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BY ALICE MANNETTE Eagle correspondent


hen Heather Eilerts runs through downtown Saturday for the Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run, she’ll likely hear bits of an aria, a blast of jazz, some string music written by a classical master and a song from a Broadway hit. If she stops for water during the run, she might see a mime, a juggler or some fellow ballerinas dancing. Eilerts is running in the first Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run. And in addition to the broad range of entertainment provided by local artists that will appear at designated locations along the route, Eilerts will help create artwork Saturday. At the end of the run that starts near Century II, travels along the Arkansas River and around Exploration Place, Eilerts and other runners will help paint a picture with their feet. “We’re tying in the arts into a complete fitness event,” said Clark Ensz, the event’s race director. “This is a new idea for Wichita.” The event will showcase the arts in Wichita and raise money for Ballet Wichita, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the art of dance through performance and education. Participants can either run or walk.

What: Inaugural event with run, live entertainment and community art project Where: A. Price Woodard Park, 401 W. Douglas (see course map inside) When: 8 a.m. Saturday Cost: $30 today at GoRun Wichita’s east location, 2350 N. Greenwich, and west location, 2556 N. Maize Road, or online at; $35 online until 7 a.m. Monday or at both GoRun locations throughout the day; $35 Tuesday through Thursday at both GoRun locations; $35 Friday at the east GoRun location only; $45 Saturday at the event. Onlookers can attend for free. For more information, visit or call 316-687-5880.

INSIDE ■ Arts featured during the race ■ Run route map PAGE 2CC ■ All About Ballet Wichita ■ Entertainment featured during the race PAGE 3CC

Please see MIXING, Page 3CC





After the race, runners can turn into painters

celebrating art,” he said. “What if we took the feet of the runners and used them as brushes? I think that would Runners will have the ophave a huge visual impact.” portunity to put their own To help bring this idea to footprint on Saturday’s Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run by taking fruition, Mark consulted Reuben Saunders of Artworks, part in a community-based who suggested that he get in painting project after their touch with Los Angeles-based run. Organizers believe the event artist Rachel Kice. Nationally known, her background in is the first of its kind. dance and experience in creEvent organizer Mark Chamberlin really wanted the ating works of art for charities to auction off made her a event to stand out. He liked natural fit for the project. the idea of incorporating some sort of performance art. She’s also a Wichita native with a history of involvement “The whole event is about BY JASON DILTS Eagle correspondent

in the local arts community. “She’s so much fun,” said Barbara Chamberlin, Ballet Wichita’s executive director and Mark Chamberlin’s wife. “She’s a Wichita girl with a very open, young mind. She accepted this challenge with enthusiasm.” Kice will oversee the execution of the Footprint Project at the end of the run in the amphitheater at A. Price Woodard Park, 401 W. Douglas, about 100 yards south of the finish line. Participating is voluntary for runners and is limited to registered runners.

an artistic impression of their race. Specific instructions will be given to each person so that the piece flows well. Ballet dancers also will add some flair by twirling their shoes in paint and dancing across the canvas. After everyone has had a A large piece of vinyl donated by Clear Channel Outdoor, chance to make their mark, Kice will add in elements to measuring 48 by 14 feet, will transform the collage of footserve as the canvas. The painting will be a coordinated prints into an actual painting. The finished product will be effort that will allow runners to create a large piece of origi- displayed on one of Clear nal art. They’ll cover the soles Channel’s outdoor billboards of their shoes with paint, then about a week or so after the run across the canvas to leave race. It also will be used for

The finished product will be displayed on an outdoor billboard about a week or so after the race.

marketing next year’s run. Mark Chamberlin stressed that care is being taken to ensure proper cleanup of the park as well as safety in water removal. “I’ve never heard of another event where runners can become artists,” he said. “The whole thing is open to the public. Anyone can watch the whole process even if they aren’t racing. I’m excited to see the running community embrace the arts community. It’s fitness and the arts coming together for an important project.”

Artist Rachel Kice looks for the joy

notice that we all have a similar grief, and we choose it. We’re all up against the same Rachel Kice knows the rich- things. There’s a choice between joy and grief. This ness of art in Wichita. The project ties to nationally renowned painter, that. Part of writer and performer started my mission out here. Since then, the Caliwith this is to fornia artist has gone on to let people perform alongside headliners know that including Kid Rock, Jewel and their feelings Jon Bon Jovi. She’s been feamatter. I want tured on CNN, ABC and CMT. to give them She even made a dent in the a chance to country music world as the see painting only visual artist in the Nash- Kice with joy.” ville-based artist collaborative Kice was born and raised in MuzikMafia. Wichita. Growing up, she was When she returns to direct the Footprint Project for Ballet involved with the Wichita Children’s Theatre. Though Wichita’s 5K Art Run, she’ll her studio practice is based in bring into focus her latest Los Angeles, she travels back artistic pursuit: joy. to Kansas often to see family. “I’m a humanitarian first “I love Wichita,” Kice said. and an artist second,” she “There is a certain kind of said. “In that, I’ve started to BY JASON DILTS Eagle correspondent

