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

A graduating high school senior without US citizenship reflects on her journey so far. With several college options to choose from, how does this accomplished student's immigration status influence the decision about where to go?

Guest:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

We visit a Filipino restaurant in Grain Valley, and we hear more about a French-Korean bakery that set up shop in Overland Park. Then, our Food Critics search out the best Asian food in and around KC.

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Mike Licht/Flickr -- CC

We explore how technology has changed our relationships with our homes ... and society.

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As we're in the midst of another election season, we hear a lot about how each candidate seems "presidential." What does that word mean, and what does it say about us? An editor who publishes books about the presidency shares his thoughts.

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A KU professor, who studies how lizards branch into various species, has come to some pretty big conclusions on what defines a species.

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Jessica Spengler / Flickr

The food of Kansas City has a life story to tell. Author Andrea Broomfield tells it. The origins of Kansas City chili, tamales and tailgating, an affinity for dining al fresco and cinnamon rolls, and what local beer has to do with our sports teams and stadiums. Every food tradition can be explained through the lens of history.

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Men In Uniform

Mar 28, 2016

According to Pellom McDaniels, when African-Americans served in World War I donning uniforms, the experience empowered them, not just as Americans but as men. On the homefront, they relived that dignity in their baseball careers. 

Guest:

A Kansas City-based filmmaker talks short films, mothers-in-law and wanting to knock an obnoxious guy's chair over at a picnic. Her most recent short film, I Was a Teenage Girl, Apparently, is making its local premiere

Guest:

  • Lynn Elliot, filmmaker 

It's an animated Disney film about the first rabbit on the police force. But it also addresses issues of politics, race, gender, stereotyping and xenophobia. We hear how the politics of Zootopia mirror Kansas City, and how the first Latina columnist for The Kansas City Star relates to that bunny cop.

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Recently, a controversy erupted in the Independence School District about the use of isolation rooms. How do teachers and administrators approach behavioral issues in the classroom? From grabbing the paddle to sparing the rod, to some new techniques, we explore how ideas about discipline in schools are changing.

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As the presidential primary continues and voters in both Kansas and Missouri await the general election, we visit with one demographic that doesn't always get a say: the teen demographic. 

Guests:

  • Suan Sonna, sophomore, Sumner Academy
  • Olivia Crabtree, senior, Archibishop O'Hara High School
  • Claire Gibbs, senior, Shawnee Mission East
DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Politics happen along party lines, and we mean that in more ways than one. Kansas Citians on the art of political fundraising. Specifically, the local fundraising parties that fill the coffers of national candidates.

Guests:

  • Sharon Hoffman, organizer for a variety of causes and candidates, including Obama's 2008 and 2012 Kansas City campaigns
  • Annie Presley, principle, McKellar Group

The quiet force behind the Kansas City Art Institute's Department of Ceramics describes falling in love with clay and finding inspiration in Kansas City's architecture (in part by riding a bike around town and breaking into abandoned buildings when she was an undergrad herself). 

Guest:

  • Cary Esser, chair, Department of Ceramics, The Kansas City Art Institute

Being scared doesn't make my list of top five emotions. It's not even in the top 20. I actively dislike both roller coasters and horror movies. (In fact, a Donald Duck fire safety video I saw when I was 4 scared me enough that I can still recall scenes from the movie, vividly.) And though I'm not Polyannaish in my reading taste, I'm not a thrill seeker, either. Live radio supplies me with plenty of adrenaline.

So it's saying a lot that the weekend before Kansas author Cote Smith came on Central Standard to talk about the anxiety-laced world he created in his new novel Hurt People, I found myself glued to my seat for hours, heart thumping along to the words on the page.

Meat-Free

Mar 18, 2016

A visit to a local kitchen to learn how to make cashew cheese, vegetable gardening tips, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best vegetarian (and vegan) food in and around KC.

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It was the first newspaper he ever read, and he now considers himself its ambassador. Meet the new publisher of The Kansas City Star.

