Central Standard | KCUR

Central Standard

Monday - Friday at 10 a.m.

Central Standard is an arts and ideas show. We tell the stories of people who matter in the Kansas City region.

Central Standard is broadcast weekdays at 10 a.m. on KCUR 89.3 and is available via podcast.

Coming up the week of July 16, 2018:

  • Monday: History of Soccer in KC / Nerf Gun Wars at Fairway
  • Tuesday: Bibliofiles: Suburbs
  • Wednesday: Side Effects of Education / Civility in Modern Politics
  • Thursday: History of Swope Park / Rasheedat Badejo
  • Friday: Portrait Session: Adib Khorram
Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

It's okay not to be okay. That's the essential message of a new book for young adult readers by Kansas City author Adib Khoram.

Darius The Great is Not Okay follows a boy with an Iranian mom and teutonic, white-guy dad through the cruelty and tenderness of adolesence. Darius lives in Portland. He struggles with depression. He's bullied at school, and he's unsure of his place at home. He doesn't speak Farsi, like his mom and sister, and he's convinced he's a disappointment to his dad. His only comforts come from hot tea and Star Trek

Segment 1: Swope Park is over twice the size of Central Park. Are we using it as well as we could?

Swope Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country. It's a massive 1,805 acres in size and Kansas City, Missouri Parks and recreation refers to it as the "crown jewel" of the parks system. We explore the role of Swope Park in our community and learn how a history of segregation continues to influence it to this day.

Segment 1: Are we taking the wrong approach to education research?

Results-oriented education research often overlooks the side effects that accompany common teaching practices. We learn how the approach medical research makes can help educators avoid damaging policies from the start.

Bibliofiles: Suburbia

Jul 17, 2018

The 'dark side' of suburbia has been a running theme in American literature for at least a couple of decades. The theme has many forms: existential boringness, the soul-sucking blandness of conformity or as an evil secret lurking behind a too-pleasant veneer. On this episode, the Bibliofiles dive into a discussion about how suburban life is represented in literature and recommend new and noteworthy releases. 

Kaite Stover, Director of readers' Services, Kansas City Public Library

Segment 1: Tomato season is upon us. Here's everything you need to know.

James Worley blogs about growing and eating tomatoes in Kansas City. He also organizes the annual "totally tomato weekend." Hear his growing tips and favorite recipes as he makes the case that all local menus should revolve around tomatoes right now.

Segment 1: How soccer came to Kansas City.

Despite the local fervor over this year's World Cup, soccer wasn't always popular in Kansas City. We find out how immigrant families helped popularize the sport back in the 1950's and learn how our city's professional scene has changed over the years.

Segment 1: History of deaf discrimination in the United States.

Members of the hearing-impaired community oft face unique challenges when living in America. We discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in the United States as well as milestones alongside the path to equal rights. Also, meet the local instructor who teaches deaf refugees their first language: American Sign Language.

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR 89.3

At one point in history, Atchison, Kansas was positioned to be one of the main connecting points for the railways between Missouri and Kansas. The town played an important role in the Civil War, and had many significant residents. But what's going on there today?

KCUR's Central Standard revisits a road trip to Atchison. Come along with us.

Guests:

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Phillip Jackson — better known by his stage name, Eems — grew up in what he reluctantly calls "the hood."

"I mean, single-parent household, went to Kansas City, Missouri, public schools, and just living in, I don't want to call it the hood, but, the hood," he said on Central Standard on July 6.

Now, he's a touring musician with fans all over the country, a new EP and a unique sound that defies genre: a mix of hip-hop, R&B and lots of ukulele. That's right: ukulele. 

Segment 1: A look back at Kansas City soul music.

Johnny Starke goes hunting for old 45s — recordings of soul music made in Kansas City. He's the subject of a new film that followed him on his quest to find the perfect record. We also hear about KC soul music and why it's almost a "secret history" to some.

Segment 1: Refugee of South Sudan performs here in the Metro.

Dominic Leek's home village in South Sudan was raided during the Second Sudanese Civil War. At the age of eight, he escaped Sudan and eventually found refuge in Kansas City. Hear Dominic's story and learn why he uses music to relay messages of peace to his home country.

Segment 2, beginning at 32:17: Memories of a Kansas City civil rights leader.

Segment 1: A puppeteer takes on a beloved childhood classic with virtually no narrative, but lots of dogs.

Mesner Puppet Theater is staging two very different productions this summer: P.D. Eastman's Go, Dog, Go! and The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.

Segment 2, beginning at 12:35: A photographer on being the artist-in-residence at the Missouri State Fair.

For many immigrants, art is a comfort — a home no one can take away. On this episode, we hear the immigration stories, filled with triumph and heartbreak, from the local arts community. 

