KC Currents

KCUR is no longer broadcasting the newsmagazine KC Currents on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., Sundays at 5 p.m. or Mondays at 8 p.m. But this isn’t the end for the nine-year-old weekly program and its community-focused content.

We’re moving forward with a plan to merge KC Currents and our daily talk show Central Standard into a daily talk/magazine show airing in the 10 a.m. hour. The new program will be fully launched in mid-2014, with a new host and possibly a new name. The format – which we’ve been experimenting with since September — combines the reports on local issues, people and places from KC Currents with Central Standard’s call-in forum.

Our goal is to bring stories from Kansas City’s diverse communities to a larger audience and use them to foster discussion. KC Currents’  Sylvia Maria Gross and Central Standard’s Matthew Long-Middleton will produce the new show. Susan Wilson will continue as a regular contributor, and the show will include reports  from rest of the news team at KCUR. (Alex Smith, former KC Currents producer, has become KCUR’s new health reporter.)

In the upcoming months, we will debut a new host and continue developing the format to launch in May or June. We’re eager to hear your feedback as we move forward with the new program.

Taking the place of KC Currents Sunday at 5 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. will be TED Radio Hour.

You can listen to past episodes in  KC Currents audio archives.

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KC Currents
11:28 am
Tue June 15, 2010

Sol Pro Bassmaster Hold Annual Fishing Derby

Kansas City, MO – On a rainy and overcast Saturday morning, about fifty people gathered at Spring Valley Park at 27th and Brooklyn. Members of Sol Pro Bassmasters, a mostly- African American fishing club were stationed around a small lake which is anchored by large weeping willow tree. The men are dressed in distinctive red, black, white and white jackets and hats with the Sol Pro logo.

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Music
9:46 am
Mon June 14, 2010

Andean Express: Music from the South American Andes

Courtesy of AndeanExpress.com

Original air date: July 2009
The local group, Andean Express demonstrates that the sounds of Andean flutes and pan pipes are a part of the diverse, multi-cultural genre of Andean folk music.

Kansas City, MO –

In the United States, Andean flutes and pan pipes are most often heard from street performers and in new age music.

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KC Currents
3:03 pm
Tue June 8, 2010

Athletes Prepare For Scottish Highland Games

Valley Falls, Kan. – This coming weekend, E.H. Young Park in Riverside will serve as a showcase not just for Scottish culture, but for feats of strength as well with the the Kansas City Scottish Highland Games.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

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KC Currents
12:43 pm
Tue June 8, 2010

Rainbow Flag Maker Visits KC

Kansas City, Mo. – Gilbert Baker is a vexilographer, a flag maker. His most famous creation is the Rainbow Flag, which has been adopted by the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community. He designed and sewed the first one for his friend, San Francisco politician and gay activist Harvey Milk.

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KC Currents
12:33 pm
Tue June 8, 2010

Pitch Editor CJ Janovy Steps Down

Kansas City, Mo. – Change is good. So says the outgoing editor of the Pitch, which bills itself as "definitive source of information for news, music, movies, restaurants, reviews, and events in Kansas City." The Pitch celebrates its 30th birthday in July, and C.J. Janovy, has worked for the paper for over twenty of those years. She's been the editor since the year 2000. Janovy is moving on to work as Director of Communications at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

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KC Currents
3:45 pm
Tue June 1, 2010

Local Author Addresses Christian Sexuality In New Book

Kansas City, Mo. – It's hard to ignore the place sex has in American culture. From magazines and movies to news reports on politicians and celebrities' latest sex scandals, sex is everywhere. Lara Blackwood Pickrel's new book puts the discussion about sex in another place: church.

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KC Currents
2:33 pm
Tue June 1, 2010

UMKC Professors Take Heterodox View On Economy

Kansas City, Mo. – If you've been paying careful attention to the financial crisis in the past few years, or the more recent news of financial reform proposals, you've probably come across the unconventional views of economist and law professor Bill Black. He's recently testified before Congress four times, and he's appeared on Bill Moyer's Journal and in Michael Moore's film Capitalism: A Love Story. He's also been heard as an expert commentator on NPR News and This American Life.

