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LATEST NEWS

Armando Minjárez hopes to highlight the humanity of Wichita’s immigrants

Armando Minjárez was once an undocumented immigrant, a status that put him on a path to both art and activism. The multidisciplinary artist and organizer moved to Wichita in 2012 to co-found the grassroots organization The Seed House/Casa de la Semilla. But he is best known for directing Horizontes, the public-art and documentary project that…

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‘Don’t treat them different’: One formerly homeless Wichitan on what the city needs

It started with a recipe he concocted on his own — Southern-style barbecue chicken spaghetti. But pretty soon, Joseph “J.W.” Harris was spreading the cooking gospel to his neighbors and friends at The Studios, a permanent-housing apartment complex for people experiencing homelessness. In April, he led his first cooking class at the complex on North Topeka…

‘They were villainized’: Daniel Pewewardy challenges Native American stereotypes through comedy and film

Daniel Pewewardy is best known to Wichita audiences as a stand-up comedian and creator of memes, those jokey combinations of text and images that fill your social media feeds.  But over the past few years, the 36-year-old has found their way back to filmmaking, which they studied as an undergraduate at Oklahoma State University. Pewewardy,…

Why Jonathan Marr is Sedgwick County’s 2022 Public Service Award winner

From Seattle to Baghdad to the Marshall Islands, Jonathan Marr has worked as a firefighter all over the globe.   But Marr, deputy director for Sedgwick County Emergency Management, moved to Wichita in 2019. And he’s made his mark since doing so.  After becoming deputy director in 2020, Marr conducted in-depth research into the county’s aging…

Janice Burdine Thacker wants to turn shipping containers into a campus for Black culture in Wichita

Since she retired in 2005, Janice Burdine Thacker has continuously reinvented herself.  The septuagenarian spent seven years as a touring road artist, showing and selling her work all over the country, including at the massive international art fair Art Basel Miami.  After leaving the road, she launched an annual art show during Black History Month,…

‘​​Our community deserves to be nurtured’: Sapphire Garcia-Lies on Wichita’s new birth justice center

Sapphire Garcia-Lies wants new and expecting mothers in Wichita — especially in Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities — to feel nurtured.  That’s what she had in mind when crafting a new facility for the Wichita Birth Justice Society, a nonprofit led by Garcia-Lies that’s dedicated to reducing racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. In…

Marquetta Atkins is opening the doors of entrepreneurship for Wichita youth

When Wichita native Marquetta Atkins merges her activism and entrepreneurship, the result creates pathways for youth from underserved communities to thrive. Atkins is the executive director of Destination Innovation, a hub for three programs that focus on youth — Progeny, Camp Destination Innovation and Root the Power. In 2015, she founded Camp Destination Innovation,  a…

What does it take to erase food inequality in Wichita? Tajahnaé Stocker is working on it.

When research revealed a disproportionate amount of dollar stores versus grocery stores in Wichita ZIP code 67214, it sparked an ambition within Tajahnaé Stocker: eliminate food insecurity in Kansas. To do so, Stocker practices anti-hunger advocacy through several mediums.  She wields social media as a platform to highlight food inequities in Wichita. She lobbies for…

Eddie Sandoval shares his culture through his business, Pinole Blue

Growing up in Solomon, a small town about 90 minutes north of Wichita, Eddie Sandoval kept himself busy with sports and running his own lawn mowing company. It was the first taste of entrepreneurship for Sandoval, who recalls growing up as part of the only Mexican family in the town of less than 1,000 people.…

Cinco preguntas con Eddie Sandoval, propietario y CEO de Pinole Blue

Al crecer en Solomon, un pequeño pueblo a unos 90 minutos al norte de Wichita, Eddie Sandoval se mantuvo ocupado con los deportes y dirigiendo su propia compañía de corte de césped. Fue la primera prueba de emprendimiento para Sandoval, quien recuerda haber crecido como parte de la única familia mexicana en la ciudad de…

Photography with style: Why Hannah Thompson built her business in Wichita

Hannah Thompson has the special skill of transporting people from Wichita to wherever they want to go — but not by plane, train or automobile. She does it with photography. Thompson’s photography business — Reel Photography, LLC, which opened in November 2020 — is unique in that she edits many of her portraits to transform her subjects.…

How Wichita homeless advocate April Holt builds trust

As Wichita nears the end of winter, many people are past thinking about cold air and bitter wind. For April Holt,  it’s all she thinks about — stressing about those without homes to take cover in.  Holt has amassed an online following in Wichita with her social media posts about the people she meets on…