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1.0 CIM Arts & Humanities CITY COMMISSION INFORMATION MEMORANDUM March 14, 2022 ADMINISTRATIVE BRIEF FROM BRAD ANDERSON ARTS AND HUMANITIES DEPARTMENT Upcoming Exhibit “Let’s Play” The museum’s central gallery features new exhibits every six months. “Let’s Play” has been designed by museum staff who decided early on that an exhibition featuring kids’ play needed to be more than just showing the toys in the Museum’s collections or a treaty on the topic of play. It needed whimsy and a child-like view of play. Early research focused on the children whose images and items were in the Museum collections. These children’s stories inspired the goal for this exhibit – Through the power of play, kids will always find a way to explore and have fun. Play is powerful as an outlet for imagination and wonderment; it stimulates new ideas, enriches important skills, and sparks joy through understanding; it utilizes the senses as a pathway to see and connect to the world; it is a bridge from “what is” to “what if;” and play helps us adapt to the ever- changing world around us. It was decided to use illustrations—playful images based on these real Salina children to convey the power of play. Custom paintings could take a static portrait and provide lively movement. They could convey energy and joy. Illustrations could spark the imagination. The Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum and the Earl Bane Foundation provided funding for Salina native John Keeling to design and execute the illustrations featured in the exhibit. Keeling is a gifted illustrator and watercolorist selected from a pool of qualified candidates. Specifically, the exhibit looks at the power of play through the lives of local children from the late 1890s to 1950 as they explore their worlds through various types of play – creative, physical, competitive, etc. This look at play shows that imagination does not need computer-based technology to have fun. Toys may change, but people will always play. Custom illustrations inspired by artifacts and images from the Smoky Hill Museum collection. Arts & Humanities (SAH) Updates  The Smoky Hill River Festival is scheduled for June 9-12, 2022. Entertainment selections are nearing completion and represent a diverse and engaging group of performers.  Festival fundraising is underway. More than 300 businesses and individuals provide one-third of the necessary cash beyond earned revenue which accounts for the remaining two-thirds of the budget. An additional $150,000 in in-kind contributions helps the City’s bottom line when local businesses contribute staff time, professional services, products, equipment, hotel rooms, or food for the event.  Exhibiting artist selection is nearly complete and will be announced with other Festival details at a press conference on April 12.  Former Salinan Hannah Gebhardt produced this year’s Festival print. The print is given to donors contributing $100 or more. Entitled “Sun-Kissed,” the four-color image is made by carving into a linoleum block, leaving only the areas to be inked. This is done for each color which provides a variety of technical challenges to ensure the color registration is correct. Gebhardt is also designing the Festival t-shirt and will be exhibiting in June.  The SAH staff is working on publishing a collection of essays later this year asking Saline County residents to share a transformational story or moment that made a lasting change in their lives. A diverse group of 35 contributors is providing stories for the publication. Additional residents may also be asked to offer shorter reflections as space and budget allows. This 100-page book will be available in October as part of National Arts & Humanities Month.  Arts Education Coordinator Anna Pauscher-Morawitz was promoted in January and now serves as the Manager of Operations and Development. A search for her replacement in performing arts administration and arts education is underway.  A new website for SAH is being developed and should be released in late spring. The new site will offer easy access to information about art education, public art, grants programs, and a directory that helps connect citizens to art professionals and organizations. Brad Anderson, Executive Director “Sun-Kissed” by former Salinan Hannah Gebhardt is the 2022 Festival print.