Economic Development in Kansas is changing. A banner program and important effort driving this initiative is the Kansas Framework for Growth, a comprehensive strategy for economic growth in the coming 15-20 years. More than 1,000 Kansans have given their input into the process. We first heard of the strategy and program as citizens. And, wanting to engage in the process, we attended two different events. In this episode, Rachel talks with Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce, Patty Clark, about the outcome of the study and current status of the program.
Note: This episode was recorded before the effects (closures and self-isolation protocols, etc.) related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are unaware of any curtailments to the rollout process of the Kansas Framework for Growth and because we believe in the importance of the effort are releasing this episode per our original schedule for March. Please visit the website to discover how you can get involved and any impacts or changes to the calendar or events as a result of pandemic protocols.
Kansas Framework for Growth
Kansas Department of Commerce
Kansas Main Street Program
Get to Know a Kansan (links)
Symphony in the Flint Hills
Kansas State Parks (Cabin reservation info)
Depot Theater Company
Dodge City (Amtrak information)
Dwight D. Eisenhower (Presidential Library)
Were you aware that there is a group of Kansans providing thought leadership in the area of caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and seniors? In this month's episode, Rachel talks with Mike Strouse, CEO of Goodlife Innovations. RememberKC Pop Co? They are one of Goodlife's innovative life enrichment and skill development programs. Rachel sits down to listen and learn (uncover) how they are delivering the kind of life people they support want to lead, and how other agencies are looking to them in order to implement similar models across the country.
How do you more cost effectively deliver the kind of lives that people want to lead? That’s what it’s really about. ~Mike Strouse, CEO Goodlife Innovation
Rachel describes herself as a self-proclaimed Kansas Ambassador as does this month’s guest, Bryan Lisbona. Bryan is driven by the philosophy #lovewhereyoulive, and he invests in that philosophy and takes daily steps to live his truth. Through our conversation listeners will uncover details of Bryan and his family’s journey into small town life after their decision to leave one of the state’s (sub)urban areas. Listeners uncover the benefits of smaller towns, and why Kansas offers distinctive qualities of life such as knowing your neighbors, the ability - perhaps necessity - to get involved and impact your town in concrete ways, and living in communities whose energy wellspring is generated by the various personalities and characteristics and actions of the town-folk themselves, not by the depth of restaurant reservation wait-lists and number of new openings of entertainment venues.
We talked and uncovered A LOT, so the ‘links in the show notes” are pretty long!
Nick Hague - Astronaut
Kansas Sampler Foundation
Uncovering Kansas: Big Kansas Road Trip 2019 episode
Uncovering Kansas episode (featuring Gypsum Hills)
Flint Hills Discovery Center
Johnson County Museum
Rachel and Geoff briefly review highlights from the podcast's second (2019) season, and discuss our upcoming 3rd season and beyond. A few side projects are shared with listeners and then -- WOW! Rachel uncovers for our listeners an absolutely fascinating figure from Kansas history. A pioneer, in multiple ways, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius.
A state with socialist leanings (Kansas was a hotbed at the time). A Jewish man sympathetic to these, Emanuel Halderman-Julius served as editor for the Appeal to Reason before becoming, as many consider him to be, the inventor of the paperback book and, perhaps ironically as seen through the lens of the 21st century historical observer, the Henry Ford of the publishing industry. A true innovator and forward thinker in both business and culture, Haldeman-Julius and his wife took on each other's last names. With laser-like precision, using methods described in modern business vernacular as guerilla marketing, he created and built a publishing enterprise he wanted to see serve the working class reader—fulfilling their need for learning AND enjoyment.
Clarification: In the audio, Rachel refers to William S. Burroughs and listeners might misinterpret his status as a Kansan. He was a Lawrence, KS resident (we were there!) though not a Kansas native.
Links mentioned in episode:
www.pmocoaching.com (new business-centric podcast on developing skills behaviors and attitudes hosted by Rachel)
www.sixstringcpa.com (new audio-format short story series Geoff writes under his name)
Love frozen snacks? How about all natural ingredients, do they make you smile? Does the thought of small businesses creating jobs that foster skill development and increased independence for people living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/D) make you smile from ear to ear? We're a 'YES' for all three and that’s why Rachel interviewed Ky Kanaman of KC Pop Co for the November ‘19 episode.
Enjoying an all natural ice pop for breakfast during the Kaw Valley Farm Tour. Believe it or not, that's how we discovered the Kansas business featured in this month's episode. Unexpected, yes. But what would you expect in the Land of Oz?
