seveneightfive magazine | ISSUE #94

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SPRING 2021 • VOL XV • ISSUE III - #94






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by Alexander Lancaster page 26


by Huascar Medina

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Celebracion de la Madre - May 9


Ballet Folkorico de Topeka turns 45 years.



FULL OF GOODNESS by Kristen Shook

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beautiful ashe by Tai Amri

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upcoming events

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FAMILY ON 3 by Ari Davis

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A CANVAS OF ENERGY by Kerrice Mapes

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Ni'col Revell

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by Angel Romero

FALSE NEGATIVES Jean Doherty Trupp

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Kim Scott

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Alison Beebe

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Kerrice Mapes

Tom Wah

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EeTnse layers K C I T E E R F s can explore the d eet its RESERVE

m Kid rest and o fun f in a r e hrough a t of th s t n a it hab e diverse in aze in th m e iv t c intera llery. batini Ga a S . C e c Ali


ADVENTURE BAGS What is a Rainforest? Spot the jaguar! Why are spiders important? Plus 9 more bags that provide hours of engaging entertainment as you discover more about this tropical jungle. Pick up a new Adventure Bag each week at the library!





g the urs durin o h na 2 1 d a Re r and ear e m m u s of k. 12 weeks e app to keep trac h t P prize. Use STACK AP DOWNLO

AD BEAN s a prize arn reading e

June 21-27 Yasu Ishida Japanese folktales with origami & magic online show

July 12


Aug 2-4

Jim Gill

Drumline performance Online concert 1515 SW 10th Ave | Topeka, KS | 785 580-4400 THANK YOU FOR RECYCLING

Made possible in part by The Library Foundation through contributions from the Sabatini Family Foundation and The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. ©2021 TSCPL

WHERE TO GET ADVERTISERS + BUSINESS PARTNERS ARE IN BOLD Stop by a local business and thank them for their support. seveneightfive is FREE because of their financial support.

127 ROCKIN' LADIES, SINCE 2013 Sheyvette Dinkens Women Empowerment Martha Bartlett Piland Kelly Vanderpool Toni Vanderpool Nikki Sloup Jennifer Goetz Poca Kim Kelly Dempewolf Shana Cake Jennifer Pacha Christine Lopez Tammi Lopez Sarah Burtch Noami Kelley Ashley Young Michelle Leivan Jennifer Falley Sylverina Norman Annette Billings Siony Reyes Christina Turner Angie Kearney Wyndi Senogles Charlene Matheny Tess + Maria Cuevas Grace Brown Zoe Schuman Jam4Justice 9 Marlena Addison Martha Herrick Renelle Aytes Ellie Smith Eva Kathryn Rachel Louise Taylor Marjorye Heeney

Barbara Waterman-Peters Lois VanLiew Melanie Burdick Chris Grandmontagne Ginger Park Kacy Simonsen Cap City NOW Kymm Hughes Jamie Hornbaker Ronnie Wooten Jancy Pettit Carrie Proffitt Gale Nation Tara Wallace Christina Valdivia-Alcala Dorothy Thomas School of Dance Brenda Blackman Wasbhurn Athletics The Women's Fund Ashley B. Wallace Veronica Cruz Marni Schleuning Debra Mapes Sarah Fizell Lexi Rodriquez Elena Sanchez Courtney Turcotte Bond Elected Leading Ladies: Ethel Edwards Clarina Nichols Joan Finney Kathleen Sebelius Laura Kelly Michelle De La Isla Jennifer Bohlander

Nicole DeGennero Ashley Dassinger Carson Darcella Goodman Lauren Myers Noah McFarland Ellan Tweeddale Harrison Charlson Taryn Temple Angie Grau Heather DiDomenico Staci Dawn Chris Omni, MPH Phelica Glass Angela Warren Deborah Dawkins Tameka McCray Michelle Wilson JoVonka Marks Laura Cluke Dr. Janet Haynes Lisa Davis Antonette Coffee Anna Springer Kimberly Mattox Caitlyn Halsey Jancy Pettit Angela Lexow Melissa Goodman Linessa Frazier Sharon Sullivan Megan Snyder Christine Steinkuehler Alison Beebe Cierra La"Shay YWCA

DOWNTOWN ARTURO'S The Celtic Fox HANOVER PANCAKE HOUSE LUIS’ PLACE Ramada Inn TPAC Topeka Blue Print Jayhawk Theatre Warehouse 414 Jong's Thai Kitchen THE GLOBE MIDWEST BARTER

WEST THE BURGER STAND La Rocca’s Pizza Southwind Gallery The Lazy Toad Pizagels Yuki Happy Basset HELEN CROW / KIRK + COBB

SOUTH + EAST MILK + HONEY Abigail’s Blind Tiger Tacos el Mexicana TOPEKA COUNTRY CLUB CROOKED POST WINERY Amigo's Happy Basset Barrel House STRATHMAN SALES



WWR COVER ARTISTS Martie Rison ('13, '14, '15, '16, '17) Jennifer Goetz ('19) Chris Omnie ('20) Jancy Pettit ('21)


Oscars Louie's Lounge Tortilla Jacks Mulvane Art Museum The Trap BACKS BY POPULAR DEMAND Top City Music TSCPL (LIBRARY)

WORDS FOR THOUGHT "IT'S TOPEKA" When did this phrase become something so negative? I’m seeing it all the time on social media. When something bad happens. When something new comes around. When folks don’t agree with each other or have differing in opinions. I am writing this as me. Just Shawn Wheat who loves Topeka and has had a chance to look from the outside in. Lately I have seen the term “it’s Topeka” used for various different things like shootings or a homicide. Scooters owned by a private business being left in odd spots. Vandalism in the community. Can we change the term to something positive? I’ve seen the community at its worst and I’ve seen it at its best. I know there is more good than bad. I’ve seen people come together and help folks they have never met. I have

seen people step out of the norm to make a difference. I have seen people give their last dime to someone in more need. That’s Topeka! Topeka isn’t a perfect place, but it can be if we change the way we think. If we step out and make it different. If we do our part to make Topeka an amazing community to live in. Don’t let the bad win. Don’t just sit there and watch it. Be a part of it by stepping up and making Topeka the community it needs to be. So next time you see the words “It’s Topeka” used negatively, remember it’s not Topeka. Just that person who isn’t making their community a better place. Shawn Wheat Topeka, Kan + Omaha, Neb

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oetry for Personal Power, a nationally recognized expert on trauma and resilience by empowering peers through arts advocacy and entrepreneurship culminates a month-long celebration of national poetry month with a virtual stream of "Hunger" on April 30 at 7p Tickets are $10 online. "Hunger" is a one woman show performed by international touring poet and performance artist Ebony Stewart. As a playwright, Ebony's one woman


show gives her an opportunity to unpack the baggage she'd been given, tackle her "daddy issues," forgive, and transform the space into healing for us all. "Hunger" is heavy, funny and moving as it takes you on a journey from girl to grown woman with stories and rhythmic poetry intertwined. It is intensely personal, thoughtfully written with words artfully delivered. GET TICKETS: or get direct link at



All the really enjoyable parts of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," that's what you'll get in this one-hour production


reated by Bethany Ayers, Top City's Leading Ladies Cabaret is a performing arts group that showcases the talented females in the Topeka area. Performing July 3 at ArtsConnect in NOTO.

ay 29 marks the premiere of Lady Shakes, a female-driven performance company. Their debut production is Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”–but this will be unlike any Midsummer you’ve seen in the past. First, it is only one hour in length. “We just kept the really funny parts” said Shannon Reilly, director.

Rippel. “We knew we wanted to continue, but we also wanted to do something sustainable.” The troupe is currently 22 strong and began meeting last August. They are now in the final stages of becoming a 501c3.

