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Museum fundraiser will celebrate Newton’s cultural, artistic heritage

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The spring fundraiser for Kauffman Museum at Bethel College will highlight a piece of Newton’s cultural and artistic heritage.

Friends of the museum are invited to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the 40th anniversary of the creation of “La Vida Buena, La Vida Mexicana,” a mural created by Patrice and Raymond Olais of North Newton.

“La Vida Buena, La Vida Mexicana” usually hangs in Newton’s Sunset Elementary School, but it is currently on display at Kauffman Museum as part of the special exhibition “Root for the Home Team: Building Community through Sports.”

The May 5 museum event takes place at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, the original home of the “La Vida Buena” mural.

There will be appetizers and cold drinks at 6 p.m., with music provided by Los Rieleros de Kansas (Jesús Martinez Jr. and family).

At 6:30 is a Mexican buffet, prepared by Our Lady of Guadalupe Altar Society.

The program and entertainment are the Newton High School Azteca Dancers, coordinated by Patrice Olais, and a talk, “Every Mural Tells a Story,” presented by Raymond Olais.

In 1976, Ray and Patrice painted the mural “La Vida Buena, La Vida Mexicana” in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Mexican-American fast-pitch softball tournament held annually in Newton. The mural depicts the history of Newton’s Mexican-American community since the early 1900s.

In his audio-visual presentation, Raymond Olais will elaborate on the mural design process, present images and documents that inspired the mural, tell stories behind the images and discuss Mexican-American community life in Newton.

Tickets for this event are $50 per adult and $30 for anyone age 18 or younger.

RSVPs are requested no later than April 26, along with payment. Fill out a registration form at Kauffman Museum, on the Bethel College campus at 300 East 27th Street in North Newton, call 316-283-1612 or e-mail asa@bethelks.edu.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.

If you would like to see “La Vida Buena, La Vida Mexicana,” admission to the special exhibit “Root for the Home Team: Building Community Through Sports,” as well as 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, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/, or Facebook page.

The special exhibit closes June 5, after which “La Vida Buena” will return to Sunset Elementary School.

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