November Briefs

By The Active Age | October 31, 2019

Black history explored

A new exhibit looking at African American history in early Wichita focuses on what was known as the “West End” or “Black Belt” area of the city. It’s on display through Nov. 23 at The Kansas African Museum, 601 N. Water, which is located in the former Calvary Baptist Church that was a key part of that district.

Defining Black Wichita: 1870s-1930s “depicts the education, social endeavors, religion and businesses that enlivened and continue to invigorate the African American community,” according to a news release. It’s the first in a series of three planned exhibits looking at the black experience during Wichita’s first 150 years.

The exhibit is also the first by the museum’s new curator, Paris Cunningham, a graduate of East High and Prairie View A&M University and the daughter of state Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau.

Feel good gifts at market

What do you get the person who has everything? How about a contribution in that person’s honor to a good cause locally or in a developing country.

That’s the idea behind the Wichita Alternative Gift Market, which marks its 25th anniversary this year. Dozens of local, national and global charities are represented. The tax-deductible gifts come with a greeting card or ornament.

Traditional gifts are available in the form of fair-trade crafts and baked goods, and a café-style lunch is served. Organizers say last year’s market raised more than $31,000, of which more than $4,000 went to seven local nonprofits.

The market will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at First Presbyterian Church, 525 N. Broadway. Admission is free.

Wreath festival adds day

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum’s 36th Annual Wreath Festival is Thursday-Saturday Nov. 21-23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The festival features holiday decorations and gift items, packaged fresh baked items and festive music with lunch served in the museum, which is housed in the old City Hall at 204 S. Main.

Organizers added a Saturday to accommodate growing interest in the event. Admission is free. Lunch is $15 per person. Reservations are required for lunch on Saturday and recommended for groups of six or more during the festival’s first two days. For reservations and more info, call 316-265-9314. Proceeds benefit the museum.

Home sweet home

Build your own gingerbread house, sample sweets and hear some great entertainment during the Assistance League of Wichita’s 25th annual Gingerbread Village fundraiser at Exploration Place. The event takes place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.

Tickets are $5 for EP members 3 and older. For non-members, the cost is $9 for seniors (65 and up) $10.50 for 12 and older, and $7 for children 3-11. The Assistance League, which also operates a thift shop at 2431 E.Douglas, helps students and victims of violence through several programs.

Civitan honorees

The Civitan Club of Wichita recognized several individuals for service during its 98th annual banquet at The Arc of Sedgwick County. Deborah Gdisis was named Citizen of the Year, Larry and Maryann White were named Civitans of the Year and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Chan of Ming’s Chinese Restaurant were given the Candy Box Appreciation Award. The club has as its main emphasis helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Active Age wins awards at NAMPA

The active age received two first place awards at the 2019 North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA ) convention held in Memphis, Tenn. The newspaper won the topical issue category for an article about the city of WIchita’s failure to invest in senior centers, “an anomaly among communities in Sedgwick County,” as the judges noted. Freelance illustrator Richard Crowson won first place in the front page illustration category for his drawing commemorating the newspaper’s 40th anniversary.

Vet gives thanks 

James Denison of Haysville (above) took a moment during a meeting of the Veteran Providers’ Coalition of Sedgwick County to thank Kansas Honor Flight for taking him and other veterans to Washington, D.C. “It’s an extraordinary thing,” Denison said. To donate, volunteer or apply for a flight, visit

Safe driving guru

Cliff Neal was one of many volunteers and participants at the 2019 Senior Expo. Neal, a retired insurance man, has volunteered to teach AARP Driver Safety Classes for nearly a decade. He’s currently the only local teacher for the classes and would like to recruit more. “We want people to take at least one thing out of the class to make them a safer driver. I get feedback all the time from people who say that was stuff I didn’t know.” To sign up for his last class of the year, on Nov. 8, call (316) 962-8400. To become an instructor, visit