Second, the production is free, familyfriendly and staged at a park near you. The troupe hopes to confirm Gage Park Amphitheater for the debut performance, but at the time of this publishing it was not. Please check for event announcement.

Lady Shakes is a woman-driven, nongender exclusive troupe. “It is free of cast-type. We want to include those whose voices haven’t been heard,” said Sheri. “It’s also an opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone... put on someone else’s shoes. It’s a full spectrum of expression.”

Lastly you will see a diverse but allfemale cast. “The cast is fantastic,” said Shannon, “but honestly, a few minutes into the production, and you completely forget.”

“It’s an opportunity for anyone to explore roles they have not been able to play in the past,” added Shannon. This diverse focus sets the foundation for creative liberties we’ve not seen the likes of locally. Lady Shakes are shaking up the way local theatre will be brought to different audiences. Step outside your comfort zone and on May 29 at 1pm enjoy Lady Shakes’ allfemale production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” (only the funny parts).

Lady Shakes was born after “Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night - All Female Cast” a 2019 collaboration between Topeka Civic Theatre and Ad Astra to support Jayhawk Theatre’s restoration awareness efforts. “It was too much fun to let go,” said Sheri











$10 Boxed Lunch | Holiday Catering (we bring our own plexiglas) | Artisan Gift Baskets

WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE Established 134 years ago in 1887, YWCA Northeast Kansas is a unique and vital community resource in the greater Topeka area committed to eliminating racism and empowering women. Not only does YWCA Northeast Kansas provide crucial services to women, children, and families–they are widely recognized as a thought leader on the issues of racial justice and the advancement of women.

through quality, affordable childcare, inspire young girls to be healthy, bold, and confident, build strong women leaders, and advocate for women’s rights and civil rights at the local, state, and federal level. What sets YWCA apart is their commitment to comprehensive social services, combined with their dedication to creating a more just world through advocacy and issue education.

YWCA Northeast Kansas is a part of a network of YWCAs which represents one of the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organizations in the world and nationally represents the largest network of domestic violence agencies. Across the globe, they have more than 25 million members in 106 countries, including 2.6 million members and participants in 300 local associations in the United States. Locally, they proudly serve over 14,000 individuals and families each year.

For the past 33 years, YWCA Northeast Kansas has been honoring Women of Excellence who represent a wide variety of backgrounds and industries and are selected for their outstanding accomplishments, dedication to their organizations and commitment to the greater Topeka community. Being a Woman of Excellence is more than just an award. It is about being a difference-maker.

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and stand for social justice for all. They provide safety and shelter for survivors, strengthen families

On September 16, 2020 guests tuned in from across the community and country for an hour of recognizing and uplifiting the stories of women whose contributions have been vital to our community." aseveneightfive

seveneightfive magazine is thrilled to present the top three " Women of Excellence" contributors. These ladies went above-and-beyond raising much-needed dollars to further the YWCA mission. From the top in order: Joan Proctor (Kansas Attorney General's Office), Cassie Weatherwax-Brack (Hill's Pet Nutrition) and Cherie Huffman (Security Benefit). Congratulations. Thank you. You ROCK!

"The First Time, the Heart (A Portrait of Life 1854-1913)" is a portfolio by Dario Robleto, of fifty lithogrpahs about his research into the history of the human heart, and more specifically, our attempt to record a heartbeat.


by Huascar Medina, literary editor | Poet Laureate of Kansas


ords matter and images matter, especially, when they are attached to our understanding of the human body. I recently participated in a collaborative art project with world renowned contemporary artist Dario Robleto, “The First Time, the Heart (A Portrait of Life 1854-1913)“ Dario Robleto’s work is a synergism between science and art. He removes the partition, reinforced throughout our education, that art and science must operate exclusively devoid of the other; if they are to be understood and lead to understanding. Robleto asserts, as a matter of fact, that simultaneously seeing through the lenses of art and science, increases our capacity to know. “The First Time, the Heart (A Portrait of Life 1854-1913)” is a portfolio by Dario Robleto, of fifty lithographs about his research into the history of the human heart, and more specifically, our attempt to record a heartbeat. Each print created in the series shows a human pulse taken between 1854 and 1913. The prints include the scientist’s original notations of the conditions under which each subject’s pulse was recorded. The inadvertently poetic notations included phrases like, “smelling lavender”, “religious guilt”, “arising from sleep”, “Young boy, dreaming” and “Exhausted by misery and undernourishment; rest and being fed”.

The Spencer Art Museum has acquired this portfolio for its permanent collection. The artist Robleto, asked if the portfolio could be creatively resequenced. The portfolio has been resequenced and displayed with the assistance of poets since its debut. The original sequence was created by poet Adrian Matejka per Robleto. It was important to Robleto that another artist was brought into the project to amplify the language inborn within the images. Robleto’s portfolio will be presented at Kansas University’s Spencer Art Museum’s exhibit, “Healing, Knowing, Seeing the Body”. The exhibit explores the human bodies capacity to connect us through shared experience. Though the body is an individual and intimate experience for us all, that experience is informed by cultural context, social expectation and our own particular situation. This exhibit acknowledges the importance of artists working within the context of the body. The body’s disposition to constantly be labeled, studied, and explored. This attempt to label, study and explore the body by artists has led to conversations about how and why the body is, as the Spencer Art Museum adduces, “…a site of violence and debate, providing visible ways to identify and label difference that can lead to widespread injustice.” I was asked to participate in the exhibit by Cassandra Mesick Braun, Ph.D, curator of Global Indigenous Art at Spencer Museum of Art. For several years continued on next page

since 2006 |


The Body Politic continued from previous page.

she has been immersed in an interdisciplinary research project that explores the intersections between art, medicine and the body. This work has taken many forms, including an ongoing project about the history of medical racism, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, “Chronic Conditions” as well as, “Healing, Knowing, Seeing the Body.” Mesick asked me to participate so we could explore questions of empathy, care, memory, individuality and personhood with respect to our bodies and selves.

"I was brought here to amplify the words." I met with Cassandra to see Robleto's lithographs. At the time, the Spencer was not open to the public. We met and got to work in a room away from the galleries. Each lithograph was pulled out with intention and with white gloves. They were laid out on a white table in a white room. The sizes of each image varied. The smoky-lens prints were all laid out to be seen. I walked around the table and read each word. I paid little to no attention to each lithographs appearance. I was brought here to amplify the words. I was now collecting data related to my task. The images were sent to me beforehand to review but Mesick and I were in accordance that they had to be seen in person to resequence. They had to be experienced and not just observed from a distance to truly be absorbed.

What could we learn from a heartbeat that no longer existed, from a person we never met, during Two things informed my selection process, the covid-19 pandemic and the presidential election of 2020. The division and isolation we were all experiencing has created less empathy and understanding between us. The way information was being recorded, sent, received, reconfigured and shared regarding the pandemic and election was having a profound impact on us all. I challenged myself to take a snap shot of the world we are living in today with the data provided to us from 1854 and 1913. What could we learn from a heartbeat that no longer existed, from a person we never met, during a moment only they could have experienced? I took individual heartbeats from complete strangers and created a time in a life that could have occurred today. I wanted, if only for a moment, the images to tell a story, to spur empathy in the observer. When data is separated from the person (subject) it is collected from we begin to distance ourselves from the humanity inherent in the knowledge we are presented. These images, these words, this data, if even for a short time, represent a part of a life. And data is being collected now, about the world we are experiencing and I hope someone in the future can learn from us the way I have learned from Dario Robleto’s “The First Time, the Heart (A Portrait of Life 1854-1913)”. aseveneightfive

beautiful ashe

love letter to/from the black lives matter movement

mother of the movement we see you hold this federal fallacy of ferguson's feet to the flame on the names of your slain babies we see you baton rouge we see you political prisons to cut off the breath of your fire we see you south africa to dublin we see you we all one black struggling to get the scars off our back we see you florida we see you breaking guns off in autism's guardian back down hands up in the fire we see you trans folk we see you first one to the gun last song sung and if flames couldn't help it we see you oakland we see you one blood strong you shut it down let it burn to the ground we see you breaker of police chiefs suffer all mayors we see you vanguard of the (r)evolution gentrifier wet dream we see you san francisco we see you shirtless warrior women we see you continued on next page

