Lawrence

Porter Arneill, public art administrator for Kansas City, Missouri, and director of the Municipal Art Commission since 2002, is leaving for a new position in Lawrence, Kansas, where he'll be director of arts and culture. His last day on the job in Kansas City is April 22. 

"The past 13 years with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, have been tremendously rewarding for me and it's clear the city is moving in a good direction, particularly through the realms of art, craft, design and culture!" Arneill wrote in an email.

A native of St. Louis, Arneill trained as a sculptor and earned his master's degree in fine arts from the Massachusetts College of Art. But in the 1990s, he turned to arts administration. 

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Just in the last handful of years, an industrial area in Lawrence, Kansas has been transformed into what's called the Warehouse Arts District. Previously boarded up buildings, like a former grocery warehouse and a cider vinegar plant, now house a gallery, a few dozen artist studios, and apartments. 

Karen Matheis / Larryville Artists

Throughout the 1990s, Mark Hennessy was the frontman for the hard rock Lawrence band PAW. After the band broke up in 2000, Hennessy turned his focus to writing — and continued performing.

"I think performance of poetry offers opportunities to communicate in ways that the page just doesn't," says Hennessy. 

There's a new recording studio in Lawrence, and it's located inside the public library. What does it say about Lawrence that of all the new resources the library could provide its citizenry, a recording studio is what most suited the town's needs? Plus, a Lawrence music blogger talks about the weird, vibrant city she shows off in her video, Just A Sec, and a record store owner reflects on change in the Lawrence music scene over the past 15 years.

Guests:

courtesy: el dorado inc.

Update: Lawrence residents expressed concerns after reading the entire ArtPlace grant application, which had not been been made available to the public until this week. The grant listed architecture firm el dorado inc. as the lead project designer, but the firm was not officially selected by a committee until this month.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

East Lawrence, Kan., is a mecca for artists with its affordable housing and studio space.

But an influx of funds for creative placemaking could change all that.

In June 2014, Lawrence Arts Center received a $500,000 ArtPlace America grant. The 9th Street Corridor project calls for a transformation of six blocks between New Hampshire and Delaware streets.  The plan includes "multimodal paths, upgrade amenities, and new models of urban infrastructure" along with art. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

The chestnut harvest in Kansas ends during the first few weeks of October, and every year around that time 40 to 50 workers pick pounds of nuts from 1,500 chestnut trees on an orchard right outside of downtown Lawrence.

Since 1995, Charlie NovoGradac, also known as "Chestnut Charlie," and Deborah Milks have been cultivating, collecting and distributing chestnuts.

When the harvest is over, the orchard is covered in gigantic thorny cockleburs. As they ripen during the season, these prickly husks open and release the chestnuts.

Paul Andrews

Paul DeGeorge and his brother Joe have been writing and performing songs about the trials and triumphs of wizards-in-training since 2002. They look disorientingly similar, and both wear v-neck sweaters and neck ties. Their band, Harry and the Potters, has inspired its own genre: "wizard rock."

It was the younger brother, Joe, who first read the Harry Potter books. In his early 20s when the first books in the series came out, Paul, the older of the DeGeorge brothers, picked them up out of curiosity; he immediately related to the Harry Potter character as a punk.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of writer William S. Burroughs, an icon of the Beat movement.

Burroughs lived in Lawrence, Kan., from 1981 until his death in 1997.

As a way of honoring him, the Lawrence Arts Center is focusing some of its programming on Burroughs' work and influence, including a production of the 1950s musical The Nervous Set.

Here, Megan Birdsall sings one of the songs from the production called "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most":

Lora Jost

The Lawrence Public Library on Thursday revealed this year's set of banned books trading cards.

It marks the third time the Kansas library has celebrated Banned Books Week by highlighting shunned classics and contemporary works with a set of trading cards. 

(Courtesy of Digital Ally)

The University of  Kansas Police Department began the new school year with eight body-mounted cameras that its officers are wearing on all patrols.

The department ordered the cameras last spring – well before the protests in Ferguson, Mo., when a police officer killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man. Since then, many have called for using the body-mounted cameras to keep police accountable.

The KU Police Department has used dashboard cameras for 20 years, said Capt. James Anguiano said. But those video cameras have limited use, for those officers in vehicles, he said.

Alan C. / Flickr-CC

Kansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage hasn't stopped same-sex couples from getting divorced in Douglas County.  

