Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and entertainment — topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.


  • Monday: Smart Money Experts: Election Edition
  • Tuesday: Prairie Village's Rising Tenor Star / Rape, Victims and Agency / Statehouse Blend
  • Wednesday: Harmony Project KC / Bryan Cranston, A Life in Parts / Local Listen
  • Thursday: Voter Reactions to the Presidential Debate / Civil Rights Leader Carolyn Maull-McKinstry / Weekend To-Do List
  • Friday: U.S. Senate Candidate Jason Kander
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For five years, the sounds of violins strumming, ballet slippers prancing, and opera singers hitting high notes have filled the performance halls of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. In a live broadcast from the iconic structure's massive foyer, Up to Date visits some of the people who make it all possible.


Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

More than 20 years ago, in 1994, philanthropist Muriel McBrien Kauffman started talking about a vision for a performing arts center in Kansas City. After years of planning, selecting architect Moshe Safdie, fundraising, and finally building —the $326 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opened to the public in September 2011. 

On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors take on the recent outcry involving athletes Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick, and look at the University of Chicago's refusal to create safe spaces on campus.


  • Wayne Vaught is dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of philosophy, medicine and bioethics.
  • Clancy Martin is a professor of philosophy at UMKC and a professor of business ethics at the Bloch School of Management. 

The kidnapping of a red-headed, half-Irish, half-Mexican Arizona boy was the unlikely impetus for the longest war in American history, says historian Paul Andrew Hutton. The Apache Wars lasted from 1861 until 1890, and revealed the tensions that existed between tribal communities and American settlers.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James is exploring a new program to empower parents of school-aged children.

The Parent Leadership Training Institute is a 20-week program that helps attendees track legislation, analyze data and become involved in public policy on behalf of their kids.

James says highly engaged parents help schools function better, but knowing how to participate isn't always obvious.

Nearly everyone agrees that parental involvement is critical to kids' success in school, but knowing how to participate isn't always obvious. Kansas City Mayor Sly James supports a program aimed at giving parents the tools they need to engage with schools, and affect positive change in their children's future.


Corbis / Flickr-CC

Following allegations that two women were sexually assaulted inside their cells at the Jackson County Jail, Kansas City Mayor Sly James says his patience is wearing thin. 

"However, being impatient doesn't solve the problem," James told KCUR's Steve Kraske on Up To Date.   "We have an investigation going, outside council has been hired by the county and we’re hopeful that that investigation will be swift and conclusive and then that the county will take appropriate action." 

When you make the jump into retirement, what will catch you? On this edition of Up to Date, the Smart Money Experts discuss the long-term prospects of Social Security and Medicare and how to prepare for an uncertain future. We also take a look at cyber-security and protecting your personal information in the digital era.


Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, the Director of Johnson County Mental Health talks about the state of mental healthcare in Kansas.


Paramount Pictures

As the dog days of summer start to fizzle out and the rain comes down, hold out on building that ark. This week, Up to Date’s indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few good movies to keep you warm, cozy and indoors.

Robert Butler

Hell or High Water, R

Up To Date's film critics review the latest independent, foreign and documentary movies showing in area theaters.

Here's a list of the films reviewed on the program:

Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

In May, the Kansas City Council abandoned plans for a new airport — at least, for the time being.

So for now, airport officials are making small changes to improve travelers' experiences, though they still face challenges with the current design.

Pat Klein, director of the Kansas City Aviation department, says the improvements will be worth the investment, even if the city does move forward with a new terminal in the next few years. 

A completely new terminal at Kansas City International Airport may be out of the question (for now), but other changes are in the works. Patrick Klein, director of the Kansas City Aviation Department, speaks about the challenges and misconceptions of ongoing projects, and what travelers can look forward to in the coming years.

Activist and author Irene Tinker has spent more than 60 years of her life researching women's contributions to homes and societies all over the world. Despite being encouraged by decades of progress toward parity, she says barriers to equality still exist.

David Shane / Flickr-CC

A loophole in Missouri's criminal code means most stealing cases are no longer felonies. 

On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court reduced multiple felonies for a woman convicted of stealing firearms to misdemeanors, citing vague language written into the state's criminal code in 2002. 

