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Dust Bowl series proving to be a hit
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Singer/Songwriter Thad Beach will perform Dust Bowl Survivors: We Called It the Dirty Thirties during the second meeting of It Blew so Hard, an ongoing discussion series being hosted by the Kinsley Library from 2-5 p.m. on Feb. 8

The Dust Bowl era series, “It blew So Hard” will have the second meeting from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 8, at the Kinsley Library. Ninety-four people from Central and Western Kansas attended the first meeting in January.
One reason for the popularity of the series is the discussion scholar, Leo E. Oliva, Ph.D. of Woodson. As a retired Fort Hays State University professor and active historian, he brings vast knowledge and consummate presentation skills to the topic.  
During the upcoming meeting, Oliva will be discussing the Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “The Dust Bowl” along with the letters and magazine articles written by Caroline Henderson who lived in Oklahoma during the 1930s.  Her papers are archived at Mount Holyoke College.  
Members in the audience will also be encouraged to share their stories from the Dirty Thirties with other participants.  
Singer/songwriter Thad Beach of Salina will wind up the day with a musical presentation entitled, “Dust Bowl Survivors: We Called It the Dirty Thirties.” Beach uses a multi-media approach of songs and stories to explore the Dust Bowl era, including seven original songs inspired by primary source interviews of Western Kansas Dust Bowl survivors. He shares images of western Kansas during the 1930’s gleaned from the Scott County Historical Society archives. Beach comes to Kinsley with 25 years of performance in schools, libraries and other venues.
People interested in attending this free, public series are asked to register for the series at, by calling 620-659-3341, or coming by the library at 208 E. 8th St. A complete schedule and suggested readings and resources are posted on the library website. Two more meetings are planned for March 8 and April 12.
The national traveling exhibit, “Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry” that inspired this series will remain on display at the Kinsley Library through Feb. 20. Many people have already been drawn to view the exhibit developed by the American Library Association Public Programs office in Collaboration with the libraries of Oklahoma State University and Mount Holyoke College. The exhibition and tour were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
The series is being partially funded by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council, 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
The Thad Beach performance is being funded in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. This grant also supports Beach being in USD 347 schools the following week as an Artist-in-Residence exploring the Dust Bowl with the students.