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

Many people dismiss Kansas as flyover country: squares and rectangles in a vast farmland quilt. A Lawrence author begs to differ; he spent years exploring the undiscovered wilderness in the state. He shares the last wild spots that still exist around Kansas ... and in the KC suburbs. Guest: George Frazier, author of The Last Wild Places of Kansas: Journeys Into Hidden Landscapes

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Yesterday, Southwest Early Campus in Brookside closed its doors for the last time. We explore the legacy of the 100-year-old Southwest High School. We also hear the story of Daizsa Laye Bausby, whose death in a hotel room was ruled a homicide. She was supposed to graduate from Southwest this year. Was the life of this young black woman ignored by local media? Guests: Larry McMullen, Southwest High School graduate and Partner, Husch Blackwell Kathleen Connaghan-Gross, Southwest High School...

MoBikeFed / Twitter

Kansas City's bicycle infrastructure is in the midst of an overhaul. But progress can be slow. Every year, KCUR's Central Standard does a check-in, to see how it's going. This year, it's all about turning miles of added bike lanes into continuous routes. Plus, a Kansas City cyclist's fatal collision raises concerns about safety. Why are accidents on the rise in Missouri? Guests: Deb Ridgeway , bike-ped coordinator, Kansas City, Missouri Eric Bunch , director of education, Bike Walk KC Heidi...

Getting Out

May 13, 2016

It's one of the best times of the year to eat outside. A visit into the kitchen of one of the cooks for this summer's Greek Festival, and how a food truck becomes a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Then, KCUR's Food Critics search out the best alfresco dining spots in and around KC, from parks to rooftop terraces and more. Guests: Brandon Simpson, Jazzy B's Food Truck and restaurant Nella Wick, cooks for the Greek Festival at St. Dionysios Greek Orthodox Christian Church Charles Ferruzza, The...

Corpus Christi Caller-Times-photo from Associated Press

Inspired by a one-woman play about Marilyn Monroe at The Fishtank Theater, we explore the phenomenon of female celebrity in the United States, then and now. Guests: Heidi Van, Director, The Fishtank and actor in Marilyn/God Ayesha Hardison, Associate Professor, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality at KU

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your future self? When she was in high school, KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez wrote a letter to herself. She just received that letter in the mail, in time for her 10-year reunion. She opens the letter for the first time and reads part of it on-air. Guest: Lisa Rodriguez, KCUR

In this encore presentation of Central Standard : We look at Kansas City's buzzwords with the people who best understand the true meaning of our favorite catch-phrases. In this installment, we ask what it really means to be an entrepreneur, how you pronounce the word, and how to correctly use it in a sentence. It's an important step for us to take, as a city, if we want to be known for our entr... entrep... entrepreneurial spirit. Guest: Dodie Jacobi , small business consultant

Jeremy Thompson / Flickr

In this encore presentation of Central Standard : The roller coaster ride where you almost had your first kiss. Or what about the one you were finally tall enough to ride ... only to chicken out? Or the one where you met your spouse, or even got married? Guests: Lucas Wetzel , Kansas City-based freelance writer and editor, Zambezi Zinger essayist Jennifer Lovesee-Mast , midwest representative, American Coaster Enthusiasts , former Worlds of Fun employee and Worlds of Fun researcher

Attitudes toward marijuana are shifting, nationally. But which way does the wind blow in the Midwest? Are attitudes changing here, too? And what's happening on the legal front? Guests: Jamie Kacz , executive director, NORML KC Jennifer Lowry , pediatrician, Children's Mercy Hospital "Jessica" , sufferer of an auto-immune disorder and advocate for legalization of medical marijuana

Robert Clark / Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage, Chronicle Books, 2016

Kansas native Robert Clark has grown up to be a National Geographic photographer whose most recent book depicts beautiful feathers from all over the world. How a Kansas youth spent feather-collecting and a job photographing athletes for a Hays, Kansas newspaper helped his career take off. Guest: Robert Clark, photographer, Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage

Dan Brickley / Flickr

For the first time ever, a student has been admitted to the UMKC Conservatory's composition program using the computer as his instrument. How Sega Genesis, Dungeons and Dragons, math and a couple of well-worn laptop computers make music in the hands of Tim Harte, and why it's making waves in the academic music world. Guests: Tim J. Harte , student and composer, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance Paul Rudy , professor of music composition, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance

Paul Andrews /

Krystle Warren 's "To the Middle" is a song that sounds a little like a carnival ride, but it's actually her love song to Kansas City. Written when she lived in New York, the lyrics express a deep longing for the mainstays of her hometown: toothy smiles, tree-lined avenues and Gates barbecue. In the chorus, the chanteuse demands to know, over and over, Why you wanna go away, Why you wanna go away, again? " I missed my hometown and it felt like Kansas City was kind of scolding me for leaving."...

