Gina Kaufmann | KCUR

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

Segment 1: A Screentime show on Love, Simon.

Love, Simon is the first big-budget romantic comedy for teens where the central love story is between two boys. We hear what the movie means to Kansas Citians.

Segment 2, beginning at 36:43: A new coloring book features women from KC history.

Joe Carson

Segment 1: Local stories of Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Kansas in 1968.

Martin Luther King Jr. stopped by Kansas in January of 1968 to speak with a number of leaders from throughout Wyandotte County. Today, we hear from a couple of leaders about what that day was like and how meeting the civil rights activist influenced their lives.

  • Robert Hughes
  • Chester Owens Jr.

Segment 2, beginning at 34:49: Why we behave the way we do.

The Midwest has a reputation for being a bland, neutral, accent-free place. But experts say that simply is not true.

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Segment 1: Memories of the wild west are kept alive in Johnson County park.

For many kids who grew up near Antioch Park, 'Dodge Town' has been a place to relive the wild west. As the playground prepares to re-open after being remodeled, we take a nostalgic look back.

  • Scott Wilson, writer and editor

Segment 2, beginning at 11:51: Mary Shelley's classic novel celebrates bicentennial anniversary.

School Lunch

Mar 28, 2018

We produce a lot of food in this part of the country, and some of it ends up as school lunch. But with every cafeteria tray comes a large helping of economics and politics.

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Segment 1: Kansas City ranks as one of the top cities for women working in tech. 

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas City has been listed as the second best city for women working in the tech industry according to the website Smart Asset. Today, we find out how our city earned that title as well as learn how we can continue to improve. 

Segment 1: South Kansas City is changing.

A revamped Red Bridge Shopping Center, a new Cerner campus, Wonderscope Children's Museum moving in ... the southern part of the metro is changing. What exactly is South Kansas City and what's going on there?

Segment 2, beginning at 24:45: A novelist on writing cross-cultural romances.

Segment 1: A Lebanese dinner at the Kemper Museum and a new tortilleria in the East Bottoms.

We talk with a chef whose Midwestern childhood and Lebanese heritage come together on the plate at Cafe Sebastienne — and at a special Lebanese dinner at the museum. Then, a visit to a local tortilleria where they make corn tortillas the traditional way.

Segment 1: How will automation affect the future of work?

Self-driving cars, ATMs and self-checkouts ... many fields have been affected by technology. And studies project that half our current work activities could be automated by 2055. What kind of work will we do — and will there be enough of it?

Segment 1: How do you learn how to read?

Reading is an important life skill that starts at an early age. But how do kids actually learn how to do it? There is research, of course, but implementing the findings is more complicated that you might think.

 

Singer Vanessa Thomas credits her idyllic childhood in a cozy Kansas town for her international success. But she ended up in that town through a set of dark circumstances. And her path forward hasn't always been a straight shot.

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Tipping In Restaurants

Mar 20, 2018

Tips. They're more than a way to show appreciation for good service — they're practically a societal obligation. Today, we explore the history of gratuity in restaurants and examine their modern day impact. Also, members of the restaurant industry share their thoughts on tipping and discuss the questions tips bring up on societal issues of gender, race and class. 

Guests:

Sunayana Dumala

Mar 16, 2018
Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

How a local woman is emerging from tragedy to spread a message of love.

A little over a year ago, Sunayana Dumala's husband, Srinivas Kutchibhotla, was shot and killed in an Olathe bar. Back then, she questioned why she should stay in the United States.

As it turns out, she has stayed. Meet Sunayana; hear her story.

Segment 1: How does weather shape Kansas culture?

It's that time of year when tornado sirens ring out their eerie sound and crazy weather hits the plains. Inspired by a photography exhibit of Kansas tornado sirens, we explore how the weather affects our lives and communities.

Segment 1: National School Walkout Day.

This morning, students around the country walked out of their classrooms to protest gun violence and to demand action on mass shootings. We hear about what happened in KC and examine whether schools have a role in fostering student activism.

