TOPEKA: ART, ENTERTAINMENT, LIFESTYLE + LOCAL FLAVOR FALL 2019 â€¢ Vol. XIV Issue I
L A C LO L A C O V LOCAL VOCA
FALL COCKTAILS A Cinderella Cocktail a white pumpkin cocktail Kraken spiced rum, oat milk, pumpkin spice blend dusting
Pear posefully Thymed a fall spritzer Champagne, rosĂŠ vermouth, cardamom bitters, bartlett pear puree, thyme sprig garnish
Kansas weather is unpredictable, the temperature in your home shouldn’t be.
LOOKING HOT WHILE YOUR BATHROOM’S NOT?
DON’T PUT UP WITH ROOMS THAT ARE TOO HOT OR TOO COLD? Maintain ideal temperatures in individual rooms. Blue Dot and Mitsubishi Electric provide energy efficient, affordable solutions. 0% financing available. Systems start at $75/mo w/approved credit.
A New BEGINNING FOR THE TOPEKA COUNTRY CLUB
P E K A C.C EST. 1905
Come & Experience
OUR $7.5 MILLION TRANSFORMATION
membership - golf - tennis - health & wellness - swim - dining www.topekacc.org
CONTACT GINA PATTERSON FOR A PRIVATE TOUR (785) 354-8561.
PLAY DODGEBALL AND SEND KIDS TO CAMP. Help kids with MD have “the best week of their life” by raising funds to send them to Camp Milton this summer. SUN, NOV 17 / Teams are $150. Sign up at the Brass Rail Tavern or call Bobbi at 633-7194 or Brad at 220-8497.
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FALL/WINTER 2019 | VOL IXV • ISSUE I
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6 // MAKE A DIFFERENCE
30 // THESE WALLS TALK
8 // KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
32 // TOPEKA RESCUES MISSIONS
15 // SUNFLOWER SUTRAS
38 // KANSAS YOUNG
16 // CLAIRE'S COURTYARD
41 // PINTS AND POSES
20 // FIRE ME UP CERAMICS
42 // LA MILLA DE ORO
26 // SUNDAY FUNDAY
46 // MIDWEST FLOAT
IN EVERY ISSUE 10 // PROGNOSTICATIO w/RUP 12 // LIT EVENTS + REVIEWS 26 // PARTY FOR A CAUSE 28 // MUSIC CALENDAR 40 // MUG SHOT @TOPEKABEER
seveneightfive.com Always Relevant Online // Print Editions: Fall/Winter, Spring and Summer
Your Local Tax Champion We’re in your neighborhood We take care of you We stand behind our work 610 NW Highway 24 Topeka, KS 66608
IGNITE YOUR HALLOWEEN photo by EJ Drake
SPIRITS FOR THE SPIRITED - a paranormal palooza OCT 19 // 9-11p // Studio62 in NOTO Join Studio 62, Ghost Tours of Kansas and widely recognized Psychic Jo Flowers for the best of Paranormal Mayhem. $30 per person ticket entitles guests to a gallery channeling session with Jo Flowers, History and Ghost Stories of the location along with a tour of the building, an art canvas to create your own spooky portrait (all materials provided), and one free alcoholic beverage. Check out Ghost Tours of Kansas [dot org] for ghost-investigations, downtown walking ghost tours, Northstar Speakeasy Psychic events and much, much more. â€˜Tis the season, after ghoul.
SEANCE AT THE CEMETERY OCT 12 // 6:30-9p // Historic Topeka Cemetery Join Heartland Medium Vicky and the Friends of Historic Topeka Cemetery for an evening connecting with those on the other side. This is an adult only event, must be 21 years or older. Adult beverages will be served. Cost is $45 per person and seating is extremely limited.
PROJECT TERROR: VICTORIAN GOTHIC OCT 18, 19, 25, 26 + 31 // Helen Hocker Theater Project Terror: A Haunted House Experience is an annual theatrical performance by Helen Hocker Theater. The multi-room experience is designed for mature audiences, ages 14 and up and consists of mutliple rooms, live actors, special effects and more.
TOPEKA HAUNTED WOODS Weekends in OCT // 3158 SE 10th St. Forest Park Conference and Retreat Center transforms into trees of terror of the Topeka Haunted Woods, for the third consecutive year. The half-mile trail in the woods features 15 different scenes of terror and unique characters including Nibbles the Clown, Ted W Bear, The Witch Hazel and more. In addition to the haunted trail, you can enjoy Zombie Laser Tag Friday and SAturday nights for an additional cost.
OPINION BY TOM WAH
MAKE A DIFFERENCE? VOTE DAMMIT.
ne short year ago, Kansas was on the cusp of becoming a state that could have been a perfect reflection of the current administration in Washington. Bigoted and hateful social polices anchored by tax policies that bring in buckets of money for the well-todo and well-connected and leave a significant number of Kansans scrambling to make financial ends meet while being, at best, pushed aside and, at worst, being told to return to “where they came from.” Fortunately, enough Kansans, from all sides of political walls, turned back Kris Kobach’s gubernatorial aspirations by electing our current Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively. The 2020 election is just a year away; what will be critical for seveneightfivers is voting for senator and the races for the four Kansas Congressional seats. But you don’t have to wait 'til 2020 to get your vote on. Local elections, long held in April, were moved to the fall in the year 2017. These upcoming, nonpartisan elections for school boards and city governments are important and, in some ways, have a bigger impact on our daily lives than issues at the federal level. Under the Kelly/Rogers administration, new money was allocated to Kansas school districts. As a result, school boards were able to create budgets for the 2019-20 school year that started to address stagnant teacher wages and begin to staff programs that reflect student needs that are considerably different than when the courts last found school funding meeting constitutional muster…when this year’s graduating class was in kindergarten. Between the Great Recession and the devastating impact of the deeply flawed Brownback tax plan, a whole generation of students was shortchanged.
With an increasing and secure funding stream, school board members taking their seats in January will have the critical challenge of meeting two competing needs over their four-year term. The first; getting teacher salaries back to the level where a teacher, a professional with a college degree, doesn’t need a second job to sustain a middle-class lifestyle. The second; creating, staffing
and evaluating programs that will prepare students for a work world of robotics and Artificial Intelligence as well as citizens who care about their families, their neighbors, their environment, and the type of governance that reflects the core values of the United States. School districts in Kansas have several masters. A great deal of the funding comes through state channels as determined by the legislature. The legislature also sets statutory standards districts must follow. But the State Board of Education - and the education commissioner the Board chooses, not the governor - also sets districts’ parameters, particularly in teacher credentials, curriculum, and operational regulations. But the seven members of the locally elected school board (seven districts are entirely or partially in Shawnee county) are the ones who make the decisions that really affect the lives of their students and their families. Make no mistake, these decisions also affect the patrons, as many as 75 percent in some cases, who have no children attending preK-12 schools. It seems obvious that ignoring school board elections and letting a small percentage of those who vote choose school board members pretty much negates non-voters’ rights to criticize decisions that affect them. The same can be said in incorporated areas of the county, particularly in Topeka. City government, along with private-public partnerships, is working mightily to make a more livable city in multiple ways. An example of this work is currently underway is the massive new development at 29th and Fairlawn. The impetus for the infusion of money to fund the construction came from City Council when it created a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district that uses the increases in real estate tax revenues and local sales tax revenues to retire the bonds sold to finance eligible redevelopment project costs (K.S.A. 12-1770 et seq.) or to reimburse the developer on a pay-as-you-go basis. The city also levies a 1.5 percent sales tax that is added to the state and county sales tax. Needless to
say, the quality o f your roads ties directly to decisions made at City Council. Public safety funding is also a critical decision made by the City Council. As noted earlier, the November odd-number elections are non-partisan, which is to say candidates don’t run under a party banner. When changing the law was being discussed, some proponents wanted local elections to take place alongside state and federal elections and be partisan as well. The compromise reached was elections were moved from April (low turnout was the cited reason) to November in odd-number years and were left non-partisan. It could be argued that the majority of the proponents for the move were from very same block that supports the current Washington administration - that separates families, ignores climate change, and allegedly allows foreign governments to influence elections, even at the state level. It is my belief, if voter turnout remains low, a push will be made to incorporate local elections into the state and federal elections framework. The result, current elections that most reflect a participatory democracy will shift and move to a world of dark money and party labels that don’t reflect local issues. Bottom line: There are two excellent reasons to vote in November. The first is to let your voice be heard as to whom is making the decisions that affect your health, safety, and well being on a daily basis. The second is by doing so you are demonstrating that your voice matters and Kansans are not to interested in succumbing to a philosophy that government exists to protect a privileged class, and those not enjoying those privileges are to be relegated to the economic and social sidelines. Vote like your life depends on it. It certainly does.
SWOON E A T
W I T H
B A L L E T M I D W E S T. N E T
DECEMBER 13, 14 & 15 7:30 pm Friday & Saturday 1:30 pm Saturday & Sunday
TOPEKA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Tickets: Barbara's Conservatory of Dance • TPAC Box Office • Ticketmaster outlets
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CONTRIBUTORS COLOPHON Liz Bell CPA / BUSINESS Sunshine Blue Mandy Daniels William Domme EJ Drake Amber Farmer Jennifer Goetz Marcelino Gonzalez III Andrew Gutierrez Tobias Harvey Daryl Hendrix Teresa Hernandez Martinez Hillard Tom Krebs Kerrice Mapes OWNER Huascar Medina LIT EDITOR Karen Morse Noah Neff D O'Brien Gary Piland Rebecca Radziejeski Martie Rison Angel Romero Tyler Strunk Keith VanSickle Ashley B. Wallace
Cover re-purposed from Issue #, 2006, by Brian Wiedle
EST. JUNE 2006 MISSION
To be the premier lifestyle guide for adults in Topeka, featuring the finest offerings in entertainment establishments, art and nightlife. We seek to refine area information and offer suggestions to empower Topekans and guests with a variety of choices.
• Create an incomparable publication rich in design and content • Positively impact our community • Give a voice to local entertainment, businesses and venues
Business subscriptions to seveneightfive are $40/year for up to 25 copies each issue. Email Kerrice@seveneightfive.com.
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THANKS FOR READING.
The first and most progressive AIDS service organization in Kansas was formed in 1985 by a group of volunteers in Topeka. Positive Connections, formerly known as Topeka AIDS Project, is a community based organization that advocates for and provides comprehensive services to people living in Northeast Kansas who are impacted by HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections or Hepatitis C. In 2011, Topeka AIDS Project changed their name to Positive Connections to reflect the wider focus and service region, while also protecting an image steeped in stigma, hoping to make clients more comfortable. Last year, Positive Connections provided medical case management and prevention services to 17 counties in Northeast Kansas, serving over 200 people living with HIV with assistance and advocacy to help them better communicate with doctors, obtain medications and adhere to treatment regimens.
educating about risks, overcoming misconceptions, and providing individuals with the knowledge and tools to make safer, healthier choices.
PREVENTION IS KEY
WHAT’S YOUR STATUS?
Prevention is key, and Positive Connection services include rapid HIV testing, sexual health education programs, outreach to high-risk populations, and condom distribution. Positive Connections also tests for syphilis, Hepatitis C, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. These tests require either a blood draw or a urine sample.
