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Singer-songwriter Krista Eyler may be best known around Kansas City by her alias: Funky Mama. As Funky Mama, she’s released eight CDs and played at kids events around the metro since 2005.

Lately, she’s been up to something new.

“I love the Funky Mama connection to all things, but this is a far departure,” Eyler says of her new project. “People go, ‘Oh, Funky Mama writes orchestral music?’ Well, I do, and it’s very, very fun.”

UMKC student Ravi Anand Naidu wearing headphones and seated in front of a microphone at KCUR studios.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Does Kansas City have a bad reputation within the Indian community? 

Indian nationals coming to America often have to worry about immigration hurdles and racism. Two violent incidents since 2017 in the Kansas City metro have added violence to their list of concerns. Most recently, Sharath Koppu, a UMKC student from India was shot and killed during a robbery at the restaurant where he worked. Today, representatives of the Indian community revealed their views of living here.

Chris Isaak / CC BY 2.0

Want to get weird?

Tapping into the offbeat is a snap this weekend with peculiarly appealing events that include bizarre musicals, a campy retro sci-fi spectacle and a crowd of creative local teenagers boldly exploring their artistic selves for public consumption.

Should you brace yourself or just let it all flow over you? Where there’s a weird, there’s a way!

1. Daryl Hall & John Oates

Food Critics: The Best Tacos In Kansas City In 2018

Jul 17, 2018
A pile of soft corn tortilla tacos on a bright blue plate.
Ricos Tacos "Lupe" / Facebook

A decade ago, when Guadalupe Marcela Banuelos moved her taco operation to Southwest Boulevard, her grandmother was worried that the authentic, soft shell street tacos Banuelos planned to serve at Rico's Tacos "Lupe" would be too different from the  hard shell tacos many people in the region were used to eating. 

Her response?

"You know grandma, they're going to have to get used to it."

And, they did. These days, Banuelos has a loyal following, especially from those who crowd into her restaurant on Tuesdays for the $1 taco special. 

Barbara Shelly / KCUR 89.3

Lora McDonald says she had to live with mold in her Kansas City, Missouri, apartment for six months before her landlord took any action.

“It is a long time to live with mold outside my son’s bedroom,” McDonald says.

McDonald, executive director of More2 and an advocate for equitable housing, says she took her concerns all the way to the director of the Kansas City health department, who told her that aside from testing for mold and advising the landlord to fix it, there was nothing the city could do.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

On the second day of a murder and arson trial in Kansas City, prosecutors sparred with defense attorneys over how the blaze that led to the deaths of  two firefighters began.

Netflix

Updated 3:55 p.m., Friday, July 13

Wonder no more: Netflix’s “Queer Eye” is coming to Kansas City, Missouri, and will start shooting Monday.

Kurt Bauschardt / Flickr--Creative Commons

Segment 1: "Healthy homes" ballot initiative addresses rental property inspections. 

Kansas City, Missouri, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a "healthy homes" initiative this August 7. If the measure is approved, rental properties in town will be subject to health department inspections if community members complain about their condition. Today, we learned why supporters think the measure will hold landlords more accountable, while those against it think the initiative will drive landlords away from Kansas City properties.

Dave von Fintel / Vimeo

Superstition is absolutely ridiculous. Unless it’s not.

So you might as well cover your keister this entire Friday the 13th weekend with totally luck-centric events that will leave you feeling fortunate no matter what the calendar says.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Council is considering a measure to increase transparency in city government.

The measure, introduced by councilman Scott Taylor, would limit lobbyist gifts and meals to city councilmembers to $5, require city officials to wait two years after leaving office before lobbying or doing business in front of the city and limit taxpayer-funded travel for members of the city council.

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. 

University of Kansas

Brandon Draper will not be getting a summer vacation this year.

Draper is a percussion and music business instructor at the University of Kansas, and this month, for starters, he's touring Italy and France with KU's top jazz ensemble.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89.3

In a famous segment from Walt Disney’s 1940 film “Fantasia,” Mickey Mouse is a sorcerer’s apprentice tormented by a broom that he brings to life to help with his chores. At one point, Mickey completely loses it, grabs an ax and savagely chops the cheery, bouncing broom into splinters.

But the story doesn’t end there. As Mickey walks away, the splinters begin to wiggle and regrow, until each one become a new broom.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Family members of Ryan Stokes, a 24-year-old black man killed by a Kansas City police officer nearly five years ago, told the Board of Police Commissioners on Tuesday that their patience for justice has “worn thin.”

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.

