Humanities Happenings 7/8-7/14

Vernon Rickman at work at the Smithsonian. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution archives.

Vernon Rickman at work at the Smithsonian. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution archives.

Newton: Soulful Life of a Kansas Artist

The Carriage Factory Art Gallery hosts the opening of “Vernon Rickman: Soulful Life of a Kansas Artist,” an exhibition exploring the life and work of Vernon Rickman, a Newton native who was staff artist and sculptor at the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition is part of an oral history project supported by a KHC Heritage Grant. Saturday, July 9 at 7:00 PM at Carriage Factory Art Gallery. Details here. 

Park City: At Home on the Range

Community cookbooks have carried the stories of Kansas women over the years, sharing sentiments of home, family, and faith. Louis M. Hanson’s Speakers Bureau presentation provides a survey of Kansas cookbooks from 1874 to the present, which reveal not only changes in foodways but also poems, prayers, personal reflections, and histories. These humble publications show that food, home, community, and faith were the foundation upon which Kansas women constructed their lives. Saturday, July 9 at 7:00 PM at Park City Public Library. Details here.

Lincoln: Children of the Promised Land

Nicodemus, a small unincorporated town in Graham County, is the only remaining western town that was established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Angela Bates’ pictorial history explores the unique experiences of the children of Nicodemus who were the first members of their families born free from the physical and psychological effects of slavery. Angela Bates’ Speakers Bureau presentation explores the stories of children conceived in slavery but born free, the experiences of mothers during this transitional time, and how baby names were changed or used to reflect attitudes about free-born children. Sunday, July 10 at 2:30 PM at Lincoln County Historical Society. Details here. 

Garden City, Osborne, and Kensington: Throw Like a Girl

Many female athletes in Kansas have fascinating tales of perseverance, hard work, and success on levels where they were previously barred from competition. Margaret Thompson Murdock of Berryton competed in the 1976 Olympics as the first woman to represent the United States in a shooting competition. Kendra Wecker, a native of Marysville, made headlines in 1995 when at age 12 she became the first girl to reach the finals of the NFL’s Punt, Pass, & Kick competition. Laura Hartley’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the landscape for women athletes before and after Title IX legislation and how opportunities for women have impacted sports in our country.
Wednesday, July 13 at 6:00 PM at Finney County Public Library. Details here.
Thursday, July 14 at 12:00 PM at Osborne Public Library. Details here.
Thursday, July 14 at 5:00 PM at Kensington Community/School Library. Details here.

Dodge City: Kansas Legends and Folktales

Grasshoppers so big that cowboys can ride them to herd cattle. Summers so hot that corn pops in the field. Rancher Henry Mudge wrecking pianos, shooting sheep, and fooling European dignitaries. Kansas is a place of big skies and tall tales, but these exaggerated narratives help us understand the character of our state and its people. Jim Hoy’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores some of the many Kansas legends and folktales and help audiences decipher between a myth (folk religion), legend (folk history), and tale (folk literature). Sponsored by Kansas Genealogical Society. Thursday, July 14 at 2:00 PM at The Learning Center. Details here.

Kansas City: Podcast Party

Enjoy a burger and hear Kansas City area news reporters discuss new and interesting podcasts, including the Archiver podcast about Kansas history, supported by a KHC Humanities grant. Thursday, July 14 at 6:00 PM at Westport Flea Market. Details here.

Holton: Soda Fountains of Kansas

Relive the glory days of the soda fountain where tonics and curatives evolved into refreshments like the Brown Cow, the Mudslide, and the Egg Cream. Government regulations, World War I luxury taxes, and bottled soda pop prompted Kansas pharmacists to make more ice cream concoctions and add food to keep their evolving fountain sideline business profitable. Cindy Higgins’ Speakers Bureau presentation also explores soda fountains in Kansas today and the revival of soda fountains across the nation. Thursday, July 14 at 1:00 PM at Jackson County Historical Society. Details here.

Find more Humanities Happenings on KHC’s Calendar of Events.

Humanities Happenings 7/1-7/8

Harvey Girls in Syracuse, Kansas, c. 1920. Photo courtesy of kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Harvey Girls in Syracuse, Kansas, c. 1920.
Photo courtesy of kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence with humanities presentations and discussions about uniquely American topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln to the Harvey Girls.