In addition to in-office testing, Positive Connections provides free HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis C testing in outreach settings, if there is a confidential space to conduct the tests. In both in-office and outreach settings, Positive Connections’ staff will help you assess your risks for STI infection and develop strategies to reduce those risks.
Stop by The Break Room, The Dutch Goose, The Trap, Mabee Library, and several other local distributors of condoms thanks to Positive Connections. Even better, go to Positive Connections website and order condoms, oral/dental dams, lubricants and non-latex options. You can stop by their office or have your goodies sent directly to your Kansas address.
All of this is made possible by the generous, ongoing donations from people like you. If you haven’t attended the TAP Gala in the past, then you must. The amazing evening is hands down the best gala you’ll attend all year, trust us. Complete with costumes, fabulous games, live and silent auctions (that aren’t so silent), great food and a fun and unique booze auction. It’s a Party For A Cause you won’t want to miss. aseveneightfive
FOOD PANTRY The Positive Connections food pantry is open to case management clients thanks to the generosity of friends at Reser’s Fine Foods and Harvesters Community Food Network. If you’d like to donate, the greatest ongoing needs are for high-protein items (peanut butter, canned meats, and fish) cases of Boost/Ensure supplements, personal hygiene items, and pet foods. BOOK AN EDUCATOR Positive Connections’ varied Prevention programs are designed to reduce future HIV and STD infections in the community by raising awareness,
Prevention educators provide tailored presentations to different sectors of the community, including public schools and universities, youth groups, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, and other providers of social services. Presentations range from short “HIV 101” programs to more comprehensive sex and sexuality programs that go into depth about risks and prevention tools for HIV, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies. Educators work with each group to develop presentations that are age- and experienceappropriate while covering the necessary content.
ST. JOSEPH LOFTS
FRUGAL HOUSE will showcase rooms decorated with re-purposed, up-cycled furniture and accessories. Almost everything will be for sale at affordable prices.
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, October 20, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Advance tickets are $8 or $10 at the door. Children under the age of 8 will not be admitted. ticket outlets:
Area Dillons’ Stores, Hy-Vee, Hazel Hill, The Firehouse, SouthWind Art Gallery Online at http://bidpal.net/frugalhouse2019 designers:
Autumn Moon, Bedsprings & Burlap, The Firehouse, ReVamp, Southwind Art Gallery
Topeka Capital Journal, WIBW-TV, Robb & Co., Leslie Hunsicker Interiors, Pink City Sweets & Catering, Seveneightfive PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE TOPEKA SYMPHONY AND YOUTH ENSEMBLES
Poetry Kan ���
seveneightfive.com HUASCAR MEDINA, literary editor Poet Laureate of Kansas
Huascar Medina lives artfully in Topeka as a multidisciplinary artist and writer. His first collection of poems is titled "How to Hang the Moon" (Spartan Press 2017). Recent work published can be found in "Finding Zen in Cowtown" (Spartan Press 2017), "Kansas Time & Place : An Anthology of Heartland Poetry" (Little Balkan Press 2017).
WINNING Huascar Medina, literary editor and Poet Laureate of Kansas
"Watch Your Head" from Kellogg Press is a deeply felt collection of confessional poetry from Kevin Rabas, author of 11 books of poetry. "Watch Your Head," his twelfth, carries a different beat than prior collections from the Kansas Poet Laureate Emeritus. These poems were written in the years between 1995 and 2000. It was a period of time when he was, as he describes, "higher on passion...lower on craft - or had a freer sense of craft."
evisiting these poems two decades later, polishing them and managing to keep the emotional integrity of the original work is a testament to his craftsmanship. The work as a whole speaks to me directly, with a voice full of new sincerity. It is the result of one man’s interiority becoming unbound through a controlled release. The words seem open, vulnerable and free to share:
There are words in this collection that have been repurposed from private consolement for public consumption. He is speaking his truth. Because of that, we all get to feel and hold the handmade pottery created by his ex-wife, that he once used to eat from, “I have/ one cup. I keep/ my pens in it.” Kevin’s collection also references his drum instructor and mentor Artt Frank, who played with Chet Baker. “I don’t play bebop. I am bebop.” Kevin quotes, as an epigraph, in the poem “Chet’s Unlikely Second Rise.” There are parallels throughout the work in the importance of Artt in the lives of Kevin and Chet. Artt is instrumental in both of their reemergences: [Chet's Unlikely Second Rise] Kevin was injured during a pickup basketball game. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him with a concussion and bleeding in the brain. The injury affected his cognitive ability. He couldn’t remember what he read. It affected his equilibrium and motor skills. He found solace in playing the drums and writing poetry. “Watch Your Head” is about that transition in his life. Where he lost a marriage, a job and independence. Somehow, he finds a balance in this collection. Hope can soothe softly in the form of blooming love. It can add stability to a person’s life. He wrote love poems to his current wife, Lisa Mortiz.: [Apartment Warming]
“Now is our time alone on your sofa facing the city on your porch on the third story above the park joggers, the winter lovers…”
excerpt from [Our Time], Kevin Rabas
They are heartfelt, romantic and hopeful poems. I found myself reading them multiple times and sharing them with loved ones. I understood better that some losses we incur in life allow us to find where we were meant to be: [Our Time] Kevin’s poems are honest and elegant. They speak of a place he had once been and of a place he was longing to go: [Moving in]
“I find my voice again hidden small under the couch in your apartment, and I scare it out into the open, ask it to speak…”
excerpt from Voice, Kevin Rabas
“Chet knew he had to make a comeback soon.
I believed in him, asked him to play what he could.”
excerpt from Chet's Unlikely Second Rise, Kevin Rabas
“Allow me some time Here on your couch, In your apartment, and I will find a way to shed new light on your front room rug, just a touch of amber in winter’s evening.”
“This evening again I consider packing my bass drum and moving to your couch, so I can spend every evening with you”
excerpt from [Moving in], Kevin Rabas
excerpt from Apartment Warming, Kevin Rabas
To title the book “Watch Your Head” reminded me that, when you are in the fight of your life and you want to win, you need to be like a boxer, you need to watch your head and move your hands. And if you lose, get up and try again. Don’t lose your head over it. Keep after it. Never quit. This is what it takes to win in the end. Keep beating that drum. For Kevin, I believe that was done with a bass, with a pen and with his heart. aseveneightfive
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: LESSONS IN ACTIVISM FROM LGBT KANSAS
A State Library of Kansas 2019 Kansas Notable Book
by C.J. Janovy // University Press of Kansas
t is an important book, in a historical context, for the LGBT members of our state. The “note to pages” section alone reads like the back end of a textbook, full of dates, data and court cases significant to the LGBT community. This meticulous research added more to the factuality of the work. This is the reality of LGBT life in Kansas, proven. Let me rephrase my first sentence, "It is an important book ...for ALL of Kansans..." C.J. Janovy chronicles the lives of activists throughout the state who have fought for their right to love openly and for marriage equality. She has captured moments of activism and heroism -the ups and downs. "No Place Like Home" continues, as C.J. wrote, “…a conversation on LGBT rights with people who’d rather pretend we don’t exist.” aseveneightfive
MAKE THE TIME. READ. IMMEDIATELY. ENJOY. Paint Nights - Bar - Entertainment - Event Space
EVERYONE'S ALONE TONIGHT by James Benger and Jason Baldinger // Kung Fu Treachery Press
E ART BAR 816 N. KANSAS AVE
Walk In Paint (Wed-Sun 4pm-6pm) For other time slots call 785-431-3221
For more information follow us on www.facebook.com/iartedatstudio62
veryone's Alone Tonight by James Benger and Jason Baldinger are poems about daily strife Daily strife that turns into weekly, monthly, yearly and then generational struggle.
I enjoyed reading the work of two poets with distinct voices singing in the same key. This is Americana from the “Middle.” Poems written by “working hands...sifting the rubble of a/ long-dying." Poetry "For Tammy at the Wal Mart Tire + Lube." Postcards from those places we don't want to admit we've been. Places we can't stop visiting. Places we might still be living in. We can always try harder to better understand what is occurring in the heart of this country. This collection will help shed some light on some, things, and maybe some places that are closer than you think.
SUNFLOWER SUTRAS by William L. Domme | photo by Tara Bartley
"...we're here to spread art, sow chaos, and take the MAGA out of magazine." Creating art is an inherently accessible act. Making art available has not necessarily always been the easiest of tasks to accomplish and the majority who labor to make art accessible do so out of a kind of drive to share an appreciation of the world and the times they live in.
Sunflower Sutras open mics: PT's on College Hill every 3rd Thursday at 6:30p. Roundtable Bookstore every 4th Friday at 7:00p.
The creators of Sunflower Sutras answer this call with a multifaceted approach. The most tactile element being the zine (rhymes with scene) Sunflower Sutras. A zine is a collection of printable ideas bounded only by what the curators allow. In this way, a zine is rarely fit for the masses or mainstream consumption. But, in talking with Tara Bartley, what will be appreciated is really up to the beholder. She talks with enthusiasm about pieces in SUSU zine and elsewhere that did not seem like they would have the impact they eventually do. This awareness excuses the gatekeeper from their post and allows a more democratic experience in the presentation of the SUSU. Recently, a special edition was produced in celebration of the Aaron Douglas Art Fair, an event cut a bit short by autumn showers. The edition was filled with works of varying styles and forms through the widening network of friends and associates SUSU is rapidly gaining. Sunflower Sutras podcast, its flagship endeavor, began sideby-side with the burgeoning Washburn Radio, KRWU, but is operated and produced by Tara Bartley and Ryan Thompson. They interview writers of all stripes and look toward conversations with other artists as well. Tara said she is looking to share the work of the folks who do their art without worry of being characterized as misfit, or non-conforming, or other. Zines are produced every month with a few specials throughout the year. A new podcast is up every two weeks. The piece on the back of Sunflower Sutras gives you a notion that's clear: "We want to share the weird stuff other publishers shy away from. Whether poetry, fiction, sketches, photography, or disjointed rants, we're here to spread art, sow chaos, and take the MAGA out of magazine." aseveneightfive
AT THE CORNER OF COZY AND CULTURED
claire's courtyard Located at the corner of comfy and cultured sits Claire's Courtyard, a third-space designed with a pavilion, small amphitheater and eating / gathering spots and an adjacent sunroom that flanks the west side of the library. Named after the late Claire Swogger, artist, designer and photographer, the space was made available by a generous gift from Claire's husband Glenn Swogger Jr., MD, and the Redbud Foundation. The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library celebrated the grand opening and dedication of Claire's Courtyard on Tuesday, October 8 with ribbon cutting and live performance from The Studio Strings Quartet. The open house also included tours of the new Learning Center and Plaza lobby. The Learning Center offers opportunities to learn through play, with technology classes, art activities, games, creativity experiences and book discussions. The Plaza features browsing for best sellers and the latest movies in addition to the customer service desk, copy center and checkout kiosk. For seveneightfivers who didn't attend the ribbon cutting, have no fear, Cocktails in the Courtyard is here. Cocktails in the Courtyard is a reoccurring adults-only event at the library. It's a night of music, food, drink, entertainment and discoverable moments, all wrapped warmly with literature. Guests will rendezvous in Claire's Courtyard for a signature cocktail and light bites. Different themed activities will take place, but there's always the opportunity to just scurry around the library with libations in hand, explore and chat about it as loud as you please. That in and of itself is enough to declare Cocktails in the Courtyard one of Topeka's best new events of 2019. Join us on Saturday, November 9 for Cocktails in the Courtyard: 150 years. TSCPL is turning 150 years old that day (I know, right. More about that on seveneightfive.com) so they are kicking off their birthday year celebration in style, and you're invited. Tickets are $25 per person and limited. If you don't find an invitation in your mailbox, consider this your invitation - join seveneightfive. Go to tscpl.org/cocktails to RSVP.
