Summer Arts Guide: Your guide to Lawrence’s arts scene from now until Labor Day

Whether you’re a kid or adult, bookworm or concert junkie, want to dress up like Harry Potter or Elvis, Lawrence has plenty of opportunities to keep you busy this summer, from the season’s staples to one-time-only special events. Our guide will take you through our best bets and the best of the rest of the Lawrence arts scene this summer.


Heartless Bastards, 8 p.m. Tuesday, The Granada, $14

Morning Teleportation, 9 p.m., Tuesday, Replay Lounge, $2

BridgePointe Summer Concert Series, with Jeannie Furst and Furst Light, and Lester Estelle, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Bridge Pointe Community Fellowship Hall, 601 W. 29th Terrace

White Ghost Shivers, 9 p.m. Saturday, The Granada, $10, $12

Balkan Beat Box, 8 p.m. June 4, The Bottleneck, $13-$15

ABK, 7 p.m. June 7, The Granada, $12, $14

Sunflower Music Festival, 7 p.m. June 7, Library auditorium

Langhorne Slim, 9 p.m. June 7, Jackpot Music Hall, $10

Sarah Jaffe, 7 p.m. June 8, The Replay Lounge, $5

Hospitality, 9 p.m. June 8, Jackpot Music Hall, $8

Tea Leaf Green, 8 p.m. June 8, The Bottleneck, $14-$16

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, 8 p.m. June 8, The Granada, $12

Somasphere (Last Lawrence Show Ever), 8 p.m. June 9, The Granada, free

Darrell Scott, 7:30 p.m. June 9, Pavilion at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive., $25

The Split Livers, 9 p.m. June 9, The Bottleneck $9-$11

Destroyer, 9 p.m. June 10, The Granada, $15

The Parlotones, 8 p.m. June 11, The Granada, $12, $15

96.5 The Buzz Presents: Walk the Moon, 8 p.m. June 12, The Granada, $12

Greensky Bluegrass, 8 p.m. June 16, The Bottleneck, $11-$13

Midwest Sound Presents OCD: Moosh & Twist & AER, 9:30 p.m. June 16, The Granada, $13, $15

Turnpike Troubadours, 9 p.m. June 21, The Granada, $12, $15


Liberty Hall turns 100 next month. That’s right, that building’s been here an entire century.

The Flaming Lips will play the Liberty Hall 100th Anniversary Concert, with two shows scheduled to help celebrate the milestone. Shows are set for 8 p.m. June 21 and 22 at Liberty Hall, 644 Mass. As of last week, the June 22 show was sold out but tickets for June 21 were still available.

Flaming Lips

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at the Liberty Hall box office or online at

If you don’t make it inside for the show, Liberty Hall is planning a family-friendly street fair June 22. Details have yet to be finalized, but the venue hopes to close off part of Seventh Street downtown and offer food, drinks, live music and kids activities.

Possessed by Paul James, 9 p.m. June 24, $5

The Word Alive, 6:30 p.m. June 25, The Granada, $14, $17

Club Wars: Battle for Freaker’s Ball, 8 p.m. June 28, The Granada, $10

Trevor Hall, 8 p.m. June 29, The Granada, $15

Moonface, 9 p.m. June 20, Jackpot Music Hall, $10

River City Extension, 9 p.m. June 24, Jackpot Music Hall, $7

Bill Lynch Band, 8 p.m. June 29, The Bottleneck, $13-$16

Bill Lynch Band, 8 p.m. June 30, The Bottleneck, $13-$16

Tycho, 9 p.m. July 2, Granada, $12

The Rocker Summer, 7:30 p.m. July 6, The Granada, $15, $17

Victor Wooten, 8 p.m. July 7, The Granada, $20

Ragtime Summer Concerts, 2 p.m. July 8 and Aug. 12, Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.

Porter Robinson, 8 p.m. July 9, The Granada, $25


July 10, Liberty Hall, $20-$22

An indie “dream pop” two-piece with a French-born female singer and Baltimore-raised multi-instrumentalist, Beach House came into its own with heaps of critical praise for its 2010 album, “Teen Dream.” After two years of heavy touring, “Bloom,” released this month, is a sweeping, complex and carefully crafted album (and an album rather than a collection of songs) that represents further progression of Beach House’s melodic, reverb-laden sound.

