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Sara Shepherd

Stories by Sara

Lawrence quilt museum added to national Underground Railroad program

Quilter Marla Jackson’s African American Museum and Textile Academy will be added to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program, network leaders decided this month. By Sara Shepherd

KC nomination for national arts post could boost Lawrence's image by proximity

Having someone from nearby Kansas City in the nation’s top arts position could also reflect positively on Lawrence by proximity, some local arts leaders say. By Sara Shepherd

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Off the Beaten Plate: Candied Cabbage Salad at Mariscos

Off the Beaten Plate’s first-ever featured salad is St. Patrick’s Day-perfect, and the kind of dish that might even convert professed cabbage-haters.

Ninth Street corridor proposal is finalist for national arts grant

The Lawrence Arts Center is, for the second year, a finalist for a major national grant that would fund a so-called creative placemaking project in Lawrence. The Arts Center announced Monday that its $500,000 proposal — “Free State Connection: The 9th Street Corridor Project” — was among 97 finalists for this year’s ArtPlace America grants. By Sara Shepherd

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Off the Beaten Plate: Venison tartare at Pachamama’s

Eating raw deer meat from a stone slab feels more chic than caveman-ish with this appetizer.

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Off the Beaten Plate: Thukpa at Zen Zero

In the Himalayan mountains, where most homes don’t have central heat, residents eat a lot of this spicy, satisfying soup to take off winter’s chill.

Donations enable dairy to purchase boiler, resume bottling milk

Donations from community members enabled Iwig Family Dairy to purchase and install a used boiler, and milk is back on store shelves. By Sara Shepherd

Iwig suspends bottled milk sales after equipment breakdown

Bad news for Iwig Family Dairy fans. The dairy has suspended bottled milk sales because of an equipment breakdown it can’t afford to fix right away. By Sara Shepherd

North Lawrence's first coffee shop in years now open

A new coffee shop is now pouring in North Lawrence, ending a decidedly decaf decade on that side of the river. Owned by four Lawrence residents, the Brewhaus opened this month at 624 N. Second St., next door to the Iwig Dairy Store. By Sara Shepherd

Hot streak: Local team is tops on national competitive barbecue circuit

There are people who drink beer and smoke meat at a handful of barbecue competitions a year. Then there are people who win. Then there are people who win it all — and a local team has just joined that elite echelon, where barbecue isn’t just for fun anymore. By Sara Shepherd

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Born again: Old Lawrence churches converting to new purposes

Several pre-1900 Lawrence churches are finding new life after once-thriving congregations abandoned them. Tenants love the typically light, airy spaces, and architecture buffs love seeing the unique buildings carry on, despite often costly and challenging renovations. Here are five of Lawrence’s oldest churches, reborn. By Sara Shepherd

Photo exhibit shows Lawrence parades through the years

From suffrage marches of the 1800s to modern-day zombie walks, Lawrence has always loved a parade. A new photo exhibit at the Watkins Museum of History captures a few of the city’s many parades through the years. By Sara Shepherd

Mother grateful for ‘Christmas miracle’ after young actor collapses on Theatre Lawrence stage

When 20-year-old Jake Leet collapsed on stage Saturday night, audience members may have thought it was scripted — after all he was playing Donkey, the most physically animated character in Theatre Lawrence’s “Shrek.” But castmates quickly realized something was wrong. Leet was not breathing and had no pulse. Jake’s mother, Teri Leet of Lawrence, calls what happened next and in the following days a “Christmas miracle.” By Sara Shepherd

Lawrence businesses say it's been a good holiday shopping season

About 10 percent of you will still be shopping for gifts on Tuesday (yep, that's Christmas Eve), a National Retail Federation holiday survey estimates. As for the rest of us, local retailers can tell we’ve been checking off our lists. Businesses in downtown Lawrence, the city’s local retail hub, say it’s been a good season. By Sara Shepherd

Arts Center hopes it's found perfect fit in second Steinway grand piano

When the Lawrence Arts Center parted with its recently acquired Steinway, it wasn’t because there was anything wrong with the instrument — it was a beautiful grand piano with a lot to offer. It’s just that, well, they found a better fit. By Sara Shepherd

Public art project suggested for new Lawrence roundabout

The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission is asking the city to include an art project in the design of the new roundabout at Wakarusa and Legends drives. By Sara Shepherd

Pop-up artist colony finds home in East Lawrence church-turned-house

Just another day at Pilot Balloon Church-House? There’s probably no such thing. The historic-church-turned-house at 10th and New York streets in East Lawrence is spending the year as a pop-up artist colony, where creatives from across the country stay a week or three and, basically, create whatever they want while here. By Sara Shepherd

Lawrence coffee shop taps local market for cold brew on draft

There’s a new brew on tap in Lawrence, and this one’s entirely appropriate to drink before noon. At the end of a long line of beer handles behind the bar at Burger Stand, there’s a single tap pouring Nitro Cold Brew — Alchemy Coffee’s latest java experiment.

