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60-Second Scoop with Brian Alexander

Brian Alexander is president and CEO of the National World War One Museum at Liberty Memorial, the nation’s first and only only museum dedicated to preserving the history of WWI. www.theworldwar.org.

When it comes to history and museums, what’s Kansas City’s best-kept secret?

I’ve been a baseball fan for many years, and I’ve really enjoyed the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. I learned more about Buck O’Neill and his time in the Negro Leagues and that spurred me on to read The Soul of Baseball by Joe Posnanski, who’s a columnist here at the Kansas City Star. It’s a great read.

What’s your insider tip for visitors interested in history and museums?

When I first moved here, I lived in town in a loft for about six months and just walked around and had the opportunity to visit a lot of old buildings and admire the architecture. I think that’s one of the great ways of really getting to know an area.

What do you love best about Kansas City?

That’s easy—and I knew it the first couple of days I was here. I was just struck at all the cultural activities going on here. From the construction of the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, to the Bloch Building addition to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, to the museums at the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District, the World War I Museum—it just goes on and on.

If you had visitors for one day and could only go three places, where would you go?

I would say that you can’t miss Arthur Bryant’s BBQ. It’s a wonderful, sort of unvarnished experience of real Kansas City barbecue—I love it. Also, I would make certain to take people to see the city’s beautiful fountains. And last would be the College Basketball Experience at Sprint Center. You can participate in all these drills, like timed free throw contests. It’s a great place to take kids if they’re interested in sports. My kids absolutely fell in love with that place—I had to drag them out of there!

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