Amber Bonnett in Claire's Courtyard photo by Michael Perkins
The library’s mission is sparking curiosity and connecting our community through literacy and learning. Our core values are excellence, curiosity, literacy, freedom, teamwork and accountability. We help transform the lives of citizens through five Community Impact Goals: every child will be ready for kindergarten • everyone will discover their passion for learning • everyone will continue learning new ways to live their best life • Topeka and Shawnee County will be an engaged community of readers • the library will be a learning organization committed to excellence in: leadership, planning, customer focus, process management and partner focus.
“The Worst Kept Secret in Town.”
Private Dinners and Catered Events Friday Dinner Reservations Required Open for Lunch Friday 11am - 1:30pm
Wine Tasting & Tapas First Wednesday 5pm
5TH & KANSAS | 350.2028
19 // ARTY AWARDS
22 // LOCAL FILM
25 // LIT EVENTS
20 // FIRE ME UP CERAMICS
23 // THEATRE
26 // MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC
A RT Y
Join ArtsConnect in honoring the best and the brightest of the arts and raising critical funds for the arts in Topeka. Honoring finalists in four categories: community arts, visual arts, performing arts, and literary arts alongside the 2019 Arts Patron and People's Choice Award - this is an event you don't want to miss.
POETRY FOR PERSONAL POWER DANÃ‰ SHOBE SUKI WILLISON
PERFORMING ARTS AWARD
COMMUNITY ARTS AWARD 2019 LIZ STRATTON ARTS PATRON The AIM5 Foundation is honored
for their support of arts in schools, in our community and for dedicating considerable resources to the support of artists through their commitment to making the arts a part of their business model and believing in the power of the arts to ensure the future success of Topeka.
KEITH HORINEK "SPOTTED" aMUSEd GALLERY ROSEMARY MENNINGER
SPEAK EASY POETRY OPEN MIC KIORA BROOKS DARREN CANADY
LITERARY ARTS AWARD
VISUAL ARTS AWARD
LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTSCONNECT
2019 LEGACY AWARD The Rocha Family Artists, Joe Rocha, Pat Rocha, Sr., Luke Rocha & Patrick Rocha, Jr. are recognized for their immense contributions to the arts in Topeka as well as their significant contributions to the catalog of works of contemporary American art.
+ THE FINALISTS AT SEVENEIGHTFIVE.COM
FIRE ME UP CERAMICS
onette Marie Mark is the owner/artist/instructor at Fire Me Up Ceramics and Fine Art Studios located at 1000 N Kansas Ave, in the NOTO art district. She has a BA in Art, BA in Human Services, and a BA in Psychology, all from Washburn University. She earned her MFA in Ceramics from Wichita University in 2009.
an interview with Monette Marie Mark
by Huascar Medina | photos by Tyler Strunk, Strunk Photography
“I was lucky. I got to choose where I wanted to go from the places I applied to. I was blown away by the people of Wichita and the professors. The professor when I applied was brand new and he was so gung-ho! He still is pretty gung-ho. His name is Ted Adler. He was a great teacher- really glad to have him. He wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth it.” From the moment I met Monette, I sensed that same energy.
“Before Fire Me Up was here, the only other place you could do ceramics was the university. So, the general public and community didn’t have the accessibility to work with clay. Unless, they did it in their homes and if they did it in their homes, you got to have space for a kiln, you got to have space for a wheel - if you work with a wheel. You have to know how to fire your kiln and then, a lot of times, you are forced to buy all of your materials already made, like glaze and things like that. Where we can make our own glazes and do cool glazes, all at the same time. We have space for that.” What are you trying to provide individuals who are trying to do ceramics in this space? “Well, not just space. I am trying to provide them with knowledge. There is so much in ceramics. Even I don’t know everything. There are different temperatures for firing.
FIRE ME UP CERAMICS - 1000 N KS Ave GALLERY + RETAIL: THUR + FRI 1-5p + SAT 11a-4p Book private events or lessons. FireMeUpCeramics.com
There are all different types of glaze application- decal, lusters…I could go on. There’s a lot. And that’s part of the great thing about ceramics. You never stop learning. I am also providing information to people to learn more about ceramics.” FIRE ME UP CERAMICS' CLASSES AND EVENTS INCLUDE: CLAY NIGHT OUT - 2nd Thursday of the month “Clay Night Out is a hand-building event where you make things like bowls and cups. Things you can do with your hands. We sit around and its very social. Actually, all of our events are very social.” WINE + WHEEL - 3rd Thursday of the month “Our Wine + Wheel Night you bring wine. It’s BYOB. I don’t sell them. We have really nice snacks for people. And then we try to get our wine glasses as dirty as possible. Again, that is very fun, too. We have a good time with that.” GET DIRTY WITH YOUR DATE NIGHT - Final Friday of the month “Our Date Night is for any two people. We’ve had father/daughters and mothers/ sons. A couple of times, I’ve had a couple groups of girls hijack my date night. They didn’t know they could schedule their own girls' night out –which they can. If they want to call me, I can schedule.” FAMILY DAY - Every Saturday “Saturday is Family Day and it’s not BYOB. It’s geared more towards kids but we have all ages. It’s the same kind of chill. I don’t
let kids under six [years old] on the wheels for safety reasons but we do hand-building with them. We make little critters. A lot of Pokémon. Pokémon is really popular. I had this one kid make this huge monster. It was at least 14 inches- we just go at it. It doesn’t matter what it is. If they have an idea, we guide them. We try to inspire, ‘So what do you like? What are you interested in?’” Ceramics, what would the benefit be for them? “It’s different for a lot of people. It’s a stress reliever. It’s therapy. Some people are at high stress jobs or left high stress jobs. We have several types. The people who are just artists and have done it their whole lives, young artists as well or people who have gotten into ceramics as an outlet and a stress release. Because clay is really awesome, to feel it, to touch it. Depending on the type of clay you use, if you don’t like it, you can squish it. It works its way through your fingers. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s an oddly sensual thing. It can be whatever you want it to be. It can be gentle. It can be tough; it can be strong once it has been fired. It is durable once fired. It’s not going anywhere. Unless, you throw it at a brick wall.” “Let me put it to you this way…There was this guy in here the other day. His daughter/ daughter-in-law got him a private lesson. He was retired special forces. He’s been in tons of wars. He made some really neat stuff. He was sitting there on the wheel with his wet clay running through his fingers. He was like, ‘Wow…this is really relaxing. This is so calming’. And I don’t think you can really describe it, so much in words,
until you feel it. Feel the clay through your fingers. It’s more like a feeling.” There are 42 individuals who have studio or shelf space at Fire Me Up Ceramics and Fine Art Studio. “Before I even bought the building I had all the studios filled…This is more like a co-op than a business. I am responsible for the bills. Every single person here has picked up a paint brush, a paint scraper, put together shelves, they help a lot and organize, you know clean. Everybody has done something. I can’t say enough about the people here because the greatest part is the community. We are a community within a community.” aseveneightfive
FILM "YAW: THE MOVIE" OCT 12 // Brass Rail Tavern // 8p HITCHCOCK DOUBLE FEATURE OCT 12 // Forest Park // 6p Movies at the Brown v. Board Mural - a 65th Anniversary Celebration Continues OCT 12 // 15th + Monroe // 7p // "Hidden Figures" OCT 26 // 15th + Monroe // 7p // "ET" sponsored by North Topeka On The Move Association + Go Topeka's Entrepreneurial Minority Business Development
WHO YOU GONNA CALL, in NOTO? OCT 19 // 800 block of North Kansas Ave // 8p // "Ghostbusters" (the original) sponsored by North Topeka On The Move Association, Kansas Fencing, Ace Plumbing, Heating + Air
SLASH + BASH HORROR AND SCI-FI MOVIE FESTIVAL OCT 26 // 15th Anniversary Party // The Break Room Keith The Critic brings the best in horror and sci-fi to an epic one-day festival.
Get more film, theatre and performing art events at seveneightfive.com/theatre
Sophie is hosting Thanksgiving this year with the intention of introducing her parents to her fiancé. A sudden onset of panic, mistaken relationships, uninvited guests and a kitchen fire ensue - it'll be a miracle if Thanksgiving turns out alright.
OCT 18 THRU NOV 2
BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA Adaptation of the Bram Stoker classic preserves the psychological terror and complex characterization of the original Victorian gothic novel.
NOV 29 THRU DEC 22
A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL Based on the movie classic; set in the '40s fictional town of Hohman, Ind, the musical follows nine-yearold Ralphie Parker on his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts - an Official Red Ryder carbineaction 200-shot Range Model air rifle.
DEC 6 THRU DEC 15
opeka Civic Theatre, the nation's oldest continuously operated community dinner theatre, has recently revamped their offerings, keeping astute to patrons' changing needs and desires. These include an earlier, 7:30p, curtain time on Friday and Saturday evenings (dinner at 6p), and a new chef / catering company. The entire season's menus are online at topekacivictheatre. com and feature scrumptious offerings including locally grown butternut squash soup, baked fresh daily split-top rolls and chef carved prime rib. Two alternative dinner theatre options are also available, including brunch for Sunday matinée performances and Food Truck Theatre Thursday. Sunday brunch menus include a widevariety of offerings from homemade mini cinnamon rolls and quiches to prime rib French Dip sandwiches. For those attending a Topeka Civic Theatre Mainstage production on Thursday, Food Truck Thursday brings the catering company's food truck out to serve convenient boxed style dinners consisting of your choice of sandwich and side. Sandwich highlights are their award-winning pulled pork and brisket, unique Cubano on homemade french bread and gooey, yummy, cheesy potatoes. If you have yet to partake in the full Topeka Civic Theatre dinner experience, or if it's been a while since you added dinner to your performance tickets, the partnership with Front Door Catering gives ample reasons to make it a dinner-and-a-show type of evening. The question is which receives the standing ovation each night? We say both. aseveneightfive
ON STAGE OCT
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
TCTS DINNER THEATRE HAS A NEW CHEF
ACT THEATRE COMPANY | producutions at The Break Room or Forest Park
THRU OCT 12
HELEN HOCKER THEATER | Gage Park | GA Seating / no food
AD ASTRA THEATRE | 720 SW Jackson | GA / snack + bar service
THEATRE SCENE CHANGE
The Off-Broadway hit comedy Men Are From Mars – Women Are From Venus LIVE!, is a one-man fusion of theatre and stand-up, and is a light-hearted theatrical comedy based on the New York Times #1 best-selling book of the last decade by John Gray.
KEN LUDWIG'S BASKERVILLE A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY Get your deerstalker cap on - the play's afoot. A fastpaced comedy about everyone's favorite detective solving his most notorious case.