Modern architecture tells story of midcentury Lawrence

City documenting style to prepare for potential preservation efforts

In post World War II Lawrence, modern architecture arrived in the form of sleek commercial buildings, monolithic university structures and unusual, geometric-inspired homes. Love them or hate them, these buildings tell the story of what was happening to our city at the time — change. By Sara Shepherd

Event explores link between Quantrill's Raid and 'Nutcracker' play set two years earlier

A few characters who starred in Quantrill’s 1863 raid on Lawrence also will appear for the first time in this year’s production of “A Kansas Nutcracker,” set two years earlier. A panel discussion Tuesday night aims to explore how events — and people — from both storylines tie together. By Sara Shepherd

KU students commissioned to create artwork for Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

KU associate professor of sculpture Matthew Burke is leading “Special Topics in Art: The Federal Reserve Commission,” which will be offered each semester through fall 2014. Students’ mission is to conceive, design and execute a work of art to commemorate the Reserve's 100th anniversary.

Logs to Literature invites public to create little free libraries from salvaged wood

A new plan for trees cut down because they were in the path of the Lawrence Public Library renovation is like a chip off the old block: Turn the salvaged wood into little free libraries. By Sara Shepherd

Stolen Jim Brothers sculpture returned to gallery

A bronze sculpture stolen from a downtown art gallery was returned today. By Sara Shepherd

In some sculpture thefts, scrap metal money is thieves’ goal

Motive unknown in case of missing bronze by Jim Brothers

A bronze bust by artist Jim Brothers isn’t the only recent case of a sculpture being stolen from area galleries or public locales. The person who took the Brothers piece — and his motives — remains unknown. But the perpetrators in a few other thefts apparently were looking to cash in by turning the artworks into scrap metal. By Sara Shepherd

At 93, artist is still turning bronze into 'gossamer'

Elden Tefft sculpture exhibition opens Friday at Lawrence Arts Center

Holding a small plaster rasp, Elden Tefft’s right hand circles over the model in front of him. As amber bits of wax curl through the back of the tool, texture deepens on the sculpture’s surface. This process is why Tefft loves sculpture-making. And at 93, while finishing pieces for a new exhibition opening this week, he says there’s “always more” he wants to do. By Sara Shepherd

2013 Phoenix Awards: Art teacher unlocks creative voices in others

Cathy Ledeker sees her job teaching art to at-risk youths as “unlocking” the ideas in kids. That goes for the ones who come willingly, and the ones who are reluctant.

Task force fine-tuning recommendations for Lawrence Cultural District

A group working to create a vision for the Lawrence Cultural District is close to presenting its final recommendations to the City Commission. Balancing the East Lawrence neighborhood’s fear of gentrification with a goal of promoting economic investment — in the district and citywide — has been a theme since the Cultural District Task Force began meeting in April. By Sara Shepherd

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Off the Beaten Plate: Banh Mi at Wild Pho

One of Vietnam’s favorite street foods has immigrated to Lawrence.

2013 Phoenix Awards: Ramberg's artwork, teaching embrace creative process

Laura Ramberg practices — and teaches — what she calls “creative life.” “Art-making is not just about making a product,” she says. “It’s about the creative process, so I think everyone can benefit from practicing artful living.”

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Off the Beaten Plate: Indian Taco at Slow Ride Roadhouse

Outside of fair week and summer festivals, Indian Tacos get harder to find. But one North Lawrence establishment serves them up every Tuesday.

Basil Leaf Cafe moves into new, bigger dining room in former bakery

The Basil Leaf Cafe has has completed its transformation from a gas station startup into a standalone restaurant.

Lawrence's ethnic grocers take tastebuds around the world

Cooking an exotic recipe and can’t find that strange spice at HyVee? Want a more adventurous afternoon snack? Missing a food you enjoyed while traveling abroad? You may not have to go around the world (or to Kansas City) to get it. Try one of these 10 ethnic markets in Lawrence. By Sara Shepherd

2013 Phoenix Awards: Ceramist tells a story through figures, textures

Ben Ahlvers has something to say. And between working fulltime as the Lawrence Arts Center’s exhibitions director, being a dad of two and organizing community arts events, he’s in his studio making clay do the talking. By Sara Shepherd

Historic horse inspires Mexican artist's installation-in-progress at Spencer Museum

Kansas University’s most famous equine resident is an integral figure in an art installation evolving now at the Spencer Museum of Art. The story of Comanche, the sole U.S. Army survivor left on the field of the Battle of Little Big Horn, captivated and inspired the museum’s new international artist in residence, Diego Teo of Mexico City.

