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From Monticello to Central Park to Our Back Yards: What Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are

The Fall Cockefair Luncheon on August 15, 2017, will feature guest speaker Wade Graham, landscape designer, historian, and writer.Wade Graham Photo

Graham is the author of Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World and American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Back Yards, What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are. He has designed gardens in California, Hawaii, Florida, and New York. Graham has also written on the environment, landscape, urbanism, and the arts for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Lose Angeles Times, Outside, and other publications. He has a Ph.D. in American History and teaches urban and environmental policy at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.

During the Cockefair Luncheon, Graham will explore what four hundred years of garden making in American reveals about our values, politics, and dreams, and how our evolving relationship with Nature in our gardens forms a unique window onto the continuing process of fashioning a national identity. Some gardens to be discussed: Monticello, Central Park, RM Schindler and Richard Neutra’s houses, and Thomas Church’s Donnell Garden.

Join us at 11:30am on Tuesday, August 15th in Pierson Auditorium at the UMKC Atterbury Student Success Center. Tickets are $25 and are available through Central Ticket Office.

How to See: Looking, Talking and Thinking About Art

David Salle portrait in Ft. Greene studio

Photo by Robert Wright

The Cockefair Chair Speakers Committee has invited distinguished painter and writer, David Salle to present the upcoming lecture on February 22nd.

David Salle’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenhein Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and many others.

Salle will present on his book How to See: Looking, Talking and Thinking about Art. In this book, Salle explores art topics such as the aesthetics of cool, the relationship  between art and celebrity, and the evolution of an artists’ style over a lifetime–always while paying close attention to and unpacking the workings of the art itself. Salle will give you the knowledge and courage to view art not through the veils of theory, criticism and history, but armed with your intuition, curiosity and humanity.

This event is free and open to the public, but a reservation is requested through the Central Ticket Office.

A short reception with light refreshments will start at 6:00pm in Pierson, and the program will begin at 6:30pm. Salle’s book will be on sale, and there will be a book signing after the program.

Free parking is available at 5000 Cherry St. in the Cherry Street Parking Garage on the fifth and sixth levels only.

Refugees in a World of Anarchy

StratforThe Cockefair Chair Speakers Committee has invited bestselling author, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and contributing editor at The Atlantic, Robert D. Kaplan to present the fall lecture on November 16th.

Kaplan was chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor and member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

Kaplan will explain the scale of refugees in the 21st century by giving an overview of the history of geopolitics and examining how states –especially in the Middle East and Africa– are currently declining, thus creating more refugees. He will also explore how the lack of education in refugee camps are providing a bright future for Islamic radicalization.

The event is free and open to the public, but a reservation is requested through the Central Ticket Office.

Tony Jones, Guest Speaker at Fall Cockefair Luncheon

The Fall Cockefair Luncheon on August 17, 2016 will feature guest speaker Tony Jones. Tony Jones Photo

Jones, an internationally known British arts administrator, broadcaster, writer, and historian of art and design, is currently the President of Kansas City Art Institute. Among several leadership positions he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as director of the Royal College of Art, London (1991-1996). He also served as the president of School of the Art Institute of Chicago, retiring in 2013 as chancellor. He has published several books and many essays on art and design, curated numerous international exhibitions and has hosted several television and radio programs for the BBC in the UK. He is a recognized authority on the development of art, design and architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular the work of architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Celtic Revival designer Archibald Knox.

During the Cockefair Luncheon, Jones will speak on the cultural and economic miracle of Millennium Park, Chicago, and its implications for Kansas City’s future. How did 26 acres of mud and weeds in downtown Chicago become a cultural, educational and entertainment center center that now attracts 7 million visitors a year? Jones knows the whole story and will take us behind the scenes, reveal how it was done, and what an incredible impact it has had.

Join us for the luncheon at 11:30am on Wednesday, August 17th in Pierson Auditorium at the UMKC Atterbury Student Success Center. Tickets are $25 and will be available soon.



Enlivening Dance Onstage: What’s Edgy Now?


