CalvinArsenia. Photo by Andrea Larson

Harpist Calvin Arsenia to Accompany Authors’ Readings at The Kansas City Center for Inclusion

The Kansas City Center for Inclusion (KCCI), the city’s LGBTQIA community outreach and resource center, will host a special afternoon of music and books when renowned Kansas City harpist Calvin Arsenia (pictured here) accompanies authors as they read from their newest books, each of which celebrates the community in its own way.

Free and open to the public, the event will be held in the KCCI on Saturday, April 14, from 3-5 p.m.

“Calvin Arsenia is turning the art world on its head, and no one saw it coming,” Fally Afani observed for “Every time we think we know what Kansas City’s most famous harpist is capable of, he bombards us with surprises.” A friend of the featured authors, Arsenia agreed to use his talent and allure to entice a crowd into the Center as three men – two local, the other a Native Son – share their equally intriguing new books.

Calvin Arsenia performs “Kansas City Baby” live at Uptown Theatre KCMO

Accompanying the musical backdrop of Arsenia’s elegant harp…

David Jackson…author, archivist, and historian David W. Jackson, co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA), will read from his book Changing Times: Almanac and Digest of Kansas City’s LGBTQIA History, Jackson’s book chronicles Kansas City’s pivotal role – colorful yet mostly unknown — in LGBTQIA individuals’ early struggle for equal rights.

Patrick BandW…author, music producer and founder of Ombra Records, Patrick C. Byrne will read from his richly researched biography, Double Entendre, the Parallel Lives of Mae West and Rae Bourbon, “a dueling bio­graphy of two life-long friends and colleagues, one of which was a well-known Kansas City female impersonator,” as David Jackson wrote for The Phoenix Newsletter.

Mark's Head Shot_Small…and Mark Spano, author and filmmaker from Chapel Hill, NC, who was born and raised in Kansas City, will share his new murder mystery Midland Club. According to Gaybook, Midland Club is “a small jewel…flawlessly smooth and realistic…that reads like a film noir classic” — except the protagonist is a gay man shunned by his wealthy family in 1958 Kansas City. Spano will be visiting his hometown for the U.S. premiere of his new feature-length documentary “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” (Screenland Armour Theatre, April 11th).

After the readings, the three authors will conduct a Q&A session with the audience then sign purchased copies of their books. Calvin Arsenia will continue to entertain the audience during the book signings.

The KCCI is located at 3911 Main Street in Kansas City (816.753.7770). For more information, visit

For more information on Calvin Arsenia, go to; David W. Jackson,; Patrick C. Byrne,; and Mark Spano,

KCCFI LogoAbout the Kansas City Center for Inclusion:

The KCCI is Kansas City’s LGBTQIA+ resource center. Founded in 2017, KCCI focuses on the future of our family here in Kansas City, as we strive for a cohesive community. We operate exclusively for charitable purposes by providing a safe, welcoming community space where LGBTQIA+ individuals, their families, friends, and straight allies can come for education, resources, and activities; and by providing community outreach in building a cohesive LGBTQIA+ community in the Midwest. For more information, visit or call Samantha Ruggels at 816.753.7770.