Biologist-Turned-Photographer Ronan Donovan to Present in
National Geographic Live Speaker Series
National Geographic photographer Ronan Donovan will present “Social by Nature” on January 8-9, 2019
Since birth, Ronan Donovan was a born adventurer. With humble beginnings in rural Vermont, Donovan has since been to all seven continents, had his work displayed on the walls of the Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and had his films aired on the BBC and PBS.
His most recent exploration has been photographing wolves in Yellowstone National Park. A scientist by education and a photographer by profession, Donovan has been on assignment with National Geographic to capture and analyze the behaviors of the apex predator of Yellowstone.
Every year around the globe, National Geographic provides opportunities for scientists, photographers and explorers to present their work to live audiences. National Geographic Live is returning for its eighth season at the Kauffman Center with five exciting new presentations, including Ronan Donovan’s Social by Nature.
During Social by Nature, Donovan will explore human and animal interactions and what drives us to communicate with one another. You’ll also go on a visual journey through Donovan’s most recent exploits tracking wolves through Yellowstone, hiking volcanoes to photograph mountain gorillas, and documenting the human-wildlife conflict between wild chimpanzees and humans in Africa. Be amazed as Donovan tells his fascinating tales about interactions between and within the species, as well as his own adventures and interactions with nature. The presentation will conclude with a personalized Q&A, allowing audience members to ask questions.
To see a sample of Donovan’s work, check out this video:
National Geographic Live in Kansas City is generously supported by Teresa and Tom Walsh.
Dining Experience Introduces Winter Three-Course Dinner Menu
Seasonal menu highlights holiday flavors and local ingredients
The Dining Experience at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts debuted its winter menu on Dec. 7, featuring seasonal dishes and original creations by Executive Chef Laura Comer. The three-course dinner menu will be available prior to holiday and winter season performances at the Kauffman Center.
Recently named “Chef of the Year” by the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association, Executive Chef Comer combines classic French technique with modern twists for her seasonal offerings at the Dining Experience. Winter selections include bright starter options like the Pomegranate Orange Salad, hearty entrées like the Hatfield Signature Braised Short Rib and home-style desserts like the Let’s Go Bananas banana bread waffle. The Dining Experience continues to partner with local providers for the finest fresh ingredients, including Circle B Ranch pork, Hatfield beef and Farm to Market bread.
Guests choose one item from each course for the three-course menu, priced at $37 per person. The Dining Experience also offers small plates for lighter fare, a rotating collection of craft cocktails and a curated wine list. The Dining Experience is available prior to most evening performances at the Kauffman Center. Reservations are recommended. Walk-in seating is available at a new, 10-seat bar, custom-designed by local firm Division 51.
The Dining Experience is located in the Founders’ Lounge, just inside the south doors on Level 2 of the Kauffman Center. For reservations, visit Open Table or call the Kauffman Center box office at (816) 994-7222. For menus and more information, visit kauffmancenter.org/dining.
ABOUT EXECUTIVE CHEF LAURA COMER
Executive Chef Laura Comer brings a wealth of fine dining history to her work at the Kauffman Center, where she has led the culinary team since fall 2016. Her background includes time with well-known local establishments including Bluestem, Justus Drugstore and Treat America. The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association named Comer its 2018 “Chef of the Year.” Comer is a Kansas City native and graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She holds an A.O.S. in Culinary Arts and Le Cordon Bleu Diploma from The California School of Culinary Arts.
Photos by Anna Petrow.
Snarky Puppy to Perform at the Kauffman Center on June 11
Three-time GRAMMY Award winners join the 2018-2019 Kauffman Center Presents series
Fusion-influenced, genre-bending group Snarky Puppy brings its brand of exploratory jazz, funk and rock to the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage on Tuesday, June 11. The concert is part of the 2018-2019 Kauffman Center Presents series.
Displaying a rare and delicate mixture of sophisticated composition, harmony and improvisation, Snarky Puppy has been praised for being “big, rich and funky” by NPR Music.
The band features a wide-ranging collection of more than 30 musicians known as “The Fam,” centered around bassist, composer and bandleader Michael League. Each live performance highlights a rotating cast of about a dozen musicians, ensuring every show is different. The group has earned GRAMMY Awards for Best R&B Performance (2014) and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (2016, 2017).
Formed in Denton, Texas in 2004, Snarky Puppy started as a group of college friends from the University of North Texas jazz studies program. Three years later, it was a serendipitous intersection with the Dallas gospel and R&B community that transformed the music into something funkier, more direct and more visceral. That’s when the group absorbed musicians like Robert “Sput” Searight (drums), Shaun Martin (keyboards) and Bobby Sparks (keyboards), and were heavily influenced by legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller).