Photo by: BokovFactory

The Cockefair Chair Speakers Committee and the Kansas City Ballet have invited award-winning dancer, choreographer, author and dance critic, Wendy Perron to present the next lecture on May 17th.

Perron, author of Through the Eyes of a Dancer, had a 30-year career as a dancer/choreographer. She danced with the Trisha Brown company in the 1970s and choreographed more than 40 works for her own group. She has taught at Bennington, Princeton, and the Five College Dance Department among many other schools and dance centers. In the early 1990s she served as associate director of Jacob’s Pillow, where she directed intensives in postmodern dance and improvisation. The former longtime editor in chief of Dance Magazine, Wendy has also written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, Contact Quarterly, and

During her lecture, Perron will present videos illustrating the work of risk-taking choreographers and explain what she sees as the future of contemporary dance. How have choreographers Jowole Willa Jo Zollar, Crystal Pite, Wayne McGregor, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin and Bill T. Jones moved the image of the beautiful female dancer and the heroic male dancer to dynamic and innovative new ways of thinking about movement in dance? How do these choreographers go deeper into what it means to be human? How have they addressed issues of political and cultural identity with fresh insights and new expression?

This event is free and open to the public, but a reservation is requested through the Central Ticket Office.

The Anarchy: India Between Empires

BW4-1William Dalrymple is the speaker for the Cockefair Spring, 2016 program on April 5th. Dalrymple, Scottish historian and writer, has a broad range of interests, including the history and art of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Muslim world, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Jains and early Eastern Christianity.

A well-respected broadcaster and critic, Dalrymple’s publications have won numerous awards and prizes, including the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Hemingway, the Kapuściński and the Wolfson Prizes. His travel books, histories and essays have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Dalrymple has had visiting appointments to the faculties at both Princeton and Brown. His writing appears in The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, the New Statesman, Time magazine, the New Statesman and The New Yorker. The BBC television and radio stations have broadcast several of his series on Indian history.

The topic of his presentation on April 5th will be about the transformation of the East India Company and the lessons its brutal reign over India should serve for the present.

Cockefair Lecture Final 3

On this site, you can access the slides Professor Gerald Wyckoff used in the course, “Knowing the Past to Know the Future.”CockefairLectureFinal3

“Six Musical Masterpieces That Made America”

The Cockefair Chair Speakers Committee has invited Dr. Anna Harwell Celenza to present the fall lecture on Nov. 19, 2015. Celenza will discuss and play portions of the six musical masterpieces that changed American attitudes and, ultimately, American history. A reception in Pierson Auditorium will precede the program at 5:30 p.m. Celenza will speak and perform the influential pieces from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but a reservation is requested through the Central Ticket Office.

Photo by Annie Schlechter

Photo by Annie Schlechter

Thanks to technology, music is always with us, permeating our lives through radio, smart phones, TV commercials, movie scores, elevators and shopping malls. So we tend to think of music as nothing more than a background for our lives. Music really belongs at the forefront.

As Professor Celenza demonstrates, music has the power to change culture. She will highlight the music that transformed America:  a drinking song that came to symbolize American patriotism; a concert work that altered Americans’ concept of “music;” an orchestral suite and ballad that stirred the flames of the Civil Rights movement; a musical that inadvertently fed negative Hispanic stereotypes; and a pop album that influenced American foreign policy.

Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University and the author of several scholarly books, including Music as Cultural Mission: Explorations of Jesuit Practices in Italy and North America (2014) and Hans Christian Andersen and Music: The Nightingale Revealed (2005). Her work has also appeared in The Hopkins Review, Musical Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Music, Notes, The Cambridge Companion to Liszt (2005), and Franz Liszt and His World (2006) and The Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington (2014).

Celenza also has authored a series of award-winning children’s books with Charlesbridge Publishing: The Farewell Symphony (2000), Pictures at an Exhibition (2003), The Heroic Symphony (2004), Bach’s Goldberg Variations (2005), Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (2006), Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (2011), Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (2012), Saint-Saëns’s Danse macabre (2013) and a 14-part syndicated series on Louis Armstrong for the NC Press Foundation.