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We check in on the MidCoast Takeover, a showcase of local and regional bands at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

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Steve Johnson / Flickr

Water, in three parts: Kansas City's tap water, access issues on a Kansas Indian reservation, and a local guy whose bottled water collection has grown into The Museum of Bottled Water.

Guests:

  • Elle Moxley, reporter, KCUR
  • Gaylene Crouser, executive director, Kansas City Indian Center
  • Neal Wilson, founder and curator, The Museum of Bottled Water

First-generation college students head to campus saddled with hopes and dreams, but not necessarily the same resources as their peers. With rigorous academic demands, resposibilities to families, rising tuition and increased focus on experiences like study abroad, students breaking through the higher-ed barrier face a unique set of challenges. 

Guests:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

The morning after his high school graduation, Jonathan Justus packed his car and moved to California. He didn't even wait a day, and he didn't leave with fantasies of coming back any time soon. 

When he was a kid, Justus felt suffocated by the sense that everyone in Smithville knew and kept an eye on everyone else. His mom received hate mail when she took over the family pharmacy, criticizing her for working outside the home rather than staying home with her kids. Rumors had started spreading about Justus starting when he was just in high school, he says.

Paul Andrews

He's a self-taught cook (from the classic cookbook, The Joy of Cooking) who's a semifinalist for "Best Chef: Midwest" in the 2016 James Beard Awards.

Meet Jonathan Justus — a former bike messenger, repo man and gallery-represented painter — whose restaurant has put Smithville, Missouri on the culinary map.

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Meet the guy who oversees Kansas City's 127 tornado sirens.

Guest:

  • Steve Bean, KCMO's Office of Emergency Management

Stuff

Mar 10, 2016

Is there a correlation between the way we relate to objects and the way we treat our relationships with people? A KU researcher has found that when we treat everything else as expendable … we may unwittingly treat human beings that way, too.

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It is OK to talk at a live music show? And what should you do when the people around you are talking so much that they're drowning out the music?

Guests:

Lori Nix

What would the world look like without humans? In her homemade dioramas, Lori Nix, a Kansas-born artist, depicts a post-apocalyptic world where nature has taken over.

Nix's photographs of her dioramas are on display at the Kansas Focus Gallery at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. She'll be giving a talk about her work on March 24.

Guest:

Activated

Mar 9, 2016

The protests at Mizzou last fall felt like game-changers for the overall visibility and power of student activism. What's the state of campus activism today? Plus, the history of campus protests, starting with objections to rancid butter in the 1770s.

Guests:

  • Storm Ervin, demonstrator, Concerned Students at The University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Angus Johnson, teacher and researcher, The City University of New York

Bruce Winter brought his Melinda Ryder persona to Kansas City in the 1970s, when all was quiet on the drag-queen front. A 60th-birthday profile of this leader within Kansas City's drag scene, who feels more free in costume. 

Guest:

  • Bruce Winter, AKA Melinda Ryder

It's Leavenworth, Kan., in the 1980s. Two young boys. One escaped convict. Two recently divorced parents too absorbed in their own struggles to fully supervise their children. An apartment-complex swimming pool. A mysterious new friend. 

Meet the Leavenworth-born novelist behind this vision.

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Now that simulated sky dives are a form of local entertainment, the time is right to ask: what's the difference between someone who jumps out of a plane for the joy of a free fall, and someone who considers that the opposite of fun? Sky-diving pros defend the appeal of their sport.

Guests:

Pittsburgh Craft Beers / Flickr

Bar food: it's salty, it's starchy, and you can usually pick it up with your hands. Beyond that, we make up our own rules. Whether it's by breaking the rules at the speakeasies of yesteryear, or enjoying a sandwich called a fluffernutter that's like a late-night pre-teen cabinet raid. A visit to Tom's Town Distilling Co., a spring-cheese tasting with a certified cheese expert and a critics roundtable on the best bar food in town.

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