Stories for December 2015

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Monday, December 28

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Lawrence to host first National African American Quilt Conference in 2017

The African American Quilt Museum and Textile Academy may be small, but its founder and curator, Marla Jackson, has big plans for the unassuming room tucked away on the second floor of Independence Inc., 2001 Haskell Ave. Earlier this month, Jackson announced what she recognizes as the culmination of those efforts: In 2017, Lawrence will host the first-ever National African American Quilt Conference, a citywide event in celebration of the history and legacy of the African-American quilting tradition.

Sunday, December 27

Kansas City Connection: 36 Months in Kansas City

For my final column, I’d like to present this updated, family-friendly guide to all things KC.

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The top 10 films of 2015

Looking back at a madcap year in movies

2015 was an unpredictable year for movies.

Funky, folky and fun: The shows of New Year’s Eve

Lawrence is a solid music town with a knack for parties. Even with all the diverse musical tastes that decorate this town, New Year’s Eve is shaping up to be an impressive night of live music.

Friday, December 25

Weekend Guide: Jazzhaus Xmas Jam; Full Moon Meditation; Kara-Oke: Holiday Hangover Edition; Candlelight Yoga

This weekend promises to be a quiet one in Lawrence, with most of the few events on the docket being related to various methods of coping with the post-Christmas letdown. Rock out at the Jazzhaus (on Christmas night), partake in a little karaoke at Frank's North Star Tavern, or keep things low-key with meditation and/or yoga this weekend. Either way, happy holidays.

Sunday, December 20

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Letter winners: Club, workshops help hone the art of penmanship

For more than a year now at Decade coffee shop in East Lawrence, a group of about 15-20 people have been gathering on the first “teenth” Sunday of every month to write letters, show off greeting cards, admire each other’s stationery, and just hang out, generally speaking.

8-week Artist Inc. workshops set for spring

The Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., will host the Kansas City-based Artist Inc. seminar this spring. Classes will take place on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. March 22 through May 10.

Kansas City Connection: New Year’s options and a last-minute gift guide

Is New Year’s overrated? It depends who you ask. All the same, a memorable night out on the town on the last/first day of the year can provide you with a snapshot in time that you’ll remember long after the hangover wears off.

Saturday, December 19

Visiting researcher to tell story of KU alumnus, celebrated band director William P. Foster in new book

William P. Foster’s life story, including his time at KU, is the subject of an upcoming book by Marching 100 alumnus Curtis Inabinett Jr. As a recipient of KU’s inaugural Alyce Hunley Whayne Visiting Researchers Travel Award, the first-time author and South Carolina resident has spent this week combing through thousands of documents at the Spencer Research Library’s African American Experience Collections that will add “the final touches” to his “The Legendary Florida A & M University Marching Band, the History of ‘The Hundred.’”

Friday, December 18

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Former KU, NBA star Scot Pollard to compete on next season of 'Survivor'

Former Kansas University and NBA player Scot Pollard will compete on the 32nd season of CBS' "Survivor," Entertainment Weekly reports.

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Jazzhaus Big Band still swinging in third decade of Christmas Formal

On Dec. 19, Jazzhaus owner Rick McNeely will be leading a 17-piece band in its 33rd year of the Jazzhaus’ Big Band Christmas Formal. Revelers will dress up in their holiday finest and dance the night away to big band music while dozens of horn players blast lively tunes through the air.

Sunday, December 13

Spencer Museum of Art receives $50,000 award from NEA

Kansas University’s Spencer Museum of Art has received a $50,000 Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the museum announced Friday.

Kansas City Connection: The debut of KC Ballet's new 'Nutcracker' and other family activities

Audiences in Kansas City got their first peek at the Kansas City Ballet’s bold new production of “The Nutcracker” last week, and the opening performance was met by spontaneous applause and cheers of delight. The massive redesign, led by artistic director Devon Carney, brings a visually stunning overhaul to the classic ballet, with new choreography, costumes and set designs.

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Between 'Chi-Raq' and a hard place

Kevin Willmott on the strong reactions to his and Spike Lee's bold, timely new film and how it has been misconstrued from the start.

Saturday, December 12

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Good wood: Musicians seek out local guitar maker to create custom instruments

If you give Danny Corwin anything made from wood, chances are he can sculpt it into a guitar.

Friday, December 11

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Weekend Guide: 'A Kansas Nutcracker;' Holiday Farmers Market; 'Big Band Christmas'; organ vespers concert

Another holidaze of a weekend in Lawrence, with everything from seasonal shopping, big band and vespers concerts, and an annual local twist on "The Nutcracker."

Style Scout: Jesus Leos

Whom do people say you look like? Pedro from “Napoleon Dynamite,” or Mulan when I have my hair in a bun.

Style Scout: Cassidy Sinlasath

What’s your spirit animal? Maybe a bunny… They just hop along. They’re cute but they’re quiet; low-key.

Thursday, December 10

Lawrence Arts Center chief program officer elected to Americans for the Arts advisory council

Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing the arts and arts education in the U.S., has elected Lawrence Arts Center chief program officer Margaret Weisbrod Morris as a member of its advisory council for arts education, the Arts Center announced Thursday.

Wednesday, December 9

Lawrence artist Anne Bracker, late husband Bill Bracker to receive regional art award

Local artist Anne Bracker and her late husband, Bill Bracker, are newest honorees of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts’ Regional Award for Excellence, the organization has announced.

Sunday, December 6

Kansas City Connection: Ugly sweaters, Legos for adults and KU basketball at the Sprint Center

Here are some of this week's most exciting events amid a busy time of holiday happenings.

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Food for thought: Environmental journalist Simran Sethi on the world's vanishing biodiversity — and how we can save it

Five years ago, Simran Sethi embarked on a six-continent journey that would introduce her to hundreds of farmers, producers and other food experts. Along the way, Sethi discovered how some of the world's most beloved foods are slowly vanishing through genetic erosion, a slow and steady loss of diversity in what he grow, what is sold to consumers and what we eat. This week she'll return to Lawrence — where she spent last summer editing her new book, "Bread, Wine, Chocolate" — to share her findings.

Friday, December 4

Style Scout: Krys Arkeketa

Tell us a secret: "Moulin Rouge" was not a bad movie.

Style Scout: Robert Stauffer

Tell us a secret: I think a smile is probably the most important asset a person has.