person that only Kansas can offer to the world. I think Wichita has a higher percentage of great art than any city I’ve ever been to.” Several of her pieces are on display locally at Artworks, 7724 E. Central. Reuben Saunders, who owns Artworks, said that Kice is well-prepared to do a project like the Footprint Project. “She does it on stage with music blasting and thousands of people watching her,” he said of some of the other performance pieces she’s created. He will host a public reception Friday to display some of Kice’s paintings and give the public an opportunity to meet her. “I think her work is wonderful, and I put it on my wall whenever I have something

new,” Saunders said. Kice said she jumped at the chance to be involved with the Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run because of its uniqueness. She’s done several real-time paintings for cultural events, but never anything like this. She’ll be directing people to walk and paint according a set pattern. “It’s the first time I’ve gotten to work on a project that is collaborative on such a large scale conceptually,” she said. “In this case, we’re involving an entire community. The concept, as well as the execution of the concept, is being looked at from a community perspective rather than sitting in a studio alone and thinking about what I want to share.”

Contributing: Lori O’Toole Buselt

Courtesy photo

Rachel Kice created her acrylic on canvas "Joy In It" during live performance with MuzikMafia and Big & Rich.



BALLET WICHITA 5K RUN summer fundraiser. A committee of 11 people and 50 to 60 volunteers on race day will help carry out the event. Funding for the event has come from cash sponsors and from the registration fees. Barbara Chamberlin, the company’s executive director, said she anticipates around 500 participants and hopes to bring in around $20,000 in net profit for Ballet Wichita. With this being the event’s first year, she believes the organization can significantly grow the revenue stream in the future. “It’s a very diverse crowd that loves to run,” Barbara Chamberlin, Mark Chamberlin’s wife, said. “It’s a way of allowing us to introduce our programs to a new audience.” She also said that they hope to generate more interest in the arts and Ballet Wichita through this running event. “The big upswing in people participating in races, especially 5Ks, are young professionals,” she said. “That’s the audiences that all of the arts organizations really need to cultivate. This event was attractive to us for that reason.” Barbara Chamberlin also said that organizers “reached out to as many local arts groups as possible because we wanted everyone to be able to promote what they’re doing. Runners will be enveloped by art and sounds along the way.” Mark Chamberlin, who sits on the board of directors for Run Wichita as its marketing chairman, said that Wichita has such a wonderful arts community, and it is sometimes taken for granted. “I hope it gets people excited about the arts community in Wichita,” Mark Chamberlin said. “This is a way to increase exposure and funding.”

Dancers get a chance to learn, shine


BY ALICE MANNETTE Eagle correspondent

Ensz, who has participated in more than 30 marathons and designed running courses for more than three decades, also is a former ballet dancer. He’s danced in Ballet Wichita productions of “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Romeo and Juliet” and several of their annual holiday productions of “The Nutcracker.” By combining his love for dance and his talent for organizing runs, Ensz and fellow runner Mark Chamberlin came up with a 5K run in downtown Wichita to help raise money for Ballet Wichita and help promote other artists and arts organizations. “This is a unique opportunity,” Chamberlin said. “There is a close relationship between runners and dancers.” Eilerts, 20, a ballet student at Wichita State University and a dancer with Ballet Wichita, sees the close relationship. She is not only excited to run, but to hear and see the performers along the way and participate in the artwork at the end. “I’m excited about the art we’re going to do with our feet,” Eilerts said. Like many of the other runners, she plans to step onto the paint color that artist Rachel Kice designates and walk across a prepared vinyl surface. She then will clean her running shoes and enjoy food and more entertainment provided by local artists at the end of the 3.1-mile run. Ballet Wichita will use the money generated by this event to help offset expenses for the company’s “Nutcracker” performance and free summer performances. Leaders also are looking into starting a spring show and Contributing: Eagle corremore touring shows. Ballet spondent Jason Dilts Wichita has lacked a regular

allet Wichita has entertained Kansans for more than four decades. The company’s mission is simple: to advance the art of dance through performance and education. By allowing more than 95 dancers ages 8 to 60 an opportunity to perform, Ballet Wichita provides them a chance to learn and shine. The company’s artistic director, Jill Landrith, has choreographed dozens of ballets for almost 15 years. In 1997, she became artistic director of the company her mother, June Landrith, founded in 1974 as Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita. In 2006, the company’s name was changed to Ballet Wichita. “I was crawling around backstage,” Landrith joked. “We’re looking at a lifetime of memories.” Ballet Wichita provides a family-based atmosphere where dancers perform year after year, as well as a revolving door that leads to college and professional careers. Because the company does not have a school attached to it, dancers from all area companies and colleges are welcome to participate. “It’s given me a lot of opportunity to meet a lot of people,” said Heather Eilerts, a Ballet Wichita dancer and Wichita State University ballet student. “All of us girls in the company are like sisters.” Dancer Sam Corridoni, 18, will head to Jackson, Miss., this fall and dance professionally for Ballet Magnificat, a Christian dance company. Corridoni began dancing at 14. “I love dancing,” Corridoni said. “It’s all about the moving and the shapes I’ve created. It’s the way my mind works.” Corridoni just closed the free Ballet Wichita production of “Peter and the Wolf.” Corridoni played Peter, and Eilerts performed as the wolf. “She (Landrith) has taught me so much,” Corridoni said. “She is the one who has made

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File photo

Artistic Director Jill Landrith demonstrate moves during Ballet Wichita auditions in 2009.

