Go, See, Do | Well-known author appearance; car show; downtown block party

photo by: Contributed and Journal-World File Photos

On tap for the coming week, from left to right: Author reading; Rev It Up car show; and a block party in downtown Lawrence.

A leading voice on socio-economics and class will soon come to Lawrence to share some knowledge of growing up poor in Kansas.

Sarah Smarsh, a freelance journalist who has reported for several media outlets, has experienced a meteoric rise recently, becoming a proud voice for America’s working class on social media platforms.

photo by: Contributed photo

The cover of Sarah Smarsh’s book “Heartland”

Smarsh, a Kansas native, grew up poor on a farm in south central Kansas. Her book “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth,” which was released earlier this week, chronicles her experience growing up poor.

She will read from the book and discuss the themes she explores at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.

Unfortunately, Smarsh’s agent said she was not available to speak to the Journal-World prior to her event. But the Lawrence Public Library was more than happy to share the details.

Smarsh previously lived in Lawrence while she was a student at the University of Kansas, earning her bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English. She also lived nearby while she was a professor at Washburn University.

photo by: Contributed photo

Sarah Smarsh

Kristin Soper, the library’s event coordinator, said the library wanted to bring her back to the area because of her ability to shed light on a serious topic that is often ignored.

“We really wanted to bring her in. Especially now, with our current political climate, it’s a really important topic to talk about,” she said. “In her book, she gives so much more nuance to the working class and working poor that is often dismissed.

“She really delves in deep with a lot of empathy for the people she writes about and more critical thinking than a lot of journalists,” she added.

The event was moved from the library to Liberty Hall because Smarsh’s popularity demands a larger venue.

“When we put the event up, within two or three days, we had over 500 people who wanted to attend it,” Soper said. “I think we’ll have a really big crowd. My hope is that we fill it up, but it’s definitely more than we could fit in our auditorium.”

If you plan on attending, you may want to get there early. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Here are some more things you can go, see and do in the next week:

Rev it Up Car Show

photo by: Journal-World file photo

In this file photo from Sept. 26, 2015, Marvin Pine, left, of Lawrence, and Steve McManus, of Topeka, check out a 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster owned by David Bunker, of Lawrence, at the Rev It Up Hot Rod Hullabaloo car show at South Park.

Downtown Lawrence will be filled with cars this weekend.

OK, fine, it’s always filled up with cars on the weekend — but these are fancy, fun and fast cars that you get to check out.

The 10th annual Rev It Up Car Show will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday near South Park to show off about 400 cars for the Lawrence public.

Along with cool cars, the show will feature three Rockabilly bands: The Katatonics, The Culprits and Deke Dickerson.

The event is free and the funds raised from people registering to show off their cars go to the Ballard Community Center.

Get Downtown Block Party

photo by: Journal-World file photo

In this file photo from March 31, 2012, the Granada Theater is shown before a Final Four game for KU basketball.

In celebration of 25 years of operating as an entertainment venue, the Granada Theater is throwing a party on the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street.

It wouldn’t be a block party if you didn’t get others on the block involved. The Watkins Museum of History, which is celebrating its 130 years in its building, and Supersonic Music, which is celebrating 20 years of operation, are also both involved.

The event will include live music and a ton of craft beers on tap. Admission is free, but the drinks aren’t. Gates open at 6 p.m. Friday, and the festivities are scheduled to run through 10 p.m.

While you are enjoying the party, public engagement coordinator Will Hickox said visitors can come into the Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St., for a free tour of the building and cake. Over at Supersonic Music, 1023 Massachusetts St., the store has a monthlong sale, featuring a different item each day of September.

Keeping Legends Alive

photo by: Kathy Hanks

A button from the four-day celebration in 1926 that grid-locked Lawrence and included the dedication of the Haskell Memorial Stadium, dedicated to those who served in World War I.

As the Journal-World reported previously, the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I and the dedication of the Haskell Indian Nations University Memorial Stadium.

The memorial event includes a celebration of veterans, a powwow and several other activities on Friday and Saturday. All activities are listed online at keepinglegendsalive.com.

Free State Festival ongoing

This is the last weekend Lawrence residents can get out and partake in the annual Free State Festival.

As I reported previously, there are several films still available to see. Additionally, KU lecturer Laura Kirk, who is a filmmaker herself, will discuss a book she helped write about female filmmakers in the early days of the medium.

The film I’m excited to see is “William Allen White: What’s the Matter with Kansas?” It was directed by KU professor and local filmmaker Kevin Willmott. The film explains how White’s writing as the editor of the Emporia Gazette newspaper helped drive the Ku Klux Klan out of Kansas. The film also explores the responsibility modern journalists have when covering issues related to race and immigration.

Obviously, I’m a journalist and this content hits close to home. Better yet, William Allen White’s name is on my college diploma, so I’m excited to learn more. The film screens at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Liberty Hall. Admission is $8.

Finally, “Echoes Through a Green Space” will help close out the festival from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at South Park. The free, interactive light and live musical performance aims to echo the park’s history as a public performance and gathering place.

Do you have an event you’d like to share with us? Please email Dylan Lysen with information about your event at dlysen@ljworld.com. Submitting information does not guarantee it will be included in future articles.


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