Beach House

The Gaslight Anthem with Dave Hause, 7 p.m. July 12, The Bottleneck, $20

Clutch, 8 p.m. July 12, The Granada, $22

Liars, 9 p.m. July 14, The Granada, $12, $14

Big K.R.I.T., 8 p.m. July 16, The Granada, $15, $17

mewithoutyou, 8 p.m. July 17, The Granada, $15

Dirty Projectors, 7:30 p.m. July 18, the Granada, $15

Watsky, 8 p.m. July 21, The Granada, $12, $14

Ill Gates, 8 p.m. July 25, The Bottleneck, $8

The Great Divide, 9 p.m. July 27, The Granada, $20

The Cadillac Black and Logan Mize, 8 p.m. July 28, The Granada, $10, $12

Star Slinger, 9 p.m. July 31, The Granada, $10, $12

The Budos Band, 8 p.m. Aug. 7, The Bottleneck, $16

Opiate – Audio and Visual experience of TOOL, 7 p.m. Aug. 17, The Granada, $10

Far Beyond Driven (Pantera Tribute) and Facelift (Alice in Chains Tribute), 8 p.m. Aug. 18, The Granada, $8, $10

Mickey Hart Band, 9 p.m. Aug. 23, The Granada, $25, $30

Shiner, 9 p.m. Aug. 24, The Granada, $20, $25

31st Annual Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships, noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 26, South Park

Free outdoor concert with Buckwheat Zydeco, 7 p.m. Sept. 7, Lied Center lawn


Brown Bag Concerts series, sponsored by Downtown Lawrence, Inc., brings lunchtime tunes throughout the summer. Local acts set up in front of the U.S. Bank building at Ninth and Massachusetts at noon every Thursday, starting June 7.

Music and dancing were some of the offering at the first Brown Bag Concert June 2, 2011, in front of the U.S. Bank, 900 Massachusetts Street. Billy Spears and the Beer Bellies kicked things off along with band members, from left, vocalist Carol Spear-Latham, guitarist Mike Schwartzburg and Billy Spears on fiddle.

If there’s inclement weather, the show moves to the Watkins Community Museum, 1047 Mass. Brown bag lunches are encouraged.

Lawrence City Band puts on another annual series of performances this summer, with family friendly, brass-heavy concerts in a community setting at the main gazebo in South Park. Bringing a lawn chair — and maybe even picnic snacks — is encouraged to listen in the park around the bandstand in these free events. It always starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, with the season opener happening this week. Each performance starts with the John Philip Sousa arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and will include marches, concert overtures, big band music, an audience participation piece and a special Tuesday, July 3, performance that will salute the veterans.

The City Band concerts have been a tradition since 2000 and are conducted by Kansas University professor of music Bob Foster.



Lawrence Public Library’s summer reading program isn’t just for reading anymore.

Of course, participants will still be printing logs, reading books and winning prizes during the program, Summer in the City. But the library also plans to partner with other community organizations to fold in art, science, fitness and other programs taking place all over the city.

There are three ways to participate in the program: Logging the number of books you read, logging the number of hours you read or — the new one — reading books and attending events. A mad-science class for children, a downtown architecture tour for teens and ballet for adults are only a few of many options.

But first, the summer kickoff party — Lawn Games and Moustaches is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the library, 707 Vt. The all-ages event will feature games, crafts, pie, lemonade, banjos and accordions. And don’t forget to wear a fake moustache (unless, of course, you have a real one). Mainly, moustaches just make things more fun.

To find a complete Summer in the City events schedule or to print a reading log, go online to

Big Tent: Stories & Poems in Three Acts, with Joshua Falleaf and Denise Low, poetry, and Judd Nielsen, fiction, 7 p.m. Thursday, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Reading and signing: Alex Grecian, author of “The Yard,” 7 p.m. Friday, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Lawrence Public Library’s Children’s Book Sale, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, corner of Seventh and Kentucky streets.

Moustaches & Lawn Games Kick Off Party for Summer Reading Programs, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

Poetry night, part of “Body of Work: Studies and Interpretations of the Live Model,” 7 p.m. June 5, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Reading and signing: Benjamin Busch, author of “Dust to Dust,” 7 p.m. June 6, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit Opening, 5:30 p.m. June 9, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.


This downtown art celebration takes place the last Friday of every month, so for this summer, that’s June 29, July 27 and Aug. 31.

A sculpture named “Robot Guardian” watches as spectators gather during the Final Fridays art gallery walk Aug. 27, 2010.

