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

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 93rd 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!

The English teas will be held in the Bohnet House in Liberty, Mo., which is a stately 3-story, 5,000 square foot home built in 1913. The house boasts Frank Lloyd Wright details--oak trim, 3 fireplaces and large open spaces. Its large wraparound porch and period American, French and English antique furnishings create the perfect setting for tea parties--served on a special collection of china and silver.

 

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LET'S HAVE A PARTY TO CELEBRATE OUR NEW MEMBERSHIP YEAR

ESU's new membership year begins July 1, 2019 and what better way to bring in the new membership year than with a party!

All ESU members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to a Membership Renewal Party hosted by our Treasurer, Kevin Martin. We'll have Barbeque Brisket and Ribs, baked beans, potato salad, more sides including watermelon and other desserts! We'll also provide soft drinks, beer and wine.

We want to bring all ESU members together for a casual late afternoon party to make it easy and convenient to renew your membership. You can renew online on a secure laptop or with a paper form…either way it's easy, fast and you'll have a chance to meet other ESU members including our newest members! If you are renewing with a paper form (which we will supply) just bring a check to include with the renewal form and we'll mail it for you. You'll see our membership dues are still the same.

 

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ESU Festival Group Night June 19, 2019

Put June 19, 2019 on your calendar. This year, we are in for a special treat! The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has selected the stage adaptation of the blockbuster movie, Shakespeare in Love at Southmoreland Park.

This is a play within a play, of sorts. The story goes like this—a young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. This comedy/drama will not disappoint. (The original movie version of this play didn't win 7 academy awards for nothing!) This is a must-see production directed once again by Sidonie Garrett.

 

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Matthew Grigoratos Performs in Semi-Finals
in 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition
in New York City

April 29th may have been a normal Monday for most high school students, but for Matthew Grigoratos, a Junior at Blue Valley High School, it will be a day to remember forever. Matthew, a student of Maureen Davis, placed as a semifinalist at the 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition.

Matthew competed against 52 students from around the US on stage at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. The event is the culmination of a year-long competition hosted by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

To qualify for the National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals, Matthew won the regional ESU Kansas City Branch Shakespeare Competition earlier this year.

Veteran judge and acclaimed actor Dana Ivey commented on the student performances,

"I am always amazed by the delight and focus these students bring to their investigation of the text. They often bring surprises in interpretation that are entertaining and enlightening."

 

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ESU Celebrates 2019 British Gala

Brits International, a Kansas City-based non-profit organization, is hosting their 8th Annual British Gala KC. All ESU members and Friends of ESU are welcome to attend this one-day festival of all-things-British!

The ESU Kansas City Branch will have an information table at the British Gala so be sure to stop by and say hello to our ESU volunteers!  Bring your family and friends as there is something for all ages!

 

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The English-Speaking Union

Kansas City Branch

Kansas City Branch Landmark Photo