Without favoritism // How would stone walls lined with glass // Ever know who to slice? // How would fences // Know who to electrocute? // How would god know who // Not to answer? [Things of Blood] beautiful ashe: memories of a sweet black boy & more





orn just outside of Philly-south Jersey, Tai Amri is the son of educators, haiku writers, historical fiction novelists, operatic, choral musicians, and the descendant of: quaker abolitionists and mystic deviants. A Langston Hughes Poetry Award recipient and co-founder of the collaborative group B.L.A.C.K. (Black Literature and Arts Collective of Kansas), Tai has also been busy writing a poetic memoir (summer 2021) titled "beautiful ashe: memoirs of a sweet black boy & more" The book project speaks to the difficulties growing as a Black male: ,the homophobia, the sexism and the classism that has run rampant in this country, is faced and addressed in brutal and vulnerable realism. Six additional sections address themes as diverse as the struggles to create equality in a hyper-capitalist environment and reaches towards atonement with an African self when the American self seeks to engulf and silence it. "It is poetry meant to bolster the resolve to continue towards (r)evolution and deals with the contradictions and counterrevolutionary aspects of the self." It is a work that hopes to add to the growing need for racial healing of intersectionality in the Midwestern state of mind. The purpose is to continue the fight and to highlight the light Black people bring to the liberation of all people. Tai describes himself as a quiet fire. one you don't know is burning until you read his words on the page. He says he "pays for his missteps to the ones who have come before and the ones who will take his place. He bows deep to the divine in you." aseveneightfive

KANSAS IS LIT Listen to Tai Amri discuss and read from "beautiful ashe: memories of sweet black boy & more" on Kansas is Lit with host and literary editor Huascar Media. Listen to the podcast archived online at or Apple Podcasts

philly we see you in the rubble of the MOVE of Africa we see you in the wrist burns of mumia we see you in the talons of rizzo we see you you quake the roots of justice you shot bells of freedom libate our ancestors ms. sanchez libate sankofa we see you detroit we see you from ford corrupted lands we see you through leaden waters we see you through riot smoke a voice broke grace lee boggs leading to (r)evolution don't die we see you mother emanuel we see you on slave floors in charleston we see you hiding from fires like the good girl grandma raised we see you black lives matter movement we see you burning all reserves on picket lines we see you multicolored movement we see you rageful love we see you come back alive we see you don't lose one more we see you 7th generation we see you sold off in fraudulent bids we see you down enemy scopes we see you our last and only hope we see you drink the milk and run we'll take their bullets we see you my people we see you from the burning prairie lawrence, fiery kansas we see you

Poetry Kan ���

JULY 9 - AUG 15



THE ATRE JUNE 25 + 26 | TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE Laugh Lines was the last production on Topeka Civic Theatre's Mainstage before shuddering their doors due to covid. It was the only production on stage during (and that was to a very small and virtual audience). Perhaps it is no surprise then that Laugh Lines is the first production on TCT's Mainstage when they reopen this spring. And dammit, we could all use some side-aching, hiccup inducing laughter.

Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" on the Mainstage of Topeka Civic Theatre. Dinner theatre is back with catering by Front Door Catering.

JULY 23 - AUG 8


Bath House Players - Eleanor, a shy teen, has built a fantasy world around the sci-fi comics she collects. When she is thrust into Website World, she learns to own up to the inner power she has always denied.

JUL 30 - AUG 15


TCT Academy / youth production based on the Dreamworks Animation Motion Picture.

For over 25 years, Laugh Lines has entertained thousands with outrageous comedy sketches and helped launch numerous (soon-to-be) comedic legends. The show almost always sells out; the June 25 + 26 performance will sell out, without doubt. Call 357.5211and reserve your seat(s), yesterday. If you are lucky to be in the audience for either show, please (for me, I beg you) do not suggest "covid" during the awesomely awkward audience participation games. Perhaps stick with tried-and-true audience suggestions, such as dildo or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

HELEN HOCKER THEATER | Gage Park | GA Seating / no food

A playful new adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved novel follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the Dashwood sisters. Set in gossipy late 18th century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth and bold theatricality.

TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE | 3008 SW 8th Ave | Dinner Theatre



JUNE 25 - JULY 3

45 YEARS OF BALLET FOLKLORICO DE TOPEKA Celebracion de la Madre's - May 9 @ 2p

Ballet Folklorico de Topeka is a Mexican Folkloric dance company founded 45 years ago by JUSTICIA Inc. (who is celebrating their 50th year of service) under the direction of Ediberto Gonzalez Sr. The dance company practices yearround and performs locally, state-wide and nationally. This Mother's Day, May 9, enjoy a special performance titled "Celebrating Our Mother" at Topeka Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12 for reserved seating. Celebrate this milestone achievement for the dance company, support the arts and celebrate familia con abuela y mamá o amigos. aseveneightfive

5/19 Billy Ebeling + Late for Dinner Band 6/16 Keesha Pratt 7/21 Levee Town 8/18 Orphan Jon +The Abandoned 9/15 Mark & The Sharks since 2006 |





s I looked around on the football field, I saw a diverse group of players practicing for game day. A common theme was echoed throughout the huddles “FamilyOn3" and "One Team One Dream." I would soon learn why those words perfectly fit this team. Midwest Venom, is a semi-professional football organization based out of Topeka,. The 11man team is comprised of players throughout Kansas and Missouri. Sitting at the helm is owner Anthony Hazelwood, a 26-year-old Black man from Topeka. He is the youngest owner in Kansas and one of the youngest in our nation. Hazelwood said his age is not an issue for his players. "We all have mutual respect for each other. Just because you’re a certain age doesn’t mean we can’t relate, love, and have the same experience about football," said Hazelwood. "At any age you can still learn." Hazelwood is inspired to bring something positive, that residents of Topeka could be proud of. "We want to pour into the community, and


have the community pour right back into us. We want families to experience a fun exciting time, watch premiere athletes, and a game we all love." When asked what Hazelwood wants to accomplish for his team this year he said "I want my players to have a great season, to build a family bond with each other, the community, and to provide memories they can laugh at for a life time; and of course win."

Behind every win and player are the coaches. MidWest Venom is led by offensive coordinator Ben Ceck, offensive line coaches Rob Mayes and Jeremy Thomas, defense coach Larry Moore, and defensive back Maurice Killer. "I choose them [coaches] because they all have an aggressive but approachable coaching style," said Hazelwood. "They have played together before, and they always come together as one to make it happen." Their philosophy is "family" on and off the field, said head coach Rob Mays, who brings his own semi pro ball experience to the team, this makes it easy to coach them. Mays said he doesn't care if they lose every game, "...I'm giving young

by Ari Davis | photos by Alison Beebe

men some leadership...things they can learn in their lives and pass on to generations to come." Mays major goal is to make the players better men off the field. Justin Self is the quarterback of MWV and played football in high school and semi pro throughout the nation. He wanted us to know they are a humble team–we just started and we are hungry–and we have a lot of athletes who played professional and to the league they deserve to be here. I asked Justin to describe himself in one word, he said "dedicated, because I always show up and on time and do the work when it needs to be done. I am dedicated to this team“ Jhay James, nicknamed Kuntry, has also played high school and semi pro ball. and is MWV’s cornerback. He said he loves playing football with some of the people he grew up with he likes the league because it’s fast pace and a working mans league. I asked Kuntry to describe himself in one word on the field, and he said "activated." Kuntry wants the community to know they are the real deal Holyfield and want to do great things for the community and give back. continued on next page

since 2006 |


Family On 3 continued from previous page.

