Sylvia Maria Gross

Reporter, Producer & Co-Host of KC Currents

Sylvia Maria Gross co-hosts and produces KC Currents, an award-winning weekly news magazine that covers news and culture in Kansas City’s diverse communities. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, The World and Studio 360. Gross grew up in New York City, Brazil and the suburbs of Washington, DC. She studied English at Yale University, and then spent a year researching arts education in Brazil on a Fulbright grant. When she returned from Brazil, she taught middle school math and English while completing a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University in New York City. She reported in New York about education and culture before moving to Kansas City in 2004.

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KC Currents
3:59 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Abortion Lawsuit, Sprint Deal, Gordon Parks School

Credit Payne Roberts / KCUR

Planned Parenthood Sues Kan. Over Free Speech Violation

This month, two different lawsuits were filed in Kansas over a new state abortion law. But the lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed on June 20 isn’t about the freedom to perform abortions. It’s about freedom of speech. 

4 Things You Should Know About The Sprint-SoftBank Deal

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KC Currents
1:48 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

KC Charter School Faces Closure, Families Fight Back

Tre’Veon Gilyard addresses the crowd at Gordon Parks Elementary on behalf of his fifth-grade class during the graduation ceremony.
Credit Payne Roberts / KCUR

Fifth grade graduation at Gordon Parks Elementary school this week was an especially emotional event. 

The 13-year old charter school was founded to serve some of the most disadvantaged kids in the Kansas City area, but the school has some of the lowest scores of any public or charter school in Kansas City, Mo.  

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KC Currents
2:04 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

KC Shopping, Wiccans on Solstice, Bloodstone

Credit Ryan Schuessler / KCUR

The show for June 23, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
4:50 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Downtown Resurrection, Harvey Girls, Audio Theater Festival

Harvey Girls waitressed at restaurants along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads. Many of these women transitioned to other careers after WWII. Opal Jaquess, on the far right side of the first row, is interviewed in the film, Opportunity Bound.
Credit Courtesy of Opal Jaquess

The show for June 16, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
3:08 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Radio Theater Lives On In Audio Books, Podcasts And Video Games

Credit Flickr/Bob DiBono

The golden age of radio drama might have been in the 1930s and 40s, but practitioners say the genre is alive and kicking in podcasts, audiobooks, and even video games.

Next weekend, Kansas City will host Hear Now: The Audio Arts and Fiction Festival, which will draw old-timey radio voices as well as younger producers. 

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KC Currents
11:15 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Right To Farm, Estate Sale Photos, Betse Ellis

Credit Gloria Baker Feinstein

The show for June 9, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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Estate Sale
1:54 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Photographer Uses Camera To Let Go Of Belongings

Gloria Baker Feinstein

It was just last year when Gloria Baker Feinstein and her husband had to move out of their house and into a condo, and get rid of many their possessions.

"It's not stuff," she said. "Everything had a reason. Everything had a memory. Everything felt really dear to me."

The couple had an estate sale, and Feinstein, a photographer, decided to document each item as it left her house. But the endeavor quickly turned into a different project -- one that is now on display in a local gallery.

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KC Currents
10:46 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Spelling Bee Sisters, Streetcar Update, Blues Singer Cassie Taylor

Vanya Shivashankar, right, talks with older sister Kavya after the final round of the 2013 Scripps national Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on May 30. Kavya, who helped coach Vanya for this year's competition, won the Bee in 2009.
Credit Credit Mark Bowen / Scripps National Spelling Bee

The show for June 2, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
10:59 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Olathe 11-Year-Old Continues Family’s Spelling Dynasty In Washington, D.C.

Vanya Shivashankar, 11, of Olathe, Kan., competes at the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Credit Mark Bowen / Scripps National Spelling Bee

Olathe’s own Vanya Shivashankar is returning from Washington, D.C. this week after competing at the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, just a few years after her older sister Kavya took first prize at the competition.

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KC Currents
11:01 am
Wed May 29, 2013

New System Warns Cell Phone Users Of Tornadoes, Other Emergencies

Cell phone alert for tornado warning in Lyon County, Kan. on May 19, 2013.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

An extended interview with Susan Buchanan of the National Weather Service.

People in the path of severe weather (and other emergencies) now have a new way to find out about threats: text message alerts, sent straight to mobile devices.

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KC Currents
10:41 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Cell Phone Warning, Clay Studio, Barista Champ

The Boys Grow group brings up water for the plants.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Joplin Optimistic In Recovery, Anxious To Help In Moore, OK

Last week’s massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma came almost exactly two years after another EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, killing 161 people.  Wednesday marked that anniversary, and the city was greeted with near perfect weather.  Thousands came out that day to honor the lives of those lost, and reflect upon the continuing recovery effort.

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KC Currents
4:56 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

A Vacant Storefront Sparks Arts Collaboration In KCK

Gathered around the work table, Steven Curtis instructs students on proper glazing techniques.
Julie Denesha KCUR

It was once a barbeque joint, then a Colombian restaurant. But now this storefront in Strawberry Hill has traded out sizzling slabs of ribs and empanadas for another kind of oven: a kiln.

The Epic Arts studio is the brainchild of Steve Curtis, a photographer and community organizer for Community Housing of Wyandotte County. Curtis has long wanted to make art more accessible in Wyandotte County.

