New edition leads way to exploring Kansas

The 2021 edition of Travel Kansas magazine is hot off the press and being distributed to travel centers and airports across the state, where it is free to pick up. It is also available online here. The magazine includes hundreds of places and events to visit this year. 

Last year’s magazine earned first-place awards from Kansas Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women.

Popular Kansas events move to later in 2021

Because of Covid-19 safety concerns, several Kansas spring events have moved to later in the year. Those include: 

Salina’s Smoky Hill River Festival has moved from mid-June to Labor Day weekend for this year only. The 45th festival in Oakdale Park will take place Sept. 2-5 with its usual array of art-centered activities, concerts and food. For more info, visit

The Kansas Storytelling Festival in Downs has been postponed from April to Sept. 17-18. The event features professional storytellers, workshops and a Tall Tale Contest in addition to four stages of entertainment. For details, go to

The Kansas Mennonite Relief sale, which annually raises funds through a quilt auction and food sales at the Kansas fairgrounds in Hutchinson, has moved from April to July 2-3. For info, visit

Outdoor options in Wichita

Wichita’s new Riverfront Stadium will finally host pro baseball when the Wichita Wind Surge, the city’s new Double-A team, hosts its first of 60 home games on May 11. The 10-team league is part of Major League Baseball’s reorganization of Minor League Baseball.  

  The season will open with limited seating. For updates, schedule, tickets and frequent promotions, check

Music Theatre Wichita will stage several productions this year at the Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover. This is the 50th season for MTWichita’s Broadway-scale musicals, which combine theater professionals from across the country with local talent and a live orchestra.

  “Smokey Joe’s Café in Concert” will kick off the 2021 season April 28-May 2. 

“No More Talk of Darkness: Phantom’s Jeremy Stolle” on May 13-16 features an actor who played Phantom on Broadway. “Red, White and Broadway: A Star-Studded Tribute to America” will be staged July 2-3 at the amphitheater. For season or single tickets, go to

Big Bugs – an installation of 12 animatronic insects — will be placed throughout Botanica’s 20 acres from May 1 to July 31. Replica movements and life-size detail bring the creatures to life as visitors learn about each species. For bug-themed events and hours, visit

Wichita’s traditional 10-day Riverfest has been split into two parts: June 4-6, which will feature participatory events, and Sept. 30-Oct. 2, which will include a food court, concerts, parade and fireworks. See for updates.

Big Bugs – an installation of 12 animatronic insects — will be placed throughout Botanica’s 20 acres from May 1 to July 31.

Ulrich reopens with new exhibitions

Gordon Parks, “Boy with Junebug,” 1963, Ulrich collection.
Gordon Parks, “Boy with Junebug,” 1963, Ulrich collection.

Wichita State’s Ulrich Museum of Art has reopened to the public with four exhibitions on display through May 8.

“Gordon Parks: I, too, am America” and Renée Stout: Ghosts” are part of a citywide collaboration featuring the work of African American artists. 

The 40 photographs in the Parks exhibition come from the Ulrich’s holdings of 170 images created by the internationally known Kansas native. This exhibition highlights pieces from seven of the stories Parks produced while at LIFE magazine.

A contemporary artist, Stout is known for her reflections on African American heritage and the visual culture of the African diaspora. This exhibition is from 2012 works which are part of the Ulrich collection.

The 23rd Faculty Biennial, “It’s All Part of the Process,” showcases WSU faculty work in a wide range of media as well as the personal processes used in creating them. 

“Solving for X=Identity: Sharing Matrilineal Memories” examines home through the eyes of mothers and grandmothers by dance and sociology faculty at WSU. 

The Ulrich’s new regular hours (masks and social distancing required) are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Admission is free.  

“Awaiting” glass tile mosaic by WSU faculty member Tina Murano with assistant Rose Boundy.
“Awaiting” glass tile mosaic by WSU faculty member Tina Murano with assistant Rose Boundy.