When looking on the field you see a group of men practicing and working on drills, but the more I ask about the organization I soon realize MWV back-office organization is made up of all women. "It's important to give women a platform in what we think is a male dominated sport and is important for our nonprofit," said Hazelwood. "We rely so heavily on sponsorships, and the women of Midwest Venom go above and beyond to make sure that happens, while they get to express their love for the game." While many are already strutting their game-day support, this season is not without a few bumps. Covid eliminated several opportunities to fund raise and get out in the community, "the way we would have liked," said Hazelwood. He also shared that he had reached out to the 501 central office seeking use of facility at Highland Park or Central Park but was denied. His main reason on using those fields was to stay in the communities where they can make the most impact and the youth would have easy access to the games. Hazelwood said he was disappointed by the lack of support thus far from those that have the authority to provide a field to host their home games, but he remains optimistic on the season going well and will never give up on his community and his players Midwest Venom's inaugural season includes four home games, all at Sportzone (3900 SW Burlingame Rd) at 5p on Saturdays. 2021 game days are April 24, May 15, June 5 and June 12. A season pass is $30 or individual game-day tickets are $10 each. Go to to purchase a season membership, game-day ticket, to make a donation, print their schedule or to learn more about the team. aseveneightfive

Jancy Pettit // Chuck’s Grid | Acrylic & Graphite on Canvas | 36 x 42


by Kerrice Mapes | artwork Jancy Pettit


hi is what it is called in China. In India it is called prana; Japan, ki. God, spirit or source is what Jancy Pettit calls it. The "it" is the flow of spiritual energy and it serves as the canvas or foundation of Jancy's Energy Art. The unique form of art is based on a spontaneous movements derived from Tai Chi and Oigong. Jancy engages her body in various martial arts energy movements while she is creating art; this results in art charged with energy, thus the term Energy Art.

Energy infused art has the ability to enhance the energy of spaces and benefit those who encounter it in a positive way. Jancy's Energy Art extends beyond the canvas. ArtLight is a performance piece which combines Energy Art with music exploring how the vibrations of different colors and images affect art and the experience. Dancers are costumed in large flowing dresses and placed in front of projection screens. Swirling movement in light formed from bright, circular images creates a visceral world invoking imagination. The shadows created by the dancers allow the viewers to enjoy the juxtaposition of bright paint and the void of color. ArtLight was a 2018 TEDxTopeka Talk (video shared on

Our bodies are full of wisdom which is beyond the spoken word, states Jancy. "This wisdom can reveal itself in many ways, but my particular method of tapping into and sharing wisdom is through artmaking, spontaneous movement and sound." Jancy's Energy Art is comparatively new; in the late 1980s she was a member of the Collective Art Gallery,

where she planted her roots in Topeka's art scene. She has been committed to it ever since. But it wasn't until early 2000 that she began her journey to Energy Art. Twenty years ago Jancy was introduced to qigong, an ancient Chinese health system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. As she explored the process, she relaxed into the notion that her body was moving itself with the energy rather than her direction. She took out her Conté crayons and a big pad of paper, her qigong energy began to draw. "Soul Expressions Coloring Book" (available at is an adult coloring book that introduces people to Energy Art while giving the artmaking process a broader platform. Jancy's Energy Art also supports our local art scene via organizations like ArtsConnect, and events such as Works of Heart a benefit for Family Service & Guidance Center (where she now works). Jancy's art was coveted as was the desire for her teachings. Today, Energy Art has expanded from drawings into color and various mediums like printmaking, collage and clay. "I found that every art medium I tried could be approached in the same way," said Jancy. "I felt as if I was creating in collaboration with spirit while the juicy energy of creativity was running through me. The biggest challenge I faced was staying out of my own way. I found if I kept my mind out of the process, the results were much more satisfying." Jancy encourages us to observe artwork created in this modality two ways. First, to observe what the piece looks like visually. Then, to take a moment to feel inside ourselves to notice any subtly differences. Everyone experiences art differently, but all art impacts, connects and energizes. "Art and experiences to move your soul." aseveneightfive

Love Where You Play The Topeka CounTry Club



P E K A C.C EST. 1905

membership - golf - tennis - health & wellness - swim - dining The Topeka CounTry Club 2700 SW buchanan, Topeka, kansas 66611 | (785) 354-8561


by Alexander Lancaster | artwork Angela Lexow

"My parents were really great at reminding me


woman with multiple passions and talents, Angela Lexow takes on new missions with vigor, grace and humility. Angela is the owner of Spitfire Yoga + Bodyworks, a multimedia artist and owner of Lexow Studios and in 2014 began Devil In Disguise Pinup. Devil In Disguise Pinup is an online boutique with one-of-a-kind jewelry, bags, headpieces and pins. Pieces are hand-crafted by Angela specializing in Pinup, Rockabilly, Hollywood Glamour, Dia de los Muertos and Halloween-Noir styles. “Devil in Disguise combines my love of jewelry and vintage.” Angela is “dedicated to well be-ing.” Her father coached her in soccer for many years as a youth. In fact, Angela was one of the only girls on the Olympic training team, at a time when there wasn’t Olympic women’s soccer–so she was mixed in with the boys team. But after the birth of her first son, Angela began to have back problems “which I mostly ignored." A herniated disc in Angela's lower back sent her into surgery, while she was four-and-half months pregnant with her second child. It also led her to yoga. “I fell in love with yoga because it is a challenge but one that is kinder on my body. The mind-body component is helping me accept the limitations I have." Angela volunteers, bringing awareness to the history of the landmark Historic Topeka Cemetery. Combining her passion for yoga with philanthropy, Angela will lead an all-levels yoga class at Historic Topeka Cemetery near Mausoleum Row on June 5 from 10-11a. Students are encouraged to honor the energy around, as they form a deeper connection with their mind, body and breath. The class is free with a $10 suggested donation benefiting the Historic Topeka Cemetery.

of what kind of Prior to Spitfire Yoga + Body, Angela co-owned The Yoga Room at Fairlawn Plaza for almost five years. The studio closed due to repercussions from covid. “2020 was really hard for everybody, for so many different reasons,” said Angela, “but it showed me what’s important. In some ways it slowed everybody down...look at what’s important going forward, who knows maybe something went away from your life for a little while and then maybe that's okay and you don’t want to bring that back. It brought me back in drawing quite a lot. I’ve always tried to keep creating no matter what’s going on but I did a couple of create a new piece each day. It got me out of bed.”

person I wanted to be. I want to be somebody that enjoys what I do. I want to treat people like I would want to be treated. It was ingrained in me." -Angela Lexow

