This month, Rachel talks with Connie Blanke about Prairiesta, a festival that happens every 10 years in Russell, Kansas. Whether you are able to make it out to the festival or not, you'll learn a lot about community spirit, the importance of honoring our history, and what it takes to put together a festival.
Deines Cultural Center
Episode: Big Kansas Road Trip - The Experience
In this episode of Uncovering Kansas, Rachel interviews guest Kirk Sharp of the Gordon Parks Museum. For many the name Gordon Parks will be familiar. To others, only a vague recollection. And for some the name will be unknown entirely. No matter which group you are in, come along for the ride and join in and listen as Rachel learns about Gordon Parks and uncovers only a fraction of the eventful life of this Kansas-born man.
And if you’re like the Uncovering Kansas production team, then after learning a little of Gordon Parks you’ll quickly begin seeking more information. For example, after recording the interview Rachel devoured one Gordon Parks book and when finding another book by him was not in the library system’s inventory she quickly sent off an email to the library making the case for and requesting its inclusion.
Enjoy the episode! And we hope to see you on the road soon as the Kansas climate warms and vaccinations are delivered and bodies and imagination that have likely been more dormant than usual for the better part of twelve months begin again to explore the world around them.
Gordon Parks Museum website
Books and Films by Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks Celebration
Gordon Parks Museum Facebook
7 Gordon Parks Images that Changed America - several of the images that we discussed in the episode are here
Rachel chats with Kansas resident and fellow podcaster Landon Huslig of Wichita Life ICT. They discuss cultural aspects and details of Wichita and create from the specific a backdrop for a broader, more personal, discussion about their passion and support of Kansas, generally, including a similar objective each has for their respective podcast.
Update / Correction (dated February 23, 2021 & March 15, 2021)
Co-producer, Geoff, here with an update / correction. This month's guest mentions Naismith inventing basketball while in Kansas. The game of basketball was invented by Mr. Naismith while he worked as an instructor at the International YMCA Training school in Springfield, MA. And while the sports legend certainly improved on the sport he created while teaching at the University of Kansas and while without a doubt Kansas and Kansans hold him in such high esteem they are eager to call them one of his own, the production team at Uncovering Kansas wanted to clarify this for our current and future listeners and readers. I am sorry for overlooking my own note and not including this clarification when originally posting the show notes above. The error is mine.
Wichita Life ICT website (and podcast)
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: @WichitaLifeICT
Dockum Drug Store Sit In
Keeper of the Plains
Wichita River Fest
Uncovering Kansas episode on Comicon
Air Capital Comic Con
Taco Fest Twitter: @WichitaTacoFest
Little Jerusalem State Park
In this month’s episode of Uncovering Kansas Rach talks with Grammy-nominated musical artist Jan Kraybill. If y’all could have seen Rachel’s eyes when she slotted this interview. She doesn’t geek out over too many things. Rachel is pretty level-headed. But she does enjoy a classical music concert, there’s no denying that.
When Geoff, our co-producer, listened to the initial post-production he smiled and nodded as Jan communicated a response she receives after mentioning she’s from Kansas City to strangers she meets in her travels. Rachel and Geoff receive similar responses. In fact, the communication dynamic is so memorable and powerful Geoff included it in a story he wrote in November 2019. Be sure to listen close when Jan and Rachel start to discuss meeting new people while traveling. Have you received similar questions about the Kansas City area?
So, turn up your volume if you’re going to multitask while listening, or grab your favorite set of earbuds and your beverage of choice. Find a comfy spot and settle in. Relax and listen to Rachel and Jan take a meandering audio backroads drive through the subjects of music, Kansas, travel and more.
And, as always, thanks for listening and sharing this podcast with others.
See a video of Jan
Beethoven Walks Into a Bar Podcast
Sam Ramey - operatic bass
Mark Schultz - contemporary Christian
The Prairie Museum of Art and History
Salt Mines in Hutchinson
Humanities Kansas Hotline 1-888-416-2018
In this month’s episode, Rachel talks with Deb Kohn and Cheryl Germann, Co-Coordinators of the Poetry Out Loud program in Kansas. They uncover the way that Kansas students can compete while also learning about poetry and performance.
Kansas Poetry Out Loud website
See a video of Sarah Katsiyiannis, Khadija Ceesay, and Santiago Vasquez
Poetry Out Loud Kansas Facebook Page
"Flight Path" a poem by Geoffrey Allison (read, in this episode, by Rachel)
Building a Bookshelf
In this month’s episode, Rachel talks with Tony Helfrich, Director of Adventure Programs at McPherson College. They uncover the way that a passion for Kansas outdoors can add to the richness of experience for students at McPherson, while also teaching them life skills along the way.
