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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: The Big Screen, Gridiron, And Big Bugs

Fernando Salazar
Shocker Ad Lab
The cast of Gridiron 2021


The Starlite Drive-In has been a great option for watching movies on the big screen this past year, and tomorrow is a special Art House at the Drive-In screening presented by mama.film and Wichita Jazz Festival. At 8:30 p.m., catch Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings The Band, profiling the jazz pianist, composer and innovator. The screening also includes a filmmaker Q&A with the film’s director, hosted by KMUW’s Carla Eckels. Details are at mama.film.


Like many annual events, the Society of Professional Journalists’ presentation of Gridiron took a hiatus last year, but it makes its triumphant return this Friday and Saturday. The original stage production stars local media professionals poking fun at the year’s news and newsmakers. Most importantly, it raises funds for journalism scholarships.


There are two performances, at 8 p.m. on April 30 and May 1, with limited in-person seating at Roxy’s Downtown. Or, you can purchase an at-home streaming pass at SPJ.booktix.com.


This weekend also brings the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum’s Blowout Book Sale. From 10 a.m to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, admission to the museum is free while the used book sale takes place. More info is at wichitaartmuseum.org.


If you missed the month-long Tulip Fest at Botanica, starting May 1 there’s another great reason to visit: Big Bugs. Twelve animatronic, giant insects will be installed across Botanica’s gardens through July 31. Visit botanica.org for details.



Music: "Good Times" by Podington Bear. From the Free Music Archive. CC BY NC.

Jordan Kirtley is KMUW's Marketing Manager and the host of Next Up, a local events commentary. More casually she is known as KMUW’s “in-house artist,” having designed the many facets of KMUW’s visual identity.