“I am an artist–I paint, I draw, I make fine art gourds, mixed media 3D art, jewelry, I sew bags and clothes and create using anything that I find myself curious about.” View and purchase Angela’s works at Two Wolves Artist Collective, 114 SW 8th Ave and Lexow Studios, “One of my mentors told me ‘you don’t dip your toe–you jump in and do it; you jump in with both feet.’” That’s exactly what Angela does, no matter the form success shapes. She encourages everyone to “be open to the unknown, because it could take you all kinds of cool places.” aseveneightfive


by Kristen Shook | photo by Marcelino Gonzalez III / Create/Uplift


s a strong-willed servant leader who wears her heart on her sleeve, Melissa Goodman paves a personal legacy each and every day. Full of passion and empathy, she strives to make the world a better place. Her personal motto is: “Do something you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Through many periods of personal reflection and growth Melissa has persevered in living a meaningful, fulfilling life. Growing up just north of Topeka, in the Seaman school district, Melissa spent a lot of time outside on the land of her rural childhood home developing a sense of independence. Throughout high school she had aspirations of becoming a chef and completed vo-tech at Washburn Technical Institute during her last two years of high school. She continued her studies at Johnson County Community College on a tennis scholarship. After working in the restaurant industry for a few years, she quickly realized her love for food and creating it was not enough to sacrifice missed holidays and special occasions that are often required in the food service field. Melissa worked various jobs while searching for the right career path, her favorite during this time was working on a horse farm. She was able to interact with and ride horses while being challenged both personally and professionally. Melissa eventually returned to college, attending Washburn University through another tennis scholarship. While completing her general requirements, she continued to self reflect in search of the right career path. Understanding her natural trait of being inquisitive

and having a sense of curiosity in regards to criminal behaviors, she was drawn to the criminal justice field. Thus completing both a bachelors and masters in Criminal Justice. While studying, she completed an internship through Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex and quickly found working with juveniles was not for her. Looking at her options in the criminal justice field, she stated, “I knew that I did not want to assist in putting people into jail, prison or work with those in correctional facilities, as being in such institutions can be depressing.” Melissa began to look at assisting individuals in their transition out of such institutions through social work and reintegration services. Luckily, a friend suggested she come work with her at Mirror, a federal reentry center. After nine years of growth and experience at Mirror, Melissa holds the position of the Director of Federal Programs. As director, she manages operations of the facility which entails the flow of residents, supervising staff and ensuring all requirements of the contract between the agency and the Federal Bureau of Prisons are met. Mirror serves as a program for those transitioning out of federal prison or are on federal supervision. Individuals who reside at the reentry center are to focus on developing their hierarchy of needs; such as finding a place to live, obtaining employment, addressing medical or mental health needs, and developing skills necessary for a successful reintegration back into society. Melissa's position can be challenging, yet is deeply honored to serve this population. Her favorite part of the job is to interact with residents. She

explains, “Being able to see someone interact with their family as a lot of times people don’t get a chance to see their loved ones the entire time they’re incarcerated…It’s this huge part of someone’s life that you get to be a part of. It's very humbling and rewarding.” Melissa has a strong urge to serve others, her contributions to the community continue as a board member of Team Black Foundation. In 2015, Blake Cazier, the son of Melissa’s long time friend, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia; a rare form of blood cancer. Following the passing of Blake, the foundation was formed. Their website states, “The mission of the Team Blake Foundation is to assist in reducing the burden of childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses on children and their families.” Through this work, Melissa has learned to, “be gracious for the time you have and the people who are in your life.” Blake's mother Jacyln Cazier has a hard time putting how wonderful Melissa is into words, she had the following message:


The 12th Annual Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival presented by Topeka Blues Society is Sunday, July 4 at Reynolds Lodge at Lake Shawnee, Topeka. Blues giant Mike Zito headlines along with amazing performers including: Spirit Dancer Dennis Rodger Orphan Jon + The Abandoned with Alastair Greene Robin Kapsalis & Vintage #18 Jeremiah Johnson Indigenous Levee Town with Howard Mahan (a seveneightfive favorite)

“On my darkest days she would send word’s of encouragement, hope, understanding, and love. I’ve never known someone who continually encourages people daily. No matter what struggles you are going through, Melissa always finds the positive in every situation and gives you a glimpse of hope when you feel like giving up. I have never known anyone to be so selfless. She really cares about other’s needs and wishes more than her own. Melissa is really generous, and humble, I am so lucky to know such a beautiful person.” Melissa hopes to continue making her mark on the world. She looks forward to continuing to serve her community through her work with Mirror. Within the next few years Melissa wishes to see a change in funding, specifically on a state level, for reentry centers that would assist individuals with their reintegration. With a fire in her soul to help children and families, she also plans to continue serving through Team Blake. Continuously creating lasting memories that keep her tank full, she would never second guess pouring herself into her two passions. Melissa strives to continue learning and developing her leadership skills to further her abilities of making a difference. Full of goodness, Melissa Goodman. aseveneightfive

seveneightfive magazine

| est. 2006 |


by Jesyca Hope | photo by EJ Drake

You notice Linessa when she is walking down the street – her style is effervescent. But you remember her because of her heart. She is currently on the Topeka & Shawnee County Library Foundation Board and the board of directors of SENT Topeka, she’s active with the graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. and The Topeka Chapter of The Links, Inc. Her career has always been around learning. First it was with corporations like American Century Investments or Payless ShoeSource. Then, she participated in a collaborative program between the Kansas Department of Education, the Tonantzin Society and Kansas legislators focused on culturally relevant pedagogy and discovered her purpose, not just in the learning process, but in education. She discovered a love for diversity, inclusion and equity in the education of all people, especially K-12 students, and now she’s with USD 437, where Linessa is an assistive technology assistant at Pauline Central Primary School. She is a graduate of the Leadership Greater Topeka class of 2019, was the 2019-20 Classified Distinguished Staff of the Year for USD437, and is the national Bestselling Author of "The Life I Love" (2021). Having completed her Masters in Instructional Technology at Fort Hays State University, she’s preparing to begin her doctorate work in Educational Leadership with

an emphasis in diversity, equity and inclusion. If you get the chance to meet Linessa in person, ask her to tell you where her passion for equitable education really started. She’ll tell you about watching her mother, working in their church in 1960s South Carolina, stable boards to posters as they prepared to march. She’ll say her work “feels almost as if I’m returning home...only for a different generation.” What’s your bedrock? The foundation of all who/that I am is my faith. I absolutely love Jesus and I don’t make any apologies for that. It’s my love for Him that gives me the desire to serve, but it’s His love for me that actually moves me into service for others. I am so thankful that He doesn’t throw shade when I mess up, but allows me grace for restoration and realignment...and I need a lot of grace. Looking back, what do you wish you could have skipped? While I really have no regrets, I wish I could have skipped some of my years of wandering and wondering. Having had a career focused on learning and education, I sometimes wish I could have discovered my passion sooner and completed my post secondary education earlier. I mean, there is a thirty year gap between my

Bachelors and Masters, for goodness sakes! I remember telling one of my graduate school teachers, as I was truly running out of motivation (because it was 2020 after all), that I felt as if I was in a ‘mental pause’. Fortunately, we were contemporaries and she totally understood. Nevertheless, she (I) prevailed! How do you rock out? Although I may seem like an extrovert, I’m really a closet nerd. My favorite things to do include listening to a good book or podcast (I have over 1600 books on my audible account and I won’t even discuss my library holds) and learning some new technology to use at school or in creating a video. Where’s your ROCKING chair? I am nowhere near retirement or a rocking chair. I feel as if I’m just getting my second wind. In the church, it’s tantamount to thinking the pastor is on the final stretch, but, in reality is just shifting into another gear. That’s me - I’ve got the clutch down and I’m rocking into fifth gear. What makes you feel like a rockstar? Isaiah 1:17 says “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause” ESV). I feel that doing good is a learned behavior, not necessarily an innate one. Once you understand the ability to “do good”, you are given a mission of seeking justice, fairness, equity and are then given the responsibility of correcting the things that you see are wrong and making them just. Accomplishing this goal is a tall order, but the challenge of it and making small steps toward that goal is what makes me feel like a rockstar every day. aseveneightfive




r. Sharon L. Sullivan has degrees from Smith College, Washington University and the University of Kansas. She is a professor at Washburn University teaching Theatre and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research and activism focus on violence against women and children, including sexual and domestic violence, human trafficking, and rape as a weapon of war. Sharon is cofounder and director of STARS (Stop Trafficking and Reject Slavery), a member of the Kansas Human Trafficking Advisory Board, president of the International Public Policy Institute (an NGO to the United Nations), and president-elect of the new Rotary Chapter of Community Action Against Human Trafficking (CAAHT). She is also an active supporter of the Topeka YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment. Sharon has presented multiple times about Human Trafficking at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She currently cochairs the Topeka Shawnee County Human Trafficking Coalition. Sharon lives on ten acres of land with her partner, 32 chickens, eight ducks, two turkeys and a very patient Boxer named Happy. Looking back, what do you wish you could have skipped? The years of crippling insecurity and selfdoubt. It took me a long time for my insides to match my outside...or at least get closer. Others perceived me as successful long before I felt it myself. I wish I had understood that life is not linear. There are going to be detours, speed bumps and potholes. As a former perfectionist,

