Archive for Saturday, August 22, 2009

KU newcomers, longtimers take in these favorite venues

August 22, 2009


Whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member or a member of the community, there will be plenty of things to do during the upcoming school year.

Here are some of the entertainment options in store for the 2009-2010 year.

Lied Center

A dinosaur that glows in the dark, aluminum blow-up pillows and a puppet show musical are all slated on this year’s Lied Center lineup. The center, on Kansas University’s West Campus, provides opportunities for local people to see shows they wouldn’t have in town otherwise for prices cheaper than those in Kansas City, said Tim Van Leer, executive director.

“We enhance the quality of life in this community with the broad spectrum of events we do,” he said.

Events include the kid-friendly “Darwin the Dinosaur” with glow-in-the-dark figures, the classic big band and swing Glenn Miller Orchestra, the ensemble dance group Tap Dogs, a Mexican ballet ensemble, a show with performers using all reflective materials called The Aluminum Show and Avenue Q, a Broadway musical comedy featuring puppets.

For more information on these and other shows and to buy tickets, visit

Dole Institute of Politics

The Dole Institute of Politics’ goal is to encourage students and members of the community to have a greater involvement in politics, whether they be at the local or national level. The institute was conceived in 1996, soon after departed Chancellor Robert Hemenway came to Kansas University.

Bill Lacy, director of the institute, said it is bipartisan and tries to present all sides of issues to those involved. One way it does this is by housing both Republican and Democratic fellows who lead study groups about current issues and also talk during Pizza and Politics, a lunch the Dole Institute holds on main campus.

“You get an opportunity not only to hear people talk, you really get the chance to interact with people,” Lacy said.

This year’s event schedule had not yet been announced at press time, but in the past, the institute has brought in three former presidents, two Supreme Court justices, Nobel Peace Prize winners, senators and many other prominent political figures. For updates on this year’s schedule, visit

Spencer Museum of Art

This museum boasts the distinction that it’s the only comprehensive art museum in Kansas, which means it displays art from ancient times to modern ones.

The museum has about 36,000 pieces of art, including large collections of European and American art and Eastern ancient collections.

This year, an exhibit called “Big Shots: Andy Warhol, Celebrity Culture, and the 1980s” opens, highlighting a recent gift of rarely seen photos by Warhol to the museum from the Warhol Foundation.

The photos include portraits of celebrities from the 1970s and 1980s, which became the bigger theme for the exhibit.

Bill Woodard, director of communications, said the museum offers something to everyone with its variety of types of art.

“This is a great place for a cheap date,” Woodard said. “You have something to talk about, then you can have coffee at Milton’s or go bowling at the Jaybowl.”

Admission to the museum is free, but a donation is encouraged. For updates about the museum, visit

Hall Center for the Humanities

The center is primarily a resource for faculty and graduate students to use for research, but it also plays host to a humanities lecture series every year.

This year’s series includes a poet, a director, a health care critic and authors on topics as varied as Afghanistan to the creative process.

“We go for eclectic,” said Victor Bailey, director of the center. “We don’t go for a theme for an entire year.”

The first lecturer in the series is Lewis Hyde, a professor of creative writing at Kenyon College, who will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Hyde wrote a book called “The Gift” that looked at the role of the creative artist in society. For more information on upcoming speakers, visit


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