Show Me Love: Female Impersonation and Drag in Kansas City

December 17, 2023 2:00 pm
Helzberg Auditorium, Kansas City Public Library Central Library
Jewel Box Lounge Performers Union List

Join the Kansas City Public Library for a talk with author and scholar Lucas Hilderbrand about his book The Bars Are Ours: Histories and Cultures of Gay Bars in America, 1960 and After. The book highlights two gay establishments on Kansas City’s Troost Avenue in the 1960s: the Jewel Box Lounge and the Colony Bar.

A postcard showing “The Jewel Box Lounge,” 3223 Troost Avenue – Kansas City, Missouri.

Some of Lucas’s book research was performed using the photo holdings of the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA) at UMKC Libraries. GLAMA’s Robert Heishman and Robert Boles Collections include images of patrons and performers of the Colony Club and the Jewel Box.

Join us for “Show Me Love: Female Impersonation and Drag in Kansas City” on Sunday, December 17, 2023 at 2:00 pm in Helzberg Auditorium, Kansas City Public Library Central Library. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more and RSVP on the KCPL event page

Five performers in front of a stage backdrop, each one a drag queen in a sequined gown with big hairstyles, dramatic makeup, and flashy jewelry.
A photo of Jewel Box Lounge performers who are members of the American Guild of Variety Artists.

This Missouri Valley Sundays talk is co-presented by GLAMA at UMKC Libraries.

Digitized images: LaBudde Special Collections at UMKC University Libraries.

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Case dimensions: 5’ long x 30” wide x 9” high sitting atop 3’ legs

Glass exhibit table


The First Floor Gallery is located just inside the main entrance of the Miller Nichols Library.

Wall with exhibit content

Conference Room 325

Located on the Third Floor of Miller Nichols Library. For access, enter the library at the north ground floor entrance or the west first floor entrance. Then take the stairs or the elevator to the third floor..

Map of third floor of Miller Nichols Library