Abilene: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Walt Disney

Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most visibly recognizable historical figures in history. Hundreds of books and articles have tackled nearly every aspect of his life: his political career, writings, psychological and marital problems, and his assassination. Yet it has not always been an easy road in terms of the memory of our 16th president. In the 1960s as the Civil War Centennial got underway, the leadership of the commission thought Lincoln needed to be diminished because of a belief that Civil War students would not much care for his legacy. Brian Craig Miller’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores how the commemoration would have been a total disaster if it were not for Walt Disney, who forged on his own to bring Lincoln to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York through the construction of an attraction called “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.” Saturday, July 2 at 7:00 PM at Dickinson County Historical Society. Details here. 

Oberlin: A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains

In 1873 Isabella Bird made an unlikely journey alone on horseback through the Rockies of Colorado, climbing Longs Peak, staying in mountain cabins, and observing the tumultuous world of the mining camps. Michaeline Chance-Reay leads the TALK book discussion of Bird’s “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” on Tuesday, July 5 at 6:30 PM at Oberlin City Library. Details here. 

Garden City: The Harvey Girls

The Harvey House chain of restaurants got its start in Topeka, Kansas, when Fred Harvey opened a cafe geared to those traveling on the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway. Preferring the term “Harvey Girls” to waitresses, he recruited single women to work at the Harvey Houses that gradually sprang up all the way to California and Texas. Between the 1880s and the 1950s more than 100,000 women, many of them Kansans, proudly wore the black and white uniform of the internationally known Harvey Company. Michaeline Chance-Reay’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the adventures of these pioneering young women. Tuesday, July 5 at 1:00 PM at the Finney County Committee on Aging, Inc. Details here.

Find more Humanities Happenings on KHC’s Calendar of Events.

KHC Awards Eight Grants

KHC recently awarded $51,014 in Humanities and Heritage grants to eight Kansas organizations. Local contributions to the projects are estimated at $238,011.

Do Good Productions, Inc., Leawood ($9,900)

“Archiver Podcast”
The nine-episode “Archiver” podcast series takes listeners on a journey through the most engaging moments in Kansas history. Sam Zeff, project director.

Emporia State University Foundation ($9,995)

“Charlie and the Common Good: Big Ideas in a Small Town”
A documentary film that shows how the humanities are lived and embodied in the public life of Kansas citizens. Charles S. Brown, project director.

Great Plains United Methodist Conference, Wichita ($1,845)

“Kansas United Methodist Genealogical Resources Digitization Project”
A preservation project to digitize and make available online United Methodist church documents from Kansas dating back to the 19th century. Sara DeCaro, project director.

Greensburg Convention and Tourism Board ($2,556)

“Greensburg 2007 Tornado Oral History Project”
An oral history project to preserve the stories of those who experienced the May 4, 2007 tornado that destroyed 95 percent of Greensburg. Stacy Barnes, project director.

Goodland Public Library ($3,495)

“Preserving Cassette Tapes of ‘Let’s Talk About the High Plains’”
A preservation project to digitize cassette tapes featuring interviews from the “Let’s Talk About the High Plains” radio program that aired from 1996 to 2009. Laura McClung, project director.

Johnson County Museum Foundation, Shawnee ($10,000)

“Becoming Johnson County”
A new signature exhibition exploring the history and development of Johnson County. Mindi Love, project director.

McPherson County Old Mill Museum, Lindsborg ($3,223)

“Lindsborg During World War I: Service, Sacrifice, and Dissent”
A digital humanities project using historic photos, texts, and images of artifacts to tell the story of how Lindsborg, a small town of recent immigrants to Kansas, was affected by World War I. Thomas Jorsch, project director.

Watkins Museum of History, Lawrence ($10,000)

“Langston’s Lawrence”
A short film documenting the influence Lawrence, Kansas, had on Langston Hughes’ representation of humanities in African American life and culture. Tess Banion, project director.

Humanities Happenings 6/21-6/23

Greensburg May 2016 (2)

Photo by Cindy Higgins.

Beat the heat and refresh your mind with humanities presentations across the state.