09 THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE He’s young, he’s broke, his landlord’s knocking at the door, and he’s found out his wife is going to have a baby. To make matters even 17 just more desperate, Casey is fired from his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small-town Florida bar. When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a whole lot to learn about show business—and himself.
THRU FEB 9
TOPEKA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER | 214 SE 8th Ave
TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE | 3008 SW 8th Ave | Dinner Theatre
A LAURA INGALLS WILDER CHRISTMAS This original play presents the poignant story of the “missing” two years in the life of the Ingalls—a substantial period not written about in Laura's Little House books. Told with humor, period songs and depth of character; a story of healing that celebrates the power of enduring family bonds.
12 MARS/VENUE LIVE!
08 NOVEMBER A political satire, by David Mamet, that will bring a smile to your 17 face while making you ask questions. "What? The president is a moron?" Billed as a comedy, "November" centers on President
Charles Smith several days before his second election. Not necessarily intended to represent the present administration, this performance will be voted or vetoed on at The Break Room, produced by ACT.
Brass Rail Tavern
OLDEST BAR IN THE
C A P I TA L O F K A N S A S
Established December 1933, at the end of prohibition, Brass Rail Tavern is the oldest bar in the capital city of Kansas, located in historic Oakland.
y a d s e tu TRIVIA
DAILY HAPPY HOUR 1 - 5P
y a d s r thu karaoke
OAKLAND PRIDE. TOPEKA PRIDE. KANSAS PRIDE. 401 NE Emmett St. | 785.232.3332 | OPEN AT 6 AM EVERYDAY
“yaw: the movie” - oct 12 CRUISE IN - oct 19
LIT+CULTURE LIFESTYLE PARTY FOR A CAUSE ADULT SKATE - HALLOWEEN EDITION OCT 17 // Sk8Away "VALENTINE" BY RUTH MAUS OCT 22 // Rita Blitt Gallery - Washburn University // 5:15p
“Valentine” (Meadowlark Books) is the debut collection of poetry from Ruth Maus. Light refreshments and Eric McHenry, Poet Laureate of Kansas 2015-2017, will be introducing.
AUSCHWITZ #34207: THE JOSE RUBINSTEIN STORY OCT 24 // Jackson County Courthouse, Holton presented by Nancy Geise, author
THE PRICE IS RIGHT - THE STAGE SHOW OCT 27 // Topeka Performing Arts Center
HOT IN TOPEKA BURLESQUE - TRICK OR TEASE SHOW NOV 1 // 6th Avenue Ballroom STORY SLAM NOV 1 // NOTO ARTSPACE // 7p
Join the audience or story tellers. Ten people tell a five-minute story on the theme of family. The audience will decide the winner. Cash prize for best story. Emcee is Kay Duganator.
NEWSBOY UNITED NOV 1 // Topeka Performing Arts Center JEFF FOXWORTHY NOV 1 // Prairie Band Casino + Resort TOPEKA VETERANS PARADE NOV 9 // 11a // The Sunflower Salute Topeka Veterans Parade COCKTAILS IN THE COURTYARD NOV 9 // CLAIRE'S COURTYARD - TSCPL
BONE APPETITE OCT 12 // Helping Hands Human Society MEALS FOR MENTAL HEALTH OCT 18 // Texas Roadhouse // Family Service + Guidance Center Enjoy a delicious lunch, courtesy of Texas roadhouse while helping thousands of northeast Kansas kids living with anxiety, depression, ADHD and other mental health issues get the services they need to live happier, healthier lives.
GRAPE ESCAPE - reschd OCT 18 // Topeka Performing Arts Center
Enjoy libations and explore the library at this unique adults-only event and bday kickoff, 150 years.
FRUGAL HOUSE - st. joseph's lofts OCT 19 + 20 // Topeka Symphony Orchestra
JEFF DUNHAM NOV 13 // Topeka Performing Arts Center
Showcasing creative, affordable decorating with re-purposed and up-cycled, sustainable furniture and accessories. Almost everything is for sale, benefiting TSO; plus a chance to see the newly renovated lofts at 3rd + Van Buren.
TRACY LAWRENCE NOV 14 // Prairie Band Casino +Resort TOP CITY'S LEADING LADIES CABARET NOV 15 // Jayhawk Theatre BLIZZARD BASH NOV 7 // KS Expocentre
TAILS ON THE TRAIL NOV 2 // Shawnee North Community Center // 10th Annual Dog-friendly 5k run/walk, benefiting Helping Hands Humane Society
SUNDAY FUNDAY KIDS JAM RETURNS by Huascar Medina | photo provided
yler Carpenter has lived in Topeka for 22 years, moving here for a teaching job at a private school, which was short lived. For the past 20 years, he has worked for Topeka + Shawnee County Public Library. Beyond his "adult day job," he hosts the wellknown Musical Story Time, which occurs every third Friday and second and fourth Saturdays at 10a. The average age of kids who attend vary from zero to seven years, but those impacted by the magic and contagious energy of music and Kyler are now broaching 30.
"This guy and the impact he has had on Vayda (and so many others)....I don't have words for how wonderful Kyler Carpenter is. We're so blessed to have him in our lives and in our community." -Raqual Carlson
ALL AGES JAM - SPECK'S TAVERN SUNDAY 5p // All Ages 'til 9p // 21st + Seabrook
Outside the library shelves, Kyler infuses our community with music; performing his own music in festivals such as Wheatstock and co-hosting Kids Jam at Specks Bar + Grill (2105 SW Mission Ave.). Kyler and fellow musician Josh Hoover host the allages jam which begins at 5p every Sunday. It is open to the public and free (albeit you want to bring money for a famous Speck's Burger). “We did it [Kids Jam] about five years ago. It was a success then,” said Kyler who stopped hosting the original Kids Jam a few years ago to spend quality time with his son who was then a Junior in high school. Now his son is 20 years old and Kyler has the time, “I got a call from Deb, last October, that they wanted me back.” “I tell you, not a month went by, when somebody didn’t come into the library and say, ‘Hey, I wish you were still doing Kids Jam.’ So when I got the call...it pushed me further and further. So in March, I told Deb, let’s go ahead and do this, let’s get this kicked off." “It’s giving kids a chance to shine. In a nutshell, it’s getting a kid in front of a microphone, on a stage, and letting them build their confidence. I know, a kid will come up and not want to do anything. His older sister will want to do it. He’ll be clinging to his mom. I will tease him, ‘Hey, you sure don’t want to do it?’. Hours will go
by and then he wants to sing a song. That’s my favorite part of the jam!” “I’ve had dads pull me aside and say, ‘This is wonderful, but what will this do for them 5 years from now, 10 years from now?’ I thought that myself, but would never say it. It would sound pretentious from me. But to here that guy say it, felt good.” “Hayes House of Music had a guy come up and we talked about buying a bulk number of ukuleles. And the idea behind that is, here’s an ukulele, take it home, give it a try. If you take to it, awesome! Bring this back and get your own. If you don’t take to it, give it back and we will let some other kid try it.” “Eventually, in three...four...five [years] these kids that are just getting up now, which is wonderful could do so with some instruments in their hands. I got Kenny Smith and Josh Vowell saying thank you for doing this, because what they see is, 10-15 years from now, jammers coming to their jams. So yeah, encourage these kids all you can!” “As long as they keep showing up, I will keep doing it. All jams have a lifespan. I want to keep doing it as long as the parents will support me.” So what’s your endgame? “I’d love a backstage pass,” Kyler responds laughingly. “A backstage pass from someone playing in a big arena and them being like, ‘I remember that guy helping me out’. I’m good…I will be paid off right then.” aseveneightfive
"turn it up...so you know
it's got soul." - Van Morrison
Adam DeGraff // On Stage Live // Rock violin. // WU Mission Fest 2019 // Various bands, multiple locations Seuss 25th BDAY / Halloween // The Trap Native Moon Acoustic // Barrister's Brewing
Les Fous Guitares // Cyrus Hotel 4Closure // The Vinewood Goddam Gallows // The Bottleneck Groove Pilots // Gayle's Kris Lager + Groovement // The Jayhawk
Lo Pan's Revenge // The Trap Sierra Band // The Vinewood
NOV 9 Villains Dance // Gayle's Kyle Austin // Prairie Fire Winery
NOV 16 Vandelyn Kross // Skinny's Sports Bar Delta Haze // Gayle's
Chicks with Hits: Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, Suzy Bogguss // Prairie Band Casino + Resort Kung Fu Vampire // The Trap
Chicago Comedy All Stars // TPAC The Pickers // Classic Bean - Fairlawn Platinum Express // The Vinewood Departure // The Lazy Toad Clay Hughes // Happy Basset Brewing Co. Sedlec Ossuary / Final Girl and the Monster // The Trap Rob Wade Band // Gayle's Max Fed Band // The Wheel Barrel
Open Mic with Paul Root // Barrister's
Route 358 // Happy Basset Brewing Co. Acoustro // Praire Fire Winery
Jayme Green // Prairie Fire Winery
OCT 16 The Carolyn Sills Combo // The Vinewood
House Jumpers - TopCity Swing // The Vinewood Acoustro // Barrister's Brewing Inc. Jarrod Guth - Live Music Fridays // Cyrus Ryan Chrys + The Rough Cuts // Gayle's
NOV 17 Scott Fowler // Prairie Fire Winery
NOV 22 Dustin Arbuckle + The Damnations // The Vinewood
Steel Rizing // Gayle's Jazz Cigarettes // Crooked Post Winery
Shawn Ward // Serendipity No Good Johnny // The Vinewood Greensky Bluegrass // Uptown Theatre Folk In The Flow // Cyrus Colin Nichols // Barrister's Brewing Inc.
