“The Kansas Mosaic: Ethnic Settlement in Central and Western Kansas, 1870-1900” discussion series will begin at the Kinsley Library on Sunday, January 10 from 2-5 p.m. The series which includes imminent scholars, historical reenactors, and ethnic culture was developed in partnership with the Kansas Humanities Council.
The topic for this first session will be the Swedish settlement of Lindsborg. Following sessions will include the Czech settlement at Wilson (Feb. 7), the Exodusters of Nicodemus (March 13), and a field trip to the Ellis County Historical Society Museum in Hays to learn about the Volga Germans of Ellis County (April 10).
The January meeting will begin with an overview of ethnic immigration to Kansas by Matthew R. Sanderson, Ph.D. Sanderson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas and the KHC’s scholar for this series.
Sanderson specializes in global social change, focusing particularly on the issue of sustainable development. His research empirically examines population and environment as aspects of development in the context of globalization.
Holly Lofton, the Director of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Center, will talk on the Swedish immigration into the area. Her discussion will be periodically punctuated with performances by Folkdanslag, the Lindsborg Swedish dance troop under the direction of Duane Fredreickson, M.D.
A companion exhibit will also open on Jan. 10. It was developed by library director Joan Weaver and highlights several ethnic settlements in the area including: the Exodusters of Morton City, Jewish agricultural settlement attempts, and the Edwards County German settlements of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish and Zion Lutheran Church.
“Kansas has been shaped by a wide variety of immigrant cultures,” said Weaver. “During this series, participants will not only learn about the past, but will also have the opportunity to look at contemporary changes in central and western Kansas demographics.”
“KHC Humanities Grants support projects that connect people with ideas and engage audiences with the humanities,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “Examining the values and traditions of early immigrants to Kansas offers the opportunity for a meaningful dialogue about contemporary issues.”
More information, suggested readings, and registration for the series is available at the library (208 E. 8th St.), by telephone (620-659-3341), and online at www.kinsleylibrary.info. A $10 registration fee for all four sessions will be charged at the door to cover museum fees and other expenses not funded by the grant. Individual sessions will cost $5 each.
The Kansas Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that supports community- based cultural programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities. For more information, visit www.kansashumanities.org.