Building a Cultural Foundation

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “The Humanities Combat Rural Decline” by Joan Nothern.

Joan Nothern stands in front of a banner for the Journey Stories Smithsonian exhibition, one of the many humanities events Glasco has hosted.

Joan Nothern stands in front of a banner for the Journey Stories Smithsonian exhibition, one of the many humanities events Glasco has hosted in recent years.

“Humanities and other cultural projects and programs cannot stop the changes confronting rural Kansas communities, but they can provide insight into the nature of change, and help reveal the character of community that sustains it,” observes KHC Speakers Bureau presenter Joan Nothern.

“Exploring and discovering local heritage is a dynamic process that may make a difference in our rural future,” she said.

In her presentation, “Humanities Combat Rural Decline,” Nothern explores how cultural opportunities allowed one rural Kansas town to stretch beyond its own place and time. The residents of struggling Glasco, population 498, were told that their town had no future. Rather than accepting defeat, the residents pushed back by organizing and hosting cultural events. Joan’s talk leads audiences through their journey, which strengthened the community.

Joan Nothern is president of the Solomon Valley–Highway 24–Heritage Alliance and has coordinated historical research projects, organized symposiums, and assisted in the creation of 24 interpretive community kiosks. Her interest in sustaining rural Kansas communities has earned her awards from the Kansas Sampler Foundation and the UFM Community Learning Center.

You can bring Joan Nothern’s “The Humanities Combat Rural Decline”  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.