Toys for Tots Jam // Gayle's
Watermelon Slim // The Vinewood
Egemen Sanli // Grace Cathedral Kimmi Bitter // Happy Basset Brewing Co. Harper and Lee // 4 Guys Bar + Grill
Dixie Cadillacs // VFW Post 1650 Jayme Green // Happy Basset Brewing Co. Villains Dance // Skinny's
EDDJ // Crooked Post Winery
OCT 24 Zeus' // The Trap
Thanksgiving Show w/ The Schwag - Midland
NOV 29 Ryan Manuel and the Getaway // Cyrus
THE CAROLYN SILLS COMBO SPAGHETTI WESTERN SWING
ans of classic country and western swing are falling in love with The Carolyn Sills Combo's live show, chock full of three part vocal harmonies, dueling guitar and nonpedal steel instrumentals and tight arrangements of their own distinct style of music known as 'spaghetti western swing.' "Powerhouse Carolyn Sills is the real deal of throwback country music. She has enough soul, heart, style and swag to convince audiences and listeners that they may have been transported to an era where country swing rules the waves, juke joints were the place to be, and heartache had a kick like a mule..." wrote Good Times Magazine. "Their new album is a record packed from start to finish with all the lonesome wails, tongue-in-cheek humor, and late night reflection you'd expect from a classic country gem." aseveneightfive
THE CAROLYN SILLS COMBO - live at the vinewood WED. OCT 16 // The Vinewood // 7 - 10p // $10 - All Ages
600 NW Paramore | 785-232-5511 | GaylesTopeka.com
11 Blazing Mojo 12 Mission Fest 18 Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts
19 Steel Rizing 25 Groove Pilots
26 Rob Wade Band more music >>
GET TICKETS + MORE INFO AT THEHISTORICVINEWOOD.COM
SAT. OCT 26 at THE VINEWOOD
THE VINEWOOD PRESENTS
DISCO DANCE PARTY
NOVEMBER DECEMBER 01 02 08 09 15
End Result Blacktop Thunder The Ordeal Villains Dance Groove Pilots
16 Delta Haze
22 Straight Shot
23 Paradize Band 30 End Result
shows start at 9pm
06 07 13 14 20
Blacktop Thunder Straight Shot Paradize Band Swift Kick Blazing Mojo
21 Rob Wade Band 27 Time Express
28 The Ordeal 31 NYE Party with End Result
Emil Spaeth, advocate and neighborhood leader of Oakland is also the owner of Brass Rail Tavern, a long-standing tradition and tavern in Topeka. The Brass Rail has turned into a treasure trove of local history; "a mini-Topeka museum" dubs Emil. Memorabilia spans from hand-carved tables honoring those whom helped build the establishment and who have long passed to boxing championship belts. Vintage neons from bars now gone to railroad ties for ladies to hang their purses on. Stop by Brass Rail and explore for yourself; the walls speak local history.
these walls talk photos by EJ Drake | Brass Rail Tavern - 401 NE Emmett St, Topeka, KS 66616
a seveneightfive interview with Barry Feaker, Topeka Rescue Mission
n August 5, 2019, Topeka Rescue Mission officials notified the local media by press conference of a financial shortfall estimated at over $1 million. According to their news release that day, this translated to a monthly deficit of roughly $180,000. The impact would at least include the shuttering of a variety of services, if not the outright closure of its shelter within weeks. A shelter that was currently serving no less than 250 people each night.
the bank up to $100,000. It took 19 days to complete the mission (average of $5,250 donated daily) and then on September 10, TRM announced a local anonymous donor offered another $50,000 match. Adding to these funds are additional large public and private donations and a bit of diversion funds from the DA's Office on September 12. By our calculations, that's a million dollar "capital campaign" completed in a mere 38 days, with no signs of losing steam.
Some local government officials were reticent to offer an immediate comment, but the Shawnee County Commission responded within 72 hours, offering a $100,000 donation from a contingency fund set aside for emergencies. Topeka citizens were not; with people of all ages and statures answering the call; TRM reported $273,000 in donations one week after that press conference. By August 17, donations had surpassed $400,000 (Tim Hrenchir, Topeka Capital-Journal). Mission Possible launched five days later, a coordinated effort between Lamar Advertising, WIBW, Topeka Capital-Journal and CoreFrist Bank + Trust matching donations received at
In light of the tremendous public support of private donations, many felt in the dark. Critical scrutiny of TRM operations was requested, along with their 990s. Ultimately, and due to an ample public response, Feaker declined the potential donation from Shawnee County Commission. Nonetheless, this move by the Commission raised questions, as Topeka Rescue Mission prides itself on being privately funded. Many of its services and programs have been introduced in the last decade, a relatively short period of its 66-year existence. With just under 100 employees, multiple partner agencies, and a growing client population, was TRMâ€™s model becoming too great to sustain?
We spoke directly with Feaker about his history with Topeka Rescue Mission, their decision to alert the community of their shortfall, and what comes next.
IN DARKNESS by Bodye | photo by EJ Drake, circa 2017
His experience in mental health and youth ministry notwithstanding, combating homelessness was brand new for him, and required some direct training. He traveled to the Star Hope Rescue Mission in Houston, Texas three weeks after becoming director, and visited other rescue missions around the country in the years that followed. He brought the information he learned back to Topeka; at a time when TRM was serving a mere 15 to 20 people a night in the shelter. "Our biggest meal was 50 people back then," said Feaker, "whether they'd be staying here or walking in off the street."
“With the demographic expanse, we have traumatized children,” Feaker shared. “We have elderly adults [with physical disabilities]. People will come in here and say ‘it looks like a hospital in here.’ People get discharged out of medical facilities or don’t have funds to get in. We’re not a nursing home. We’re not an adult care facility. We’re a homeless shelter. The challenges are we can’t say 'no' to that particular situation. And we do have to say 'no' to some things. Can they care for themselves? Can they feed themselves? Can they change their clothes? Can they get in and out of bed? However, if a guy just walks in and he’s 90-years-old, we can’t say ‘sorry sir, you gotta stay in the street.’” Feaker and his staff take great pains to be trauma-informed, which makes a difference in how they engage with each client. “For example,” states Feaker, “if a victim of human trafficking comes in here and a guy like me walks in the room, I can trigger them. Oftentimes, the guys who buy women are white, older males. I have to be very careful. If I see [the client is] nervous, I begin to wonder if that is a person who’s been sexually violated through purchase. It [then] goes beyond trauma-informed to trauma-based initiatives," explained Feaker.
...We send out a monthly newsletter, people jump on board. I go out and I speak, we'll do media interviews...and that's how the word has gotten out. People say 'well, what's your development department?' and I say 'local media.' They hear a story, they go report it, people start giving."
eaker began his tenure with Topeka Rescue Mission on April 21, 1986. He grew up in Topeka, attending Washburn University and working as an activities therapist at both Topeka State Hospital and The Menninger Clinic. He also attended a bible school in Kansas City, working with adolescents in their Youth For Christ program. He was aware that TRM was in need of a director but wasn’t familiar with the agency prior to applying. He spent a period of time praying on it, and said that God “made it really clear (he) was supposed to come (to Topeka Rescue Mission).”
The majority of their clients at that time were white males in their mid-50s. Many of them were also alcoholics. As time went on, their client demographic would begin to shift dramatically with increases in women and children. By 1989, the shelter needs increased, serving 50 to 100 people overnight - they were regularly overpopulated. This got even more difficult as numerous health facilities in Kansas closed in the 1990s. TRM was impacted by the loss of available shelter and the compounded issues these new clients presented to staff.
LETTER TO EDITOR After reading the news about the Topeka Rescue Mission’s money woes, I am left with a lot of questions and concerns. Although the TRM is our only homeless shelter in Topeka and serves a need that is essential for our community, I have long had concerns about the fact that this has been a private nonprofit rather than a public municipal service. TRM’s explicitly conservative Christian foundation has been problematic for many as it has been the only game in town. I find it hard to believe that there weren’t clearer signals, sooner, that something was awry with finances; the reality of being short over $180,000 a month is shocking. Before elected officials and citizens start diverting funds from other needed services and agencies, we need to know more about how money is being managed and what plans are being made to address the shortfall by leadership...I don’t think the explanations received give a clear enough picture. Instead, we had a deep appeal to the emotions of panic and compassion. At the same time, the Lawrence Community Shelter, which operates with a far smaller budget and serves fewer people, cut services in order to manage budget constraints. Their reports are less opaque and offer clearer information on program costs, revenue streams, and other vital facts. Topeka lacks a research-based, systemic approach to affordable housing and issues of homelessness. The State Legislature has done immense damage to lower income families; as we starved programs and services meant to support and strengthen these communities. There seem to be few options for transitional housing, as well. My observation is that we have a lot of landlords willing to rent to folks in substandard housing, and I wonder how many of these also serve as “payees” for folks receiving social security/disability income? How are we protecting low income individuals and families from predatory practices of landlords that leave them vulnerable to sex trafficking, cycles of debt and poverty, and poor housing conditions that affect health and safety? I fear the answer is that we are not, and that we are leaving low-income members of our community and their families to fend for themselves--to choose between long term stays/ cycling in and out of a shelter that cannot meet all their needs (no shelter can, for sure) and housing situations that lack fundamental protections. I guess I understand why some might choose to live in a tent or car instead. Isn’t it concerning to others that some leaders in our community would rather make it illegal to camp outside than figure out why people are “choosing” that option? We need more answers from TRM and a clearer plan for Topeka, as well as the state of Kansas.
-- Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, M.P.A., M.DIV.
Edited for brevity and clarity, but not plight.
WHAT HAPPENED? F
eaker’s role as executive director has grown into what he calls “casting vision” - articulating The Rescue Mission’s services, programs and ministries to their donor base, nonprofit community partners, and 1,600 unique volunteers per month. Their annual budget, $70,000 in 1986, has also grown, exponentially. It now covers 98 employees, their main 24-hour shelter, a distribution center, the Children's Palace, various outreach programs like the former NetReach and current anti-human trafficking and youth initiatives, plus numerous job training programs that last anywhere from 12 weeks to two years. Until recently, Feaker was able to rely on private financial support to keep TRM moving forward year-after-year. “We send out a monthly newsletter, people jump on board,” said Feaker. “I go out and I speak, we’ll do media interviews (like we’re doing right here) and that’s how the word has gotten out. People say ‘well, what’s your development department?’ and I say ‘local media’. They hear a story, they go report it, people start giving.” By August 2019 it was apparent to Feaker and TRM their financial shortfall was putting them hazardously close to shutting their doors, completely. “December 2018 was lackluster comparatively,” Feaker starts, “December has always been a very good month of giving. It helps us to get ready for the following year. It gives us kind of a pulse on things. We’ve had just under a million dollars given in the month of December before and I believe we were probably at $650,000 this past December.” “All year  long, we began to see very minimal giving, both on an individual basis as well as what we would call those larger gifts. They might come in from a company or an estate. So we began to look at what we (could) reduce. We were spending reserves down that we had. Our goal to do everything was about $5.4 million in cash a year. That doesn’t include volunteer support or in-kind donations...What it takes when you put all that together is a hard number to quantify.” TRM kept the financial shortfall and impeding closure quiet for eight months. A factor in this decision was credited to their donor base - a large portion of whom make small but significant contributions, that portion itself being a substantial part of their revenue base. “We wanted to hold off for two reasons,” Feaker continued, “we’ve had an infusion of money that came in by talking to our donors. This year, it didn’t happen. Secondly, if we, in January, would have said, ‘you know, we’re starting to slide financially,’ when we still had anywhere from $800,000 to $1 million, the average donor is gonna say ‘whoa, you don’t need my gift!’ That could actually backfire. So we waited about as far as we could.” Feaker described their course of action as a “calculated risk,” acknowledging that it could drastically impact the end-of-year fundraising efforts of other area nonprofits, including their community partners. “I contacted a number of individuals, United Way (of Greater Topeka), Community Foundation, some of our partners that we work with,” offered Feaker. “I said ‘hey, I just wanted to let you know what’s going on’ so they didn’t read about it in the newspaper...The potential here is that it puts a strain on the other nonprofits...The (other) option is to say nothing and fold.” The truth is that the closure of Topeka Rescue Mission would prove disastrous to Shawnee County’s collective efforts in addressing homelessness. Their shelter alone and its capacity aren’t available elsewhere to wit or easily replicated, not to mention the variety of services they offer. And while this may be the first time in its history that TRM has come this close to closing its shelter doors, it’s not the first time that their services have come dangerously close to ending.
By Juan Cisneros | Posted: Tue 6:31 PM, Oct 24, 2017 www.wibw.com
"CALCULATED RISK" In October 2017, Feaker notified local media of their need for an additional $996,000. It was to bring the full scope of their anti-human trafficking action plan to bear, not in response to financial free-fall, Feaker clarified.
TOPEKA RESCUE MISSION MINISTRIES ANNOUNCES THEY NEED MORE FUNDS.