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KC Currents
4:48 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Johnson County Mosque, Class Of 2013, Janelle Monae

Sandra Perez, senior at De La Salle Education Center, gave the commencement speech at her graduation ceremony.
Credit Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

The show for May 19, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
12:07 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

KCK Native Janelle Monae Releases 'Q.U.E.E.N.' Music Video

Performer and KCK native, Janelle Monae, is known for her gender-bending clothing and futuristic soul-meets-funk music. Keeping in her style, Monae just released her latest music video, "Q.U.E.E.N.", featuring neo-soul singer, Erykah Badu.

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KC Currents
3:56 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Midtown Superman, Reading The Rock, KC Psychfest

The show for May 12, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
10:55 am
Tue May 7, 2013

A Hip Hop Collaboration Born On Twitter: Gee Watts and Kendrick Lamar

Many young, urban men see rap music as a ticket to a better, more prosperous life. But few ever even get a start in the music industry.

Twenty-two year old Gee Watts, however, has as good a chance as any. His new mixtape Watts Up has been featured in several major music industry publications and blogs.  

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KC Currents
4:19 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

CofC Allows Gay Marriage, 1910 Gardens, Rapper Gee Watts

The Community of Christ church in Independence.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The show for May 5, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
11:00 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Concealed Carry In Public Buildings, Library Mashes Up Old And New, Leo Beuerman

A new branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library is built around a historic mansion.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The show for April 28, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
4:07 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Best of KCC: IHOP in Grandview, Penn Valley Skateboarders, Fado Novato

Nick Soper said he was moving to Kansas City from Liberty to be closer to Penn Valley's Skate Park.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

The show for April 21, 2013 was a special membership drive show featuring some of our favorite stories from the past year. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
11:14 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Photos Of Immigrants, Kansas Renga, 42

The show for April 14, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
3:04 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Wrangling 150 Kansas Poets In One Poem

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Credit Courtesy of Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

It’s been a challenging term for outgoing Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, who lost her home in 2011, metaphorically speaking.  That was when Governor Sam Brownback dissolved the Kansas Arts Commission, which housed the program.

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KC Currents
2:26 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Black Israelites, Royals Announcer, Naismith Artifacts

Michael Long talks about his path to joining a Jewish synagogue.
Credit Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

The show for April 7, 2013. Click Listen to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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Business & Tech
2:40 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Is Austin's Google Gain KC's Loss?

The Home for Hackers offers three-month, rent-free accomodations for internet entrepreneurs on State Line Road.
Sylvia Maria Gross KCUR

Google announced yesterday that it’s building a new high-speed fiber-optic network -- this time in Austin, Texas. It’s been two years since the company announced it would build its first fiber-optic network here in Kansas City, and many residents hoped it would be everywhere by now.

Planning for the network has Kansas Citians rethinking the future of many aspects of life and business here.

Ground Zero for Google Fiber

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KC Currents
12:35 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

KCMO and KCK Elections, Oz Memorabilia, Ashley Miller

An unusual item produced to promote the 1939 film, a Wicked Witch of the West String Holder.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The show for March 31, 2013. Click Listen to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
11:16 pm
Sun March 31, 2013

Voters Weigh In On Future Of Nuclear Weapons Manufacturing

The new National Nuclear Security campus is on Botts Road and Highway 150 in South Kansas City.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Question 3 on Kansas City, Missouri’s ballot tomorrow, deals with an issue that’s generated heated discussion in City Hall over the past few years. It’s about Kansas City’s future in nuclear weapons manufacturing.

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KC Currents
12:06 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Walt Bodine, Pat Jordan, Hospice Cards, Eudora Jewish Cemetery

Pat Jordan, Co-Chair Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts, is recognized by the crowd at the "Envision Arts & Culture KC" kickoff meeting in January 2013.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The show for March 24, 2013. Click Listen to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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Central Standard
3:11 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Rethinking Middle School

Think back to your middle school yearbook picture – do you cringe a little bit?  Do you remember a hormone-filled, socially awkward period of your life where your mind has developed faster than your body... or maybe the other way around.  Ages 11 to 14 can also be a time of intellectual and emotional awakening for young people – when they discover their talents and interests and meet lifelong friends.


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KC Currents
5:00 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

KCPS Plans To Reorganize Middle Grades Again

Superintendent Stephen Green addresses a community forum about middle schools.
Sylvia Maria Gross KCUR

Over the past few weeks, Kansas City Public Schools held community forums to discuss the reorganization of the district’s middle grades, and possibly returning to the concept of stand-alone middle schools.  The district’s tweens have been bounced around quite a bit over the past few years. 

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KC Currents
3:58 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Middle Schools, KC Carnivores, Polar Bear Romance

Credit P.S. Linden / Courtesy of the Kansas City Carnivores

The show for March 17, 2013. Click Listen to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

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KC Currents
4:00 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

The Wires Debut 'Alternative Strings' Album

Credit Benjamin Parks, Courtesy of the Wires

Cellist Sascha Groschang and violinist Laurel Morgan Parks have been good friends since they trained together as classical musicians at UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. They perform around the region, and internationally, in symphony orchestras and chamber groups.  They’ve also delved into traditional folk, rock and jazz genres.  (Parks plays in the Kansas City folk-rock band, In The Pines.)

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