Kansas Humanities Council

The Kansas Humanities Council connects communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life. Since 1972, KHC has been a partner and advocate for the cultural life of the state.

Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens, and the humanities provide a way to gain both. Healthy communities depend on the humanities to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and viewpoints about historical and contemporary topics, opportunities to deepen understanding of our shared heritage, and encouragement for innovation in civic life.

To meet these needs, KHC makes available free humanities resources for community use. These include grant opportunities to create cultural events or preserve local historical artifacts and programs, including speakers on history topics, facilitators for book discussions, poet laureate presentations, and additional one-of-a-kind opportunities. KHC is the only organization dedicated to creating, supporting, and promoting the humanities as a resource for all Kansans.

  • Click here to see a map highlighting KHC activities
  • Click here for a two-page summary of KHC’s strategic plan and fiscal year 2013 data
  • Click here for a copy of KHC’s entire strategic plan

KHC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors. Individual and corporate contributions, funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and funding from the State of Kansas supports our work. Become a Friend of the Humanities and join us.


Calling all poets and poets-to-be with Kansas roots for HomeWords,  a weekly poetry column, edited by Kansas Poet Laureate Wyatt Townley,  to be published in newspapers across this great state. Read more…

Fire From the Sky

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Fire From the Kansas Sky: The Piatt Street Plane Crash of 1965” by D.W. Carter.

Piatt Street Memorial, Wichita. Image via City of Wichita.

Piatt Street Memorial, Wichita. Image via City of Wichita.

On a cold Saturday morning in 1965, an Air Force KC-135 tanker carrying 31,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into a congested African American neighborhood in Wichita. When the fire subsided, 47 people, mostly children, were dead or injured, several homes were destroyed, and families were splintered. “This tragedy touched so many people through various socioeconomic lines,” says KHC scholar D.W. Carter.

The accident is also rarely mentioned in Kansas history discussions today. “By remembering and retelling the story, we are providing much needed healing to those who were affected,” says Carter. His presentation, “Fire From the Kansas Sky: The Piatt Street Plane Crash of 1965,” explores why the plane crashed, how the community responded, and how race relations in Wichita were further strained because of the disaster.

D.W. Carter

D.W. Carter

D.W. Carter is a historian, best-selling author, and educator specializing in military and social history. Originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Carter was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in 2003 and now considers himself a Kansan

You can bring D.W. Carter’s “Fire From the Kansas Sky: The Piatt Street Plane Crash of 1965” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.