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Next Best Thing
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Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Next Best Thing: Celebrating Black History Month

gordon_parks_boy_with_junebug_1963.jpg
Gordon Parks, Boy with Junebug, 1963. Chromogenic print. Museum Purchase © and courtesy of The Gordon Parks Foundation, Collection of the Ulrich Museum of Art."

February is Black History Month, and there are several local opportunities to be entertained and informed this month and well beyond.

This Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion presents Dr. Robert E. Weems, Jr. — who you know as a commentator for KMUW’s Past & Present — giving a keynote address titled “Whatever Happened to ‘Black Capitalism?’ The Decline of Public Discussion About African American Economic Development Since the 1960s.” Register for this live stream event at wichita.edu/diversitylectureseries.

On Friday, Friends University is hosting the Black Artist Series with virtual community workshops and masterclasses offered throughout the day. The impressive lineup of presenting guest artists will cover topics like African Americans in Theatre, Crafting Your Career, and Industry Q&A’s. The schedule and registration form is at friends.edu/black-artist-series.

Currently there are two exhibitions at local art museums that showcase Black artists. Gordon Parks | I, too, am America is on display at the Ulrich Museum of Art through May 8. The 40 photographs from the Ulrich collection focus on the images of children and families that Parks captured during his time at LIFE magazine.

At the Wichita Art Museum, the featured exhibition is African American Art in the 20th Century: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond. On view through May 23, this exhibition highlights the works of 34 Black artists.

Both museums have virtual events lined up throughout the spring that coordinate with their exhibitions:

Ulrich Virtual Community Forum | Race and Parenting: Finding a Way to Move Forward
2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 20
Click here to register.

Wichita Art Museum Artist Talk | Dr. Kevin Harrison
6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23
Click here to register.

Wichita Art Museum Curator Talk | Connie Choi on Artist Benny Andrews
6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 25
Click here to register.

Wichita Art Museum Senior Wednesday | Curator Talk with Dr. Tera Hedrick
10:30 a.m. on March 3
Click here to register.

Ulrich Virtual Artist Talk | Doug Barrett: Weapons of Choice
6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9
Click here to register.

Wichita Art Museum | The Sounds They Saw: Artists, Photographers, and Jazz in the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond
6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 11
Click here to register.

Ulrich Virtual Artist Talk | Renée Stout
6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13
Click here to register.

Ulrich Virtual | Dr. Rhea Combs | Beneath These Restless Skies: Gordon Parks and His Cinematic Impact
6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27
Click here to register.

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Music: "Disco Sheik" by Podington Bear. From the Free Music Archive. CC BY NC