Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Memories of the Prairie Lecture Series: Presentation Explores Kansas Opera Houses

The Dickinson County Historical Society and the Heritage Homes Association of Dickinson County in Abilene will host “Kansas Opera Houses and Community Events,” a presentation and discussion by Jane Rhoads on Saturday, June 30 at 7 pm  at the Dickinson County Heritage Center located at 412 S. Campbell St.  Members of the community are invited to attend the free program.  Contact the Heritage Center at 263-2681 for more information.  The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

 This program is part of the Memories of the Prairie Lecture Series presented by the Dickinson County Historical Society. All the programs are free, however donations are always welcomed.  You are also invited to become a member of the Dickinson County Historical Society to help support the continuing efforts to preserve the heritage of Dickinson County.

From melodrama to Shakespeare, from church socials to high school commencements, the opera houses of Kansas made significant contributions to the state’s social and cultural fabric in communities both large and small.  Rhoads will discuss the history of opera houses in Kansas and how they are being used today.

Rhoads is an author and a 2009 Notable Kansas Book award winner.  Her book, “Kansas Opera Houses, Actors, and Community Events 1855-1925” is the result of years of travel across Kansas to research opera houses.

“I came to love opera houses when as a small child I played in the opera house built by my great-grandfather,” shared Rhoads.  “This eventually led to my visiting 400 Kansas communities to learn about the activities that took place in the local opera houses and to photograph the state’s remaining ones.”

“Kansas Opera Houses and Community Events” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Kansas Speakers Bureau featuring presentations and discussions about Kansas and what it means to be a Kansan over time and across generations.                         

The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to participate in their communities.  For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785-357-0359 or visit online at

For more information about “Kansas Opera Houses and Community Events” in Abilene contact the Dickinson County Historical Society at 785-263-2681 or visit

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