The Kansas Humanities Council (KHC) recently awarded the Kinsley Library $2,705 in support of the “It Blew So Hard: The Dust Bowl and Great Depression in Western Kansas” discussion series. Joan K. Weaver serves as the project director.
“This grant makes it possible for the library to host its fourth winter discussion series led by Dr. Leo E. Oliva,” said Weaver. “The topic is of particular interest to this region that experienced the Dirty Thirties and now has concerns over water sustainability.”
The series compliments the national American Library Association’s traveling exhibit, ‘Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry,’ which will have its grand opening on January 10. The Kinsley Library is one of only 25 entities in the country chosen to host the exhibit.
“It Blew So Hard” will meet from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoons: Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8, and April 12. It is free and open to the public. People are asked to register for the series at the Kinsley Library website www.kinsleylibrary.info or by calling (620-659-3341) or coming to the library. The series will be held in the Kinsley City Room adjacent to the library, 208 E. 8th St.
Besides monthly discussions led by Dr. Oliva, the sessions will host a variety of presentations. The January meeting will include “Hank Emerson” a Dust Bowl farmer in Morton County reenacted by Nolan Sump from Blue Springs.
In February, singer/songwriter Thad Beach will entertain with “Dust Bowl Survivors: We called It the Dirty Thirties.” Beach will also be conducting a week-long Artist in Residency at USD 347 helping the students experience the Dust Bowl era through music and composition.
March will include a viewing of the film “Harvesting the High Plains” directed by Jay Kriss, the grandson of John Kriss who managed the Ray Garvey land in NW Kansas beginning in the 1930s. “We are very excited that Jay Kriss has agreed to come and talk to the group about his grandfather and the making of this documentary,” said Weaver.
The last session in April will include a panel of experts looking at future water issues in western Kansas.
A complete schedule with information about presenters, suggested readings, and online registration is available on the Kinsley Library website www.kinsleylibrary.info
“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. “Even after eighty years, the themes of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression are still relevant today. The Kinsley Library’s discussion series offers an opportunity for thoughtful consideration of current events through the lens of the 1930s.”
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.