Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Joan Marcus

In America, the split between conservatives and liberals can be dramatic. Today, we find out how the concept of American exceptionalism can divide and separate us from ourselves and our Western counterparts. Then,  Actors' Equity president Kate Shindle makes the economic argument to keep funding of the National Endowment for the Arts in the federal budget. She also talks about her role and the issues explored in the groundbreaking musical Fun Home.

Lynsey Addario

Your job might be challenging, but Lynsey Addario's is literally a battlefield. She's been injured, ambushed, and kidnapped while working as a photojournalist in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Today, we learn why the results motivate her to continue crafting stories out of conflict. Then, the life of a major league ace isn't all about 100 mile-per-hour fastballs ... or is it? We talk about the evolution of pitching with writer Terry McDermott.

Eric Williams / Kansas City Symphony

Many composers have set the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead to music. Mozart, Berlioz, Brahms and Verdi famously come to mind. Their compositions are considered masterpieces.

But Benjamin Britten’s genius was to juxtapose the austere and solemn Latin of the Requiem liturgy with the visceral and searing poetry of Wilfred Owen, who served in the British Army during World War I and died in France just days before the Armistice was signed.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

The Missouri Senate has voted to approve $48 million in funding for a new downtown campus for the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.

The $96 million project, which would relocate the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to the block immediately south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, is seeking $48 million in state bond funding to match private and city contributions already lined up.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Peter I. Tchaikovsky wrote three classic ballets, but until now, the Kansas City Ballet has only performed two of them: Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Besides completing its repertoire of Tchaikovsky ballets, the company's premiere of The Sleeping Beauty is a case study in how setting a ballet to the great composer’s music requires changing it.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

After hitting a high note last month with overwhelming approval in the Missouri House, the proposed University of Missouri-Kansas City downtown arts campus is scheduled to debut next week before a tougher audience, the Missouri Senate.

LearningLark / Wikimedia Commons

Ready to get heavy?

Theatrical and musical choices this weekend invite contact with weighty talents engaged in substantial undertakings. They include a dystopian vision of the future, a look at the dreams and conflicts of an African-American family and a force of rock ’n’ roll so darn debonair it qualifies as daring.

Yes, go on and challenge yourself this weekend. Do it right and you might even have a deep feeling or a stimulating thought. Heavy!

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As a former county lawmaker, teacher, community planner, advocate and volunteer, Mamie Hughes has had a lasting impact on Kansas City. Today, we look at life of one of the metro's most dedicated activists.

Then, we meet the enthusiastic conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and ask what it's been like leading "America's Orchestra" for more than 20 years.

David Bickley

Hungarian composer Béla Bartók was a pianist. But some of the music Bartók wrote for strings, inspired by folk music, is considered among his most expressive and inventive. 

This weekend, Kansas City Symphony concertmaster Noah Geller will be the featured soloist in Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A few weeks before The Nutcracker is scheduled to open, in a rehearsal studio at the Kansas City Ballet’s Bolender Center, dancers Amaya Rodriguez and Liang Fu run through the steps for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Courtesy Facebook

Kansas, the most successful rock band to originate from its namesake state, marks the 40th anniversary of Leftoverture by playing the hit 1976 album in its entirety on its current tour, which stops at in Kansas City on Saturday.

Three reasons we're listening to Kansas this week:

1. Kansas has always incorporated classical elements into its rock, making its appearance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts less incongruous than it might seem.

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.

Guests:

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. 

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.

Why is it the person we were head over heels for just a few months ago now seems a bit ... boring? Clinician and researcher Stan Tatkin says our brains are wired to kick into auto-pilot after a while, but it doesn't have to mean the end of the relationship.

Everyone hates stale potato chips, but that little annoyance was the inspiration  that got Mark Shaw thinking about how to reseal the bag. Since then, Shaw's been a prolific inventor and innovator whose nanotechnology work has revolutionized several industries. He says the key to unlocking the inventor's mindset is constantly looking for ways to create doors where there once were only walls.

Boy George wasn’t just known for his flamboyant look. The Culture Club front-man also made headlines with his drug use and run-ins with the law. We’ll find out how a sober Boy George approaches his addiction, his music and his fame.

Steve Kraske caught up with Béla Fleck, who's on tour with the original Flecktones, to talk inspirations and collaborations. When it comes to music Fleck says, "It's just more interesting to explore the edges of things than it is to just sit in the center and do what's already been done."

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones perform at 7:30 p.m., June 14, in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

The curtain rises this weekend on Georges Bizet’s Carmen, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s final production of the season. At the heart of this story of love, betrayal and revenge is Carmen, the tempestuous Gypsy played by Latvian mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR 89.3

He’s played with the likes of Kansas City-great Count Basie, though he’s best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was hosting. 

Doc Severinsen is back in Kansas City for a holiday performance with the Kansas City Symphony and chorus this weekend.

He spoke with Steve Kraske on Up To Date earlier this week, where they talked about his early career and his time with The Tonight Show

But Severinsen wasn’t quite finished at the end of the interview. 

After his appearance on Up To Date, Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. 

After his appearance on Up To Date, former Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. Hear him rave about our music scene, our sports teams and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

He's known as the host of "The Tonight Show" and that guy with all the cars, but legendary comedian Jay Leno is much more. On this edition of Up To Date, Leno tells some of his favorite stories, including the real one behind his children's book, If Roast Beef Could Fly.

Jay Leno performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Sept. 13 at the Kauffman Center. For tickets, visit www.kauffmancenter.org.

She's known for her characters on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, her one woman show,  The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, and her box office hit 9 to 5.  Now actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin sits down with host Steve Kraske to talk about her current work in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, wage inequality, and being reunitedwith former co-star Jane Fonda.

"An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin"  takes place June 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

  You hear organs all the time-- at the ballgame, in a spooky Halloween movie-- but it's also a classical music instrument.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with an organist who's tickled the multiple keyboards of ivories at the Kauffman Center about what makes this instrument special.

Guest:

  • Jan Kraybill, principal organist for the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation and organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Paul J. Schofer was announced Tuesday as the new leader of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Since March 2012, Schofer has served as the Kauffman Center's vice president of operations and chief financial officer.

Schofer will replace outgoing president and CEO Jane Chu, who's leaving to take on a new post as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

courtesy: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The nomination was approved by a voice vote on the Senate floor.

Jodi Cobb

National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb travels great distances to discover the secret realms of world culture. She has documented fascinating visual stories about many subjects, including the quirky nature of twins, the hidden lives of Saudi Arabian women and Japanese geishas.

kcrep.org

Get that spring into your step with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 21-23, 2014.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City: “La Boheme” (Classic opera by Giacomo Puccini), 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $90 to $160 

Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, is President Barack Obama's pick as the next chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Obama announced on Wednesday he intends to nominate Chu, who's led the Kauffman Center since November 2006.

The NEA awards grants to artists and arts organizations. In fiscal year 2012, its budget was $146 million.

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