Turning Points: Tourism

KHC’s special initiative, Turning Points: Stories of Change, invites museums, public libraries, and other nonprofit cultural and civic groups to tell their community’s pivotal moment in history as a five-minute short film. The project is supported by a generous gift from Suzi Miner in memory of Kansas historian Craig Miner.

What is a Turning Point? Think of it as an idea, event, action, or moment in time that directly or indirectly caused decisive change in your community. This change can be social, cultural, or economic, but it ultimately, and significantly, affected your community’s way of thinking or doing.

Here are some topics and videos to use as inspiration for your Turning Points application. Note: inclusion of video or articles in this post is not an endorsement.


Landmarks, festivals, museums, and one-of-a-kind attractions bring tourists to our communities from near and far. Think of a Tourism Turning Points short film in terms of how tourism transformed your community, rather than a film promoting tourism in your community. Some ideas for Tourism Turning Points include:

Festivals & Celebrations

Community festivals connect us to community heritage and unite us around a common culture, local custom, or point of community pride. Has your community’s festival become a source of tourism? Has it united your community? How has a community festival or celebration become a turning point?

Listen to Ron Wilson’s story of Paxico’s Meatloaf Festival. [Kansas Profile/K-State]

Watch a story about Topeka’s Fiesta Mexicana, now in it’s 80th year.[WIBW]

Watch highlights from the 2011 Czech Fest in Wilson. [scottosonic/YouTube]

Watch a story about the colorful Coal Buckets in downtown Pittsburg, part of the Southeast Kansas Arts Fest. [Fourstates]

Off the Beaten Path

Roadside attractions are unique and memorable monuments to creativity and ingenuity. A roadside attraction’s popularity can be a turning point for a community, bringing more tourists and revitalizing downtowns. Has a roadside attraction been a turning point for your community?
Video via World’s Largest Things.

Other ideas to consider:

Click here to read about Cawker City’s Ball of Twine. [Roadside America]

Working Together

Region by region and across the state, communities have worked together to promote one another. Has your community experienced revitalization or increased tourism because of cooperative marketing?
Video: 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook reception, via Kansas Sampler.

Other ideas to consider:

Watch the “A Drive Through History along the Post Rock Scenic Byway” short film.

The deadline for Turning Points: Stories of Change applications is July 31, 2013. Click here for application and eligibility requirements. Contact Leslie Von Holten, program officer, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org or (785) 357-0359 for more information.