Lansing, Great Bend, & Salina: Kansas City Monarchs in Our Hometown

Formed in 1920, the Kansas City Monarchs revolutionized baseball: not only were they charter members of the Negro National League and the first professional team to use outdoor lighting, the Monarchs also sent more players to the major leagues than any other Negro Leagues franchise. Phil S. Dixon’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the exciting early barnstorming days of the Monarchs, highlights great players such as Wilber “Bullet” Rogan, Satchel Paige, and Jackie Robinson who wore the uniform, and connects the spirit of the Monarchs to the many Kansas communities in which they played.
June 21 at 6:00 PM at Lansing Community Library. Details here.
June 22 at 7:30 PM at Barton County Historical Society. Details here.
June 23 at 7:00 PM at Salina Public Library. Details here.

Atchison: Throw Like a Girl

Many female athletes in Kansas have fascinating tales of perseverance, hard work, and success on levels where they were previously barred from competition. Margaret Thompson Murdock of Berryton competed in the 1976 Olympics as the first woman to represent the United States in a shooting competition. Kendra Wecker, a native of Marysville, made headlines in 1995 at age 12 when she became the first girl to reach the finals of the NFL’s Punt, Pass, & Kick competition. Laura Hartley’s Speakers Bureau presentation will explore the landscape for women athletes before and after Title IX legislation and how opportunities for women have impacted sports in our country. June 23 at 6:00 PM at Atchison Public Library. Details here.

Dodge City: Growing Up American

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the children of Kansas immigrants lived with their feet planted in two distinct worlds. Immersed in the traditions of their transplanted parents, many young ethnic community members also came to see themselves as authentic Americans — at least to varying degrees. Many children became entirely comfortable in “American settings,” completely familiar with the language and culture of mainstream life on the southern Plains. Isaias J. McCaffery’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores how these children often felt pulled between two identities — with two languages, two behavior patterns, and often two names — not entirely rooted in either camp. June 23 at 7:00 PM at Dodge City Public Library. Details here.

Find more humanities events on KHC’s Calendar of Events.

Humanities Happenings 6/10-6/16

Treat yourself to a humanities staycation this week with cultural events happening right here in Kansas.

Kansas City: “Quindaro” Screening

Founded in 1857 on the Missouri River, the town of Quindaro thrived for six years. The “Quindaro” documentary short film examines the history of of the northeast Kansas community and looks at future plans for the area’s revitalization. A panel discussion following the screening features former Kansas City Councilman Chester Owens and Pastor Stacy Evans from the Allen Chapel AME Church. “Quindaro” was produced by the Northeast Cooperative Council, Inc., and Filmmaker Jefferson Edward Donald with the support of a KHC Humanities grant. Saturday, June 11 at 10:00 AM at Kansas City Kansas Public Library. Details here.

Abilene: Soda Fountains of Kansas

Relive the glory days of the soda fountain where tonics and curatives evolved into refreshments like the Brown Cow, the Mudslide, and the Egg Cream. Government regulations, World War I luxury taxes, and bottled soda pop prompted Kansas pharmacists to make more ice cream concoctions and add food to keep their evolving fountain sideline business profitable. Cindy Higgins’ Speakers Bureau presentation also explores soda fountains in Kansas today. Saturday, June 11 at 6:00 PM at Dickinson County Historical Society. Sponsored by Heritage Homes Association. Details here.

Larned: Make Art, Not War

Kansas: A frontier where strong people with strong opinions find their voice. Throughout our turbulent history, Kansans has vociferously and voraciously pursued the greater good, working with both established systems as well as outside these systems to affect change. With these movements comes a rich array of protest art — art made to draw attention to a topic of great concern in the hope of eliciting change or expanding the conversation. From John Steuart Curry’s depiction of John Brown’s call to action to M.T. Liggett’s politically-charged fence-line artwork, Erika Nelson’s Speakers Bureau presentation of protest art in Kansas includes an array of forms. Sunday, June 12 at 2:00 PM at the Santa Fe Trail Center. Details here.

Goodland: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Walt Disney

Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most visibly recognizable historical figures. Hundreds of books and articles have tackled nearly every aspect of his life: his political career, writings, psychological and marital problems, and his assassination. Yet is had not always been an easy road in terms of the memory of our 16th president. In the 1960s as the Civil War Centennial got underway, the leadership of the commission thought Lincoln needed to be diminished because of a belief that Civil War students did not care much about his legacy. Brian Craig Miller’s Speakers Bureau presentation tells how the commemoration would have been a total disaster if it were not for Walt Disney, who forged on his own to bring Lincoln to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York through the construction of an attraction called “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.” Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 PM at Goodland Public Library. Details here.

