Filmmaker Jay Kriss will be speaking as part of the program for “It blew So Hard: The Dust Bowl and Great Depression in Western Kansas” discussion series from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, at the Kinsley Library, 208 E. 8th St. Kinsley.
Kriss is the grandson of John Kriss who worked for Ray Garvey during the Dirty Thirties outside Colby. He was inspired to make the film, “Harvesting the High Plains” by Craig Miner’s book of the same title and the extensive correspondence between his grandfather and Garvey, as well as interviews with family members, former employees and contractors, and former associates and farmers from the area. The film, which has aired on PBS stations, will be shown before Kriss speaks
In the film Kriss tried to present a vivid picture of how the farmers lived and worked in the 1930s. He dug through archived documents, photographs, and film footage, and staged historical re-enactments with period-accurate farming equipment gathered from a Nebraska museum. Kris says that his film is more than about farming in a difficult time, it is “about the American spirit.”
During the 3-hour session, Leo Oliva, Ph.D, will also be talking on the responses that were made to the devastation of the land including changing farming techniques and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. Some area residents will also share Dust Bowl era memories.
The program is free and open to the public. Participants can find additional resources of interest linked to the library website: www.kinsleylibrary.info. For more information contact the Kinsley Library, 620-659-3341 or email email@example.com.
The discussion series is being partially funded by 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 www.kansashumanities.org.