storytelling

Everybody seems to be talking about storytelling these days. That's music to our ears on Central Standard, where we're always looking for good, true tales about life in Kansas City. This past winter, KCUR sponsored a series of storytelling events at Pilgrim Chapel in Hyde Park, called FlameKC.

We will be airing some of those stories over the next couple of weeks, starting with the first. Within the theme "Letting Go," Pilgrim Chapel director Andrew Johnson shared his story about parenting and time.

From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. In this encore presentation of Central Standard, we share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. 

Guests:

Charlotte Street Foundation

Rodolfo Marron is an artist who grew up in the 1990s, on Kansas City's West Side. It was a grittier place back then, he says. For an escape, he started creating characters who inspired him. Now, he draws on Kansas City stories and the materials that grow wild in backyards and along highways.

Guest:

If you like to learn about the inner lives of musicians, as though they're the friends or older siblings who are way cooler than you, then music podcasts might just be your thing. This show compiles great music podcasts with an emphasis on the musician-interview approach, plus a handful of new, non-music podcasts to refresh your general playlist. Timed in anticipation of KCUR's upcoming Podcast Party featuring Central Standard and The Grisly Hand. 

Guests:

A Kansas City-based filmmaker talks short films, mothers-in-law and wanting to knock an obnoxious guy's chair over at a picnic. Her most recent short film, I Was a Teenage Girl, Apparently, is making its local premiere

Guest:

  • Lynn Elliot, filmmaker 

Hidden Roots

Feb 23, 2016
Library of Congress

Tracing your family's roots becomes a complicated prospect once the legacy of slavery enters the picture. Records relating to a little-known chapter of the Civil War might help. 

Guest:

We share tips on starting a successful podcast from The Heart's Kaitlin Prest. Our critics on what they're listening to, from fresh takes on folk tales to new ways of exploring crime to voices of Bernie Sanders supporters and other political podcasts.

In this encore presentation, we revisit our conversation with Scott Hobart, AKA "Rex", on the occasion of his country band's first new album in ten years.

David DeHetre / Flickr

What is the Plaza worth to you? To the city on the whole? A conversation inspired by the retail district being up for sale.

Guests:

  • Monroe Dodd, local historian, KCUR's Central Standard
  • Susie Haake, lifelong Plaza resident
  • Celia Ruiz, activist, Una Lucha KC, lifelong Kansas Citian
Nic McPhee / Flickr

Crazy travel stories told live by Kansas Citians Marcel Des Marteau, Matthew Long-Middleton, Hector Casanova, Megan Coleman, Will Averill, Priscilla Howe and Barclay Martin, hosted by Gina Kaufmann. The event was a benefit for Generation Listen KC

The Breakthrough Moment

Nov 12, 2015

Enrique Chi of the band Making Movies stopped by the studio to tell the story of his band's breakthrough moment. Which included a broken van, a crowded bus and a car engulfed in flames. This story kicks off a Generation Listen KC storytelling event at Knuckleheads with the theme Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Ah, fairy tales. Magical stories from our childhoods where the worst thing that could happen was getting your thumbs chopped off, or being grabbed by your ankle and pulled underwater, or pushed out a window into briars full of thorns that poke out your eyes. Yikes! This edition of Up To Date features the original and sometimes gruesome versions of popular children's stories. 

Guests:

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

For many, Ira Glass and his program, This American Life, have been a gateway into the public radio world. 

But the radio icon, who has one of the most recognizable voices in the business, claims that it took longer for him to get good at telling stories on the radio than anyone else he knows in the business. 

"I was working in public radio starting when I was 19. I knew I wanted to do radio stories ... but doing it well, it really took me until I was 27 or so until I was a decent writer and reporter, maybe 28 really," he says. 

Pixabay / Creative Commons

As KCUR gears up for a Podcast Party, the Audiofiles recommend a history series that digs into strange stories from the past culled from small town newspapers, a bunch of comedians making fun of bad movies, politicians in the laid-back podcast format accidentally confessing to being robots, and more.

Guests:

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Mará Rose Williams is a reporter for The Kansas City Star. And though her beat is technically higher education, for Williams, it's all about love.

