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K is for Kansas and Kauffman Museum

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Kauffman Museum will host an open house to feature the exhibit entitled "K is for Kansas: Discovering Kansas from A to Z" from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 1. The open house will celebrate the completion of the exhibit’s 26 large alphabet blocks and also kick off the exhibit’s travels across the state. The open house event is free and open to the public. "K is for Kansas" uses the letters of the alphabet to illustrate significant features of the natural and cultural history of the Sunflower State. The goal of the exhibit is to help museum visitors appreciate the unique people, places, animals, plants and everyday things of Kansas.

Each of the 26 alphabet blocks provides in-depth coverage of a word meaningful to Kansas. These words are represented in various ways, from maps and historic photographs to the "real" object. Examples include a toy

Santa Fe locomotive, a hands-on ornate box turtle shell, a Vornado fan invented in Kansas and a carving of an upland sandpiper by local artist Ray Cook.

"The exhibit reflects where we are-in southcentral Kansas on the west edge of the Flint Hills-and who we are-an exhibit team of parents, designers, teachers, scientists, artists and carpenters who, after a combined 200 years of living here, have come to love Kansas," said exhibit designer Chuck Regier.

The words selected by the exhibit team include personal favorites that point to the quirky and fun sides of Kansas. For example, Dalton Gang, Dexter helium wells and dogbane are listed as "D" words. But the exhibit also

supports social studies and science standards established by the Kansas Department of Education by including words such as dust bowl.

A 28-page, folding booklet featuring the Kansas alphabet provides the complete list of words included in the exhibit. The "K is for Kansas" booklet, along with a bookmark and two postcards, recently received first prize in the 2004 American Association of Museums Publications Design Competition.

"K is for Kansas" will be on display at Kauffman Museum through Sunday, Aug. 22. The exhibit will then travel to other Kansas museums: Smoky Hill Museum in Salina, Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma and Johnson County Museums in Shawnee.

Kauffman Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1:30- 4:30 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children ages 6-16. Kauffman Museum is located in North Newton at 27th and North Main.

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