The Long Night - Tim Matsui
Tuesday, December 1 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
We hear and read of it abroad, but the trafficking of children for sex is all too common in America, too. Emmy-nominated multimedia journalist and producer Tim Matsui shines a light on the issue in his riveting documentary The Long Night, weaving together the stories of seven people - young girls forced or coerced into the sex trade, their parents, and police - whose lives have been forever changed.
Set in Seattle, the 72-minute film was named Pictures of the Year International's top documentary project of 2014. It is screened at the Plaza Branch's Truman Forum Auditorium. Matsui leads a subsequent discussion with Kristy Childs, a trafficking survivor who founded the service organization Veronica's Voice; Craig Hill, a retired Leawood, Kansas, police detective now working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and FBI sex crimes investigator Megan Kline.
Co-presented by Pictures of the Year International and the Kansas City/Mid-America chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers.
American Public Square: KCI Up in the Air - Scott Helm, Kevin Koster, Jon Stephens, Steve Vockrodt
Wednesday, December 2 | 6:30 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The Library, in partnership with American Public Square, launches a series of discussions of polarizing local issues - absent the incivility and insults that all too often feed the polarity.
Experts on both sides join University of Missouri-Kansas City professor and moderator Scott Helm in examining the future of Kansas City International Airport. Remodel or rebuild? Stay with multiple terminals or move to just one? The panel includes Skopós President Kevin Koster, a member of the KCI Airport Terminal Advisory Group; Rockhill Strategic President Jon Stephens, interim executive director of the Kansas City, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce; and Pitch writer Steve Vockrodt.
There are fact checkers and a "civility bell," dinging any breach of decorum. The event is co-presented by American Public Square.
Just Let 'Em Play - Jeff Montgomery, Andrew Jacobs, Peter D. Malone, Matt Fulks
Wednesday, December 2 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
The stories seem more prevalent and disturbing today than ever: kids being pushed in one or more sports to the point of burnout before high school, parents fighting with referees and umpires, coaches berating their pint-sized players.
Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery, psychologist Andrew Jacobs, and Hall of Fame swimming coach Peter Malone have seen firsthand the issues that are making youth sports increasingly difficult for all - the young participants in particular.
They join co-author Matt Fulks in a discussion of their new book, Just Let 'Em Play: Guiding Parents, Coaches, and Athletes through Youth Sports, detailing how we got to this point and offering a roadmap to getting kids' sports back on track.
Children of Monsters - Jay Nordlinger
Thursday, December 3 | 6:30 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
What is it like to be the son or daughter of an absolute and ruthless dictator? To bear a name - Stalin or Mussolini, Mao or Ceausescu, Qaddafi or Hussein - that's synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil?
In a discussion of his new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators, author Jay Nordlinger speaks with Library Director Crosby Kemper III about the offspring of 20 of the world's most notorious despots. How did the kids turn out? Some, like jazz pianist, painter, and film producer Romano Mussolini, stepped out of their fathers' long shadows. Others such as Nicu Ceausescu and Uday and Qusay Hussein embraced their heritage all too fully.
"Many of the sons and daughters are both victimizers and victims," says Nordlinger, a senior editor at National Review. "Dictators create all sorts of wreckage."
Friends of the Library 9th Annual Pre-Owned Cookbook Sale
Saturday, December 5 | 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
The Friends of the Library's 9th Annual Pre-Owned Cookbook Sale offers hundreds of vintage, nearly new, and collectible cookbooks featuring eye-catching, mouth-watering recipes that will delight family and friends. Learn to cook like a top chef. Or make these recipe books a holiday gift.
Most are priced under $3. "Collectible" and newer books are priced from $5-15.
All proceeds support services and programs at the Kansas City Public Library.
Walt Disney: Missouri's Homegrown Genius - Robert W. Butler
Sunday, December 6 | 2 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
No other resident of Kansas City, past or present, has achieved the worldwide fame of Walt Disney. He created the animated Mickey Mouse and established a motion picture, TV, and theme park empire that has grown bigger and more lucrative in the 50 years since his death.
Longtime Kansas City Star film critic Robert W. Butler, a former writer in the Library's public affairs department and co-author of Walt Disney's Missouri, traces the great entrepreneur's improbable path to success. Disney didn't write, direct, or act. But his experiences in Marceline, Missouri, and Kansas City became a source of inspiration and a reservoir of ideas and emotions, fueling a creative genius whose imagination has profoundly affected generations.
Programming is free at the Kansas City Public Library and free parking is available at all Library locations. Event attendees can RSVP at kclibrary.org or at 816.701.3407.