Every month we engage with each other and our community.
Changing Lives Beyond Words
Kansas City Athenaeum members and guests visited Literacy KC in November 2022 for a guided tour through the learning facility. We donated $10,000 to Literacy KC in 2021 to help support its program with the purchase of new laptops and computer software. This tour raised our awareness of the multiple learning opportunities offered there. Classes and tutoring help improve literacy, math and digital proficiency, plus courses are offered to learn vocational skills. The Literacy KC motto of "Changing Lives Beyond Words" well describes its mission.
Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
Kansas City Athenaeum members and guests visited the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum in October 2022. The 90-minute guided tour was impressive with exhibits showcasing memorabilia of President Truman's life from childhood to his careers during the Great Depression and the Pendergast Era, followed by his presidency, and culminating with his retirement years in Independence, Missouri. The exhibits on the challenges he faced during his presidency were especially noteworthy.
Women's History Presentation
Kansas City Athenaeum and Kansas City Public Library co-presented a YouTube program in March 2022, celebrating Women's History Month. The presentation by Dr. Tai S. Edwards was based on research in compiling her book, Osage Women and Empire. The Osage cosmology defined men and women as necessary pairs in their society that involved both sexes. Dr. Edwards is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Kansas Studies Institute at Johnson County Community College.
Tour of J. Rieger & Co.
In a pursuit of learning more about Kansas City history, our members toured J. Rieger & Co. in December 2021. The guided tour explained the distillery process and blending methods used to make its products unique among competitors in this industry. The original J. Rieger & Co. was founded by European immigrant Jacob Rieger in 1887 and was extremely successful until the business was closed with the 1919 Prohibition enactment. The legacy of J. Rieger & Co. was resurrected in 2010 by Ryan Mabee and Andy Rieger. Museum displays in the building show photographs of Kansas City's developing years and memorabilia from the earlier decades of the business.
Kansas City Museum Tour
In November 2021, our members and guests toured Kansas City Museum exhibits in the newly renovated Corinthian Hall. Members were delighted to see a placard recognizing the achievements of Phoebe Jane Ess, one of the founders of our organization in 1894. She led Kansas City Athenaeum members in spearheading many community improvement projects in the city's early development. The museum wall displayed a quotation attributed to her regarding the suffrage movement.
Tour of Kansas City Union Station
Kansas City Athenaeum members enjoyed a guided tour of the Kansas City Union Station in October 2021. Highlights of its 107-year history were presented by our tour guide who happens to be a club member outfitted as a Harvey Girl. This was reminiscent of the days when young women were employed by Fred Harvey to serve meals in dining cars and railway stops across the country, including Kansas City Union Station. This photo was taken from a balcony overlooking the Grand Lobby, a captivating view of the beautiful architectural details. Following the tour, members enjoyed lunch at the current Harvey's Restaurant in the Grand Lobby.
Kansas City Athenaeum members and friends gathered in July 2021 to taste a variety of wines and cheese to raise funds for the club’s philanthropic efforts. Chad Brewer of Underdog Wine Co. delighted us with samples of French wines and friendly banter. In addition, generous donations were received from those unable to attend. Thank you to everyone who made this event a success!
Kansas City Athenaeum received recognition in April 2021 for a $10,000 donation to the Community Remembrance Project at Black Archives of Mid-America. The Story's in the Soil is a permanent exhibit at the museum.
2021 Women's History Month
In March 2021, Kansas City Athenaeum and Kansas City Public Library co-presented "Brides on the Santa Fe Trail" in celebration of Women's History Month. In this YouTube presentation, historian Joy L. Poole featured five wives who traveled the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri to New Mexico between 1830 and 1870. She researched diaries kept by young brides who accompanied their husbands on the overland journey. The bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail was celebrated in 2021.