Topeka: Poet Laureate of Kansas™

Join Poet Laureate of Kansas™ Eric McHenry for an evening of poetry and discussion at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. The State Champion of the Poetry Out Loud competition, Sarah Katsiyiannis of Tipton, will open the event. Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 PM. Details here.

Find more humanities events across Kansas on the KHC Calendar of Events.

Humanities Happenings 6/3-6/9

Photo credits (L to R) Mid-America All-Indian Center; Perry Pride; Mead, Larkin G. , , Collector. Walking dresses for January 1843 Engraved for the Lady's World. [Philadelphia, Pa.: Charles J. Peterson, 1843] Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress

Photo credits (L to R) Mid-America All-Indian Center; Perry Pride; Mead, Larkin G. , , Collector. Walking dresses for January 1843 Engraved for the Lady’s World. [Philadelphia, Pa.: Charles J. Peterson, 1843] Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress

A week’s worth of humanities events to get your June off to a lively start!

Concordia: Dressing for Success, Victorian Style

Victorian women in the United States and Britain took upward of four hours to dress themselves per day, and they usually had a maid to help them. Layer upon layer of prim and proper clothing was worn, from bare necessities to gloves, hair pins, umbrellas, shoes, and brooches. There were outfits to be work in the morning after rising, at early afternoon, and in the evening. Sara Jane Richter’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores why these women endured such restrictive and sometimes deadly clothing, as well as the elements, purpose, and the proper way to put it all on. Friday, June 3 at 1:30 PM at the National Orphan Train Complex and Research Center. Details here.

Manhattan: Throw Like a Girl

Many female athletes in Kansas have fascinating tales of perseverance, hard work, and success on levels where they were previously barred from competition. Margaret Thompson Murdock of Berryton competed in the 1976 Olympics as the first women to represent the United States in a shooting competition. Kendra Wecker, a native of Marysville, made headlines when at age 12 she became the first girl to reach the finals of the NFL’s Punt, Pass, & Kick competition. Laura Hartley’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the landscape for women athletes before and after Title IX legislation and how opportunities for women have impacted sports in our country. Saturday, June 4 at 2:45 PM at the Four Points Sheraton. Sponsored by Business & Professional Women of Kansas. Details here.

Wichita: Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site

The Mid-America All-Indian Center & Museum marks the opening of the Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site with presentations about Kansas ecology and early inhabitants. The interpretive signage project connecting ecological and botanical elements with the culture and history of American Indians is supported by a KHC Humanities grant. Speakers include Kelly Kindscher, Kansas Biological Survey; Katie Sparks, KU Biodiversity Institute; and Gloria McSpadden-Streib, tribal elder. Saturday, June 4 at 1:00 PM. Details here.

Chanute & Wathena: Sharing Patterns, Sharing Lives

In the early 20th century, Emporia was home to a group of innovative quilters that included Rose Kretsinger, Charlotte Whitehill, and Hannah Haynes Headlee. Today their quilts are housed in art museums and revered internationally. In the Speakers Bureau presentation, Deborah Divine discusses Kansas quilts from this time period and the unique collaborations that sparked “the Emporia, Kansas phenomenon” and some of the finest quilts of the 20th century. Following a brief lecture and discussion, participants will make a Kretsinger-inspired quilt square of their own. Monday, June 6 at 6:30 PM at First Methodist Church. Sponsored by the Chanute Public Library. Details here. Thursday, June 9 at 6:30 PM at Wathena Branch, Doniphan Co. Library District 1. Details here.

Oberlin: A Scattered People: An American Family Moves West

Gerald McFarland offers a vivid, personal history of five generations of his family who migrated west over the course of two centuries. Their struggles, successes, and causes (one relative was John Brown) mirror our country’s history and dreams. Gene T. Chávez leads this TALK book discussion at Oberlin City Library on June 7 at 6:30 PM. Details here.

Many more humanities events are happening this summer. Visit the KHC Calendar of Events for more information.