Morganville: Coming Full Circle

When the residents of one Kansas community reached out to help those in need, their actions brought the community together, forged lasting friendships with a sister city that spanned generations, and inspired a KHC grant project.

In 1948, through a desire to help the citizens of post-World War II Europe, Morganville in Clay County (population 250) launched a series of fundraising efforts, including a pageant and a Noel Ball, to assist the town of Feves, France. An article by Jan Biles in the Topeka Capital-Journal recounts the inspirational story of friendship and cooperation that developed when one community came together to help another.

Christmas Card from Feves

The residents of Morganville and Feves exchanged Christmas cards with one another. Photo by Jan Biles/Topeka Capital-Journal.

In 1992, KHC provided grant support to the Clay County Historical Society for “Beyond Our Rim: Morganville, KS/Feves, France and UNESCO’s Marshall Plan,” a year-long research project on the post-World War II aid project and cultural exchange between Morganville and Feves exploring the origin, implementation, and long-term effects of the aid project on residents of both communities.

What were the long-term effects of Morganville’s aid to Feves? This month, some 65 years later, Gerard Torlotting will visit Morganville with his family. Gerard is the nephew of Henri Torlotting, the Feves resident who distributed the items sent by Morganville the citizens of the French town. A reception for Torlotting and his family is planned in Morganville on December 29, 2013, from 2 to 4 PM in the gymnasium of the old elementary school.

Does your community have local stories, photographs, or archival material to preserve? Consider a KHC Heritage grant project for 2014. Click here for more information or contact Murl Riedel, director of grants, at murl(at) or (785) 357-0359.

Note: KHC offices are closed through January 1, 2014 and will reopen on January 2, 2014.

Humanities Happenings (12/26 – 1/2)

hum_hap_dec_26Time off over the holidays? Cozy up to your television for some KHC-supported programs filled with new ideas and fresh perspectives.

Topeka: Tune In Twice

KTWU public television in Topeka features two KHC-supported programs the last week of December. Sunflower Journeys airs at 7:00 PM on December 26th. The episode highlights of “Diverse Views” include the work of local photographers Leon and Rosie Hughes as they reveal the day-to-day life and special events chronicled in Wichita’s African American community during the 1950s – 1970s; the various events in Topeka related to “Day of the Dead,” a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico; and Joseph Nadeau, the artistic director of the Heartland Men’s Chorus in Kansas City. Click here for details. Can’t get enough of Sunflower Journeys? You can also watch full episodes online.

Harvesting the High Plains airs on December 29th at 10:00 PM on KTWU. The documentary tells the rags-to-riches story of Ray Garvey and John Kriss, who made large-scale wheat farming a success on the high plains. The film draws from Craig Miner’s book of the same name, extensive correspondence between Kriss and Garvey, and interviews with family members, former employees, farmers, contractors, and associates. It’s also narrated by Mike Rowe of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” fame. Click here for details.

Bunker Hill: A Measure of Hope

Ring in the new year with Conducting Hope on January 2nd at 9:00 PM on Smoky Hills Public Television. The documentary film profiles the inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility who comprise the “East Hill Singers,” the only inmate chorus in the nation to perform outside prison walls. The unique program attempts to reduce the rate of recidivism by giving the inmates a voice. Click here for details.

2014 is filled with humanities events throughout the state. Click here for the KHC Calendar of Events. Happy New Year from KHC!

Banner photos (left to right): Dave Kendall of Sunflower Journeys, image via KTWU website; narrator Mike Rowe (center) with Harvesting the High Plains filmmakers, photo courtesy of Jay Kriss; East Hill Singers, photo courtesy of Margie Friedman. 

The KHC Challenge


Slide29Five KHC donors have issued the KHC Challenge: They will match up to $4,000 in donations made to KHC by 5:00 PM on December 31, 2013. KHC is only $3,800 away from our fall fundraising goal. Your tax-deductible gift in any amount will keep us on track.

Got two minutes? This short film explains it all:

Giving online is safe, secure, and easy:
1. Click here or on the DONATE NOW button.
2. You’ll be taken to KHC’s page on the Network for Good giving site.
3. After you make your donation, you’ll receive a confirmation letter from Network for Good on behalf of KHC. You will also receive a letter from KHC.

Follow KHC on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the KHC Challenge. Thank you for your support!

KHC Holiday Office Hours

The KHC office will be closed December 23, 2013 – January 1, 2014 and will re-open on January 2, 2014.

Pass the Book Recommendations


KHC put out the call for book recommendations this #GivingTuesday and you delivered! Here are the “Pass the Book” recommendations we’ve received so far:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto
 by Jane Austen
Elegies for the Brokenhearted by Christie Hodgen
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity
RIN TIN TIN, The Life and Legend by Susan Orlean
Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag
The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell

Do you have a “Pass the Book” recommendation? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!


Pass the Book on #GivingTuesday



How do you top Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday? How about a day of giving? #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers, and more come together to celebrate giving and encourage more, better, and smarter giving during the Holiday Season. This year, KHC is one of over 3,800 nonprofits participating in #GivingTuesday on December 3, 2013.

Here’s how you can support KHC and be a part of the #GivingTuesday movement:

Pass the Book

Give the gift of literature by recommending a favorite book on Facebook and/or Twitter. Share the book, title, author, and why you recommend the book or a favorite quote. Here are sample posts for Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook: I’m Passing the Book this #GivingTuesday with the Kansas Humanities Council. I recommend “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. “They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”

Twitter: .@kshumanities: I’m #PassingTheBook this #GivingTuesday with “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. I’ve read it 5 times.

Donate to KHC

Support KHC with a #GivingTuesday donation in support of KHC’s fall fundraiser. Click here to donate safely and securely through the Network for Good giving site.