Bill Ingalls / Wikimedia Commons

Janelle Monáe will headline “The Weekend” performance in Swope Park on Oct. 13, according to an announcement today by Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

“The Weekend” is part of Open Spaces KC, a two month effort to attract visitors to Kansas City and host art events.

Monáe released her latest album, Dirty Computer, in April along with an accompanying short film. She’s created two other albums. Her hit songs include Yoga, Make Me Feel and Q.U.E.E.N. The Kansas City, Kansas native also starred in Moonlight and Hidden Figures.

Jerry Jay Cranford

A couple of weeks before opening night of the hit Broadway musical "Newsies," two dozen young actors were flipping and twirling on stage at the Jewish Community Center’s White Theater. They ranged in age from 14 to 22.

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Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James rolled out the beginning of his “Pre-K for KC” campaign that could help make high quality early childhood education more affordable for local children.

The initiative calls for funding the program with a three-eighths cent sales tax increase for Kansas City, Missouri. On Tuesday, James announced the beginning of a petition process to collect signatures to get the proposed tax on the November ballot.

Bigstock

Army veteran Cody Bolkenstyn remembers when his vehicle exploded in Iraq. And for him, hearing the sound of fireworks on the Fourth of July can put him back into that moment.

“It’s hard to control my breath,” he said. “In that instant I feel like I just got blown up or shot and then I kind of come back to reality really quick.”

Collection of Civil Rights Archive / CADVC-UMBC Baltimore Maryland

“Let the world see what I’ve seen.”

These were the words of Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till, when she allowed the media to use an infamous photo of her 14-year-old son’s mutilated body upon his death in 1955.

More than half-a-century later, a traveling exhibition inspired by Mobley’s declaration has taken up residence at the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City. “For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” is an exploration of visual imagery in the civil rights era from the 1940s to the 1970s.

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.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former four-term state representative and agriculture secretary Josh Svaty wants the state's top job.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Three Kansas City Symphony musicians recently performed their final concerts with an arts organization they've been with since its inception. 

Principal tuba player Steve Seward, bassoonist Marita Abner and oboe and English horn player Ken Lawrence retired after the Symphony's season ended last weekend. All three were hired by the Symphony in 1982, when the orchestra was founded by R. Crosby Kemper, Jr.

Drake LeLane / Flickr — CC

Optimism breeds optimism.

Which means that this weekend ought to be a doozy in the positivity department, thanks to a preponderance of entertainments offering reasons to feel exquisitely giddy with ever more ebullient urges.

Too rosy? You won’t get ahead if you don’t look up!

Cskiran / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: The latest in state and Kansas City politics.

Jason Kander announced on Monday his candidacy for mayor of Kansas City, making him the ninth person to enter what's sure to be a closely-watched race. Today, our panel of pundits shared their take on the coming mayoral elections, the Kansas primaries, and the Missouri Senate race that is garnering national attention.

Rebekah Hange / KCUR 89.3

With the Kansas City Royals battling the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in Major League Baseball this year, it should come as no surprise that the hometown team's average attendance is headed for its worst result since 2010, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

NICOLAS TELEP / KCUR 89.3

With heat index values predicted to rise as high as 107 on Thursday, staff and volunteers from Kansas City Power and Light and the Salvation Army were handing out fans to help people stay cool.

KCPL spokesperson Jeremy McNeive said this is the sixth year the two organizations have partnered for the Extreme Heat Relief Program.

"We always want the hottest day of the year and, luckily, we got it," McNeive said.

McNeive said people who show ID and fill out a form can pick up a box fan, and the crews were handing out bottled water and heat rags as well.

Spire Chamber Ensemble

A few times a year, select musicians from all over North America come together in Kansas City.

Assembling with a few of their locally based colleagues just a few days before show time, they pull off an impressive feat: a concert encompassing centuries-worth of styles, and techniques both ancient and modern.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

The state Public Defender’s Office in Kansas City, the largest in Missouri, will have another chance to argue that its caseloads have become unmanageable.

On Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the presiding judge of Jackson County wrongly refused to hold a formal hearing on the issue. It sent the matter back to the judge and directed him to create a record that can be reviewed on appeal.

Rebekah Hange / KCUR 89.3

Operation Breakthrough, a decades-old Kansas City nonprofit that offers educational support and other support services, installed a bridge spanning Kansas City's Troost Avenue over the weekend.

The bridge, built by Kansas City-based JE Dunn, connects the current Operation Breakthrough building with newly acquired space on the western side of Troost. The bridge will provide safe passage for the hundreds of children Operation Breakthrough serves every week.

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