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KC Currents
2:38 pm
Mon May 24, 2010

Rockhurst Student Faces Deportation

Kansas City, Mo. – The movement for immigrants' rights has been held back by the fact that many illegal immigrants are reluctant to advocate openly for their cause. But this week, a small group of young immigrants, some of whom are undocumented, began a high-stakes campaign of civil disobedience.

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KC Currents
11:17 am
Tue May 18, 2010

Legal Roadblocks To Copyrighting Natural Remedies

Kansas City, Mo. – Many in the health and pharmaceutical industries believe that the greatest possibilities for indigenous knowledge in mainstream society may come from natural healing remedies. Commonly used herbal remedies like aloe vera for burns, St. John's wort for depression and valerian root for insomnia are proven not just by clinical trials, but by thousands of years of traditional use.

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KC Currents
10:38 am
Tue May 18, 2010

Native American Perspective On Climate Change

Kansas City, Mo. – For thousands of years, human societies were shaped by their environment, and through that relationship, we developed survival methods that were both healthy and sustainable. Today, as people try to shape the environment to fit our needs, we not only damage the planet, but we lose our hard-won indigenous knowledge just when we need it most.

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KC Currents
11:51 am
Mon May 10, 2010

Crossroads Renovations Uncover Pendergast's Secrets

Photo by Alex Smith / KCUR. Click to enlarge.

Kansas City, Mo. – Businessman and political boss Tom Pendergast was a major player in Kansas City life for nearly 20 years. Many of the facts of his underground activities during Prohibition have been lost to history.

But new renovations and development in the Crossroads have recently revealed another clue to understanding the man who's been called the Al Capone of the Plains.

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KC Currents
1:18 pm
Mon May 3, 2010

KCMO Council Considers Nurturing Urban Agriculture

Brooke Salvaggio at Bad Seed, the urban farm she started at Bannister Road and State Line Road. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, Mo. – Locally-grown produce is becoming increasingly popular around the country, but in Kansas City, not everyone seems to want food grown as locally as next door. The city council is considering an ordinance to foster urban agriculture.

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Music
8:39 am
Mon April 26, 2010

EIO Explores the Sounds of Unusual Objects

Kansas City's Experimental Instrument Orchestra is a folk band, in which the two members craft their own instruments.

Kansas City, MO – Folk music has always relied on a do-it-yourself philosophy. But Kansas City's Experimental Instrument Orchestra takes the idea to new extremes. They not only improvise music, but also create their own instruments. KCUR's Alex Smith recently spoke with EIO band members Amy Farrand and Mark Smeltzer.

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KC Currents
12:08 pm
Mon April 19, 2010

Teens Weigh In On Plaza Ruckus

Marcus Garlington and Adriona Thurman were both on the Plaza last Saturday night. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, Mo. – "There's nothing for us to do!" That's the age-old cry that parents have heard from teenagers for generations. But on the County Club Plaza last weekend, boredom apparently turned into mayhem.

An estimated crowd of 500 to 1000 youth, mostly African American, gathered at various Plaza locations. Fights broke out, and police reported assaults, vandalism and theft. Paying customers fled Plaza restaurants to avoid the trouble.

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KC Currents
12:59 pm
Mon April 12, 2010

UMKC Physicist Uses Hubble Images To Study Galaxies

Kansas City, Mo. – Galaxies, black holes and supernova: for most of us, they are the mysteries of our universe. For UMKC physics professor Daniel McIntosh, it's his life's work. He is part of a team of over 100 scientists, led by University of California scientist Sandra Faber, who will be using the newest and most advanced version of the Hubble Space Telescope to survey the heavens during a three year period.

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Music
8:40 am
Mon February 8, 2010

Century-Old Pipe Organ Inspires Unique Congregation

E.M. Skinner's Opus 190 at Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church
Photo by Alex Smith/KCUR.

Historic pipe organ holds special significance for the homeless members of a downtown church.

Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Alex Smith went to the Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church downtown to learn more about the 1912 pipe organ, and its important role at this unique church.

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Music
12:00 pm
Tue February 2, 2010

Fiddler Betse Ellis Releases New CD

Betse Ellis, the fiddle player for old-time country band The Wilder, talks about her new CD.

