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SPOTLIGHT
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Arts council truly a turning point

Published on -9/3/2013, 9:36 AM

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In the mid-1960s, Hays became the first city in Kansas to establish a community-wide arts council. The formation of this arts council was a decisive turning point for the Hays community.

Imagine what this community would be like without all the programs sponsored by the arts council over the years? The downtown certainly would have a different feel to it. There would be no art walks, no Famous Figures contest, and no Five-State Photography competition. The arts council has helped make Hays a vibrant and interesting place to live over the last 50 years.

This was the premise of an application I recently submitted to the Kansas Humanities Council. By outlining a local "turning point," Hays could be one of four communities in the state chosen to have a short, but professional film produced. On Aug. 22, I received word that the KHC had indeed chosen Hays and the formation of the city's arts council as one of the four winning communities.

Filming will begin this fall and once production of the film is complete, there will be an official premier. I'll be writing about the project as it moves along so keep your eyes peeled for updates on the filming and news of the premier event.

In other news, the month of September is shaping up to be a busy one. September sees the return of a several popular library programs. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kansas Room, I'll be hosting the second meeting of the Any Book Group. Didn't come to the first meeting? No worries. The premise of the Any Book Group is that anyone who's read any book can attend. We all read different books, so anyone can participate in the discussion. Get to know some fellow bibliophiles (book lovers) and enjoy the conversation.

At 6 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Trish Davies Room (second floor), join us for another line dancing lesson with Vanessa North. The August line dancing lesson was so popular we set up another class for September. Put on some comfy shoes and learn how to shuffle, slide and shimmy along to some of the most popular line dances. You'll never be afraid of those group dances at weddings again.

If you're an early riser who likes the outdoors, then you might enjoy a bird walk in Frontier Park with the Mannells at 8 a.m. Sept. 28. Terry and his wife are local birders, and they'll offer their expertise in identifying different types of birds. We'll meet on the east side of the Frontier Park bridge. Bring binoculars, if you have them, wear comfortable shoes and get ready to see some birds you probably didn't realize were right in your own backyard.

On Sept. 30, the library will host a chili cook-off. This will be the fourth installment of the Kansas Cooks! series. Anyone who thinks they have a superb recipe is encouraged to enter a crock-pot full of their best chili. Entries must be dropped off in the Schmidt Gallery by noon. Throughout the day, patrons will have the opportunity sample and vote for their favorite chili and, at 5 p.m., the winner will be crowned. Registration is required, so sign up by through our online calendar (www2.youseemore.com/hays/calendar.asp) or by calling me at (785) 625-9014. I hope to see you there and maybe your chili will reign supreme.

Lucia Bain is Kansas Room librarian at the Hays Public Library. lbain@hayspublib.org

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