chow / Flickr -- CC

From 60 degrees to a winter weather advisory in just a couple of days: yes, the weather here can be manic. A chat with Mike July, who recently retired from the National Weather Service office in KC, about the art of forecasting ... and about his witty social media posts.

Then, in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a surprising speech at K-State. We'll hear about the impression it left on Kansans.

Before the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration puts the election to rest, we ask, does Midwestern representation in national politics depend on the Electoral College?

Plus, Kansas City recently lost a long-time member of its culinary community: Jennifer Maloney. With her passing, we take a moment to consider the character of the chef.

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On display now in "Emperors, Scholars and Temples" at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are "rarely seen objects" from the museum's extensive collection of Chinese art. Turns out, the collection is actually world-renowned. How did this come to be for a museum in Kansas City?

Plus, we consider the long-term affects, good and bad, of the sports and repetitive activities of our youth. If you were a catcher for your softball team, your ankles and knees know what we're talking about. 

Rain Rannu / Flickr -- CC

A new documentary about hummus explores the role of this simple dish in two cultures, plus a sculptor on Decade, her 10-year retrospective that opens Friday.

Then, a chat with two local musicians on how they're paying tribute to David Bowie.

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Eva Wilson / Leawood Baptist Church

Kansas City recently hit a milestone: 2016 saw the highest number of homicides in the past 10 years. What's going on in the metro? A look at what each death means for KC and its children.

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