The court looked at the case of Amanda Bazell, who was convicted of felony stealing. Her lawyer noticed that the language in the criminal code that designates stealing offenses as felonies was unclear.  The court agreed. 

Here's what the court's opinion states:

Making a contest-worthy cocktail takes more effort than just pouring a mixer over the right spirit. You've got to get the correct flavor, balance, presentation, even the appropriate kind of ice! Just the thought of all that work makes one mighty thirsty...


People in Atalissa, Iowa, knew about the intellectually disabled men who lived in the town’s old schoolhouse and worked in the nearby turkey plant, but they didn’t know those men were being neglected by a business set up to provide cheap labor. It's a heart-breaking story told by New York Times reporter Dan Barry in The Boys in the Bunkhouse.

Brian Paulette

Tennessee Williams' masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948, has been called the greatest play ever written by an American, and the character Blanche DuBois is at the center of nearly everything that happens in it. It's a daunting role that Kansas City actress Cinnamon Schultz has spent months preparing for. No pressure, right?

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Earlier this month, a hacker published U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s personal cell phone number and home address, spurring an onslaught of racist phone calls and e-mails directed at the Missouri politician.

“With the good sometimes comes ugly and to be sure, the internet offers people an opportunity to do anonymous ugly things,” Cleaver told host Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up To Date

He says it’s not the first time his personal information has been shared. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Congress is in recess until September but the upcoming general election, ongoing data breaches, and sustained congressional unpopularity means our elected officials won't get much time to relax. While they sit on opposing sides of the aisle, Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, and Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, agree there's plenty of work left to be done.

CBS Films

School is back in session and, for some, that can mean a little extra stress around the house. To help keep things in perspective, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics offer a few movies featuring family members — or friends who might as well be — dealing with the fallout of life's big plans not quite reaching fruition.

Cynthia Haynes

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, PG-13

Jam sessions are about more than just "noodling" on a horn or keyboard. Saxophonist Tivon Pennicott says jamming is a great way to socialize with other musicians and see how your skills stack up. He's joined by bassist Bill McKemy, who is the director of Education and Public Programs at the American Jazz Museum.

For various reasons, victims of sexual assault are often reticent to report crimes. But support systems for them can make a difference in reducing incidents and bringing perpetrators to justice. Researcher, educator, and activist Jess Ladd is attempting to overcome that public health hurdle using a computer system she helped develop, called Callisto.

Eduard Solà / Wikimedia Commons

Seeing a planarian for the first time, you might not even know what you’re looking at. Brown, black, or white in color, these flatworms are about the size of a toenail clipping and have two light-sensing spots on their triangular-shaped heads that make them look cross-eyed. Their simple appearance, though, belies a surprising ability.


“You can take one of these animals and cut them into 18 fragments,” says Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, who does this for a living, “and each and every one of those fragments will go on to regenerate a complete animal.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Even if you're not a fan of science fiction, you've probably heard of George R.R. Martin. (Does Game of Thrones ring a bell?) Melinda M. Snodgrass is no slouch herself, having written and edited for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Together, they edit a book series called Wild Cards, which could soon be adapted for television.

The end of Billie Holiday's musical career is infamous because of her drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention her tumultuous relationships with men. That's the Billie Holiday that actress Nedra Dixon is taking on in her latest role. Dixon says that, despite the drama, Lady Day "left a legacy of song and style unlike any other."

The federal government created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce laws aimed at reducing discrimination in the workplace. In its 51-year history, the commission has made real progress but work remains to be done.


Eduard Solà / Wikimedia Commons

They may not look like much, but research scientist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado thinks planaria — tiny freshwater flatworms —might hold the key to cell repair and duplication. The hope is that studying these self-cloning little invertebrates can help scientists figure out the biological mechanism behind their renowned regenerative abilities.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) talks about transportation funding, Right To Work legislation, and this year's gubernatorial election.


Composer, artist, software designer ... whatever you want to call him, R. Luke DuBois is a thinker. He's done a portrait of every president using only words from their State of the Union addresses, and employed a real gun and blank bullets to visualize every shooting in New Orleans, all with the aim of helping people better understand the world around them.