“We had expanded to the point where we’re saying (to ourselves) to sustain this, we need to have more public awareness,” Feaker shared. “This is public information only. This is what we’re doing. We felt like that was important at the time.” Another concern is a growing contingent of homeless people setting up camp just outside the shelter’s walls, to the east of the Kansas Ave bridge. Feaker described a multi-organization operation called Street Reach that “goes and meets them where they are,” in recognition of their need, and perhaps preference, to remain unsheltered. This has drawn speculation that TRM is turning people away from their shelter, or that those who stay there are required to engage in TRM’s ministry services. “We’ll allow them to come in. Most of them don’t want to come in. It’s too restrictive to them,” Feaker began. “What we’ve found is that they have their own systems of security and policies and rules. The closer to The Rescue Mission, we have found out, the more order there is in the homeless camp.” He advised that their nightly chapel service is voluntary, as well as their prayer groups, worship times, and biblical studies. He clarified that none of their ministries tie into the “volunteer rewards credits” program; and that people of many faiths stay at the shelter, even having open conversations about their spirituality with one another. “Our role is not to make people become Christians or convert them...Our role is what we believe simply that Jesus said - to love God with all your strength, heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. What does that mean? Love them.” Feaker said that there’s a challenge in overcoming assumptions of whom TRM provides access to. “People will say, ‘you only let Christians in’ or ‘[clients] have to become a Christian to stay here.’ We don’t [make people] do any of these things. We offer. ‘Oh, you don’t let LGBTQ stay here.’ We’ve got a lot of LGBTQ here...Now, we have common rules that apply to everybody.” He gave an example of their single-bed policy, meaning that no couples share a bed regardless of sexual orientation. He also mentioned a recent visit from a transgender woman who declined to stay at the shelter because she didn’t want to dress like a man in the men’s dormitory. “We got some guys that just came out of the joint. They could hurt you,” he explained. The latter could be interpreted as yet another deference to the patriarchy, its own trauma among those pushed furthest out to society’s fringes. At the very least, it reveals the inequity of personhood at even the lowest socioeconomic stratum. Feaker acknowledged that there are many ways to look at these issues, and is willing to mine the possibilities should TRM, its staff and its services reach a worst-case scenario in their funding model. "If the system that we have had for decades doesn’t work anymore, there’s no principle or a bylaw that says we can’t take public monies. Rather than say ‘well, by principle, we’re not gonna take any government funding, too bad, go in the streets…” he stated exasperatedly. He continued that he would rather see TRM remain open under government funding than end completely. “It’s not about anything more than why our mission is here, and that’s to be here for the people that need us.” continued >>
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries has long fought the war on poverty. Over the years, they have expended their services to stabilize families and neighborhood. In order to continue those efforts, they say they need to raise a lot more money and are asking for help to continue meeting the changing needs of the community. One of their biggest targets right now is stopping the sex trafficking trade, which the Mission's Executive Director, Barry Feaker, calls modern day slavery. "There is no reason why Kansas can't be the first slave free state in America," he said. The mission has launched a program called Restore Hope to help victims escape traffickers and rebuild their lives. "There is this issue of slavery in the area of labor and sex in our world and in our nation and even in our own state. Why not do what we did back in the civil war days, and I don’t mean violently, what I mean is take a stake, put it in the ground and say 'not here’?” he asked. To sustain Restoring Hope -- along with the mission's other programs such as food, shelter, education and stabilizing at-risk communities, Feaker says they need to raise nearly one million dollars more than their current annual budget of $4.5 million. He says meeting the goal will help pave the way for a free state. “That’s not going to be easy. Emancipation wasn't easy, abolitionism wasn't easy back over 100 years ago. It’s not going to be easy to do this, but it's worth it," Feaker said. The additional money needed is $996,000 a year, or $83,000 monthly. To make a donation or for more information about Restoring Hope and other programs, visit trmonline.org
QUICK Q+A+F Q = Question // A = Answer // F = seveneightfive findings Dozens of questions have been asked since August 2019; here is a look at some of those, answers provided by TRM and our findings. These findings are not necessarily to support or rebut TRM's answers - we encourage readers to ask more questions and conduct their own research for greater understanding and transparency. Answers provided on trmonine.org.
Q. TRM spent too much money on Children's Palace. A: Three large donations were given in 2016 for construction of the Children's Palace. Q: How many staff does TRM have / what is the average salary? A from TRM: TRM currently employs 98 staff to cover a 24-hour organization. The current total annual salary amount, not including the executive director, equals $2,414,000. Based on those current figures, the average salary at TRM is $24,887. Including the executive director, the average annual salary equals $25,510. F from 785: Total number of individuals employed in calendar year 2017 (Part V, line 2a of TMR 990) is 161 employees for a total of $2,910,630. In 2017, the executive director's reportable compensation from the organization plus reportable compensation from related organizations equaled $105,885. Deputy Director (with both revenue streams) recorded salary was indicated as $82,243. In 2017 other executive officers where not accounted for, unbeknown to us. Q: What is your back up plan if the funding does not come in? A from TRM: ...decrease the services we offer in an effort to continue to provide food and shelter to those staying with us. ...decrease the number of people we are able to assist...Finally, if there is not sufficient funds we will have to discontinue all operations. As time moves forward, we will have discussions with other organizations in our community in an effort to prepare them. However, there are no other organizations currently in a position to shelter the homeless or feed the number of meals we are providing daily. F from 785: A more strategic operating plan is what we believe the public was looking for of TRM. Further we add the notion that fiduciary responsibility is of the utmost concern for board of directors; board term limits are essential for financial, systems and program checks and balances. Freedom Now USA reported over $300,000 in donations in 2018. Feaker mentioned in our interview that one staff person from TRM is dedicated to Freedom Now USA, the anti-human trafficking 501(c)3 founded by Topeka Rescue Ministries in 2017. Q: ...financial changes are not new information; and yet the appeal to the public seems to neglect explanation or plan to address the shortfalls. At the same time, the Lawrence Community Shelter, which operates with a far smaller budget and serves fewer people, has cut services in order to manage budget constraints. Their reports are less opaque and offer clearer picture on program costs, revenue streams, and other vital information. F from 785: from Audited 990 IRS Tax Return
STATEMENTS OF ACTIVITIES
Unrestricted contributions, revenues, grants, support + gains
Total unrestricted + reclassifications of previously restricted net assets
From Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, powered by GuideStar: Using their Financial Summary Revenue Expense Area Graph, TRM: Total Expenses: 2007 - $1,917,615 // 2017 - $4,817,236 Total Revenue: 2007 - $2,533,543 // 2017 - $4,131,285 TRM Net Gain over 10 years, from 2007 to 2017 - $3,086,653
WHAT'S NEXT, MISSION TRM
eaker advised that they are moving to shut down both their thrift store locations. At press time, the South Topeka Boulevard will have ceased operations, with plans to end service at the North Topeka location in late October 2019. They assisted TRM in moving their surplus of donations, provided job training opportunities to their clients, and met the need for low-cost items in their neighborhoods. But with an increase in local thrift shops, flea markets, discount stores, and online vendors, the expense of keeping these shops outweighed the intended impact.
“Rather than spending dollars (to have thrift shops), people would rather feed people, shelter people, deal with the trauma that people have, and educate them to get them on their feet.” It also presents TRM a chance to assess what changes they would consider in their programs and services. “Some people are absolutely saying, ‘you’re doing too much.’ What that lends is an opportunity for me to say ‘what do we not do?’ And if we don’t do it, who does? If we cease attempting to prevent some things from happening, we pay for it on the back end.” Feaker is eager as always to activate dialogue at every level, with every stakeholder, including the general public. “The other potential here is that it creates an opportunity for a greater community conversation about the value of the whole system,” Feaker explained, sharing an example of annual collaboration between TRM and a partnering agency. “How do we support each other’s efforts going forward?” “We decided we needed to start this conversation (with our community partners) over 10 years ago. What that created was not only a conversation but a response. Now with the threat of some of those going away, it’s not like ‘why do we do that?’ but ‘how do we do that?’” An example would be their relinquishing of NetReach and their work in the Hi-Crest neighborhood to Jonathan Sublet. He is the pastor of Fellowship Bible Church’s Hi-Crest location and board chairman of SENT Topeka, a community development nonprofit that does similar work as what TRM did with NetReach. Another is their work against human trafficking, which some have criticized as weakening their work against homelessness. Feaker sees the former contributing to the latter, sharing their accompanying approach to both issues with the YWCA Center for Safety & Empowerment. “We spent quite a bit of time saying ‘who wants to do what? Who wants to take the safe house? Who wants to take the drop-in center?’ Both the Domestic Violence shelter and our shelter have victims of human trafficking in them. We decided that they would take the drop-in center, helped direct some money toward that, and we acquired another undisclosed location. We’re still renovating. Our staff person and the YWCA work together so there’s collaboration.” He shared information about Freedom Now USA, a separate nonprofit aimed squarely at combating human trafficking, of which he is also executive director. “It has 21 different sectors of the community that we have helped get organized. You have law enforcement working with social services, working with the faith community, working with the education system, working with the media, working with the military, to identify the threat network.”
STANDARDS OF GIVING
Successful philanthropic partnerships are built with transparency, common belief in mission and core values plus an understanding of programs and impact. To help foster your partnerships and create a more meaningful level of giving and philanthropy, consider asking these questions when choosing which charities to support:
PROGRAMS AND GOALS
RESOURCING + OPPORTUNITIES
Who are you; what do you do?
Where does funding come from? What percentage comes from private donations and what do these donations help you achieve that other funding sources don't cover?
Most successful program and why? Examples of success. Areas of opportunity; what could you do better? Strategic plan; what are the steps being taken to achieve strategic goals? How would you compare your programs and results to others working in the same field? How is program(s) effectiveness tested, measured and reported? What are your organization's goals and what progress are you making toward those goals?
Do you have the reserve resources to cover your budget? Why or why not? What are your most urgent needs? What would make the greatest difference in helping your organization be better at what it does? What is your staff really good at? What are the gaps?
How much of your donation will go towards charitable activities verses administrative expenses. [Anywhere between 10 and 35 percent overhead rate is standard breadth for most nonprofits.] If you are purchasing a product that supports a charitable organization, always ask what percentage actually supports the charity. If it is a product you do not want or need, you might, if applicable, be better off donating directly to the charity. Ask to view financial statements. Must be available publicly.
ENGAGEMENT How does your organization communicate and collaborate? If I wanted to get to know the organization better, what are the best ways to learn more? How do you keep supporters up to date about the work being done? How do you work with peers who address similar issues? How do you mobilize others around your mission? How can I get more involved? What is your board term limits, policy and overall governance approach?
Obstacles that stand between you and your mission, and how do you plan to overcome them?
Feaker also made sure to underline Valeo Behavioral Health Care’s role as a critical partner in their response to mental health crises, especially when there are overlapping factors to respond to. “Our staff integrate almost every single day. Valeo has come to us to help do the human trafficking intervention when they identify a victim of trafficking inside their crisis,” he explained. Valeo also partners with Topeka Police Department on a behavior health unit, where each police officer is trained specifically in crisis intervention. In addition to their collaborative service outreach, Feaker and his staff continue to be emboldened by robust grassroots support, and intend to remain that way for as long as possible. By the time the article reaches print, many private community stakeholders and their audiences will have raised nearly $1 million for Topeka Rescue Mission in reaction to their clarion call. These funds will carry TRM and its services for the remainder of 2019, Feaker estimates. “I’ve seen so many programs over the years that are government grantsupported,” he begins. “There are political changes. There are high competition for those dollars on levels way beyond Topeka, Kansas. So when you have a downturn in government grants, if you’re funded that way primarily, (and) you go to the public, they don’t understand you.”