Midwesterners are used to seeing squirrels all over the place - in the woods, in cuisine (really) and in their front yards. But some species are leaving the Midwest for the west coast and abroad. And they're not making friends easily. 

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Matt Grobe / KCUR 89.3

Do you devour 'think pieces' online? Or perhaps you read essays the old-fashioned way: in books. Either way, you're participating in the timeless art of making sense of the world through words. Today, the Bibliofiles discuss the latest trends of long-form literary journalism and recommend their favorite works in the genre.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie, freelance journalist and book critic:

Segment 1: Peruvian food in Kansas City.

A chef at a Lenexa restaurant shares how she makes lomo saltado, a classic Peruvian dish. Then, a home cook from Lima tells us about Peruvian food.

Segment 2, beginning at 15:00: The Food Critics recommend South American dishes.

Segment 1: Meet the city's expert on illegal dumping.

Cleaning up other people's messes can be a thankless task. But KCMO's illegal dumping investigator is passionate about his job. Hear his story.

  • Alan Ashurst, KCMO Illegal Dumping Investigator

Segment 2, beginning at 16:03: Should music venues be held accountable for the political positions of the bands they book?

Segment 1: Meet a dean at Haskell Indian Nations University.

What does a dean do? We talk with Julia Good Fox about her work at Haskell — and what she tries to communicate about her school through her "Tweet-alongs."

Segment 2, beginning at 24:50: Looking back on the life of a Cuban artist.

What's it like to be an icon in the Midwest? The tap-dancing McFadden Brothers tell the story of their coming up, and how they're carrying on a legacy for African American arts in the Midwest.

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Demo Derby

Mar 7, 2018

People have been intentionally destroying cars in demolition derbies for generations. It's like the Midwest's Colosseum.  But the old school demo derby is running out of gas.

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When we talk about being from the Midwest, it usually comes with some familiar words. "Quaint" and "old fashioned" or worse, "close-minded" and "too slow." So are they true? Well - it's complicated.

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Segment 1: Local poet writes collection based on his working class roots. 

For Robert Stewart, poetry isn't ethereal — it's a working class endeavor. He shares how his background as a plumber's apprentice, ditch-digger and truck driver shaped his worldview as a writer. 

Paul Andrews / HTTP://PAULANDREWSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM/

Candice Millard is a Leawood resident and bestselling author who has written books about dramatic, vulnerable moments in the lives of historical figures like James Garfield, Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Find out how she discovered her niche writing about the lesser-known incidents in the lives of monumental individuals.

Guest:

Ever been to a squirrel cook-off? How about the demo derby? Well ... that's ok. Here in the Midwest we eat all kinds of food, play all kinds of sports and maybe aren't exactly what you thought — particularly if you identify as a Midwesterner yourself. Midwesternish is a podcast that explores (and sometimes explodes) what it means to be Midwestern. Stories of triumph, identity and casseroles. 

Segment 1: A local dance troupe performs an original piece based on people's experience with cancer.

The Owen/Cox Dance Group has collaborated with Gilda's Club Kansas City and will perform a piece about how people's lives are impacted by cancer. We talk to the choreographer, and we hear from patients, survivors and caregivers.

Segment 1: Meet Aaron Rahsaan Thomas.

He's a screenwriter and producer who is originally from KCK. Last week, he was in a photo of black creatives in Hollywood that went viral. Hear his story — and how that photo changed how some people see race in the industry.

  • Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Executive Producer of "S.W.A.T." on CBS

Segment 2, beginning at 17:56: Mosquito experts swarm KC.

Segment 1: Kansas City's mayor believes students are essential to the debate on guns.

After the shooting in Parkland, Fla., Mayor Sly James invites students to take action against gun violence. He also shares his perspective on why the threat youth face today relates to his experience growing up during the Vietnam War. 

  • Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City

Segment 2, beginning at 29:40: How to find work with purpose.

Segment 1: Why barber shops are more than a place to your haircut. 

An author with Kansas City roots reminisces about the unique relationship between African-American boys and barber shops in Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.

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