Since then, Snarky Puppy has grown to represent musical cultures from around the world. The past four years have brought dramatic changes for the band, as they’ve found themselves held up as major figures in the jazz world after a decade of relentless touring. The individual members maintain busy schedules as sidemen (with such artists as Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, and D’Angelo), producers (for Kirk Franklin, David Crosby, and Salif Keïta), and solo artists (many of whom are on the band’s indy label, GroundUP Music).
Fan-Favorite Characters Will Discuss the Indie Classic
Napoleon Dynamite Live at the Kauffman Center
The live screening and moderated conversation of the movie comes to Muriel Kauffman Theatre on June 28
Grab your puffy sleeves and ’90s sport coat and join Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries as they talk about the beloved indie classic Napoleon Dynamite. The movie hit theaters almost 15 years ago. Since then much has changed; but the characters, as enduring as they are endearing, stay in our hearts.
Appealing to the inner-teenager in each of us, the story, and more importantly the dialogue, makes Napoleon Dynamite one of the most quoted movies of our time. Napoleon Dynamite makes us laugh – and laugh hard – over and over again.
This unique evening includes a full screening of Napoleon Dynamite followed by a lively, freewheeling, moderated discussion with fan-favorite cast members Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Efren Ramirez (Pedro) and Jon Gries (Uncle Rico). VIP tickets include premium seating and a meet-and-greet with Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries.
Feed your llama, brush up on your best Napoleon dance moves and buy your tickets for June 28.
Tickets for the event range from $29 to $119 plus applicable fees and are on sale now. Tickets are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222, via the Kauffman Center mobile app, or online at www.kauffmancenter.org.
ABOUT NAPOLEON DYNAMITE
“Napoleon Dynamite” (Jon Heder) comes from the rural town of Preston, Idaho. He is a new kind of hero with his red ‘fro, sweet moon boots, and stellar ninja moves. When Napoleon isn’t fighting with his brother Kip (Aaron Ruell), trying to avoid his conniving Uncle Rico (Jon Gries), or feeding his Grandma’s pet llama, he spends his time drawing magical creatures. After making two new friends, Deb (Tina Majorino) and Pedro (Efren Ramirez), it’s Napoleon’s job to get Pedro voted for class president by unleashing his secret weapon.
PNC Bank and Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Reveal the PNC Grow Up Great Gallery
New art installation features handprints by Kansas City Pre-K kids
An audience of Pre-K kids were all smiles at the Kauffman Center last week as they each saw their own handprint in the new PNC Grow Up Great Gallery for the first time.
The new art installation in the Kauffman Center’s Plaza Lobby showcases hundreds of handprints created by local pre-school students at Growing Futures Early Education Center in Overland Park, Kan. and St. Mark Child & Family Development Center in Kansas City, Mo. PNC Bank created the gallery in partnership with the Kauffman Center and the two early education centers, as part of an effort to inspire great futures for local children through memorable arts experiences.
On November 19th, Pre-K children and their family members got an exclusive first look at the gallery during a special unveiling event that included dinner in Brandmeyer Great Hall. Local performing groups StoneLion Puppet Theatre and Drum Safari entertained the young artists with interactive performances. The kids proudly showcased their handprints in a gallery setting that combines visual art and musical themes.
Miranda Smith’s 4-year-old daughter, Ariana, came to the Kauffman Center for the first time to see her handprint in the Grow Up Great Gallery. When asked what this meant to the family, Miranda said that her uncle, a veteran of the Korean War, is recognized at Liberty Memorial, and Miranda herself has a brick dedicated at Union Station.
“Now Ariana has her handprint here at the Kauffman Center and they are all part of Kansas City and of art and culture,” she said.
The gallery exemplifies PNC Bank’s signature initiative, PNC Grow Up Great, which supports early childhood education and school readiness for preschoolers in underserved communities.
“Early childhood education is about giving a child the right start to life. And that is something Growing Futures and St. Mark Center do very well,” said Dale Klose, regional president for PNC Bank in Kansas City. “This gallery illustrates the exceptional work underway that we are supporting at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.”
PNC Bank is the Kauffman Center’s exclusive bank sponsor, supporting the Kauffman Center’s Ensemble business membership program and the new art installation. PNC is also a key sponsor of the Kauffman Center’s programming series Kauffman Center Presents.
The PNC Grow Up Great Gallery is in the Level 2 Plaza Lobby of the Kauffman Center. The gallery is open for viewing for ticketholders 90 minutes prior to any performance. It’s open to the public during box office hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.