“The grassroots capability without government infusion gives us a voice at the table with policymakers that’s different. We’re not at the trough. When I went in to talk to the Kansas Legislature about human trafficking, I asked them to declare war on it in Kansas. ‘I’m not gonna ask for a dime from you.’ They don’t hear that very often. When there has been any kind of social policy that needs to move a certain direction, we have a constituency that believes in what we do because they are a part of it. It’s all by choice. I’ve had a few situations over the years where government has come in and they have said ‘you need to move. You need to get out of the way. You need to close this down because it’s in the wrong spot.’ I’ve said ‘we want to do what’s best for the community but here’s some ramifications of moving that could disrupt the ecosystem for a lot of people. I’d like to go to our contributors and share your opinion with all of them.’ We have a constituency that has power.” It’s his belief and intention that this power is to protect the interest of the homeless, the poor, trafficking victims, and vulnerable children and youth, not to drive political influence over local and state policy. “We know we’ve got a crisis when it comes to issues like foster care,” recalling a recent conversation he had with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a lifetime educator. “Now is an incredibly great time to take that forward. We have a group of people who believe in that. That’s (what) private-fund, voluntary involvement (is) - a buy-in.” aseveneightfive
How are programs designed?
ACCOUNTABILITY / TRANSPARENCY
This is Deanna Munoz the founder of the Latino Foundation for the Arts a non-profit that is doing amazing things for children in the community. She was also featured in Season 4 of Queer Eye. This is part one of her story.
KANSAS YOUNG by Israel Sanchez | writer, photographer, blogger, podcaster and storyteller
"MY MORNING. FIRST TIME ASKED TO BE IN A SMALL GROUP TO TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY + INCLUSION IN THE ARTS. HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF AS I SIT IN THIS CHAIR... I BELONG AND I AM HERE BECAUSE OF WHOM I SUPPORT.
WILL TALK MY TRUTH + THE TRUTH OF WHOM I SUPPORT."
DEANNA MUNOZ “Being on Queer Eye helped me confront some truths about my identity that I had not confronted before. When I’m with Hispanics I have to be that and when I go to the suburbs, I then have to be something else. What I’ve come to find out is that it’s not just a Mexican-American thing, it’s a cultural around the world thing. All the way from Chile, all the way from Portugal, I’ve gotten people messaging me relating to my story of not fitting in. I just hope that in bringing that to light, people could talk about it more and they could share their stories more and that way people won’t feel so alone. And maybe we can all come together and find ways to help each other. In the episode I also talked about discrimination I’ve experienced. It’s hard for people to understand what discrimination feels like if they’ve never experienced it. I’ve gotten the whole, ‘Oh, maybe it really wasn’t that bad,’ or ‘Maybe you’re reading
Deanna, the activist, part two of her story can be read at KansasYoung.com
too much into it.’ People say that because of everything going on in the news that I may be over thinking it, but the reality is that it’s happening here more now than ever before. I’m hoping that people can see my episode and realize that even though we live in the Midwest, in Kansas City, we’re still not safe. Anything can happen, any day. And people who dismiss things that happens to us and say, ‘Oh, that’s not really racist,’ what they don’t understand is that the long term effect of those hurtful words can last forever. It makes us more afraid. Anything can happen. They can call the police on us and that can go bad quickly. People just don’t understand that their words can do so much harm. One voice can cause a lot of trauma. I hope that maybe one day they’ll see that we’re people just trying to live our lives like everybody else.” aseveneightfive
[THE STORIES CONTINUE AT KANSASYOUNG.COM - BY ISRAEL SANCHEZ]
LATINO ARTS FOUNDATION, INC. Kansas Young is a passion project/community featuring young artists and entrepreneurs living in Kansas. "By telling their stories, not only do I showcase the ever-growing talent pool of creatives in Kansas, but I also hope to bring the community together, one post at a time," says Israel Sanchez, creator. Finish this stories and read more at KansasYoung. com While you are there, be sure to click on Donate and become a monthly contributor, like seveneightfive, and keep the stories alive.
is nonprofit organization created to bring forth the fiercely authentic voice of the underrepresented artists through their diverse stories, cultures and beliefs creating an artist based space OF their community FOR their community.
MUG SHOT @TopekaBeer
PT'S COFFEE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS + NEW LOCATION
BEERS, BLUES AND BRATS - OKTOBERFEST AT CYRUS HOTEL
Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin founded PT's Coffee in 1993 and roast all of PT's Coffee in the capital city. Last month, their first drive-thru opened in Wheatfield Village, next the recently opened Johnny's Tavern and SPIN! Pizza, located at 29th and Fairlawn. On-the-go menu features cold brew coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, their traditional drip coffee plus salads and sandwiches, freshly prepared in the café. Baked goods are prepared and available in partnership with Dialogue Coffee House.
BEERS, BLUES + BRATS OCT 19 // Cyrus Hotel // 5-11p Join Cyrus Hotel for beers, blues and brats as they bring Germany’s Oktoberfest to Topeka. The evening will kick off with tunes curated by Cleveland Blue followed by DJ CyrusD. Guests will experience German food samples including soft pretzels and pretzel bites with cheese, bierocks and bratwursts. Steins can be filled with seasonal brews including FreeState Octoberfest, Boulevard Bob's '47 Octoberfest, Blue Moon Pumpkin, Deep Eddy Cranberry Mules, Jim Beam Apple and Cider, Sam Adams and KC Bier Co. Tickets are $10 adv / $15 at door.
@TopekaBeer on Facebook + Twitter
SPIN! PIZZA Owned and locally operated, KC's award-winning SPIN! Pizza opened in Wheatfield Village. Known for its artisan, stone-fired pizzas and scratch kitchen, their menu was created with the guidance of James Beard Award Winning Chef, Michael Smith. "The flavors come from the fresh ingredients, and the stone fired oven," said Smith. The fresh ingredients are roasted (when applicable) in the stone over each morning and all of their salad dressings, soups and sangrias are house-made.
BLIND TIGER - WACKY NAME? PHILANTHROPIC PINTS "But it is at the annual Great American Beer Festival, where hundreds of breweries come together to serve beer under one roof, that the sheer variety of moniker weirdness that exists across the brewing landscape truly becomes apparent," said Denver Eater. "BLIND TIGER: the name of this Topeka, Kansas-based brewery is a nod to prohibition, when establishments would display stuffed or glass tigers to alert potential patrons to the availability of alcohol inside. A tiger was chosen because a raging party was also referred to as a “tiger” in Southern slang. These tigers were said to be “blind” because their purpose was unknown to authorities." On October 15, the newest four Sumatran Tiger Cubs at the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center turned one year old. This is a remarkable achievement; Sumatran Tigers are endangered with fewer than 400 alive in the wild in Sumatra, and fewer than 100 under human care in this country. The Topeka Zoo is well respected across the country for caring for and successfully breeding Sumatran Tigers to conserve the species. The Blind Tiger Brewery + Restaurant is the official sponsor of the Sumatran Tigers at the Topeka Zoo. For several years now a portion of every purchase of Tiger Bite IPA (glass, growler, keg) has gone to the Topeka Zoo to sponsor the tigers.
ACHIEVING NIRVANA IN THE HALLS OF VALHALLA
by Angel Romero
Yoga mat? Check. Yoga pants? Check. Mug of beer? Check. Now you're ready for beer yoga. Forge Young Professionals recently partnered with Topeka Yoga Network and Norsemen Brewing Co. to help their members find their Zen with a glass of beer in their hand. The event was hosted by Forge’s (appropriately named) Play herd. (Forge’s symbol is a bison, so their committees are called herds.) Ashley Rohleder, chair of Forge’s Play herd, noted the event just fell into place. Local businesses reach out regularly to their herd for partnerships, and when Norsemen offered the opportunity for beer and yoga, they couldn’t say no. Topeka Yoga Network co-owner Mary Boland led the hour-long class which walked members through various yoga poses, many of which allowed you to incorporate your pint. The class was a taste of what you can experience on a Saturday morning at Norsemen. The public is invited to attend Beer Yoga on any Saturday morning at 11:30a in Norsemen’s upstairs event space, known as the “Halls of Valhalla.” The classes are open to all skill levels. Beer Yoga is the latest in a series of monthly events hosted by Forge’s Play herd. Ashley’s cousin Megan, who co-chairs the herd, said that the purpose of the herd is to “give young talent a place to unwind, meet people, and experience what Topeka has to offer.” Play herd events serve “as the ‘living room’ of Forge,” according to Megan. “Play is often the place we welcome people in to Forge, get to know them a bit, and introduce them to new people and experiences. "It's something I'm proud to be a part of!”
PINTS + POSES
It’s been a busy year for Forge, and the Play herd specificallywith everything from a Donut Day Soiree to a Mardi Gras party to monthly Pub Club socials. Each of Forge’s events drives at one goal- showing the under 40 crowd that TopCity is the place for young talent to live, work, play, connect, and lead. Both Ashley and Megan hope that Forge’s Play herd allows young people a chance to connect and find their place. “Engagement in the community is so important but sometimes I think it can be hard to find your place as a member of our demographic,” Megan said. “I hope [Forge] members realize that they are Topeka, too!” So what’s on the horizon for Forge’s Play herd? Members can enjoy Putt-Putt on September 26, an Octoberfest event, and Forge’s signature New Years Eve party. As is customary, all events include food, drink, prizes, and a good time for all. Individuals under 40 can find information on these and the rest of Forge’s events and herds by visiting the Forge Facebook page at Facebook. com/TopekaForge or by going to TopekaForge.org and signing up for a free membership. aseveneightfive
PANADERIA MONTERRY Si hornear y cocinar son formas de mostrar amor, María y Mike Ramírez, propietarios de la Panaderia Monterrey, deben adorar esta ciudad. Los Ramírez propietarios de la panadería por dieciseis años, tienen cinco panadería y estan abiertos de 9a - 9p, siete días a la semana.
3154 SE 6TH ST.
LA MILLA DE ORO La milla de oro de SE 6th Street, donde la cultura, las especias y la autenticidad se fusionan para crear platos mexicanos tradicionales, productos horneados y golosinas. Si hornear y cocinar son formas de mostrar amor, María y Mike Ramírez, dueños de la Panaderia Monterrey, deben adorar esta ciudad. Ubicados en 3154 SE 6th Street durante los últimos 16 años, emplean a cinco panaderos y están abiertos de 9a a 9p, siete días a la semana! Cuentan con una amplia gama de deliciosos productos horneados, comestibles y su famoso pastel de tres leches. Mi favorito, una tarta de cereza esmerilada, tierna y no demasiado dulce. Para sus clientes de Honduras, El Salvador y Guatemala, hornean pan hecho con harina de arroz, no de trigo. Cada bolsa se denota con las banderas de los países, un gesto que encontré particularmente conmovedor. (dos fotos, bandeja de golosinas y bolsa de pan con banderas) Las gorditas de bistec de "La Casita" en 3032 SE 6th, son una delicia para el almuerzo o la cena envueltas en una tibia tortilla de maíz. Condimente con salsa de tomatillo casera. Juan Carlos Morales junto con su esposa, María, comenzaron con un camión de comida y han estado en su acogedor restaurante durante dos años. Las especialidades de la casa incluyen; Barbacoa, Sopes, Mulitas y Menudo los fines de semana. El desayuno en Zoila’s Café es una fiesta que te revienta la barriga de la mejor manera. Un sueño de toda la vida de Zoila Silva, el Café de Zoila abrió hace un año. Zoila se enfoca en el desayuno, pero es bien conocida por sus caldos (caldos) y variedad de sopas robustas. Abierto todos los días a las 6: 30a, 1000 SE 6th.
