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Bus tour one of several Kauffman Museum events marking WWI centennial

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – People around the world are commemorating the centennial of the First World War in 2017, including Kauffman Museum at Bethel College.

As the museum prepares to introduce a new traveling exhibit, “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War,” there are also special museum offerings in conjunction, including a Sept. 21 bus trip.

The centerpiece of this trip is a Kansas City, Missouri, museum that Andi Schmidt Andres, Kauffman Museum curator of education, calls “very enlightening, incredibly well done and worth the visit,” the National World War I Museum and Memorial – though there are several other options as well.

“The museum will be interesting for everyone, not just military history buffs,” Andres said.

She added, “You will be able to choose whether to spend your entire day there or go to nearby sites.”

The tour will start with a short introductory audio-visual program for everyone. Afterward, tour participants can choose to use an audio-guide, go on a guided tour or look on their own.

After lunch at the museum’s Over There Café, participants can continue exploring the World War I Museum or visit one or both of two adjacent sites.

These are Kansas City’s upscale shopping mall, Crown Center, offering independent and chain retailers, and the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank, where you can watch forklifts carrying pallets of bills and bring home a souvenir small bag of shredded money.

The trip leaves from the parking lot of Kauffman Museum on Sept. 21 and returns there after supper at the Trail Days Café and Museum at the historic Rawlinson-Terwilliger Home in Council Grove.

Before or after supper, there will be time to visit the seven historic buildings on the museum complex site.

Cost is $135 per museum member and $150 per non-member and includes a light breakfast of muffins and juice on the bus (coffee stop on the way at each participant’s expense), travel by modern motor coach, all admissions, all meals and gratuities.

The fee is refundable (minus $25 processing fee per person) up to Sept. 13. After the deadline, refunds depend on site policies and waiting lists. No refunds can be given 48 hours or less before departure.

For more information or to reserve your place, visit the Kauffman Museum store, inside the museum at the corner of 27th and Main streets in North Newton, or contact Andi Schmidt Andres, Kauffman Museum curator of education, at asa@bethelks.edu or 316-283-1612. Phone or e-mail reservations may be made with credit card information.

Kauffman Museum has one pre-tour and several post-tour programs related to “Voices of Conscience” and the World War I centennial. All events are free and open to the public.

Sept. 10 at 3 p.m., Rachel Waltner Goossen of the history faculty at Washburn University, Topeka, will give a Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum talk on the history of conscientious objection in a program sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council.

Waltner Goossen’s lecture will be followed at 4 p.m. by the opening reception for “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War.”

Post-tour programs start with Fall Festival at Bethel College. Oct. 14 at 2 p.m., Kauffman Museum hosts a panel discussion, “Remembering the Schowalter Oral History Project.”

Oct. 18, a special guest, Duane Stoltzfus, professor of communication at Goshen (Indiana) College, speaks at 6 p.m.

“The Story of the Hutterite Martyrs” stems from Stoltzfus’ research on Hutterite conscientious objectors during the war and how they were treated, in another Kansas Humanities Council program.

Oct. 29 is another Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program at 3 p.m. with Brad Born, Bethel College professor of English, exploring Pat Barker’s Regeneration, a historical novel about British soldiers during WW1 recovering from shell shock, focused primarily on one soldier, the poet Siegfried Sassoon.

Finally, Kauffman Museum presents one of its periodic Third-Thursday films, Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m. Behind the Lines is the screen adaptation of Regeneration, and Born will lead a discussion on the film following.

All programs take place in the Kauffman Museum auditorium. The museum is located on the Bethel College campus at the corner of Main and 27th streets in North Newton.

“Voices of Conscience” will be open Sept. 10-Oct. 17 before traveling to the World War I Museum for two weeks. It returns to Kauffman Museum Oct. 31 and closes Dec. 17.

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.

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