ARTSPEAK RADIO + Toy/Miniature Museum, Stacy Busch, and Huascar Medina

Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 12noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd chats with Toy/Miniature Curator of Collections Amy McKune, President/Co-found No Divide KC Stacy Busch, and Kansas Poet Laureate Huascar Medina.

AMY McKUNE Curator of Collections, Toy and Miniature Museum- Bridging the Gender Divide: Toys that Build STEM Skills
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (T/m) unveils a new exhibit Wednesday, July 15 to coincide with the museum’s public re-opening from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Bridging the Gender Divide: Toys that Build STEM Skills offers a historical look at how toys helped children develop the skills that contributed to success in STEM-based careers, and how the advertising of these toys has changed over time to reflect cultural values.
From chemistry to construction, toys have prepared generations of kids to pursue careers in STEM fields. Discover how these toys, once marketed primarily to boys, have evolved to encourage all children through play to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“Playing with these toys helps children develop skills, such as spatial intelligence, that contribute to their success in STEM-related careers,” said T/m Curator of Collections Amy McKune. “The exhibit includes toys made over the last 200 years, and it brings the story to the present by including STEM toys developed specifically to appeal to girls, as well as gender-neutral toys.”
Several successful women in STEM careers were interviewed and quotes from those interviews are included in the exhibit. Bridging the Gender Divide also features engaging interactive elements, including an HO-scale working model train and a matching coloring book highlighting accomplishments by women in STEM over the past 200 years.
Bridging the Gender Divide includes objects from T/m’s collection, as well as objects on loan from The Strong (Rochester, New York), Science History Institute (Philadelphia), Kansas Historical Society (Topeka, Kansas), and Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology (Kansas City, Missouri). Additionally, Amy Bix, Ph.D., Professor of History and Director of the Consortium for Historical Studies of Technology and Science at Iowa State University, served as an advisor on the exhibit.
Generous support for Bridging the Gender Divide has been provided by MRIGlobal.
Bridging the Gender Divide will be on display at T/m from July 15, 2020 through Sept. 5, 2021.
T/m is a representative of KC Culture Cares, a group of Kansas City cultural institutions who have pledged to be proactive in fighting COVID-19 through a common standard of protocols, including: managing their spaces to create social distancing, sanitizing surfaces on a more aggressive basis, verifying the health of staff and volunteers each day, and requiring staff and volunteers to wear protective gear. Visitors are encouraged to stay home if they are ill or experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. They are also required to wear masks, wash hands often, and stay six feet from other guests. For more information, please visit
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures educates, inspires and delights adults and children through the museum’s collection and preservation of toys and miniatures. Located on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, the museum exhibits the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the nation’s largest collections of historic toys. For more information, call 816.235.8000 or visit

STACY BUSCH President/Co-founder No Divide KC – Founders: Stacy Busch and Emily Spradling
– Mission statement: No Divide KC uses the arts as a vehicle for stimulating social awareness, participation and community building. No Divide KC partners with Kansas City-based artists and organizations to create artistic events that are focused on the stories of underserved and misrepresented communities in Kansas City.

– Selected Past: “Art Views: Creativity and Culture in Kansas City.” A documentary series and exhibition with the Johnson County Library.
“We Move with You.” A live event for children with developmental disabilities with the Kansas City Ballet.

– Present/Upcoming:First annual “Queer Narratives Festival.” A nightlong performance and exhibition on Halloween night, featuring LGBTQIA artists.
“When/Time.” A new music and theater production.
“Stories from Under the Stars.” Storytelling by individuals impacted by homelessness.
– Social Media: Instagram: @nodividekc; Facebook: No Divide KC

HUASCAR MEDINA 2019-2021 Poet Laureate of Kansas. The Poet Laureate of Kansas™ promotes the humanities as a public resource for all Kansans. Huascar Medina presents readings and discussions about poetry in communities across the state. Huascar is a poet, writer, and performer who lives in Topeka. He currently works as a freelance copywriter and as the Literary Editor for seveneightfive magazine publishing stories that spotlight literary and artistic events in northeast Kansas. His poems can be found in his collection How to Hang the Moon published by Spartan Press. He is the winner of ARTSConnect’s 2018 Arty Award for Literary Art. His 3rd book of poetry, Un Mango Grows in Kansas was released this year.

“With Un Mango Grows in Kansas poet Huascar Medina redirects our generational sense of place to illuminate the possibilities and the promises that place holds. He reimagines Kansas, the Midwest, the Americas, and the stars by expanding our perspective and examining our routines and our over mapped corners. Medina guides us through this new American journey reaffirming that our struggles with love, infatuation, obsession, loss, death, family, self, and other are, like the mango seed itself, necessary and beautiful and without them, it would never be as sweet.”
-Miguel M. Morales, poet, co-editor of Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando.

“Un Mango Grows in Kansas -exactly where it should, amongst the flowers and the hidden bones de un futuro no muy lejano. Huascar Medina’s anthology transports you to a forgotten isla where he refuses to let you forget what it is to live so far and yet so close to home. In this, not so alternate universe, grillos, remordimientos y humedad thrive and we -the readers- are left with bellies full of seeds of a less bitter tomorrow.”
-Alex Martinez, author, organizer

“Huascar’s book is full of ordinary magic, of seeing the sublime in the everyday, and that makes this book a true joy to read. Speaking of mangos, Huascar writes, ‘Fruit flies are angels born in their own kind of heaven.’ This is that kind of book, something sweet to savor–full of revelations and culture, observations and human unity.”
–Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas (2017-2019), On Drums

“Huascar Medina’s Un Mango Grows in Kansas contains a lyric catalog of losses but also the joy that comes from carrying our islands and ancestors with us. These poems of grief and celebration feature all the elsewheres of Kansas, as well as Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul and the mango orchards of Puerto Rico. In this bilingual collection, Medina says “Only Neruda can save us,” and like Neruda, Medina seamlessly blends the high and the low, the heaven of fruit flies, the blush of resurrected bones, the messy and necessary resurrections of love.”
-Traci Brimhall


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