Courtesy photo

Ballet Wichita dancers Sam Corridoni as Peter and Hannah Marie Wagner as the Bluebird performed earlier this month in "Peter and the Wolf." me the dancer I am.” Landrith, who also teaches at Wichita State University and Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center, said she doesn’t feel like she’s working when she is. “I have the best job in the world,” she said. In addition to continuing on with the company’s annual “Nutcracker” ballet and summer program, Landrith hopes to explore new venues for a spring show and beef up the

touring component. She also wants to offer more master classes. By providing more classes and more performance outlets, Ballet Wichita will give their dancers more experience and exposure. The company also will bring ballet to rural Kansas. The company estimates that almost 12,000 people watched at least one performance by Ballet Wichita last year, but Landrith and others hope that more people will

develop an appreciation for ballet. “In Germany, people go to the ballet like they watch TV,” said Landrith, who spent time abroad dancing for Aachen Ballet of Germany. “I’d like people to get more into that habit here.”

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Ballet Wichita thank you to everyone who has made the inaugural Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run such an exciting project and a soon-to-be reality. Major Sponsors : Supporting Sponsors : In-Kind Support :

Special Recognition :

Courtesy of John Ellert Photography

Students perform during Wichita State University’s opera study abroad program in Italy in 2010. From left, Natalie Spears, Chy Billings (seated), Da’Kneisha Blount and Stefanie Randall. Billings and Randall will be among performers at the Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run. They will sing arias in English and Italian.

Ballet Wichita 5K blends running with art and entertainment professionals, it’s not that they’re not absorbed in running, but they like healthy events that also have some It might be the most enterkind of happening, like a taining run you ever go on. festival,” she said. Opera singers and ballet And that’s exactly what dancers, jugglers, blues muBallet Wichita plans to prosicians and other artists will perform along the route of the vide. The nonprofit has invited Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run, other local arts organizations, which begins and ends along including the Wichita Blues the Arkansas River. Society, to showcase their And participants can enjoy talents, as well. even more entertainment “The purpose of this is to when they finish during a not only be a fundraiser for post-race party. Barbara Chamberlin, Ballet Ballet Wichita, but we realize that for many years there has Wichita’s executive director, been a very good partnership said organizers realize there among the different arts orgawill be some serious runners among those who turn out for nization that is appreciated by the event. For that reason, all everybody,” Chamberlin said. “It’s better when we work extracurricular activities will together.” be located where they don’t The idea is that the more interfere with the progress of types of art that people are the race. exposed to, the better chance But Chamberlin said many they’ll want to get involved as other participants will take a more relaxed approach to the volunteers, donors, participants or spectators. run. “We want them to say, ‘Did “What we’re seeing in road races is that with many young you see those dancers over BY JOE STUMPE Eagle correspondent

that hill? Or ‘Did you see that mime?’ ” It won’t just be arts groups, either. At the Exploration Place water station, for instance, Stormtroopers from the museum’s current “Star Wars” exhibit will greet runners, Chamberlin said. Actors and visual artists also are expected to be stationed along the race route. Jazz pianist John Salem and others will perform at the post-race party, where participants can munch on “everything from breakfast to pizza,” Chamberlin said. Food will be complimentary for runners, she said. In future years, organizers would like to expand to have vendors selling food to the crowd. In addition to feeling good about getting some exercise, organizers hope participants come away feeling good about the city’s arts groups. “It’s charming to be around people creating art,” Chamberlin said.

Emprise Bank | Via Christi Health | The Wichita Eagle | Armstrong | Shank Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Clear Channel Outdoor | Kansas Strong | GoRun Wichita East and West | Run Wichita | KMUW FM 89.1 | KPTS Channel 8 | 105.3 The Buzz City of Wichita Parks & Recreation Department | City of Wichita Water Department | Dondlinger & Sons Construction | Envision Industries | Goodwill Industries | Prairie Land Partners | Reddi Industries | TCK Supporting the Arts | Waste Connections | Watermark Books & Café Wade Hampton for creating our dynamic artwork | Clark Ensz, Race Director, for his expertise and guidance | Mark Chamberlin for the event concept and the idea for the Footprint | Reuben Saunders, for introducing us to Rachel Kice | Rachel Kice for her enthusiastic embrace of the Footprint | All of our talented and dedicated dancers and volunteers

Special section, entry 2 for WIchita Eagle  

Wichita Eagle entry 2 in Special section category of KPA contest.

Special section, entry 2 for WIchita Eagle  

Wichita Eagle entry 2 in Special section category of KPA contest.