Arts and Entertainment

OPINION
Kansas Reflector editor Clay Wirestone eats his Burnt Ends Fries at the Kansas State Fair on Sept. 10, 2022, in Hutchinson. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

These five Kansas State Fair foods sustained and entertained Reflector staff this weekend

BY: - September 12, 2022

When I arrived at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson on Saturday morning with the Kansas Reflector crew, I moved backward and forward in time. Backward because every summer my mother would drag my unenthusiastic preteen and teenage self to county fairs. I remembered the pungent smell of sheds overflowing with goats and sheep, cows […]

OPINION
Queen Elizabeth II departs Stanford University during her West Coast tour of the United States accompanied by Prince Philip on March 3, 1983 in Palo Alto, California. (George Rose/Getty Images)

American women looked to Elizabeth II as inspiration in 1953 — that sentiment never faded

BY: - September 10, 2022

In the spring of 1953, women from across the United States traveled to Britain — for many, it was their first time abroad. The impetus for the trip was Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, held in Westminster Abbey on a rainy June 2 of that year. Among those making the journey were Peggy Webber, who traveled all […]

Kansas native Alex Tretbar won the PEN America first-place award for poetry writing in this year's prison writing contest for his "Variations on an Undisclosed Location." (Submitted)

Summoning inspiration from solitary, Kansas native wins PEN America prison writing award

BY: - September 7, 2022

TOPEKA — Alex Tretbar scratched Lou Reed lyrics into the concrete “rhomboid exoskeleton” of an Oregon jail’s solitary confinement hole, then found the strength to write about it. “Some people work very hard,” the song goes, “but still they never get it right.” Tretbar, a Wichita native and University of Kansas graduate, references the experience […]

OPINION
A sign outside the Truman concert venue in Kansas City advertises its fifth anniversary. (Lucie Krisman)

The Truman celebrates five years of bringing music, community to Kansas City

BY: - August 27, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Lucie Krisman has reported on beats that include local government, business, and arts and culture. In September 2017, the site of a former auto parts shop […]

OPINION
This mailing from DraftKings, which is arriving at Kansas mailboxes this week, is one sign of the marketing blitzes on the way with the Sept. 1 start of sports gambling in Kansas. (Eric Thomas)

Early signs — and concerns — of how sports gambling apps will market to Kansans

BY: - August 19, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Thursday’s announcement that sports betting will begin Sept. 1 in […]

Gov. Laura Kelly says legalized sports betting will keep Kansans' money in Kansas. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas plans Sept. 1 ‘soft launch’ of sports wagering for start of football season

BY: - August 18, 2022

TOPEKA — Sports wagering in Kansas will launch Sept. 1, state officials said Thursday, allowing bets to be placed at the start of football season. Lawmakers in April passed legislation to greenlight sports wagering in the state under the administration of the Kansas Lottery. The action was estimated to generate revenues of up to $10 […]

OPINION
An audience gathered for a screening and question-and-answer session after the short film "Choices" on July 13. (Mama.Film)

With profound vote on reproductive rights, RePRO.Film tells stories that connect and shake us

BY: - August 13, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Whitni Carlson is a freelance writer based in Wichita. Do stories inspire activism? Lela Meadow-Conner, founder of Mama.Film and co-founder of its daughter organization, rePRO, believes […]

OPINION
Whimsical carvings decorate trees in Orr Park in Montevallo, Alabama. Opinion editor Clay Wirestone walked the park on his recent visit to the state. (Clay Wirestone/Kansas Reflector)

From spine-tingling tales to faces in the trees, Alabama trip puts Kansas in perspective

BY: - August 10, 2022

I was driving along an Alabama backroad with my mother-in-law, hearing about various Southern Gothic deaths that had befallen residents of her neighborhood, when I realized something simple yet important: This country is vast. The contiguous United States stretches more than 2,500 miles from coast to coast. Our 50 states go from sapphire blue to […]

OPINION
“Dance & Conversations: Castings” by Pilar Agüero-Esparza (front) and “Testimony” by Jina Valentine are both part of the “Making It Work” exhibit currently on display at the Lawrence Arts Center. (Huascar Medina/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas exhibit unites worlds of artistry and family into a big-hearted whole

BY: - July 23, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Huascar Medina is the poet laureate of Kansas. “Making It Work” is currently on display at the Lawrence Arts Center. The exhibit takes a deeper look into the […]

OPINION
With the July 4 holiday swiftly approaching, fireworks are on the minds of children and adults alike.

Yes, fireworks prices are skyrocketing, but there should be plenty of bottle rockets and sparklers

BY: - July 3, 2022

If you’re looking forward to shooting off bottle rockets and Roman candles this Fourth of July, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad is that fireworks prices are soaring this year along with pretty much everything else. The good news, however, is that at least you don’t need to worry about a shortage – […]

OPINION

Brian Wilson’s Kansas City concert sweeps past and present together into a wistful wave of change

BY: - June 22, 2022

No one likes to dwell on getting older, pondering the grand sweep of time that carries us from childhood to geezerdom. Age may be a blessing, but let’s not examine that blessing too carefully, lest we strain our back. On Monday, however, I had no choice. Founding Beach Boy and chamber pop genius Brian Wilson […]

While Kansas sports wagering regulators have until Jan. 1, 2023 to launch legal betting, Gov. Laura Kelly says during a news conference Monday that the goal is to have the framework up and running during football season. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas sports wagering aims to beat Jan. 1 deadline, begin operations during football season

BY: - June 20, 2022

TOPEKA — Sports wagering in Kansas is effective July 1, and the governor said Monday she is optimistic state regulators will have live betting up and running as early as football season. The new law will allow Kansans to bet on their favorite teams through the four state-owned casinos, which may use digital or in-person […]