Ramón y Erica García, en Casserolle, sirven comidas y bocadillos mexicanos tradicionales siete días a la semana. "Somos conocidos por nuestras Mangonadas y la mayoría de la gente piensa que solo vendemos postres, pero también vendemos alimentos como tacos, sopes, menudo y pozole. La gente ama nuestros tacos, papas asadas, tortes y elotes chorreados ”, exclama Erica. CAMIONES DE COMIDA: Poblanos Grill es un camión de comida que se encuentra fácilmente siguiendo su página de Facebook o llamando al 430-3871. Pruebe cualquier cosa, “Al Pastor, cerdo sazonado con piña. Vuelve A Lida Vida, en el mercado de agricultores todos los sábados, 12 y Harrison Hamburguesas Mexicanas, 1201 SE 6 y el mercado de agricultores. Sigue su página de FB Coma aquí: Tacos El Sol, La Michoacana Bakery, Chic-A-Dee Café, Paquete Proze Si existe un manual, "Cómo apoyar a la comunidad", seguramente fue escrito aquí. Sin lugar a dudas, cada propietario mencionó a su vecino: "Son personas realmente geniales. Hacen lo mejor ... ". ¿No es ese el sueño americano? Donde los vecinos te aman y reconocen tu éxito. Una milla de Topeka que debe visitar a menudo. aseveneightfive
Eating vicariously through social influencer Alison Beebe.
LA CASITA GORDITAS The steak gorditas from La Casita are a treat for lunch or dinner wrapped in a warm corn tortilla. Spice them up with homemade tomatillo sauce. Juan Carlos Morales along with his wife, Maria, started with a food truck and have been in their cozy restaurant for two years. House specialties include: Barbacoa, Sopes, Mulitas and Menudo on weekends.
LA CASITA - 3032 SE 6TH
La milla de oro de SE 6th Street, where culture, spices and authenticity merge to create traditional Mexican dishes, baked goods and treats.
Breakfast at Zoila’s Café is a belly-busting fiesta in the very best way. A lifelong dream of Zoila Silva, Zoila’s Café opened a year ago. Zoila focuses on breakfast, but is well known for her caldos (broth) and variety of hardy soups. Open daily at 6:30a, 1000 SE 6th. Ramon and Erica Garcia, at Casserolle, serve traditional Mexican foods and snacks seven days weekly. “We’re well known for our Mangonadas and most people think we only sell desserts, but we also sell foods like, tacos, sopes, menudo and pozole. People love our tacos, asada fries, tortes and elotes chorreados”, exclaims Erica. FOOD TRUCKS Poblanos Grill is a food truck easily found by following their Facebook page or by calling 430.3871. Try anything, “Al Pastor, seasoned pork with pineapple. Vuelve A Lida Vida, at the farmers market every Saturday, 12th and Harrison Hamburguesas Mexicanas, 1201 SE 6th and the farmers market. Follow their FB page. EAT HERE Tacos El Sol, La Michoacana Bakery, Chic-A-Dee Café, Prize Package If a manual exists, “How to support ones community”, it was surely scripted here. Without fail, every owner mentioned their neighbor, “They’re really great people. They make the best....” Isn’t that the American dream? Where neighbors love you and acknowledge your success. A mile of Topeka that should be visited often. aseveneightfive
Order Today! 220-1209 Homemade Rolls with Local Raised Fresh Honey Butter Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potatoes Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole Sweet Yams
Stuffing Deviled Eggs Cranberry Sauce
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Farm-to-Table - Smoked Pork and Ham Traditional Smoked Turkey Chicken Breast in Herb Sauce
SLOW SMOKED PRIME RIB ROAST
you’re not on santa’s naughty list this year.
If baking and cooking are ways to show love, Maria and Mike Ramirez, owners of Panaderia Monterrey, must adore this city. Located at 3154 SE 6th Street for the past 16 years, they employ five bakers and are open 9a-9p, seven days a week. They feature a wide array of delicious baked goods, grocery items and their famous tres leches cake. My favorite, a frosted cherry tart, tender and not too sweet. For their customers from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, they bake bread made with rice flour, not wheat. Each bag is denoted with the countries’ flags, a gesture I found particularly touching.
MIDWEST FLOAT 2120 SW Brandywine Lane First appointment time 9:30a, daily Last appointment time 7:30p, daily 785.783.8307 midwestfloat.com
RELAXATION SANS THE SCRIPT "I was no longer a father, a brother, a son. I had no deadlines..commitments. I had nothing and I had need of nothing...all the stresses of my life were gone." by Darcy Childs | photo provided
“Oh my god. I do not have an hour I can devote to this,” I thought to myself. “I have three deadlines due for clients, I have to pick my son up from school, stop by the store to get something for dinner, network at a meet and greet, and I would like to play a little guitar with the guys later. I just don’t have an hour to spare!” My day, like all my days, was full from the time I awoke until the time I lay my head back down on the pillow. The “this” I spoke of was an hour-long float in a sensory deprivation tank at Midwest Float. To put it mildly, I am thrilled I made time for “this,” or as Colby Lamb, co-owner of Midwest Float calls it, “recreational therapy.” There are two float tanks: one a Pod, and the other a Cabin which holds up to two people (or one big old fat man like myself), so I chose the cabin. It was filled with water and Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) to a depth of about 18 inches. Inside the cabin there was a low light on with music playing softly. You have the option of leaving the light and music both on, leaving one on and the other off, or both off during your float. As I did not know what to expect, I chose to leave the music on as a security blanket. The music was soft, soothing and had the feel of being New Age. After explaining all the necessary pre-float information, I was left alone to my experience. The warm water felt great, and, unbelievably, the water held me up. I must admit that I was
starting to feel damned uncomfortable. The humidity bothered me as I am a creature of the air conditioning age, but my anxiety was not so much physical as it was sensual, or rather a lack of sensual. I was alone with just my thoughts and they were betraying me. Laying there in the darkness I just could not conceive being there for an hour in that state of mind. As I lay there the thoughts of all I needed to accomplish that day were popping into my brain. But it felt more like I was making an excuse for getting up and leaving instead of just seeing it through.
All of a sudden, BAM, on came the lights! “Noooooooooooo,” I cried out audibly. My hour was over. It had just barely begun I thought. From anxiety to pure relaxation it seemed it was over in 10 minutes. But the relaxation lasted all the rest of the day, and my enthusiasm for floating has just begun. Even though I was back to being me I felt calm. I felt at ease. There was no more anxiety or stress. I had just as much to do getting out of the tank as when I entered, but my feelings about it had mellowed like a fine old wine.
Then it happened. I forgot about me. I just merged into the goo in which I was laying. My anxiety melted away. I was gone.
After I showered off, I gushed and raved to Colby and his business partner Casey Campbell. They were ecstatic at my experience but not surprised. They have seen it before with many clients and have experienced it themselves. Just a side note, Colby and Casey are really good guys. As evidence of that these two caring guys offer free floats to veterans on Wednesdays.
I was no longer a father, a brother, a son. I had no deadlines. I had no commitments. I had nothing and I had need of nothing. It was as if I were surrounded by the amniotic fluid of my mother with all my needs being provided generously to me. All the stresses of my life were gone. It was not that I was unaware of my surroundings. It was that my mind had been given permission to unwind. I do not even get this feeling during sleep. Actually, the only other time I felt this relaxed was during my vasectomy when my blood pressure dropped and the doctor administered a shot of Demerol to calm me down. It did. (I was so calm I told the doctor not to bother looking for the vas deferens to snip, just cut the whole thing off!)
I called a dozen or more of my friends immediately after I left Midwest Float and told them of my experience. I am still telling people daily of what I perceive to be a “recreational therapy” that I will participate in for the rest of my life. I cannot wait until my next float. The only thing different will be the discovery of that first-time experience. I recommend you experience floating for yourself. Hey, come to think of it, I have an hour on Thursday. aseveneightfive
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& shopping guide
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Alice C. Sabatini Gallery | 1515 SW 10th Beauchamp’s Gallery | 3113 SW Huntoon Blooms on Boswell | 1300 SW Boswell Easterseals Capper Foundation | 3500 SW 10th Josey Baking Co. | 3119 SW Huntoon Mulvane Art Museum | 1700 SW Jewell Porterﬁeld’s | 3101 SW Huntoon PT’s Cafe College Hill | 1635 SW 17th Soho Interiors | 3129 SW Huntoon
downtown topeka 1
39 West Gallery | 909 N Kansas aMUSEd Gallery | 907 N Kansas Ballet Folklorico | 814 N Kansas Clover GEAR | 1001 NW Central Fire Me Up Ceramics | 1000 N Kansas The Firehouse | 2705 NW Topeka Kaw River Rustics | 901 N Kansas Matryoshka Tattoo | 918 N Kansas Norsemen Brewing Company | 830 N Kansas NOTO Arts Center | 935 N Kansas NOTO ArtsPlace | 905 N Kansas NOTO Escapes | 907 N Kansas Portico | 900 N Kansas Prairie Fire Winery | 907 N Kansas Serendipity | 820 N Kansas Studio 831 | 831 N Kansas Stutzman Leather | 840 N Kansas
Absolute Design | 629 S Kansas Creations of Hope Gallery | 727 S Kansas Cyrus Hotel | 920 S Kansas First Presbyterian Church | 817 SW Harrison Hazel Hill | 724 S Kansas Juli's Coffee & Bistro | 110 SE 8th Leaping Llamas Artisan Shop | 725 S Kansas NexLynx | 123 SW 6th Ave Prairie Glass Studio | 110 SE 8th Stephen Smith Gallery | 931 S Kansas Two Wolves Studio & Artist Den | 114 SW 8th | 2nd Floor Wolfe’s Camera | 635 S Kansas
Glaciers Edge Winery | 1636 SE 85th (Wakarusa) Topeka Art Guild | 5331 SW 22nd Prairie Fire Winery | 20250 Hudson Ranch Rd
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complete exhibit information at artsconnecttopeka.org
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Dandelions | Brookwood The Linen Tree | Brookwood Southwind Gallery | 3074 SW 29th Tasteful Olive | Brookwood Ethan + Anna Children's Boutique | Brookwood Wild Bird House | Brookwood Cruise Holidays | Brookwood Stitching Traditions | Brookwood
WHERE MEMORIES ARE MADE TheHistoricVinewood.com
| 2848 SE 29 St â€¢ Topeka, Kan | 785.266.6772