Central Standard

Monday - Friday at 10 a.m.

Central Standard is a daily radio show that explores what really matters to the people in the Kansas City area. We tell the stories of our city and region from the bottom up and through the perspective of individuals. We are an inclusive forum that explores art, ideas and how the news affects lives and communities.


  • Monday: Lucas, Kansas / Shawnee Prophet
  • Tuesday: Longevity
  • Wednesday: TBD
  • Thursday: Refugees in Kansas City
  • Friday: Food Critics: Food Trucks
Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

Sculptor John Hachmeister remembers the first time he saw the Garden of Eden, a mysterious outdoor sculpture environment built in Lucas, Kansas, right after the Civil War.

"I grew up 35 miles from here," he says, "though I knew very little about the Garden of Eden, and at the time, it was growing up in Chinese elm trees and vines. You could see very few of the sculptures. What I remember is that it was very mysterious. It looked like a Mayan ruin."

It's just the second network TV show that features an Asian-American family. We invite our resident film critic, a lawyer and an actress to review Fresh Off the Boat — and to share their perspectives on Asian-American life in Kansas City.


Adolfo Gustavo Martinez

When Kansas City artist Adolfo Gustavo Martinez lived in Edinburg, Texas, in the 1980s, he spent most Sundays at bars in the border towns listening to live Tex-Mex music.

He recalls with fondness being able to see people grilling and partying just across the Rio Grande River  in Mexico.

“The Rio Grande Valley isn’t very wide, probably like a street,” Martinez says. “You could see them right there, right across the river.”

How do artists sell their art — at art fairs, galleries or online? We explore the arts economy in Kansas City with two local artists and a gallery director. Plus, Adolfo Gustavo Martinez discusses his painting, El Sacrificio, which is on display at The Late Show.


A panel of local journalists discusses the history of women in media and challenges that they've faced.


Courtesy photo / Nature's Own Health Market

Before it was a grocery store, the small space at the corner of 43rd and Main streets housed, over the years, a drugstore, a coffee shop that hosted live music, a Whole Foods and a Wild Oats.

For the past five years, it’s been the home to Nature’s Own Health Market.

The corner grocery store holds a special place in the hearts of many Kansas Citians, as Mary Jo Draper recently discovered.

Alex Smith / KCUR

For many Catholics, Pope Francis' visit to the United States provides a thrilling chance to see the church’s highest leader in the flesh. 

But in Kansas City, Kansas, the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center still celebrates and remembers a previous pope’s trip to the United States — specifically how he rested during the trip.

On display is the former air travel bed of Pope John Paul II, which is now classified as a relic.

Papal Report

Sep 22, 2015

As Pope Francis heads to the Unites States, the Kansas City-based National Catholic Reporter gears up for a big three days. The story and editorial philosophy of the paper, including a new approach to covering a new pope. Bonus: a papal relic in Strawberry Hill.


  • Dennis Coday, editor, National Catholic Reporter
  • Caitlin Hendel, CEO, National Catholic Reporter

A local blogger has collected and published photographs of the little corner grocery stores that used to fill Kansas City's midtown neighborhoods. It elicited a passionate response. What is it about the history and demise of mom n' pop groceries that touches a nerve?


Pain. It's not the most uplifting topic, in fact it hurts, but it's universal... and throughout time, philosophers have found value in it. Our meditation on pain starts with a dance.


Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Artist: The Popper aka Walter Lee Edwin

Career: The Popper’s been rapping in Kansas City since 1996, straddling some of Kansas City’s different hip-hop scenes.

The Story: After a few days in jail early this summer, Edwin was on house arrest and wrote and recorded a whole album, Write (Right) Thru The Pain, about that experience. With that out of the way, he wrote, recorded and released the summer anthem "I’m KC" in a matter of days. 

Arnold Gatilao/Flickr -- CC

Arepas, pupusas, pão de queijo … there’s more to Latin American food than massive burritos and hard-shell tacos.

Beyond Burritos

Sep 18, 2015

We explore KC's diverse Latin American food scene. A local chef shows us how to prepare cactus (and cooks his specialty dish, chicken with cactus, in the studio), then KCUR's Food Critics uncover the best Latin American dishes in and around Kansas City.


In an ideal world, what should teaching be like? Should teachers be philosophers, innovators or ...  computers? We'll hear from teachers, current and former, and an education thinker about the teacher of the future.


