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Mini-exhibit highlights Kansas history through story

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NORTH NEWTON – Kauffman Museum at Bethel College is participating in the statewide tour of the traveling exhibition “Kansans Tell Their Stories.”

The Kansas Humanities Council (KHC) organized the mini-exhibit, on display in North Newton through Sunday, Jan. 16.

“Kansans Tell Their Stories” grew out of local history projects exploring what it means to be a Kansan. “These stories from across the state were researched and written by local community organizations,” said Julie Mulvihill, KHC executive director. “Together, they inspire curiosity about our past and really get us thinking about our own histories.”

Included in the traveling exhibition are stories about Topeka’s Mexican community and the railroad; the Orphan Trains in Kansas; Garden City’s Vietnamese community; Volga-German heritage in Collyer; African immigrants in northeast Kansas; Shawnee’s Belgian community; Wichita’s El Huarache neighborhood; and Fort Scott’s African-American heritage.

David Kreider, Kauffman Museum technician, has been coordinating shipping and installation of the traveling exhibition for KHC and will accompany it during the 2011 tour to Winfield, Parsons, Peabody, Seneca, Lucas, Lansing and Kinsley.

“I am privileged to crisscross Kansas with this exhibit helping local libraries, museums and community organizations showcase our rich heritage,” Kreider said.

The “Kansans Tell Their Stories” project is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. KHC conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program and encourages Kansans to participate in their communities. For more information contact KHC at 785/357-0359 or visit online at www.kansashumanities.org.

In addition to “Kansans Tell Their Stories,” Kauffman Museum is hosting a special exhibition of art by Newton’s Northridge Elementary School students. Both projects feature Kansas as part of Kauffman Museum’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood, which the museum will celebrate at their annual “Celebrate Kansas Day!” on January 29, 2011.

Kauffman Museum, located on the Bethel College campus at 27th and North Main Streets in North Newton, is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It is closed Mondays and major holidays but will have extended hours in December – open Thursday, Dec. 16, until 8 p.m. with free admission after 4:30, and open Monday, Dec. 27, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6.

For more information about the two special exhibitions and upcoming programs, contact Kauffman Museum at 316-283-1612 or see www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.

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