The Stories And Ethics Of DNA Testing

Jul 3, 2018

For some, genetic testing can provide answers to lifelong questions. But DNA also raises unique ethical conundrums when it comes to privacy and discrimination. On this episode, we dive into the personal stories and moral curiosities about DNA.

Guests:

Segment 1: A team of linguists discover a new accent in southwest Kansas. 

Liberal, Kansas, and other nearby communities are developing a distinct accent. We find out how the language change is a sign of a vibrant and growing Latino pouplation. 

Segment 2, beginning at 18:35: The lesser known history of the Ozark region.

A piece of funnel cake, dusted in powdered sugar.
Jamiesrabbits / Flickr - CC

Summer in Kansas City means braving the heat and humidity for the metro's many outdoor festivals, where snack offerings are so plentiful and varied that we asked our food critics for guidance on navigating the options.

"Sometimes in those festivals, you can get foods that you can't find in any restaurant in Kansas City. It's a real treat," said Charles Ferruzza.

File photo / Kansas News Service

Stories of small-town Kansas usually deal with issues like population decline, the brain drain or boarded up downtowns and food deserts. A different story played out last year in Tonganoxie, a growing town of about 5,000 people that rejected a proposal for a chicken plant that would offer more than 1,000 jobs. On this episode, we dig into Tonganoxie, a town where the population is changing and where the controversy over a poultry plant has raised questions about what that change will look like in the future.

Segment 1: Have our habits on eating meat changed?

The amount of meat Americans will consume this year is expected to reach record heights, despite talks about the virtues of veggie-based diets. On this episode, we explore the changing role of meat in our lives. 

Segment 1: Deciding what to do after high school can be tough.

For students, high school graduation oft evokes feelings of accomplishment and freedom. But deciding what to do next can be a difficult decision. We discuss different paths students may consider when looking to further their education, skills and training.

A portrait isn't just about capturing someone's literal likeness. It's about capturing the inner essence. So how is it done? And how is it done well? We host a roundtable discussion with Kansas City artists — from painter to doll-maker — to explore the ins and outs of portraiture in various mediums.

Guests:

The Land Institute's Wes Jackson has spent decades pushing for a radical return to a pre-industrial prairie ecology, going back to how we sustained ourselves before the advent of modern agriculture. But his story begins on a farm, where his waste-not-want-not values were born. "I was raised on the back of a hoe-handle," he says. Originally broadcast in April, 2016.

Segment 1: The family that rocks together, stays together.

Radkey is a band of three homeschooled brothers hailing from St. Joseph, Missouri. The band shares how their upbringing shaped the shreads, riffs and kicks of their rock n' roll style.

Segment 1: The echoes of Trump's "zero tolerance" policy in Kansas City.

The decision to enforce a "zero tolerance" immigration policy at the U.S. - Mexico border is being felt across the nation. Today, we learn how the repurcussions are affecting families here in Kansas City.

Segment 1: A new app looking to connect people with black-owned businesses has chosen Kansas City as a launch pad.

An app that's something of a mix between LinkedIn and Yelp is hoping to bridge the entrepreneurial gap by connecting members of the community with black owned businesses. Learn what the app hopes to achieve, why Kansas City was chosen as a starting point and how under representation affects the economy.

Tim Finn

Jun 18, 2018

Tim Finn has been a fixture in Kansas City's music scene since the late 1990s. As the Kansas City Star's music critic, he covered local and national acts from 1996 until he was laid off in May.

  • Tim Finn, music critic

Segment 1: Kansas City champagne bar executive receives entrepreneurial leadership fellowship.

Meet Caitlin Corcoran, a Kansas City food talent, who has recently been awarded a national fellowship to an entrepreneurial leadership program.

  • Caitlin Corcoran, managing partner, ÇaVa

Segment 2, beginning at 17:15: New York chef returns to midwestern roots.

Segment 1: How the invention of velcro inspired a scientific discipline.

Learn about bio-mimicry, where scientists use to solve modern day problems with natural world solutions. 

  • Becky Plumberg, educator, Science City

Segment 2, beginning at 14:20: Why a local artist uses lasers to craft traditional folk art.

After moving to the United States from Slovakia, a local artist turned to crafts to connect with her homeland.

Segment 1: Kansas City's New Arts Festival.

For nine weeks, starting in August, KC's parks, galleries and stages will be transformed into a massive city-wide arts festival. Hear more about Open Spaces.

Segment 1: New York fashion icon kept Kansas City roots.

The death of fashion designer Kate Spade touched a nerve here locally. We speak with a local reporter who met Spade and remembers her as being very much Kansas Citian.

Segment 2, beginning at 15:01: Research on suicide prevention is progressing.

One out of five Americans is a woman of color. So, why are their perspectives often overlooked, even in conversations about race and gender? KCUR's Michelle Tyrene Johnson hosts an unfiltered, wide-ranging discussion about life in Kansas City for women of color.

Guests:

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