Bulldog Adventures - @mcbulldogadv (instagram & twitter)
Shotgun Sports Program - @mcshotgunsports (instagram & twitter)
Maxwell Wildlife Refuge
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
In this month’s episode, Rachel talks with Stephen Bridenstine of the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Rachel uncovers the draw of the place. Hint: it sounds as though it caters to all ages, nature lovers and science lovers. The center is located in Manhattan, KS and so it can be both a destination in its own right as well as temporary exploratory stop as you and your family are out wandering the Sunflower State.
This month’s links are:
Flint Hills Discovery Center website
Lesser Prairie Chickens
Flint Hills Foundation
Flint Hills Learning Center - including maps
Hello, Kansas! Uncovering Kansas Podcast co-producer Geoff here, with this month’s show notes.
I pitched the idea for this month’s episode to Rach back in late May and, paraphrasing now, it went a little something like this: “Not now,” I had said. “I understand things are still in a fragile state. But when we start to come out of the pandemic, I think we should send out invitations to several communities across Kansas. Offer them a chance to share a little about their community’s COVID story. However they want to tell it: it’s their story, after all. Whatever they want to share. The good. Or the bad. The uplifting, or sad. People will shoot straight. They won’t hide from the tougher bits they had to work through.”
We recognize we aren’t clear of the pandemic yet. There are new spikes in places. And concerns as winter approaches. There’s still work to be done. Together. And that’s why this may be the best time to share this episode. To remember the parts of the challenge met. The best efforts in the face of uncertainty. The human element.
We’re grateful to everyone who follows and listens and shares this podcast with others. Because of you, we’re growing. Because of you, we’re in a position to share bits and pieces of Pittsburg’s COVID-era story with the world. That’s right, Kansas. Uncovering Kansas has listeners from outside the (mostly) rectangular-shaped heart located smack dab in the center of the United States of America—the place we call home. Folks is interested, as ya might say. So, again, THANK YOU.
Stay safe and healthy, and we hope you enjoy this month’s episode.
Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce
Crawford County Travel Site
Rachel sits down with kristopher swanson from The Neighboring Movement, a Wichita based community development organization. They talk about how to uncover the unique assets you have in your own neighborhood, and the similarity and parallel of the missions of both organizations. Uncovering Kansas: to inspire Kansans to learn more about the gifts we have within our state. The Neighboring Movement: to connect people with their neighbors as a way to help restore the social fabric and health of our neighborhoods.
After listening to this episode we hope you go out and talk to your neighbors. Learn something new about their unique gifts and build a stronger relationship that creates a more enriching environment for you to live in.
Neighboring Movement website
The Neighbor Next Door Podcast
Asset Based Community Development Institute
Your co-producer, Geoffrey, here with show notes for the latest episode of Uncovering Kansas. Rachel talks with the hosts of the WORST COMIC PODCAST EVER. A fabulous episode of nerdom and the sharing of shared passions.
If I were writing a comic book script about these guys and their show it would begin like this:
Three longtime friends have a shared interest: comics. They decide to produce a comic books podcast and share it with the world. The content will be earnest. And smart. And, at times, when necessary, it will be serious because comic books, as a medium, are uniquely positioned due to their mix of both approachability and fantasy, to explore a multitude of topics impacting society writ large.
PANEL1 (half page)
We see an old dining room table set up in the middle of a room (garage, basement, backyard shed - ART decides and we'll keep consistent throughout; whatever is chosen, consider adding bits of related paraphernalia (e.g. power tools on wall rack if garage, a stack of holiday decorations in once corner if basement, etc.)). The table is the gravitational center around which three different sized bodies orbit at varying degrees: three middle age men (John, Jerry, and Cullen). Cullen [see character description notes] carries an oversized Mac desktop, making ready to place it on the table. Jerry [see character description notes] untangles a rats nest of audio and ethernet cables already on the table, along with a couple microphones and mic stands. John [see character description notes] stands at the end of the table (farthest from viewer/reader), staring at the other two men. He holds a piece of chalk in the open palm of one hand. An old timey movable chalkboard looms behind him. We see PODCAST NAMES written across the top and several columns of suggested names underneath—all of which have been crossed out.
Listeners, the comic book themes I best remember are ones where the hero overcomes life’s struggles through the help of a friend. Sometimes the friend is another superhero. Better still, it is not. It’s a co-worker from the day job the hero’s alter ego keeps. Or it is words of encouragement issued by the owner of the alimentari located in the Italian neighborhood where the hero grew up and who knew the superhero BEFORE the “powers” and is, therefore, unimpressed by them and just talks straight and tells the hero like it is.
I went to high school with the hosts and producers of the WORST COMIC PODCAST EVER, although we ran in different circles. Sure I dig their podcast content. But what I dig even more is their lasting friendship. Relationships that transcend and extend prove more powerful than special powers and abilities. It may be THE special power—the most powerful of all the superpowers. Knowingly or not, in addition to comic fandom content, Jerry, John, and Cullen share their special bond through the Worst Comic Podcast Ever. I appreciate that. Hell, I applaud it. Thank you, gents.
Links to various tidbits discussed in this episode
The podcast about culture, travel, people, history, and enterprise in Kansas.