"I really love people," she says. "And my job, I look at it as an opportunity every day to fall in love."

She says that when she meets someone whose story she loves, it gives her the same euphoric feeling as a romantic flame being kindled.

For example, there was the girl she covered who was blind, and wanted to run track for her middle school.

From research to relationships, from the laboratory to the living room, there's a lot going on in the world of Alzheimer's. We share the voices of Alzheimer's patients, stories from caregivers and a progress report from a leading scientist. 

Guests:

On the newest edition of Audiofiles, an irreverent women's history podcaster tells her story and sings a drinking song. A prolific podcast-listener shares a playlist. Obama's visit to Marc Maron's garage is discussed.

Guests:

  • Beckett Graham, cocreator of The History Chicks podcast
  • Jeremy Bernfeld, editor, Harvest Public Media

The Vietnamese-American Community of Greater Kansas City just participated in an annual commemoration the Fall of Saigon, which the organization calls its Black April Commemoration. This year's anniversary marked forty years since the moment when communist power extended to South Vietnam, and Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City. People fled in large numbers, and for many in the local Vietnamese community, a long perilous journey ended here in Kansas City. 

Guests:

courtesy of the author

Joanne Saxon Hill  lives in Peculiar, Missouri, but her writing is rooted in the South. 

A novelist and short story writer, Saxon Hill grew up in Alabama in a strict religious family — an upbringing that, at times, was isolating. But she says, she's always been "tuned to life's quirkiness." 

Saxon Hill, who goes by the name Sister Saxon, incorporates bits of memory, overheard conversations, and imagination into her stories, like The Affliction.

Paul Andrews

 

Paul Mesner has never been bored. 

"I was a pretty shy kid, but I also was and still am very content to be by myself,"' he says. "There's tons I can do to entertain myself."

In that sense, Kansas City's master puppeteer was his own first audience.

It started with a teddy bear.

Early beginnings

There’s a storytelling renaissance going on, and Kansas City’s about to be at the heart of it.

To understand what's happening, the first thing you need to know is this: There is such a thing as an official storyteller. We’re not talking about your average barstool raconteur. We’re talking about people who hone a craft. Who practice an art. Who carefully structure their yarns with slow reveals and escalating tension, all in an effort to convey deep meaning. For many of these people, it's a career.

Carl Van Vechten / Creative Commons, Wikimedia

The prolific author best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God got her start as an anthropologist, listening to the stories and songs of former slaves in Florida in the 1930s. About fifty years later, a Kansas City woman found a connection with her own history and community in the voices Hurston captured. Her one-woman play about Zora Neale Hurston now takes her all over the world.

Guests:

In The Book of Mormon, a young Mormon travels to Uganda on a mission. The hardships he encounters cause him to question not only the success of his mission, but also the very faith that sent him on it in the first place. 

As The Book of Mormon heads to Kansas City, Mo. for a limited run, we're sharing stories of tested faith from Kansas Citians.

This one comes to us from Jason Harper. It begins like this:

Paul Andrews

Photographer Paul Andrews committed to taking a portrait, every single day, for the year of 2014. He's 353 days into the project. With 12 days left, Paul talks about what he's learned and tells photo shoot stories, including the one that took place in the middle of the Broadway Bridge... during rush hour.

Paul Andrews is Central Standard's Portrait Sessions photographer.

Carolyn Williams, Flickr

A whole podcast genre has developed around devices that put giant sound libraries inside people's pockets. Podcast-lovers enjoy the "headspace you can crawl into when you're listening to incredible radio," says audio-whiz Andrea Silenzi. "You kind of travel to this other space with a podcast." Our guests debate the hugely popular Serial, and discuss their top recommendations for podcast listening.

Audiofiles Recommend:

A University of Kansas professor's recent research at a domestic violence shelter indicates that the way survivors must tell their stories in order to gain access to resources could be working against the emotional recovery process.

Storytellers: Zakes Mda, Jessica Care Moore

Feb 9, 2012

On this Thursday's Central Standard, one of the most acclaimed South African novelists of our time, Zakes Mda.