I thought those were my failings instead of understanding them as part of life. What should one never take for 'granite'? The important people in your life. There will always be work to do, but people are finite. When you care about someone, it’s worth taking time to love and support.We need connection with others. What do you think people should be boulder at? Embracing risk and mistakes. Don’t settle for anything less than your dreams. Take a chance, work hard. Be willing to fail and try again. We learn more from failure than from an immediate success. Every time we get try again using what we learned from our experience, we increase our inner strength and resiliency. It is better to have tried and failed, than to look back on your life and know that you never tried. Embrace your best self. Be weird, be quirky, be happy! Be your authentic self. Love. Don’t be afraid to put love into the world. See the beauty in the people around you and tell them. “Breathe in Peace, Breathe out Love.” How do you find gems in the rough of your field? I am so grateful to work with young people. They bring so much energy and excitement to the world. They are all gems in the rough. It is a privilege to love and guide them as they sand off the rough edges and shape the facets of their lives. aseveneightfive

since 2006 |


FALSE NEGATIVES Last November I felt totally out-of-it when I noticed my reflection in the bathroom mirror; a veil of darkness had washed over my face. Eye sockets were black, and not just the usual dark circles I inherited from my beautiful mother in heaven. Tear ducts, upper and lower eyelids, the entire orbital area of my eyes - black holes of death. In the middle of the night, as if it were the witching hour, I stood there staring, searching for signs of life. photography by Nathan Ham, Nathan Ham Photography art direction, make-up and costume by Jean Doherty Trupp



knew I was in trouble, yet so fatigued and exhausted I did not care. I was unknowingly in the middle of a COVID-19 strange and crazy trip, a weird and creepy mental paralysis. Researchers have learned in the last year, when the full-on pandemic began, that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, most likely first affects the brain. The next morning in my fog I managed to make an appointment at a drive-in only COVID-19 testing site. With increasing headaches and low-grade fever, mental fatigue, physical exhaustion, and dizziness, I could not remember how to drive, and let me tell you, it was a wild ride. The thinking part of my brain was ‘temporarily out of order.’ Thoughts were scattered and incomplete. Too much pressure on the gas pedal, not enough on the brakes. Oversteering. Understeering. I was weaving all over the road like a student-driver but with forty years of experience. I am surprised I made it to the clinic at all. When it was my turn to be tested, the nurse phoned my cell to verify the make, model and color of my vehicle, but with heavy brain fog, I could not do it. There I sat, in my dark gray Jeep Grand Cherokee I have owned for years, completely dumbfounded. Even with the big shiny chrome letters on the steering wheel spelling out J-E-E-P, I was clueless. I must have been able to mutter something to the nurse since she

eventually found me, and she was locked and loaded with every sanitizer known to man, long nasal swabs, countless COVID-19 test kits, a face shield, and coverings from head to toe resembling a space suit, and who could blame her. Two nasal tests (rapid and PCR) and days later, both tests’ results stated SARS-CoV-2: NOT DETECTED, and a month after that I requested an antibody blood test from my doctor to determine whether I had a past infection from the virus. It was POSITIVE. In 2022 studies will continue globally, with funding by the Alzheimer’s Association, for more research into the neurological effects of the novel coronavirus. Scientists have already determined that the virus travels through the nose, reaches the olfactory bulb in the brain, and leads almost straight to the hippocampus – a brain area involved in short-term memory. It does not come as a surprise that a headache, reduced sense of taste and smell, often occur before the onset of respiratory symptoms. Afterall, the brain controls everything. Of those of us who have had the illness, it is terrifying to imagine how COVID may affect us in the future. Since last November, my memory has improved and I can complete sentences, but I am not operating at full capacity, and I know there are people just like me, wondering if life will ever get back to “normal.” Time will tell. aseveneightfive

Disclaimer: When it comes to infectious diseases, I am no expert. My limited knowledge of the global pandemic is that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is derived from my personal experience with the disease and my own research from Medical News Today and John Hopkins Medicine. To learn more about the Alzheimer's Association Sars-CoV-2 Global Brain Study and Research, please visit



STRONG Protecting Topeka, Telling Topeka's Story and Championing Topeka Businesses Megan Snyder, Christine Steinkuehler and Alison Beebe

WOMEN WHO ROCK graphic by Maxie Eckhart-Havens

"It is better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it."




by Ni'Col Revell | photo provided

oming from a military family, self-preservation was always something that was around. Megan Snyder has now taken that background and is using it for the betterment and safety of others. What started out as catering self-defense keychains for women, has grown into a lucrative business carrying various items for both women and men. She started Be Safe, Girl in 2014 by just having a self-defense keychain of her own, and her girlfriends wanting some too. So, she would go and buy a few at a time and the business just grew from there. She saw an obvious need and want from the community, and while not everybody is comfortable with firearms, she found her niche with non-lethal forms of protection. From the coveted “cat face” keychain, (most of those you may see around town have more than likely come from Megan), to knife keychains, stun guns, security batons, conceal and carry purses and more.

a safe citizen. She’s a firm believer in always being aware of your surroundings and being prepared for anything. That said, she would much rather you ask the questions, and figure out what would best work for you. If you are wanting a less public setting to get familiar with these items, she offers some classes, and also private parties to demonstrate how each product works. So, get a group of friends together and give Megan a shout to schedule a home party. You can also catch her at, on Facebook at Be Safe Girl Topeka, and your local gun shows. While her company name is Be Safe Girl, she caters to all individuals. To add, she did start out by selling mostly pink, teal, and purple items, and those are still available, but her favorite color has always been black, so more tactical items are now in the inventory. In addition to pepper spray, knives, and conceal carry purses, you can also find steel plates for tactical vests, pepper items, and even (as sad of a reality this is) bullet-proof backpacks. But again, she and her company are all about prevention of bad things that can happen. She was brought up in a home that was honest about what can happen in this world, whether you expect them or not, she just really wants you all as safe as you can possibly be. It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. And remember, always be prepared.