KC Pop Co is a small batch manufacturer of ice-pops whose kitchen facility is located in Baldwin City, on Midnight Farm. We learned of KC Pop Co while participating on the Farm Tour, and fell for KC Pop Co’s mission and approach. Sure, it may be a little colder outside while you’re listening to this. But, this is Kansas. We may get a 66F day in January. And, besides, summer gets closer with each passing day and frozen natural treats will soon be needed. Even for breakfast, to which Rachel can attest.
Uncovering Kansas participated in the Kaw Valley Farm Tour this year. While we were out we interviewed farmers and attendees (and some of the wildlife, too).
This month Rachel uncovers another story about a Kansan, Nancy Overmyer. Rachel (and Geoff) met Nancy while they were volunteering for the Lenexa Art Show in May 2019. And Rachel immediately fell in love with Nancy’s artwork.
In this episode, Rachel sits down with Nancy, a gourd artisan who also did a stint as a librarian. They discuss the origins of the gourd, the intricacies and nuances of the gourd as (artistic) medium, and how Nancy’s path meandered and branched out to include making gourd jewelry, as well as carving and decorating. And you’ll learn what it means to ‘love the 745s’ and how Nancy sees unique patterns in each gourd. Nancy’s passion and commitment to her artistic development is evident in this interview and in her artwork (see photos). It’s no wonder her creations have been highlighted and showcased in magazines. Being a library geek herself, Rachel encourages Nancy to share with listeners her experience as a librarian as well as her personal picks and favorites from around the Sunflower State.
A note from our co-producer, Geoff: Uncovering Kansas never requests or expects compensation, in any form, from guests appearing on the show. Rachel fell for Nancy’s creativity and purchased a necklace while volunteering at the Lenexa Art Fair. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Nancy brought another necklace to the recording of this episode and presented it to Rachel as a token of appreciation and kindness. Rachel accepted the gift. While it was not a requirement of appearing on Uncovering Kansas, nor influence the content or direction of the recording, we believe it appropriate to share this information with listeners in the spirit of transparency and openness.
Gooseberry Lane (Nancy’s) Facebook Page(look for a picture with a gourd)
Sunflower Gourd Patch
Silver Lake Kansas
Maple Leaf Festival
Baldwin City Kansas
Baldwin City Lumber Yard Arts Center
Coronado Heights Castle
Emma Chase Friday Night Concerts
What’s a honey tap? Is there lanolin in alpaca? You can learn the answers by listening to the podcast and by attending the Kaw Valley Farm Tour. This year’s tour is October 5-6, 2019. It is also the 15th anniversary, featuring 34 farms located in five counties. Attendees are able to get an insider view of working farms and ranches and get to know the people who produce the food they consume and the materials that go into the products they buy. Uncovering Kansas loves encouraging our listeners to explore and learn about Kansas. Rachel interviews the owners of two of the farms participating in this year’s Kaw Valley Farm Tour: Spike and Patty Durkin of Happy Valley Farm, and Claudia Hey of Ad Astra Alpacas.
A side note from our co-producer: The relaxed format of our podcast leads to friendly, casual bantering between host and guest. This episode is no different. Listeners may incorrectly conclude we (Rachel and Geoffrey) literally 'throw out' our empty honey containers. I assure you, friends, we do no such thing. We recycle with pride and vigilance and, whether glass or plastic, our honey containers are correctly disposed of with care and attention to environmental impact. Also, I'm wicked stoked to work this honey tap. Bees, baby. Bees!
Kaw Valley Farm Tour
Happy Valley Farms
Ad Astra Alpacas
We are sharing a short BONUS episode with listeners about an event our new friends at the Kansas State Historical Society (KSHS) are hosting. Rachel offers listeners a chance to follow along her first steps as she discovers who and what the KSHS is and does by talking with Bethany Falvey and Katrina Ringler. Some focus is directed at special KSHS programming happening in Dodge City, KS in September 2019.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival, which takes place each September in St. Marys, Kansas. For 2019, the festival features Twelfth Night along with an artisan village of about 50 craft and food booths along a forest path. The festival is a volunteer led event, another example of the power of people coming together to make something happen.
Our guest is Ben Moats, the President of the festival, and he and Rachel talk about the festival, the history of St. Marys, and the importance of bringing culture to towns across the state. The festival is in September (2019). Event and ticketing details can be found at the Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival website. (Bring your own chairs and wear appropriate shoes for walking through the woods -- Shakespeare out in the open, as intended)
St. Marys Kansas
Kansas City Flint Hills Enthusiasts Group
We are working on a project to create a group in Kansas City for Flint Hills enthusiasts. We'll meet every few months to enjoy a drink, socialize, and talk about our love of the Flint Hills. If you would like to be notified once we have the details worked out, please let us know below.
The podcast about culture, travel, people, history, and enterprise in Kansas.