She has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including NPR’s “Todd Mundt Show”, BBC’s “Music Matters” and “Proms Broadcasts,” and C-Span’s “Book-TV.” Before coming to Georgetown, Celenza was a writer and guest commentator for Michigan Public Radio and NPR’s “Performance Today.”

Cockefair Chair Course Schedule Fall 2015

A series celebrating the inspiration of Carolyn Benton CockCockefair Logo_2008_BWefair


Policing and the Community
Ken Novak, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – noon
September 10, 17 and 24
Kenwood Room, Central United Methodist Church,
5144 Oak St.
$34 ($49 with additional parking permits)
This course will focus on ways police and the community work and don’t work together, with resulting implications for public safety. Professor Novak will focus on how police, community and criminals have developed misconceptions of each other and also will discuss the basis for racial reconciliation between the police and the public. Novak also will discuss the KC NoVA approach to violent crime, for which he developed training materials. The course also will include a discussion roundtable, featuring a community leader and KCPD’s Major Joe McHale, who heads NoVA.

The American West in the National Imagination
John Herron, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair and Associate Director, Honors Program
Department of History
Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
October 6, 13 and 20
Kenwood Room, Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak St.
$34 ($49 with additional parking permits)
In this course, Professor Herron will discuss the most interesting of all American regions—the Trans-Mississippi American West. He will trace the ways in which, in both history and mythology, the West has played a pivotal role in the formation of American society. Through the course we will discover that the West was, and remains, far more complex and multifaceted than simply cowboys and Indians, as Herron demonstrates that it is from this region that America as a whole has developed its
distinctive shape.

Knowing the Past to Know the Future: Drug Design, Genetic Testing and the Future
of Medicine
Gerald J. Wyckoff, Ph.D., Professor
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences
Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. – noon
November 3, 10 and 17
Kenwood Room, Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak St.
$34 ($49 with additional parking permits)
Professor Wyckoff will explain the ways in which an understanding of evolutionary biology is critical to modern medicine, particularly as it informs and influences the development and design of new drugs. Wyckoff also will discuss some of the scientific, ethical, legal and economic issues and problems that pharmaceutical companies face in the process of developing new drugs, conducting clinical trials and bringing new prescription medications to the market. Finally, the course will cover issues involved with genetic testing and the ways in which the rise of personalized medicine will affect patients and consumers.

Parking for all courses is in the UMKC Cherry St. Parking Garage at 50th and Cherry on levels 3, 4 and 5. Metered parking is available on level 5 and a shuttle will transport attendees to and from the garage and Central United Methodist Church. Purchase of parking permits is optional and will be mailed to registrants before each course begins. Both signage and UMKC Advancement staff will be on site at the garage to assist attendees to the shuttle for transportation to and from the church.

Enrollment form

UMKC College of Arts and Sciences
Continuing Education
Noncredit Registration
Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair Courses Fall 2015
Space is limited. Only paid pre-registration assures a seat
in the class.
Enroll me in the following:
o Policing and the Community
o Include parking for this class
o The American West in the National Imagination
o Include parking for this class
o Knowing the Past to Know the Future: Drug Design, Genetic Testing and the Future of Medicine
o Include parking for this class
City State ZIP
Email address
Method of payment (check one)
o Check (made payable to UMKC)
o MasterCard o Visa o Discover
Card number
Expiration date
Cardholder’s name Relationship

Return this form to:
University of Missouri-Kansas City
College of Arts and Sciences
Continuing Education
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2446

For more information:
Fax: 816-235-5279
Call 816-235-2736 to register by phone.
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TTY)

Charlie Parker is topic of August luncheon

chuckThe August 13, 2015 Cockefair luncheon will present a talk by UMKC’s own Chuck Haddix, Sound Archivist at the Marr Sound Archives, host of KCUR-FM radio’s “Fish Fry,” and author of “Bird:  The Life and Music of Charlie Parker,” published by the University of Illinois Press.

Haddix’s program is part of the city-wide celebration of famed saxophonist Parker, and a group led by Hermon Mehari will play some of the songs Parker made famous. Mehari is a prize-winning graduate of UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

The luncheon is at Mission Hills Country Club, and tickets are $25 per person. Details about making reservations will follow.