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Creativity is theme of museum’s 2023 Kansas Day event

January 18th, 2023

Kauffman Museum exterior with signs

Creative Kansans of all kinds will be the center of the annual Celebrate Kansas Day! at Kauffman Museum on Saturday, Jan. 28, in and around the museum starting at noon.

“Kansans Create!” is the theme of the programs and activities that begin at 11:30 a.m. when food trucks from LeJ’s BBQ, Sage & Juliette Coffee and Tacos Ana’s will be in the museum parking lot at the corner of North Main and 27th Streets.

The museum and grounds open at noon for an afternoon of special activities and programs.

Attendees should park in the Thresher Stadium parking lot or the Luyken Fine Arts Center parking lot to leave the museum lot open for food trucks and handicapped parking.

Admission to the museum and all activities are free on Kansas Day.

A new event this year is a Chisholm Trail Interactive History Tour. Participants will get to fill the roles of longhorns and drovers on the trail from Texas to the railhead at Abilene.

The tour starts at 12:30 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. just outside the museum’s front door and will follow the paved path to the Chisholm Trail marker in Chisholm Park about a quarter mile north of the museum.

Special programs begin at 1 p.m. in the museum auditorium with “A Songwriter Celebrates Kansas in Song.” That’s Annie Wilson, an educator, rancher and musician from Chase County.

At 2 p.m., Emporia photographer Dave Leiker presents “A Kansas Fine Art Portrait Project.”

Finally, at 3 p.m., is “Muralist Mexicana: The Challenge and Celebration of Urban Mural Arts” with Kansas City, Kan., muralist Vania Soto.

Also inside the museum, there will be art and craft demonstrations, with special activities to help attendees find and use their own creativity.

Demonstrations include wheat weaving by Felice Goering, Moundridge; Newton Et Cetera Shop loom weaving by Carol Goering; reed screen weaving by Esther Eash, North Newton; watercolor by Susan Bartel, North Newton; ceramics by Bethel College student Abby Chappell Deckert, North Newton; wool spinning by Marnette Hatchett, Goessel; and pysanky egg painting by Janet Regier, Newton.

There will be a chance for hands-on participation in the reed screen weaving, watercolor and ceramics.

In addition, from 1-4 p.m. inside the museum are a bake sale, featuring hand-crafted Kansas cookies, and a chance to enter a raffle for a dozen pints of Salted Creamery ice cream, with proceeds from both to benefit the Kauffman Museum Association.

Among the planned outdoor activities is a collaborative mural that attenders can contribute to.

Other favorites from past Kansas Days are Buffalo Chip Tic-Tac-Toe, Prairie Dog Cornhole, old-fashioned schoolyard games, a scavenger hunt, a branding station, rope-making, corn-grinding, horse-drawn wagon rides and the always-popular popcorn popped in a kettle over an open fire.

There will be blacksmithing with Bill Moffett, and a display of vintage washing machines. The historic farmhouse will be open and the Native American teepee will be set up for visits.

Please note that some activities will depend on good weather.

Kauffman Museum’s 2023 Celebrate Kansas Day! partners are the City of North Newton, the Bethel College maintenance department, Citizens State Bank of Goessel, INTRUST Bank and Union Bank.

For more information about Kauffman Museum, including regular hours and how to become a museum member, visit its website, kauffmanmuseum.org, or Facebook page, or call 316-283-1612.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.