KC To Paris

May 6, 2016

She’s an acclaimed singer-songwriter who has been compared to Nina Simone and Roberta Flack. Rufus Wainwright has called her "one of the greatest living singers at the moment." From her base in Paris, she tours the world ... yet one of her favorite spots is still the Midtown porch of her 8th grade teacher. Meet Kansas City native Krystle Warren. Guest: Krystle Warren, musician

From post-breakup T-shirts to a candle that evokes the smells of MLB's opening day, some local makers tell their stories. Guests: Nicole Leth, founder, Sex + Ice Cream Katy Bird and Chad Hickman, Sandlot

We chat with the creators of Red Bird , a new web series out of Lawrence. It tells the story of Kitty Mae, who is seeking revenge after Quantrill's Raid. Guests: Jeremy Osbern and Misti Boland, co-creators of Red Bird

We check in with two local artists who, about a year ago, quit their jobs to travel the country in a 16-foot Airstream trailer. Guests: Patrick Saunders, plein air painter Kimberly Saunders, photographer

Coming to America is a dream, an ideal, for some people. Inspired by a KU project that's collecting stories from African immigrants , we explore the stories behind the migration experience — and how they shape what we know about ourselves and the world. On Monday, May 9, there's a forum on migration stories at Unity Temple on the Plaza; it's the kickoff event for the KU project. Guests: Marwa Ghazali, Department of Anthropology at KU Kenny Vy, local resident who immigrated from Vietnam Garth...

There's a new phrase being used to describe what happens when, say, a government fails to protect its citizens, or a university fails to protect its students. What are the symptoms and side effects of being betrayed by an institution, and are there ways for institutions to make things right? Guest: Jennifer Freyd , psychology department, The University of Oregon

Dorothy Hawkins is one of five women depicted on a mural at 39th and Troost. These are the grandmothers of Manheim Park , according to artist Alexander Austin. In anticipation of Mother's Day, hear how one woman's struggles and hard work made a difference to the people closest to her. Guest: Dorothy Hawkins , Manheim Park

Working For The Weekend

May 2, 2016
James Carr / Wikipedia

The weekend is a beloved institution. It allows us time "for what we will." It also has a storied past in America. That history, plus an examination of the work week in transition. Are we losing the 40-hour work week and with it the weekend? Or are we gaining flexibility? Guests: Judy Ancel , director, UMKC's worker education and labor studies program Gerald Smith , CEO, Plexpod co-working development Joshua Montgomery , CEO, MyCroft AI

Oven And Hearth

Apr 29, 2016

A chat about spring produce (including rhubarb jam) and a quick review of a new bagel shop. Then, KCUR's Food Critics search out the best bakeries in and around Kansas City. Guests: Paige Vandegrift, private chef , culinary instructor, food blogger David Selden, local bagel maven Charles Ferruzza, The Pitch Jill Silva, The Kansas City Star Jenny Vergara, Feast Magazine

Wikimedia Commons

In this encore presentation of Central Standard : What does it mean to be a "Renaissance Man" today? Hint: it's more than being an expert multi-tasker . Guests: Stephanie Storey , author, Oil and Marble Bibie Chronwall , Kansas City-based neuroscientist and master gardener Marc Wilson , director emeritus, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art , retired race car driver

From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. In this encore presentation of Central Standard , we share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. Guests: Marcia Bishop , local woman recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's Sharon Ward , caregiver for her husband who has Alzheimer's Jeffrey Burns , neurology professor and co-director, University of Kansas...

Ronnie Burt's job, as president and CEO of Visit KC, is to make Kansas City appealing to people who don't live here. What are the selling points, and what holds us back? Guest: Ronnie Burt , president and CEO, Visit KC

Charlotte Street Foundation

Rodolfo Marron is an artist who grew up in the 1990s, on Kansas City's West Side. It was a grittier place back then, he says. For an escape, he started creating characters who inspired him. Now, he draws on Kansas City stories and the materials that grow wild in backyards and along highways. Guest: Rodolfo Marron , artist

If you like to learn about the inner lives of musicians, as though they're the friends or older siblings who are way cooler than you, then music podcasts might just be your thing. This show compiles great music podcasts with an emphasis on the musician-interview approach, plus a handful of new, non-music podcasts to refresh your general playlist. Timed in anticipation of KCUR's upcoming Podcast Party featuring Central Standard and The Grisly Hand. Guests: Hannah Copeland and Matt Hodapp ,...


Does the Kansas we see in The Wizard of Oz have anything to do with the Kansas on this side of the rainbow? From tornadoes to costumes to politics, we explore the different interpretations of this classic American film. Guests: Russ Simmons, KCUR's resident film critic Clint Steuve, Executive Director, Columbian Theater (which oversees the Oz Museum ) Steve Bean, Technology Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management , KCMO Georgianna Londre, costume designer

It's that subconscious little kernel of prejudice that probably exists within all of us. We explore implicit bias: where it comes from, how it influences our decisions and what we can do about it. Guests: Robin A. Wright, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. She'll be speaking about implicit bias at the Kansas City Public Library on Monday, April 25. Gwen Grant, Urban League of Greater Kansas City

It's spring, and the sound of lawn mowers is starting to echo around town. We explore what lawns mean to us: Why do we love caring for them, and does environmental progress mean rethinking the concept of our grassy domain? Guests: Daniel Serda, urban planner Amy Burgin, scientist, Kansas Biological Survey Larry Ryan, President, Ryan Lawn & Tree

Coy Dugger / KCUR

Hardware store memories are about more than that tell-tale hardware store smell. How the story of industry in Kansas City mirrors the story of hardware stores, and what communities lose as those mom n' pop neighborhood shops fall away. Plus, how one of the oldest hardware stores in town has reinvented itself to survive. Hint: it involves a flying dolphin. Guests: Sam Shublom , former employee of Tucker's Hardware Monroe Dodd , local historian Jill McKeever , Kansas City "scentstress" and...