Galleries host events and shops get in on the party with special open houses. The events focus on highlighting local artists and often feature live music. You can get a preview of what’s going on each month on and Final Friday’s own site,

Dance performance in gallery, part of “Body of Work: Studies and Interpretations of the Live Model,” 7 p.m. June 13, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Reading and signing: Julianne Buchsbaum, author or a new book of poetry “Apothecary’s Heir,” 7 p.m. June 14, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Art Walk 2012, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 15; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 20; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 14, downtown Baldwin City at 8th and High streets.

Downtown Architecture Walking Tour, 10 a.m. June 16, meet in Lawrence Public Library lobby

Van Go’s ninth annual “What Floats Your Boat,” 6 p.m. June 16, Clinton Lake Marina, 1329 E. 800 Road.

Reading and signing: Laura Moriarty, author of “The Chaperone,” 7 p.m. June 18, Lawrence Public Library

Reading and signing: Sue Westwind, author of “Lunacy Lost: A Memoir of Green Mental Health,” 7 p.m. June 27, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Drawing session, part of “Body of Work: Studies and Interpretations of the Live Model,” 7 p.m. June 30, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Fascinating Fractals, 7 p.m. July 13 and 10:30 a.m. July 14, library auditorium

Van Go’s Benchmark, 5 p.m. July 27, Van Go Mobile Arts, 715 N.J.

Big Tent: Stories and Poems in Three Acts, 7 p.m. July 26, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Reading and signing: Kory Kaul, author of “Jury Rig,” 7 p.m. Aug. 4, The Raven, 8 E. Seventh.

Reading and signing: Louise Krug, author of “Lousie: Amended,” 7 p.m. Aug. 7, Lawrence Public Library

Reading and signing: “The Curiosities” by authors Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff, 2 p.m. Aug. 25, Lawrence Public Library

Lawrence Arts Center Exhibit: “Body of Work: Studies and Interpretations of the Live Model,” 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, through June 30, 940 N.H.

Dole Institute of Politics exhibit: works by political cartoonist Herblock, through Aug. 21, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sunday, noon-5 p.m., 2350 Petefish Drive.

Spencer Museum of Art exhibit: “39 Trails: Research in the Peruvian Amazon,” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, through July 22, 1301 Miss.


“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Theatre Lawrence, 7:30 p.m. June 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, $15-$23

denotes a 2:30 p.m. performance

Summer Youth Theater presents “Wizard of Oz,” 7 p.m. June 14, 15 and 16, Lawrence Arts Center ($9.50 adults, $6.50 students/seniors)

Summer Youth Theater presents “You Can’t Take It With You,” 7 p.m. June 21, 22, 23 and 2 p.m. June 24, Lawrence Arts Center ($9.50 adults, $6.50 students/seniors)

Summer Dance Theatre, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” 7 p.m. June 29, Lawrence Arts Center ($9.50 adults, $6.50 students/seniors)

KU Theatre Kansas Summer Theatre 2012 production of “My Fair Lady,” 7:30 p.m. July 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 and 2:30 p.m. July 15, and 22, Crafton-Preyer Theatre, Murphy Hall. Ticket information at

“The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley TYA,” Theatre Lawrence, July 13-22, $9.99 youth, $13.99 adult

Summer Youth Theater presents “Cindarella or How PipSqueak Became a Stallion,” 7 p.m. July 19 and 20; 2 p.m. July 21, Lawrence Arts Center ($9.50 adults, $6.50 students/seniors)

Summer Youth Theater presents “Cabaret,” 7 p.m. July 26, 27, and 28; 2 p.m. July 29, Lawrence Arts Center ($9.50 adults, $6.50 students/seniors)

Lawrence Opera Works, Aug. 23-27, time TBA, Lawrence Arts Center



You can get fresh produce three days a week, all summer long, whether you’re downtown or out west, at four different farmers markets.

Gregory Rudnick, of Lawrence, weighs his options while selecting tomatoes from Jennifer Kongs, a seller at the Avery's Produce stand, left, on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011 at the Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market.

The Tuesday Lawrence Farmers’ Market is open from 4-6 p.m. on Vermont Street, in the parking lot between 10th and 11th streets. It runs through the end of October.

The Thursday — or westside — Lawrence Farmers’ Market is open from 4-6 p.m. at Emprise Bank’s Lawrence Market branch, 1121 Wakarusa Drive. It also runs through the end of October.

Also on Thursdays, Cottin’s Hardware and Rental has a farmers market from 4-6:30 p.m. outside the store, 1832 Mass. In winter, the market moves indoors.

The Saturday Lawrence Farmers Market is open from 7-11 a.m. on Rhode Island Street, in the parking lot between Eighth and Ninth streets. It runs until the Saturday before Thanksgiving, though the start time changes to 8 a.m. in October.

