Wednesday, February 17 at 6:00 PM

Love reading? So do we!

Join Artist Reads Charlotte Street’s monthly book club.

Each month we invite an artist to recommend a book that inspires them, brings them joy or has been pivotal in some way. You will have one month to read the book. Artists will share their relationship and interpretation of the book and facilitate the monthly discussions which will be hosted virtually. As we’re unable to meet in person feel free to enjoy your own refreshments as we zoom into your living room. Readers who register will be provided a zoom link.

Want to purchase the books? Support our local bookstores:

Bliss Books & Wine is Kansas City’s premier indie bookstore for book lovers and wine enthusiasts; promoting the reading culture by encouraging curious readers, endorsing local arts, and connecting the great pastimes of social drinking and introverted reading.

Use the links below to purchase from Bliss Books & Wine.


For February, we’ll read with Maria Vasquez Boyd who has chosen children’s literature for us to explore.

– El Deafo by Cece Bell

How Mamas Love Their Babies by Juniper Fitzgerald

– Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

Below are some questions Maria would like us to think about each as we are reading:

El Deafo by Cece Bell, 2020

Bell’s graphic novel highlights her character/self, El Deafo as super hero. Yet the nonsensical text in her story evokes confusion, uncertainty, and isolation. How can the main character be both super hero and timid?

Bell over comes her fear of confrontation in many ways. Faced with hearing loss, stressful encounters with classmates, and loneliness, is the journey hers alone or one that helps educate others that ultimately empowers herself?

How Mamas Love Their Babies by Juniper Fitzgerald, 2018

 Fitzgerald’s story illustrates ways working mothers including sex workers provide for their children. This expands the picture of working moms and carries a political statement. Does this challenge/acknowledge/stigmatize the role of women as mothers? What do we gain by expanding our ideas of how mothers provide for their children?

 Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love, 2018

 Love’s book with its’ beautiful illustrations and sparse texts, fosters love and acceptance. The book lends itself to visual storytelling alone through Julian’s gestures and expression. What are Julian’s feelings once Abuela sees him?

The focus of gender expression and identity is important to the story, does this challenge a reader’s bias?

 Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard, 2019

The story of Fry Bread is the story of American Indians, embracing community and culture in the face of opposition. Maillard’s fry bread as the lead character in the story, is complex. The role identity, importance, and honor weigh heavily in the culture. The author’s note includes a fry bread recipe, history, reference, etc. Does this enhance the readers experience that leads to further research or explore related stories? Does this impact or challenge the views of how individual’s perceive American Indians?

Keep an eye out for next month’s Artist Reads event!

Event Details

Wednesday, February 17 at 6:00 PM





Maria Vasquez Boyd is producer/host, of ARTSPEAK RADIO, a weekly live program on 90.1FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio. Since 2012, she features local and world renowned artists, writers, poets, playwrights locally and internationally. Boyd is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective, a storyteller, poet, artist, designer, painter, who exhibits her work across the country. A graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute, Boyd returned to teach in the Design and Illustration Department at KCAI, taught at the Nelson Atkins Museum, worked for Hallmark Cards, served as gallery coordinator for the Writers Place, Guadalupe Center, and the Mexican Museum in Chicago. Boyd served as Poet in Residence for Present Magazine, artist in residence for El Grupo Atotonilico, and currently is working on the community project, Ojo De Dios KC.

Secret facts about Maria: she loves the sound Velcro makes and was born on Dia de

los Muertos.

Next Event

2024 Gala


Saturday, October 19 from 7:00-11:00 PM

Charlotte Street Campus (3333 Wyoming)
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