The Independence Historical Museum, owned and operated by the Ladies Library and Art Association, stands as one of the city's prime cultural attractions. Housed in the former city post office building, it has over 20
William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was born and raised in Independence. Each year Independence Community College hosts a three-day festival to honor him as well as other nationally known playwrights. Past honorees include Arthur Miller and Neil Simon.
The Independence Public Library is still located at the corner of Maple and Fifth, in the structure as it was built by the Carnegie Foundation in 1907. The Library currently houses 61,700 volumes of print and non-print materials, with a patron registration of 9,880