ESU Kansas City Branch

                         Welcome to                          the Kansas City Branch of the ESU

Dear ESU Members and Friends,

In this first year as president of the ESU Kansas City Branch, I'm honored to have the support of a strong board of directors with many years of combined service in the ESU as well as strength in many professional career disciplines. As the structure of the board begins to evolve with distinct committees in place, we are well-positioned to address at the Kansas City Branch level the goals set by the ESU's National Strategic Plan which are based on two foundational statements:

  • The Mission--The English-Speaking Union employs English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
  • Strategic Goals—
    • English as a Catalyst—Develop educational opportunities for employing English as a shared language to inspire common bonds and empowerment of students, teachers, immigrants and members.
    • International Exchange—Build global understanding through a broad system of international exchange supporting teachers and students.
    • Board Leadership—Build a next-generation board passionately committed to building leadership by the ESU through fundraising for and service to the organization's educational programs.

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News And Events

Added Membership Value for First-Time Members

Even though our new membership year doesn't begin for three months on July 1, there is an opportunity in this fourth quarter (April, May, June) for new members to take advantage of bonus months during their first year of membership. 

If a new member enrolls during the fourth quarter of the membership year, that is, during April, May or June, their membership will carry over into the new membership year.  That means the new member gets one, two or three extra months in their first-year membership depending on which month in the fourth quarter they enrolled.

 

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Let's Go to the Movies with the
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

 

Every year, ESU members gather together for an ESU Festival Group Night at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's production at Southmoreland Park. This year's HASF's production is Shakespeare in Love. This is the theatrical adaptation of the movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth and Judy Dench. This delightfully romantic comedy won seven Academy Awards in 1998 including Best Picture, Best Actress, Gwyneth Paltrow; Best Supporting Actress, July Dench and Best Costume Design.

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has teamed up with the Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theatre in downtown Kansas City to show this outstanding movie before the Festival's own stage production opens this summer.

On Monday, April 15 the Alamo Drafthouse (for this event, referred to as Alamo House of Draft) and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival will host a special showing of the movie Shakespeare in Love AND before the feature, the Festival's talented actors will perform an awesome scene from Romeo and Juliet complete with swords, daggers and opulent costumes! Do thyself a favor and grace us with thy presence!

 

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Blue Valley High Junior Wins First Place in ESU Kansas City’s 35th Annual Shakespeare Competition

Matthew Grigoratos, a junior at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, Kansas, won First Place in the Regional Finals of the English-Speaking Union's Shakespeare Competition in Kansas City, MO. His sponsoring teacher was Maureen Davis. This was the 35th anniversary of the Shakespeare Competition for the ESU Kansas City Branch.

Approximately 165 students participated in preliminary competitions in Kansas City area high schools. The ESU Kansas City Branch Competition was held on February 24, 2019, at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Kansas City, MO. 

Ten school winners from the Kansas City area schools participated. Matthew impressed the judges and captivated the audience with his performance of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and his recitation of Sonnet 102. He will go on to represent ESU's Kansas Branch as a semi-finalist at the National Shakespeare Competition held at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 29, 2019.

 

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Join Our Holiday Brunch and Annual Meeting
 Historic KC Presents:
ESU in Kansas City 100 Years Ago

Our Annual Holiday Brunch is just around the corner. Join ESU members and Friends of ESU for this special occasion on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 12 noon. The public is invited. What did Kansas City look like 100 years ago when the ESU Kansas City Branch was formed? The architecture, street scenes, neighborhoods, fashion and local government have drastically changed during those 100 years.

Our program will feature two experts on Kansas City history, Annette Thomas and Nancy Powell, both are volunteers with the nonprofit organization, Historic Kansas City. Founded in 1974, Historic KC is the only organization in KC dedicated to the preservation of the area's architectural heritage, neighborhoods and historic built environment.

Nancy has prepared a visually stunning selection of photos from Kansas City's past and Annette will describe how Kansas City looked around 1920 when the ESU was a new, nonprofit organization. Kansas City's architectural and cultural heritage is legendary, and they will show us through historic photos how life in Kansas City was vastly different than today.

This is a wonderful opportunity for ESU members and friends to step back in time and watch the rich history of Kansas City pass before your eyes. Don't miss this special lecture presentation by two Kansas City historians.

 

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     An ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen


All ESU Members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to attend one of our biggest social gatherings of the year—our annual Queen's Tea. We will be celebrating HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 92nd birthday. This will be an ESU Tea Party Fit for a Queen!

Our tea party will include a variety of tea sandwiches, sweets, Brenda's signature scones, Mock Devonshire cream, fine fruit butter or fruit jams and premium tea.  Brenda Hedrick, the owner and proprietress of Anna Marie's Teas proudly proclaims, "This is not just any tea party--our tea experiences are delightfully extravagant!" This is a special occasion not to be missed!

 

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The English-Speaking Union

Kansas City Branch

Kansas City Branch Landmark Photo