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sat down with David Brown, a family lawyer in Lawrence who has personally helped two same-sex couples divorce. 

Brown says that the Kansas state constitution has to do with public policy, not the court's legal recognition of gay marriage.

Thegreenj / wiki commons

As the national media look back at grunge and Nirvana is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Central Standard revisits Kansas City's hole-in-the-wall venues of the 1990s and asks: Was there a Kansas City sound? And are the musicians and fans active at that time still making, promoting and listening to music today?

Frank Morris / KCUR

Musician Chuck Mead has made a name for himself in Nashville, but his new album is all about his home state of Kansas. Mead describes the music in Free State Serenade as “Kansas Noir… true stories of love, murder, and a UFO."

“Nashville is where you go to make country music,” says Mead. “There’s a certain song vibration down here, there’s a whole song writing culture and playing culture that really doesn’t exist outside of New York, or Los Angeles or Chicago."

KCUR

Craft beer makers from all over the region are poised to descend upon Lawrence for the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition this weekend.  

And we’re wondering how Kansas Citians identify with the specialty ales.

We want to know what your beer choice says about you.

Tell KCUR: Are you a Joe six-pack or craft beer kind of person? Why?

From William S. Burroughs in Prints: A Portfolio of Original Photographs / Courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art

Wednesday, February 5, marked what would have been the 100th birthday of one of the 20th century’s most important and notorious writers: William S. Burroughs.

Burroughs was one of the original Beat poets, and helped spark a cultural revolution. He wrote like no one had before, about topics considered impolite, if not obscene, at the time.  

Franklin B Thompson / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Lawrence, Kan. is probably best-known to most of us as the home of the University of Kansas, but the beloved college town has also become a dining destination for Kansas City diners. Just 45 minutes outside of the heart of Kansas City, Lawrence boasts one of the best bakeries in the Midwest and at least a half dozen truly excellent restaurants. Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Mary Bloch, Emily Farris, and Sara Shepherd  give you a crash course in Lawrence dining. Notebooks ready? 

New and Notable

Pioneers' Hardship In Eastern Kansas

Sep 5, 2013
R-Cleland / Flickr - CC

Traveling to a new land, a place one has never been before can be nerve-wracking. More so when that land is uninhabited, undiscovered, and there is no support system other than your family and those traveling with you. In the case of settlers moving west, sometimes the only place for them to express themselves--their thoughts, their emotions--was their journals.

Meet The Buskers

Aug 22, 2013
Bill Anderson / KCUR

So, a fire-eater, juggler, and a comedy-hypnotist-cowboy all walk into a radio studio. On the program today, there was a merry band of street performers also known as buskers.

Essentially, they make their money by doing a live, audience-interactive performance, followed by passing a hat around in order to collect a profit. It's an incredibly risky pursuit, but those who can make a living at it, get much more than just money in return. 

A Look Back At Quantrill's Raid, 150 Years Later

Aug 21, 2013
Joe Colman b. 1955 / Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas

It was guerrilla war, and not unlike Afghanistan today or what happened in Iraq. But this was on native Kansas soil.

One hundred fifty years ago this morning, 400 men rode out of Missouri to kill and to destroy much of abolitionist Lawrence, Kan.

With the massacre lodged in history, a group of students from the Army’s Command and General Staff College at nearby Fort Leavenworth ventured to the scene of the 1863 carnage.

Alex Smith

This week, during Passover, Jewish communities everywhere will gather together to retell one of the oldest tales in the world: the biblical story of Exodus. 

Spencer Museum of Art

The state of health care in the U.S. was at the top of the list of concerns many Americans took to the voting booths this week.

Hallmark Cards, Inc. today announced the consolidation of its manufacturing operations in Kansas to two locations: Lawrence and Leavenworth.

Get Your Busk On

Aug 23, 2012

On this Thursday's Central Standard, an extreme pogo performer, a sword swallower, and a look at this year’s Lawrence Busker Festival.

'Dog Days' Community Workout Heats Up In Lawrence

Aug 7, 2012
Elana Gordon / KCUR

It’s the "Dog Days" of summer, and an unseasonably hot one at that.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It’s a toast to the happy hour, so raise your glasses Kansans!  As of this Sunday, Kansans will legally be able to partake in the after-work and late-night tradition of happy hour drink specials. 

Body Of Art: The Human Form

Jun 6, 2012
Louis Copt / louiscopt.com

What's it like to be a nude model....or an artist working from one?