For more information about the market and its vendors, visit


Salute! — A Festival of Wine and Food returns to Lawrence with the Mass Street Mosey, the gourmet Winemaker Dinner and the Grand Tasting.

But the annual event is about more than just drinking wine. Proceeds from Salute! benefit Cottonwood Inc., which helps individuals with disabilities. Now in its 13th year, Salute! has raised more than $600,000 for the charity.

From 5-8 p.m. July 12, downtown Lawrence businesses will open their doors during the Mosey, offering wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres.

The dinner, featuring Buena Vista Winery wines and a multi-course gourmet meal, starts at 7 p.m. July 13, with a reception at 6:30, at the Oread Hotel, 1200 Oread Ave.

The Grand Tasting is set for 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Oread. The event features more than 200 wines to taste, local cuisine and a live auction including — you guessed it — rare wines, plus other products and services.

For more information and to buy tickets starting Friday for any of the events, visit

Fourth annual Lawrence Food Garden Tour, 8 a.m.-noon and 5-8 p.m. Saturday, various sites around city of Lawrence.

Monthly wine tastings at The Eldridge, 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, Tuesday, July 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 7, The Eldridge, 701 Mass.

Salute! 2012, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 12-14, downtown Lawrence and the Oread hotel

Thursday Farmers’ Market, 4-6 p.m., 1121 Wakarusa Drive; Cottin’s Hardware Farmers’ Market, 4-6:30 p.m., behind store at 1832 Mass.; Tuesday Farmers’ Market, 4-6 p.m., 1020 Vt.; Saturday Farmers’ Market, 7-11 a.m., 824 N.H.



Art meets Jedi masters, secret agents, witches, wardrobes and more during this summer’s classes at the Lawrence Arts Center.

The center offers classes for preschool-aged children through adults throughout the summer, including visual art, performing art and dance.

Colton Smith playfully falls backwards as he is zapped by a spell from Noah Cachiguango during a Harry Potter Dance Adventures class at the Lawrence Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010.

A few highlights:

The Art Space summer camp program for elementary students includes Jedi Knights and Rebel Princesses, where children will explore form and space by creating Jedi necessities and tool kits, plus take in a science lesson on astronomy. Among other the other offerings is Secret Agents Training Camp, where students sharpen their awareness of the use of emphasis in visual and performing art.

Adult classes range from metalsmithing to bookbinding. There’s even Beginning Darkroom Photography and, by contrast, iPhonography: The Art of Taking Photos with a Cell Phone.

For dancers in first through 12th grades, daily rehearsals for Summer Dance Theater begin June 18. This year’s performance, “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” is set for 7 p.m. June 29.

For a complete list of courses, costs and dates or to register, visit

The city of Lawrence also offers a lineup of summer classes, including some in the arts.

At the weeklong youth Center Stage Camps, students will gain an understanding of how their bodies move and how to communicate through dance using creativity and self-expression.

For tech-savvy kids — or those who want to be — the city offers classes such as Video Game Design, Movie Makers and Web Design for ages 10-17. Kids who complete Video Game Design, where they’ll produce several different interactive games to share with friends and family, can move on to Game Design: Apps and Game Design: Virtual Reality — think creating your own 3-D world.

The fully integrated Unified Day Camp engages kids with and without disabilities in music, dance, acting, arts and other summertime fun.

Find a full list of classes and their costs at

KU Midwestern Music Academy: Jayhawk Junior Musicians, June 6-8; Junior High Music Camp, June 10-15; Senior High Institutes, June 17-22; Jazz Workshop, July 8-13.

International Institute for Young Musicians: July 8-27, Lied Center of Kansas,

International Institute for Young Musicians International Piano Competition, Lied Center of Kansas, July 7 and 9,

“Story Spectacular” at Theatre Lawrence, July 16-20 for grades 1-5; $125

KU Science Summer Day Camps, ages 8-11, $80 per day (registration ends Tuesday): Forensic Fun (June 11); Science- PALOOZA (June 13); Geology Explorations (June 15).


Ghost Tours of Lawrence, 8 p.m. June 16, meet in Eldridge hotel lobby, 701 Mass. $17


For years, Lawrencians have been stuffing themselves with Mexican food and feasting their eyes and ears on Mexican music and dancing at the St. John’s Mexican Fiesta.

Jessica Bernman, left, and Jessica Garcia were part of the colorful dance group Fiesta Folklorica June 25, 2011, at the St. John's 29th Annual Mexican Fiesta.