Megan has several stores for you to come in and check out her merchandise, there here in Topeka, and one in Lawrence, her booth in Lawrence is located at The Antique Mall on Mass St. The 3 here are located at both Owl’s Nest locations, and the storefront is in Brookwood Shopping center at 2910 SW Oakley, the store’s name is American Patriotic Supply. If you have any questions at all, no matter how big or small, she will be happy to answer them. An informed citizen is

since 2006 |


"Christine is one of the most amazing Topeka boosters...She doesn't just "ra-ra" she lives her entire life boosting, experiencing, loving Topeka." -Maura Dingman

TELLING OUR STORY Using our community's past to inspire minds of today. by Angel Romero | photo by Maura Dingman


hristine Steinkuehler is a woman on the go- literally and figuratively. An avid runner, you can find Christine at the front of the pack in 5ks and other races throughout the Topeka area and beyond. She’s one of those people you can find running outside no matter how warm or cold it is. When yours truly ran his first 5k, I actually happened to run into Christine and she took the time to reassure a very nervous first timer that it would be ok and to “just have fun.” All of the qualities that define Christine’s passion for running- perseverance, hard-work, dedication, willingness to help any and everyone- also define her work both professionally and in the community. Christine is the Gifted Facilitator and Scholarship Coordinator at Topeka West High School. Her work allows her to work with students on a variety of projects throughout the school year. “…We are all constantly learning something new, doing something that we haven’t done before,” she notes. “..No two days are ever alike.” Christine’s passion for learning is contagious and makes her the perfect fit for her role at Topeka West. Her passion, combined with her love for her community and considerable connections, allow her to facilitate unique opportunities for her students. This means everything from writing grants to purchase the materials for students to build a 3D printer, to organizing lectures from K-State faculty members. Christine’s love of learning also translates to another of her passions: history. As a member of the Board of Trustees for the Shawnee County Historical Society, Christine loves telling stories from our community’s history. “My favorite

thing about history in general is that it is stories, real people, and for me the “warts” make them more interesting, more human,” said Christine. She relishes in finding connections between Topeka and other historic events/people. For instance, did you know that Anthony Overton (the first black man to lead a major business conglomerate) lived in Topeka? His father was an emancipated slave who came to Topeka seeking a better education for his children (after having served in the Louisiana State House of Representatives). His father went on to become a successful businessman, and Overton St in East Topeka now honors his family’s legacy. “How cool is that?” says Christine after relaying this story. “Topeka is full of wonderful stories/people like this. It is up to us to keep them alive and ‘discover’ them.” Her advice for others wanting to learn more about their community’s history? “Dive in! Even when you think that you don’t have time, there is never a good time.” Christine’s relentless positivity shines through as she encourages others to “see the glass as half full.” She is known throughout the community for being a champion of Topeka. Her passion goes beyond her words as you can regularly find her giving tours, speaking to groups, volunteering, or doing other activities to tell her community’s story through history. She’s quick to point out though that anyone can be involved with learning and sharing your community’s history. As she notes, all it takes is “…curiosity, perseverance and a commitment to research.” aseveneightfive


Alison Flavorista

by Kim Scott | photo taken from Alison's Facebook page


ailing from Niagra Falls, N.Y., Alison Beebe came to Topeka to work as a Registered Nurse at the Menninger Clinic. After nearly 15 years, when Menninger’s relocated to Houston, Texas, Alison relocated to assist with the transition. Five years and two hurricanes later, she returned to Topeka to continue her nursing career, this time working with the Veterans Administration. Her work as a behavioral health and addictions nurse has assisted many citizens on their journey towards healthier living. But this is only one side of Alison. Most of you know her as the supporter of all things local, as TopCity Flavorista. Alison has championed the small local businesses by supporting the “buy local” mantra. If you follow her on FaceBook (and if you don’t, you should) you have heard, repeatedly, “if each of us spent $100 a year more on local businesses instead of chain stores, it would put an extra $3 million a year into our economy. Not only that, it would create thousands more jobs locally every year.” You may recognize her out and about town, shopping in NOTO, marching at the Capitol, or eating at a local eatery. She truly is one that “talks the talk" and "walks the walk." In 2018, Alison begin serving as an administer on the Topeka Restaurant Facebook page. After some discussions, the group agreed to turn the page over to Alison. She voluntarily spends hours updating the page with local information regarding restaurants, businesses and events. She has become not only a supporter of these businesses, but a friend to many of the proprietors. Along the way, Alison's dedication to the community was noticed by others. Kerrice Mapes from seveneightfive magazine

contacted Alison and welcomed her as a writer for the magazine, focusing on local activities and honing her photography skills. "Local Flavorista: Eating vicariously through social influencer Alison Beebe" was her debute article summer of 2019. In January 2020, Alison renamed the Topeka Restaurant Facebook page to TopcityFlavorista Local Eats and Events. Today, it has over 14,000 followers. By 2020, Alison had also caught the eye of Danielle Norwood, local news anchor and talk show host for Alpha Media USA 580AM. Alison frequently has a guest spot on The Danielle Norwood Show which airs weekdays 1-2 p where they discuss all things local. This year, Alison has launched her own brand including where she offers marketing and photography services and keeps visitors apprised of local places. Flavorista, a weekly podcast that airs every Wednesday on the 8s on KSEF-DB launched spring of 2021. If all this doesn’t sound like she is doing her part locally, Alison’s passion for community has led her to serve on the board of directors for the YWCA Northeast Kansas and TopTeer. Alison is a Woman Who Rocks as she continues to spread her love of Topeka, a flavor everyone enjoys. #LoveWhereYouLive aseveneightfive

since 2006 |


You are only limited by your imagination. Graced by C was born after imagining a simplified way to feed five children.


ART YOU CAN (AND WANT) TO EAT by Alison Beebe | photos by Alison Beebe |


raced by C” is quite literally art you can eat. Customizable grazing boards or charcuterie for any occasion created by Cierra La’Shay. “I simplified feeding my five children by making snacks and meals in charcuterie board style," said Cierra about her impetus for Graced by C. "There were fewer dishes while bonding over something everyone enjoys. Plus, the continual excitement in their reactions.” Posting her unique and edible boards on social media, “I had constant pleas from friends and family to share my talent.” Thus, ‘Grazed by C’ was born in 2020. The options are only limited by ones imagination: candy, BBQ, chicken and waffles, meat + cheese, cookies + candy. Follow her on FB and Instagram or contact her via email at


Do you have a favorite cheese? Just one? No. I can’t live without smoked Gouda. I am an absolute sucker for Havarti Dill and enjoy a nice sharp aged cheddar. Don’t even get me started on Stumpy’s Smoked Cheeses either… Where do you see your business in another year or more?

In my mind I see Grazed By C booming, I'll tell you that. Let's take it day-by-day. We are all in for a surprise that way. Favorite food from your childhood That’s easy, boiled peanuts. It’s a southern thing. Don’t knock it until you try it. However, spaghetti will always be my number one. aseveneightfive

Kansas weather is unpredicatable, the temp in your home shouldn’t be. 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 with approved credit





NOW ON TAP Kansas Grown IPA

Dream the Impossible Dream

FARM-TO-GLASS "Now we are farm-to-glass...I can testify that Kansas Grown IPA is delicious and Topeka will love it." - Jay Ives, Blind Tiger Brewery + Restaurant For his two-row malt he chose winter barley, Calypso variety. For the English Style Pale Ale Malt he chose spring barley, Odyssey variety. His success, coupled with Kansas Hop Company hops, has made possible a dream of mine which is to brew a beer with 100% Kansas grown malt and hops" said Dean.



istory repeats itself, and in this instance it's refreshing. Kansas Grown IPA is brewed using 100% Kansas ingredients and is the first of its kind to be brewed in Topeka since prohibition. "Brewing beer with all Kansas-grown ingredients has been a dream of mine since I entered the craft beer movement in 1996," said John Dean, brewmaster, Blind Tiger Brewery. That dream is now reality, in the form of a Kansas Style IPA (7.2% ABV and 45 IBUs) and now on tap at The Blind Tiger Brewery + Restaurant (notably, the first brewery established in Topeka since the end of prohibition). Dean, an award-winning brewmaster and Alvaro Canizales, Blind Tiger head brewer, have brewed hundreds of different beers in scores of styles, with ingredients from at least three continents. They have brewed This is the first beer they have brewed together using 100% Kansas ingredients. "Over the last couple of decades every farmer I asked about growing brewing-quality barley...said it couldn't be done around here," said Dean. Then Lance Tischhauser, Kansas Malt Company which sprouted in Morris County, Kan stopped by the brewery..."A new dream has taken root in the heart of the Flint Hills." Lance, a fifth generation Kansas farmer, took on the challenge of growing brewing-quality barley in Kan. "He chose two malting varieties from the Limagrain Cereal Seeds breeding station in Wichita, Kan for this task. BLIND TIGER BREWERY + RESTAURANT