New gastropub serves farmhouse fare with panache, plenty of beer

Then there’s the pimento cheese sandwich at the newly opened Merchants Pub & Plate — a warm, open-faced version featuring the restaurant’s own house-made pimento cheese spread, fried tomatillos and sprouts atop toasted local bread. By Sara Shepherd

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Lawrence Libations: Mariposa Azul at Mexquisito

Lots of people either love tequila or cringe at the thought of it. Same goes for the flavor of anise (tastes like black licorice). Love both? Try the Mariposa Azul.

Husband and wife fine art photographers are best friends, each other's biggest fans

Tim and Betsy Forcade’s walk-out basement is a mélange of light tables and frames, cutting mats and computers, lenses and strobes. There’s watercolor-like abstract photos thumbtacked here, an unframed image of cattle in a field leaning there.

Entering its third year, Final Fridays is a bigger draw than ever

Final Fridays, which celebrated its third anniversary last month, has grown into a buzzworthy monthly event for downtown Lawrence. Organizers hope the momentum will continue, boosting exposure for local artists plus increasing the kind of vibrancy that attracts visitors and new residents to town. By Sara Shepherd

Peekaboo! Jack-o'-lantern dishes bring Halloween to the tabletop, tastefully

Off the Beaten Buy

For people who love Halloween but don’t love those tacky plastic pumpkins and messy cotton webs, here’s a more stylish — and (bonus!) useful — way to bring the season to your tabletop.

After-dark eats: Lawrence has plenty of places to find a fourth meal

Hungry after midnight? Here are six great places to get a fourth meal in Lawrence, one for any kind of craving.

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Off the Beaten Plate: Wake n Bake Pizza at Fat Freddy’s

The ultimate fourth meal: an entire greasy breakfast and a pizza in one.

Performance art en pointe: Armitage's signature choreography meets social message in 'Fables'

Karole Armitage's "contemporary ballet" comes to Lawrence Saturday evening, when Armitage’s company, Armitage Gone! Dance, performs “Fables on Global Warming” at the Lied Center.

Lawrence native shares painting talent for Boston's 'Play Me, I'm Yours' public piano project

One of the 75 pianos-turned-works-of-art being unveiled this week for Boston’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” project was crafted by a Lawrence native.

Collect all seven: Banned books trading cards to be released one day at a time

By the end of Banned Books Week, Lawrencians will have been able to collect a full set of this year's banned books trading cards. The Lawrence Public Library will release one of the seven winning cards per day throughout the week, Sunday through Sept. 28.

Library unveils winning designs in banned books trading card project

Cards will be released for public collection starting Sunday

From the seemingly innocuous “Charlotte’s Web” to the oft-maligned “Catcher in the Rye,” this year’s winning banned books trading cards feature a variety of titles. Throw in assorted mediums to illustrate them — art-quilting, crayon and digital collage, to name a few — and the spirit of banned books is captured in a well-rounded set of trading cards. By Sara Shepherd and Caitlin Doornbos

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Off the Beaten Plate: Bird’s Nest Noodles at Encore Café

Most any noodles, any way, are tasty and satisfying. But some are more fun than others, namely if they’re shaped and fried to form a thick, crispy nest for the rest of the food on your plate.

A handcrafted clean: Area businesses create, sell natural homemade soaps

Dainty hotel soaps shaped like seashells are one thing. But when it comes to lathering up, a touch of homespun can be just as luxurious. Local milk, organic herbs, fair-trade shea butter and pure essential oils highlight ingredient lists for area residents who create and sell natural, handmade soaps. By Sara Shepherd

Fall Arts Guide 2013

This autumn's biggest arts and entertainment happenings in Lawrence.

'Feel the light': Much anticipated Turrell exhibition opens at Spencer Museum of Art

Before Saturday night, light artist James Turrell had seen his work "Gard Blue" — a projection of blue light forming a singular glowing pyramid — just once since he created it in 1968. Back then he was young, pushing boundaries and creating the type of art no one had ever seen before. In the 45 years since, Turrell has garnered worldwide fandom, but perhaps the most striking characteristic of “Gard Blue” is one he’s tried not to stray from: focus. By Sara Shepherd

State arts grant boosts effort to purchase equipment, lights at new Theatre Lawrence

A $50,000 grant from the state will boost the second phase of fundraising for Theatre Lawrence’s new building, helping to fill it with updated equipment and tools. The grant is one of nine totaling $350,000 the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission announced today. By Sara Shepherd