This year will be no different. The annual event — which now draws thousands of people — is set for the evenings of June 22 and 23 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Ky.

The fiesta feeds a good cause, too: Proceeds fund a Spanish language program at St. John’s School and a scholarship fund for post-secondary education for Mexican youths in Lawrence.

For details, visit

Ghost Tours of Lawrence, 8 p.m. June 16, meet in Eldridge hotel lobby, 701 Mass. $17

“The Day After” 30th Anniversary Reunion, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 28, Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.

Screening of “The Day After,” 1 p.m. June 30, Spencer Museum of Art


The Lawrence Originals Fourth of July Festival will once again bring food, drinks, live music and fireworks to Watson Park.

The event kicks off at 3 p.m. July 4, with the Lawrence Jaycees fireworks show scheduled for about 10 p.m. Admission is free, with food, alcoholic beverages and nonalcoholic beverages available at a cost. Coolers are not allowed.

All food comes from member restaurants of the Lawrence Originals, a group of local, independent restaurateurs.

Bands have yet to be announced. Check for more information as it becomes available.


Thousands of bargain-seeking shoppers descend on downtown Lawrence for the locally legendary annual sidewalk sale as early as before sunrise with big sales continuing through dusk. Local and chain stores alike open early and continue to slash prices throughout the day. Crowds have been known to line up for sidewalk and inside merchandise as early as 5 a.m., so to get some of the best deals, you may need to arrive early.


Buskers. These bold and brazen street performers will bring a weekend of creative acts and oddities to downtown Lawrence starting at 5 p.m. Aug. 24.

Fire eater Rod Sipe entertains the masses gathered at the corner of Ninth and Massachusetts streets during opening night of the Lawrence Busker Festival on Friday. In addition to the flames, visitors were treated to magic tricks and music on the streets of downtown. More than 20 performers from all over the country will be performing throughout the weekend.

New acts expected at this year’s Lawrence Busker Festival include the Pogo Dudes and their high-flying tricks, Jonathan Burns, the comedy contortionist, and Shibaten Spirit with his array of musical skills. Thom Sellectomy, the comedy sword swallower, is a returning favorite from last year.

Alongside the main acts, festival organizers promise “a steady offering of freaks, geeks and the unique.” Think escape artists, magicians, fire-eaters, Hula-Hoop artists and other oddball acts.

For a more detailed schedule (but not too detailed — remember, street performers are relatively spontaneous) and performance map, check out

Elvis Parade and impersonator show/contest, 10:30 a.m. Aug. 11. Parade starts at 7th and New Hampshire streets, goes up to 11th and ends at South Park, where Elvis tribute artists will compete at 11 a.m. to kick off the “Rev It Up” car show. Contest will be following by a noon performance of professional Elvis tribute artist, Jeff Bergen of Elvis Entertainment


Some of the arts happenings Kansas City has to offer this summer:


Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (through Aug. 19)

Fashion in the Titanic Era, Kansas City Museum (through Sept. 3)

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Union Station (through Sept. 3)


Thursday: Frank Deford, author of “Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter,” Unity Temple on the Plaza, 7 p.m., $25 through

Thursday: Old Shawnee Days (through June 3); see for more information


June 4: Hands on History, National World War I Museum (runs through Sept. 3)

June 9: Collecting for Kansas City exhibit, Nelson-Atkins Museum (runs through Aug. 12)

June 10: Brothers of the Sun Tour featuring Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, Arrowhead Stadium, $35-$270

June 10: Rachael Ray book signing and discussion, Unity Temple on the Plaza, 4:30 p.m., $24.99 through

June 27: Royals/Ink Magazine local music showcase, featuring Lawrence band Quiet Corral, Kauffman Stadium/Outfield Experience stage, 11:30 a.m., $7-$245


July 9: Vans Warped Tour, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, 11 a.m., $29.88

July 19-29: KC Fringe Festival; see for more information

July 20: Chicago and the Doobie Brothers, Starlight Theater, 7:30 p.m., $26-$176

July 21: James Taylor, Starlight Theater, 7:30 p.m., $45-$85


Aug. 3-12: Elton John and Tim Rice’s “AIDA,” Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, $25-$95

Aug. 6: My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, Starlight Theater, 7 p.m., $36-$46

Aug. 9: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Starlight Theater, 7:30 p.m., $45-$150

Aug. 29: Lyle Lovett, Johnson County Community College, 7:30 p.m., tickets on sale June 4