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People
2:44 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen Talks Shop

Columbia, MO – Missouri's first poet laureate will have to step aside soon to let another writer take his place. Walter Bargen's two year term as the state's top poetry official ends this month. KBIA's Maureen McCollum has more on Missouri's first poet laureate and how to become the second one.

Missouri poet laureate Walter Bargen read his poem "Poet as Grand Marshall of the Fall Parade."

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Music
1:49 pm
Thu December 17, 2009

Master Luthier Finds Voice in Wood

Inside Anton Krutz's shop. Photo by Tim Bridgham / KCUR.

Anton Krutz believes that string instruments resonate with people in a unique way. And he'll tell you that it takes more than quality wood and a good craftsman to make a great sounding instrument. It's the varnish that counts.

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Music
10:38 am
Mon December 7, 2009

Hip Hop Duo The Deep Thinkers

The Deep Thinkers recently released their new album Make it Quake.

Kansas City, MO – MC Brother of Moses and DJ Leonard D' Stroy have known each other since their days at Indian Woods Middle School in Shawnee Mission. That was back when they were known as Aaron Sutton and Kyle Dykes. And they've been working together ever since.

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Music
1:30 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

KC Reggae Band Reunites

This story originally aired in March 2009.
Kansas City's legendary reggae group, The Blue Riddim Band, reunited earlier this year and put out a new album.

Blue Riddim Band

Kansas City, MO – The Blue Riddim Band is back! After years away from regular performing, Kansas City's legendary reggae group has reunited. In March 2009, Alex Smith spoke with drummer Steve "Duck" McLane.

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Music
10:57 am
Tue September 1, 2009

Rapper Stik Figa Previews New CD

If Stik Figa's live performance style seems influenced by the good-time rap of the 80's, it might have something to do with his first inspiration, the 80's rap film Krush Groove. At his home in Topeka, he recently told KCUR's Alex Smith that he first saw this early slice of hip hop culture when he was a globe-hopping army brat.

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Music
3:01 pm
Fri June 5, 2009

SIKENOMICS: Digging in the Image Crates

Phil Shafer's latest t-shirt designs are influenced by hip hop graffiti. This coming Friday, his Sikenomics designs will be showcased at the shop Spool in the Crossroads.

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Music
8:17 am
Mon March 30, 2009

Rappers Celebrate Negro Leagues

Rapper GLC

So you think that hip hop and baseball have nothing in common? Kansas City's Negro Leagues Baseball Museum invites you to think again. A new CD finds big-name rappers rhyming about the Negro Leagues.

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Jazz/Blues
9:36 am
Tue March 17, 2009

Cabaret Singer Marilyn Maye Attracts New Audiences

What the critics are praising is something midwest fans have known for decades: that Marilyn Maye is a master of the lost art of connecting with audiences. She recently stopped by our studios and told KCUR's Alex Smith about her philosophy of performing.

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Jazz/Blues
2:48 pm
Mon February 9, 2009

Blue Note Records Through the Years

The Blue Note record label started 70 years ago when German immigrant Alfred Lion was inspired to record some of the boogie-woogie piano music he heard at Carnegie Hall. Today, the label is recognized as one of the finest in jazz. It's classic records, especially those from the 50's and 60's, have a cult following. The American Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine is celebrating Blue Note's anniversary with a series of events.

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Music
1:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2008

Tubas Carol for Christmas

TubaChristmas is an annual event that brings together hundreds of tuba and euphonium players of all ages and music levels, shapes and sizes. And they all perform arrangements of traditional Christmas tunes.

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Theater/Performance
10:40 am
Sun November 16, 2008

Ailey Camp Inspires Area High School Students

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

Ailey Camp is one of the legacies of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. It's more than a summer camp for kids who want to dance. Alvin Ailey started the camp with the idea that dance could be a vehicle for growth and personal development among the community's youth.

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Jazz/Blues
3:43 pm
Mon November 10, 2008

South America in Kansas City - Sons of Brasil

Sons of Brasil's new album "While You Were Out"

The bossa nova craze hit the US in the late 50's, and ever since then, that mellow Brazilian groove has been a standard part of many jazz musicians' repertoire. But when Kansas City musicians Stan Kessler, Doug Auwater, Danny Embrey and Greg Whitfield formed the Sons of Brasil in 1991, they were determined to dig deeper into the rhythmic soul of the country.

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