Korla Pandit was a musical prodigy who had his own TV show in the 1950s. He claimed to be from New Delhi, India and shaped Americans' ideas about Indian music, but he actually grew up in Columbia, Missouri, with black parents.

Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll's classic character, turns 150 this year. The Kansas City Public Library is kicking off a two-month celebration of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland tonight with a lecture by Lewis Carroll scholar Mark Burstein.

We invite Burstein and a librarian to discuss the huge cultural influence of the book.


From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. We share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. 


Kansas City is a dress-casual town, for the most part — it's not uncommon to see people (especially guys) wearing baseball caps or Big 12 gear while out and about. However, there are signs that the men's fashion scene is branching out. We invite two local suit connoisseurs and a bow-tie entrepreneur to talk about style and what fashion means to them.


Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

If you're looking for Will Leathem, he can usually be found behind the counter of Prospero's Books, his irreverent corner shop with creaky wood floors, scattered rugs, and precariously stacked piles of reading material.

That's where he nudges young writers and artists to make work, recommends his favorite books and gets into every kind of conversation imaginable.

@greghall24 / Twitter

Apparently, blogging about bathrooms is a thing in Kansas City.

We spoke with two people who write about the Kansas City bathroom scene this week on Central Standard.

"A Bathroom Site" blogger Kayla Regan judges local water closets on privacy and cleanliness. For "Pee Party" blogger David Hudnall of The Pitch, he knows he's found a good bathroom when the room has some sort of odd flourish.

Shelf Life

Sep 11, 2015

Before Will Leathem opened Prospero's Books in Midtown, he was a Republican political consultant and a touring musician. On this Portrait Session show, Will talks about poetry, politics and the first book he published: 'Leavened 911, a compilation of stories and essays by Kansas Citians about the September 11 attacks.


For much of the 20th century, the clothes that Middle America wore came from Kansas City factories.

Scores of clothing manufacturers, many of them headquartered near Broadway in the northern part of downtown, produced work clothes for laborers and farmers, house dresses for homemakers and uniforms for industry and the military.

Walker Evans / Public Domain/Documentary Portraits of Mississippi: The Thirties, Selected and Edited by Patti Carr Black

Kansas City is known as the "Crossroads of America" for its major interstates and sizable rail network. What is it like to hitchhike here? Central Standard's producer gave it a try, then an experienced hitchhiker and a professor who has studied hitchhikng share their thoughts.


Kayla Regan / Bathroom Site

Restrooms are the great equalizer, according to David Hudnall, The Pitch's restroom reviewer. He and another local reviewer tell us about the best — and not-so-great — restrooms around town.


In the 1930s, the garment industry was huge in Kansas City, in both manufacturing and retail. It employed a lot of local women — particularly immigrant women. What was the KC garment industry like in its heyday, and what happened to it?


"My dad derbed, my sister derbed, my brother-in-law derbs, my cousin derbs" ... get up close and personal with the demolition derby lifestyle.


In April of 2014, an avowed Anti-Semite opened fire on Jewish sites in Overland Park, Kan., killing three people, believing they were Jewish. Now, a disturbing trial has just reached its conclusion. Rabbis respond with ethical, spiritual and historical perspectives.


Creative Commons

Whitney Terrell's novel, The King of Kings County, delves into the history of racial covenants and white flight in Kansas City; the author pulls no punches about that. But the characters who populate the novel and their personal dramas are purely fictional. Ten years after the novel was published, upheaval in Ferguson and a downtown renaissance in Kansas City may inspire us to see something new in the story.


  • Whitney Terrell, author, The King of Kings County

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. 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.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

What’s not to love about fried chicken? There’s the crispy, crackling exterior and a juicy interior. It’s portable and best eaten with your hands, making it the perfect picnic fare — especially for this holiday weekend.

It can be served hot or cold, and don’t forget the sides: Mashed potatoes, green beans, pasta salad, fresh corn and tomatoes, biscuits and so much more (cinnamon rolls, anyone?).

“It’s the ultimate comfort food,” Food Critic Charles Ferruzza told Gina Kaufmann on Central Standard.

And don’t worry the health factor, despite what Ferruzza says —“It’s a guilty pleasure because you should feel guilty eating it!”

On Friday’s Central Standard, chef Derek Nacey from Blvd Tavern told us about his Korean fried chicken dish, then the Food Critics searched out the best fried chicken in and around Kansas City — here's what they came up with.