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

Over the past 20 years, Kansas City has invested over $100 million in the East Side, but private development has been slower to follow. What would it take to get more people investing their dollars and their energy in KC's urban core?

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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A shooting in Olathe, Kansas that left one Indian man dead and another injured has captured national and international attention. How does violence like this change South Asian immigrants' perceptions of the Midwest and the "American Dream?"

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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Protests are sweeping the nation. And people are showing up for all kinds of reasons, all across the country, including right here in Kansas City. 

We revisit some of our local rallies and movements to examine the culture of protest and place our current wave in historical context.

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Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

On average, each person in Kansas City throws away seven pounds of garbage every day, and, it turns out, 80% of that garbage is actually recyclable.

We check in on Kansas City's recycling program, revisit the easy steps, and hear how our city could be doing better.

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One film features a teacher of refugee children in a rural town in the Netherlands. The other film is one man's dive into his brother's death and its effect on their family. A talk with the directors of these two documentaries, which are showing at this weekend's True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. Plus, is documentary filmmaking all about facts or can there be poetic license?

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A rural farm in Kansas. A wealthy family with a dark secret. A missing young woman. That's the basis of a new book by a local author. She shares how a real-life small Kansas town — and her background as a criminal defense attorney — helped inspire her novel.

Then, a look at how police department throughout the country (including in KC) are using technology that mines cell phone data.

Doug Kerr / Flickr -- CC

It runs from Baltimore to Provo, Utah, and the 1985 World Series was nicknamed after it. And did you know that they started building the very first stretch of it in Missouri, but the first section to be completed was in Kansas? A look at how Kansas and Missouri have been shaped by I-70.

Plus, we hear from a woman who has driven a stretch of I-70 so much that she wrote a song about it.

 

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COURTESY OF NATIONAL WORLD WAR I MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL

When does information become propaganda? We look back at posters from World War I, currently on display at Kansas City's World War I Museum, and draw connections to the memes of today.

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COURTESY OF NABIL HADDAD

There's no question that the McDonald's Happy Meal was invented in Kansas City, Missouri. The question is...who invented it? To find an answer, we go on a journey from 1950's Lebanon to Salina, Kansas.

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Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A shooting at an Olathe sports bar last week killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded his friend Alok Madasani, as well as bar patron, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene. Witnesses say the two Indian-American men were targeted, claiming the gunman opened fire shouting, "Get out of my country!"

We hear how that anti-foreign rhetoric and the tragedy of the shooting are affecting members of our community, particularly those from South Asia.

Let's Do Lunch

Feb 24, 2017

From the fast and affordable to the luxurious, KCUR's Food Critics search out the best lunch spots in and around Kansas City.

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Rob Shenk / Flickr -- CC

A look at how Missouri deals with its Confederate past. Plus, the reaction to a newly-published Confederate memoir by a Clay County soldier.

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Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

On March 20, 1978, William Least Heat-Moon left Columbia, Missouri in a Ford van. The van, which he named Ghost Dancing, would be his home for the next three months.

He was 38 years old. His marriage was falling apart. He'd lost his teaching job due to staffing cutbacks. His decision to get behind the wheel in search of America's stories was part dream, part desperation.

Now that the van is a literary artifact, he has to visit it in a museum. And he's careful not to get behind the wheel. Sitting back in that driver's seat makes him misty eyed.

When one Kansas City woman went public and reported her rape to the police, she found out most of her friends were also victims. She also found that they would never tell the police.

A look at what happens when you report a rape in our area.

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Courtesy of Sherie Randolph / sheriemrandolph.com

In the early 1900s, in a home near 18th and Vine, a young black mother made her daughter promise never to have children. That little girl became a radical feminist, who pried her way into Columbia Law School in a time when they weren't even admitting black men. Historian Sherie Randolph unearths the life and times of the late Flo Kennedy. 

Plus, an encore broadcast: One local academic on performing around the world as Zora Neale Hurston. 

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John Lodder / Flicker

When you hear the words "Conservatory of Music" what do you see ... pianos, violins, brass in padded rooms? What about a guy sitting behind a computer screen? Meet the first student to be admitted to a Missouri music conservatory to study and play the computer.

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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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