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

Courtesy of Hollis Officer

Do you remember the man who took your tickets at the Tivoli for 17 years? With a recent photo display and theater dedication at the Tivoli, we reflect on the late Bob Smith, an international male model in his prime, who spent the end of his life in Kansas City.

But first, a check-in with the superintendent and a teacher in the Hickman Mills School District, as a part of KCUR's ongoing coverage of the district.

Guests:

A local chef recommends the best fall harvest toppings, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best pizza of 2016 in and around KC. Plus, is there anything that makes KC pizza unique?

Guests:

When Donald Trump explained his remarks on grabbing women as "locker room talk," some women responded by sharing their own stories of survival. Has the conversation on sexual assault and the casual objectification of women reached a tipping point?

Plus, Question Quest finds out what's in the center of the United States.

Guests:

What is it like to go viral? We check in with a few Kansas Citians whose projects lead them to reach "trending" status in the Interweb. 

Plus, East and West 18th Streets in downtown Kansas City can feel worlds apart ... even though they're not. How local groups are working to bridge that gap.

Guests:

The 2006 film Idiocracy has become shorthand for the dumbing down of American culture. What are we really saying when we reference the movie?

Guests:

An interview with the political correspondent at NPR. How did her conservative Christian background and growing up in KC help her connect with people on the campaign trail?

Plus, Question Quest looks into a mysterious octagon in Belton.

Guest:

In the U.S., tensions between communities and police seem to be at an all-time high. As we witness trust deteriorating and fear escalating on a national level, what is being done locally — or not being done — to make that relationship between police officers and communities work?

Guests:

We're used to mosquito bites here in the Midwest, but if you've found yourself intensely scratching a single, long-lasting bite for weeks, you've probably been bitten by the oak mite. The science behind these pesky critters that have made Kansas City their home, plus, another peek into nature with a writer who sowed his ideas in his gardens.

Guests:

A quest to find the pumpkin in pumpkin spice lattes, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best hot beverages in and around KC.

Guests:

Nels Olsen / Flickr -- CC

For decades, the trend in playground design in the United States has gone towards making them safer and more accessible. But a new trend is all about risk, exploration and building. From the old-school giant metal slides to fully-enclosed spaces, we take a look at playground design and how it shapes us.

Guests:

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.

Guest:

Kyle Smith / KCUR 89.3

A former contestant on Project Runway: Junior discusses how his upbringing in Minneapolis, Kansas influences his creations — and how his design aesthetic is geared towards "BA women who want to look glamorous."

In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we revisit our conversation with teenage fashion designer Jaxson Metzler.

Guest:

From high-end restaurants to drive-through eateries, fried chicken is a staple on local menus. And some places are putting a spin on that nostalgic comfort dish.

In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we invite the chef from Blvd Tavern to talk about his Korean fried chicken, then the Food Critics uncover the best fried chicken dishes in and around KC.

Guests:

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: A KU professor, who studies how lizards branch into various species, has come to some pretty big conclusions on what defines a species.

Guest:

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: On the face of it, the 1983 Royals-Yankees insanity known as the Pine Tar Game is all about a technicality and a tantrum. But scratch beneath the surface and it's a Shakespearean-caliber drama with complex characters and a generations-long feud.

Guest:

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

When you picture a break-dancer, or "b-boy," you may envision a skinny kid who drops to the ground and pops back up like it's no big deal, like gravity has no say in the matter. But the hip-hop culture that gave rise to break-dancing isn't getting any younger. Now that the original hip-hop generation is bringing kids to the club for events featuring crayons, how is the culture growing up with them? Bonus: profiles of three icons in Kansas City's hip-hop scene.

Guests:

Miguel Calderon / courtesy University Daily Kansan

In July 2017, a Kansas law that permits concealed carry in state hospitals and universities takes effect. We explore the idea of safety in places of healing and learning.

Guests:

  • Reinheld Janzen, Professor Emerita of Art History at Washburn University
  • Miguel Calderon, recent KU graduate

A new Missouri law (SB 919) has been a source of contention among craft brewers and beer lovers in the state. Craft brewers feel that it will give a big boost to companies like Anheuser-Busch in convenience stores by letting them lease out refrigerator space. Lawmakers say that stores could stock craft brews in those cases.

It's a question you hear a lot, especially if you have young children and live on the Missouri side of the state line: Where are you sending your kids to school?

We explore the world of charter schools — they're getting so big in KC that even the district is opening one. Who chooses charter schools and why? Are charters bringing on a new era of thriving public education in KC or taking away from struggling district schools? Are they integrating urban neighborhoods or segregating communities in new way?

Guests:

Wikipedia

Once upon a time, a paleontology expedition to dig up dinosaur bones might have been funded primarily by grants and major philanthropists. But KU's Natural History Museum has its eye on a tyrannosaurus rex, and if they succeed in bringing the specimen home from Montana this summer, guess who's footing the bill? You are, through crowd-sourcing. How the crowd-funding model is changing education, from grade school classrooms to university museums.

Guests:

A new book about Wichita artists has us intrigued. What's the art scene like in the biggest city in Kansas?

Guests:

  • Larry Schwarm, photographer
  • Elizabeth Stevenson, artist

Curve Ball

May 23, 2016
Greg Echlin / KCUR

A swanky new baseball facility in the 18th and Vine district, sponsored by Major League Baseball, raises big questions: Are black kids still playing baseball? Are sports a "way out" for youth? Will the coaches come from the surrounding neighborhood? And what about the kids?

Guests:

Her new album has stunned her fans ... along with people who might not have paid attention to the pop star until now. We explore some of the themes and images in Lemonade, Beyoncé's visual album.

Guests:

Pop

May 20, 2016

We explore the latest in pop culture news with our panel of critics.

Guests:

  • Loey Lockerby, freelance writer
  • Shaun Hammontree, video director, motion graphics designer and composer
  • Natasha El-Scari, poet

He's been a gravedigger, a roadie, a truck unloader and more; now, he runs two popular Lawrence restaurants. We hear the stories behind Matt Hyde's eclectic resume ... and why he sometimes breaks plates on purpose.

Guest:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Pages