Arts and Culture

The Arts and Culture News Fund is made possible by our founding sponsors: The Spice Merchant and McClelland Inc.

Courtesy the Sunflower Foundation

Time may be running out for the iconic Menninger clock tower in Topeka. It's now one step closer to being torn down.

The Sundance Film Festival has helped launch some of the biggest names in filmmaking over the last three decades, including Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, and Paul Thomas Anderson.

While we're currently in the midst of a pandemic, a few Martin Luther King Jr. Day event organizers will celebrate the life of the civil rights leader through virtual events this year.

Lu Anne Stephens / KMUW

The Big Well Museum stands as a tribute to the spirit of Greensburg, which went from being a typical western Kansas town to being leveled by a tornado to being rebuilt as a truly “green” community. The museum tells the story of the town’s journey.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Norton’s Brewing Company in Old Town has a solution for outdoor dining this winter: igloos.

Forget images of packed snow: These igloos are made from PVC pipe and transparent vinyl. The sun heats up the air so quickly inside that umbrellas cover the honeycomb dome to slow down the greenhouse effect.

"We have it shaded right now because during the daytime it gets really hot in here with the sun," said Becky Norton, owner of Norton's Brewing Company. 

Wichita Eagle

From interactive Bitmoji classrooms to virtual zoo field trips and online tutoring sessions that double as social hours, the students and teachers of Gordon Parks Academy (GPA) have had to get creative this semester to preserve their sense of community.

Bonds run deep at the north-Wichita magnet school, which serves a diverse student body of roughly 350 pupils ranging from pre-K to eighth grade.

"We have kids who've been here since they were in kindergarten, so there's this sense of family with our students and our teachers and our staff," said Principal LaTonia Kennedy.

Lu Anne Stephens / KMUW

If you’ve driven west on I-70, you’ve probably seen two church towers off in the distance, about 10 miles east of Hays in the tiny town of Victoria, Kansas.

If you haven’t been curious enough to stop and check it out, you should.

Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas

What is a saint? That’s a question Joe Drape asked himself during his research for his book The Saint Makers: Inside the Catholic Church and How a War Hero Inspired a Journey of Faith.

The war hero is from Kansas, and he’s known as either Father Kuh-PAWN or Father KAY-pin. KMUW’s Tom Shine and Beth Golay caught up with Drape virtually in his New York City apartment to talk about the priest’s ongoing journey toward sainthood. Here’s part of their conversation (you can also watch Golay's author talk with Drape at the video player at the end of the page):

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Black Friday normally acts as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.

But 2020 upended that tradition ... like so many others.

Jessica Treadwell / KMUW

People say that western Kansas is empty and flat — and maybe it seems that way when you’re racing along on I-70. But if you venture off the interstate there are some surprising places that defy the Kansas stereotype.

One such place is Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, Kansas' newest state park.