Keynote Scholars

Henry Adams is an endowed professor in the Department of Art History at Case Western Reserve University and a specialist in American Art. He has served as curator, director, or interim director at numerous museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville, Florida; and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Adams has published widely, principally on American artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and has curated several major traveling exhibitions. In partnership with Ken Burns, he produced a documentary on Thomas Hart Benton.

Keith Eggener taught modern architecture and American art at Carleton College, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University of Missouri, before joining the University of Oregon as an endowed chair in 2013. He is the author of Luis Barragán’s Gardens of El Pedregal and Cemeteries, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on Mexican and US art, architecture, landscape, urban design, and material culture. He also edited the collection American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader and has been on the editorial staffs of American Studies Journal, the 60-volume Buildings of the United States series, and the online journal Places, for which he is a columnist. Currently, he is editor-in-chief for the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Ongoing projects include a monograph on the early twentieth century Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss and a collection of essays on built environments of the American Midwest.

Sandra I. Enríquez is an associate professor of History, director of the Public History emphasis, and an affiliated faculty in the Race, Ethnic, and Gender Studies Program at UMKC. Dr. Enríquez’s research and teaching interests include Latinx history, urban history, borderlands, social movements, and public history. Her first book ¡El Barrio No Se Vende!: Grassroots Activism and Revitalization in El Paso (under contract with the University of Texas Press), examines how Mexican American tenants organized to save their border neighborhood from the bulldozer while shaping urban policies in the 1970s and 1980s. Dr. Enríquez is the director of the LatinxKC Oral History Project and the co-curator for an award-winning public history effort commemorating the Guadalupe Centers’ centennial.

Chuck Haddix is the director of the Marr Sound Archives at UMKC, producer and host of the Fish Fry on the local NPR station, co-author with Frank Driggs of Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop, and author of Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker. He is a leading expert on the Kansas City style of jazz. At the Marr Sound Archives, Haddix is responsible for the preservation of over 350,000 historic sound recordings.

Jeffrey Pasley is a professor of history and journalism, as well as the associate director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. He is the author of the award-winning books, “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic, and The First Presidential Contest: The Election of 1796 and the Beginnings of American Democracy. Before entering academia, he worked as a reporter-researcher for The New Republic and as a speechwriter for Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign.

William (Bill) Worley earned a B.A. in English from Kansas State University in 1968. In 1971, he added an M.A. in Religious Studies from Colgate-Rochester (NY), then in 1979 an M.Phil. in History from the University of Kansas. His doctorate came in 1986, also in History from the University of Kansas.

Most of his career has been spent in higher education either administratively (Dean of Students, Acting Academic Dean) or as a history professor (Eastern New Mexico University, Sterling College (KS), Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City (2008-present)). At varying points he was involved in private business (feed and grain) and local politics (campaign coordinator for an unsuccessful KC mayoral candidate). From 1994 to 2002, Worley served as Director of the Kansas City Regional History Institute at UMKC, largely funded by the William T. Kemper Foundation.

Worley’s area of academic concentration has been U.S. Urban History, Kansas City Regional History, and the impact of the Real Estate industry on American Life in the 20th Century using J.C. Nichols as the prism for his study.

Museum Directors, Tour Guides, and Speakers

Mark Adams has served as Education Director at the Truman Library since 1997. Mark has a BA in History and Geography and a postgraduate degree in History and Secondary Education from the University of Liverpool in England.

Sarah Bell is director of the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka, Kansas. She is an expert on Kansas City women’s history.

Alvin Brooks, one of Kansas City’s first Black police officers and a political and civic leader.

Jane Greer is a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at UMKC. Dr. Greer focuses her archival research on the rhetorical performances and literacy practices of women and girls in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and she explores how history is made public in museums and other settings. She also directs UMKC’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship.

Cherie Kelly is a certified social studies and language arts teacher with eight years of classroom experience. After earning her M.A. in History, she began teaching and has done so at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as providing community education in both public television and museum settings. Cherie has been a museum educator at the National WWI Museum and Memorial since 2011; as the School Programs Manager she builds curriculum, develops teacher programs, facilitates national and local educator professional development and works with many other exciting public events and education programs. 

David LaCrone is the Digital Branch Manager at the Kansas City Public Library.

Lonnie McFadden, an internationally renowned jazz musician and performer. He is also an expert on jazz and its history in the city.

James McGee is the Senior Manager of Virtual and Visitor Experience at the American Jazz Museum.

Cathie Moss, event coordinator and museum docent at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Glenn North is the director of Inclusive Learning and Creative Impact at the Kansas City Museum.

Stacie Petersen is the Exhibitions Manager and Registrar at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Museum and Memorial began collecting artifacts in 1920 and holds the most comprehensive collection of Great War artifacts in the world. Under Petersen’s guidance, the Museum and Memorial has begun to digitize and provide resources online with over 45,000 object records currently available. These records have been accessed nearly 2 million times in over 180 countries.

Melissa Robinson, Councilwoman for Kansas City’s Third District.

Geri Sanders is a historian and archivist whose work focuses on Kansas City history and the Kansas City style of jazz.

Steve Sitton is the current (and only the second) administrator of the Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site. Mr. Sitton has been at the Benton Home since July of 2001, and has worked for Missouri State Parks since October of 1994. Mr. Sitton is a graduate of Ruskin High School in south Kansas City, class of 1985. He earned his B.A. in History from Drury College in Springfield, MO in 1990.

Bonnie Thomas is the manager of the Educator Programs & Resources program at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Carmaletta Williams is the Executive Director of the Black Archives of Mid-America.

Project Team

Program Director and Lead Scholar — Diane Mutti Burke is a professor and chair of the History Department at UMKC, as well as director of the UMKC Center for Midwestern Studies. She is the author of On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1820-1865. She is working to facilitate new historical research on the Kansas City region through organizing symposia and co-editing volumes, including: Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border and Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era. She regularly shares her scholarship with public audiences and frequently consults with cultural organizations on regional history related public programming. She will serve as the workshop facilitator. 

Associate Project Director — Sandra I. Enríquez. In addition to providing expertise on Kansas City’s historic Mexican immigrant community, Dr. Enríquez will serve as the workshop’s Associate Project Director and will help as a facilitator. 

Program Administrative Assistant — Rachel Forester is the administrative assistant for the Department of History and is currently an IPhD student at UMKC. Ms. Forester will handle communications with workshop participants and manage the financial aspects of the grant.

Workshop Coordinator – Michael R. Sprague

Historical Content Expert and Workshop Coordinator — Jason Roe is digital history specialist at the Kansas City Public Library, and content manager and editor for the websites, The Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression and Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict. He has deep knowledge of the archival resources related to the workshop and will serve as a historical consultant for Wide-Open Town Scholars throughout the week as they work on their lesson/project plans.

Historical Content Expert and Workshop Coordinator — David Trowbridge is the William T. Kemper Associate Research Professor of Digital and Public Humanities at UMKC. He is the founder and developer of Clio, a GPS-enabled app and website that connects people with place-based historical content and tours. This NEH-funded open resource tool allows individuals and institutions to create their own content, and provides students an opportunity to engage in active learning projects. He will provide support and training to participants who elect to use Clio and will help to facilitate the workshop.

Master Teacher — Dacia Rzchowski is a retired 38-year veteran teacher and a distinguished member of UMKC’s High School College Program faculty. She has attended many Landmarks workshops as a teacher and served as the teaching expert for the UMKC Landmarks workshops (Crossroads of Conflict and Wide-Open Town) six times. Ms. Rzchowski will create the final project assignment and consult with NEH Educators as they develop their lesson plans.