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Story Center Original Podcasts

The Story Center has collaborated with independent podcaster and KCUR Morning Edition news anchor Sam Zeff on two series of original podcasts. You can listen to the podcasts below, or check them out at Archiver, a show on Fountain City Frequency.

Looking Back to Look Ahead podcast

Looking Back to Look Ahead

In commemoration of the Missouri Bicentennial, this series of four podcasts explores forces that have shaped and will shape the Kansas City region and the state. The project was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

  • Episode 1: How Did We Get Here?
    In 200 years Missouri saw a battle over whether it would be a slave state, as the jumping off point for the Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails, the Pony Express, World Series, a World’s Fair, political bosses, mob bosses, and the King of Beers. Knowing how we got here is crucial to understanding where we might be headed. This episode features Diane Mutti Burke, Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
  • Episode 2: What Will We Look Like in 100 Years?
    What we look like is not just some demographic exercise.  Who lives here will change our politics, our economics and even how we define our part of the country. Mexicans moving to Missouri to work on the railroad is a story many know. But in recent years Bosnians moved to St. Louis and Somalis to the Ozarks, recruited for food manufacturing. And all of this change could set up political and economic battles in the decades ahead. This episode features Sandra Enríquez, Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  
  • Episode 3: How Will We Live?
    In a 1967 film Ford imagined a home in the 21st century where computers instantly cranked out meals, there were interactive home classrooms for the kids, and we watched music videos in 3-D. A hundred years from now will Missouri look like the Jetsons, how will climate change impact the way we build buildings or entire communities and will we even recognize the place we live now? This episode features Bob Bennett, former Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) for Kansas City and founder of B2 Civic Solutions.
  • Episode 4: A Second Golden Age
    Climate change is already taking its toll around the country. Missouri will probably have more moderate temperatures and with a good water supply and a mature tourism industry the state may be ready for a second golden economic age. But nothing happens without people to lead us there. This episode features Cindy Frewen, urban futurist and architect who teaches the Design Futures Workshop and Social Change at the University of Houston, and also Quinton Lucas, the 55th mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. 

The Sounds of Missouri

This series of three podcasts draw on historic KMBC radio broadcasts in the Arthur B. Church Collection at the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

  • Episode 1: Brush Creek Follies.
    In the 1930s and 1940s, The Brush Creek Follies was on the most popular radio variety shows in the country. Powerhouse station KMBC broadcast it live from the Ivanhoe Temple in Kansas City on Saturday nights.
  • Episode 2: The Women of the Air.
    Headquartered at the Pickwick Hotel in downtown Kansas City, KMBC radio was a pioneer in putting women on the radio. One program, Today's Women of Kansas City, featured Opal Hill, one of the founders of the LPGA.
  • Episode 3: The End of the Machine.
    In the evenings during the 1930s and 1940s, Kansas Citians tuned into KMBC, whose broadcasts helped clean up one of the most corrupt city governments in America, the Pendergast political machine.

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