Cascade, Super Cascade, Columbus, Comet and Kanook hop varieties make Kansas Grown IPA and come from Kansas Hop Co. located near Ottawa. "The color is reminiscent of a Flint HIlls sunset. The malt character comes across as bright and bready. Clean hoppy notes of pine, citrus and a touch of black pepper," said Dean Water from the Kaw River watershed flows over layers of limestone on its way to Topeka, making the mineral balance just right for brewing many styles of beer. At Blind Tiger, Topeka water is put through a couple additional filters or reverse osmosis before introducing it into the mash tun and boil kettle in the brewing process. "Good water makes for great beer, and Topeka has it," said Jay Ives, owner, Blind Tiger. The IPA has a color reminiscent of a Flint Hills sunset, said Dean. The malt character comes across as bright and bready. Clean hoppy notes of pine, citrus and a touch of black pepper. "At the Blind Tiger Brewery we try to be local and farmto-table in every way we can," said Ives. "It is great to see that extend to our truly world-class Blind Tiger Craft Beer. Now we are Farm-to-Glass as well. I can testify that Kansas Grown IPA is delicious and Topeka will love it." aseveneightfive

featuring gold medal, award-winning craft beer and American pub food served in a sprawling wood-toned space with an amazing deck.

417 SW 37TH | 11A - 10P

LUIS’ PLACE 5TH & KANSAS | 350.2028

Every Fri: Lunch & Dinner // First Wed: Wine & Tapas Third Sat: Brunch // Private Parties & Events

since 2006 |



by Tom Krebs


very day KSEF-DB keeps growing stronger and getting better. More and more shows created by fellow Topekans are added, the focus on service to the Top City continues to sharpen, and the musical selections continue to grow and diversify such that the station accommodates a wide variety of musical tastes while generally staying in the parameters shared by the station’s intended audience.

So what has me hooked? Three things: the music, the music, and the music. Where else can you hear in a set a tejano tune, a reggae number, and a blues selection ALL done by a local band that plays Topeka and knows Topeka? And that’s just the start! Local music lies at the core of KSEF. Bands that played local venues as many as 10-12 years ago and ones that continued until the pandemic curtailed the live music scene are featured in three hour-long shows a day. The genre ranges from straight-ahead blues, to hard-nose rock, from country rock to smooth jazz, and from reggae to rap. It’s such a pleasure for so many of these artists to get the air time they deserve. But that’s not all. Over the last seven decades, Americans have listened to thousands and thousands of tunes starting with AM radio, moving through emerging FM stations, internet and now DAB. The contributors to the station continue to add, consistently, the best ones, regardless of era or genre. Sprinkled throughout the day are selections from those early AM days: Motown, the British invasion to album rock featured on many FM stations of the 70s, through alternative and Indie rock that continues through to today. You just never know what the next song coming down the pike might be. One of the best things about the station is its willingness to play ALL the songs from a CD, not just the pre-ordained one or two that are generally featured on radio stations. Some might be a bit stronger than others, but they all represent the artists’ work at the time and deserve a listen. Many other shows are featured twice a week and reemerge as a replay on another day. Lock into the ones that ring your bell, and tune in. It’s definitely worth a listen to the best station in the Top City that reflects the music of the Top City. aseveneightfive



AP THAT, the largest beer fest in the Midwest, takes place rain or shine June 12, 2021. Travel multiple downtown city blocks sampling hundreds of beers. VIP ticket holders get access to reserve style beers not available to the general public, early entry, Skip the Line lanyard, sampling glass, private restrooms and more. New this year is the VIP Designated Driver ticket. These unsung heroes will have access to free non-alcoholic beverages courtesy of Pepsi Co. along with other amenities. Tickets are $35 or $65, designated driver tickets are $10 or $20. Learn more and purchase tickets at




op Beer Tours provides craft brewery tours of Topeka for groups of three to 20 people. The facilitated tour includes transportation to and from three or five TopCity breweries, private tasting plus a unique meet-the-brewer or brewery tour. "While trying some of the best beer in Kansas you'll have a chance to hear what makes each brewery different, straight from those who make it," said William Beteta, owner, Top Beer Tours. The guided tour also provides little extras that make it oh-soworth-it. Extras like coolers filled with ice so your ToGo growler(s) stay cold, light snacks between stops and coordinated pick-up / drop-off, which could mean one centralized location or a few stops–safety first.


Explore Topeka's craft breweries with The Five Brewery Tour or The Three Brewery Tour. Private tours also available. Book online, tours begin late Spring. BARRISTER'S BREWING INC. BLIND TIGER BREWERY & RESTAURANT HAPPY BASSET BREWING CO. IRON RAIL BREWING NORSEMEN BREWING COMPANY

With Beteta at the wheel, your tour will consistently be fresh, interesting and relevant. Before serving Top Beer Tours, Beteta was the (first) executive director of Heartland Visioning. Prior to this community development position, he worked for the National Park Service for almost 15 years, four at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. His background makes him a viable and knowledgeable community and craft beer concierge. It wouldn't surprise us if tours enjoy some shots of history along a well-planned route. "There's a lot of opportunity to be had. But what Topeka is make it easy for people to learn about and explore and have fun." That's what Top Beer Tours is all about. "It's about providing a service in Topeka, to Topekans and guests," said Beteta. "It's about providing you the opportunity to see our local breweries up close, taste the beer, explore the town and do it without any planning, driving or worry." Reserve your Top Beer Tours today! Reservations being accepted for summer 2021 at CHEERS!


LET'S ALL HAVE PIE by Alison Beebe | @TopCityFlavorista |


earing a nursing cap with voluminous '80s hair was, well, not delightful. Add in the white shoes, white stockings plus a student nurses uniform with the requisite stethoscope flung around the shoulders and you’ll have fashion nightmares for a week. At least nurses are no longer tested on how tightly we’re able to make a bed. I worked two jobs during nursing school- admissions assistant-showing prospective students and their families around campus. ‘A day in the life’ sort of deal. Plus, working in the campus library which was fitted in a quintessential ‘small town Maine’ chapel. This afforded me the time needed to read the 300 plus pages of assignments each night. I’m surprised I still have two eyeballs. In the summer I worked in a nursing home. When I say work, I mean WORK. I was just 18 years old and exhausted. One of my sweet patients spoke only about pie–quite literally. “Do you have pie?" “I like pie.” She'd answer questions with “What about pie?” “Let’s all have some pie!” Otherwise, she was mute. I think of her whenever I have pie.

BRADLEY'S CORNER CAFE 844 N KANSAS AVE family-owned, American diner known for fresh homemade pies and all day breakfast SUN: 8a-2p MON: 6a-2p TUE-SAT: 6a-8p

Bradley’s Corner Café in the NOTO Arts District has been a Topeka staple for 16 years and certainly well known for their pies and pie selection, on any given day they have 20 plus different types. Bradley retired last year and sold the café to employee James Urton. Since then, the restaurant has expanded into the adjacent building, doubling its capacity to seat 117 people. That's a lot of pie people. As James transitions from cook to pie maker/owner, he shares some of his Bradley favorites: favorite item on the menu–chicken fried steak; most requested pie flavor– coconut cream. Bradley's Corner Cafe is open daily for your fix on diner staples. Try the "Everything Omelet" with, everything. Don't forget lunch and dinner and "Let's all have some pie!" aseveneightfive


Artist INC Topeka: Artist WorkShare Presentation 6:30-9:30p | Virtual Event


First Friday at ArtsConnect featuring artist Robert Tapley Bustamante

MAY 7 & 8

Sunrise Theatre Company: "The Realistic Jonses" |

MAY 14

Aaron Douglas Art Fair Artist Reveal Party 6-8p

909 N Kansas | Topeka, Kansas 66608