Educational, cultural, and entertainment resources for retirees or those planning to retire in Lawrence, KS.
updated 5/27/2014

Select from the following 8 categories or scroll down to view all.
Click a title or image to link to additional information.

Live Performance (12)
Libraries (4)
History (12)
Organizations (5)
Education (9)
Art (3)
Athletics/Fitness (6)
Events (6)

Live Performance

Lied Center of Kansas
University Theatre
Theatre Lawrence
Lied Center of Kansas
photo by Jerry Niebaum
KU University Theatre

photo by Jerry Niebaum

The Lied Center of Kansas is a major university presenter engaging audiences and artists through presentation, education, research and service.

The University Theatre at the University of Kansas is proud to be an educational theatre dedicated to producing quality productions while nurturing our student actors, directors, and designers.

The Theatre Lawrence partners with volunteers to create and deliver extraordinary theatre and education programs that engage community members of all ages and backgrounds as audience members and participants.


Liberty Hall
West Side Folk
Lawrence City Band
Liberty Hall
photo by Jerry Niebaum
West Side Folk

Lawrence City Band
Photo by Barry Frank (used with permission)

In 1911, the Opera House was re-designed with a lush Grecian influence and electric lights. This paved the way for early silent film and the production of “Birth of a Nation” showing in 1915. The first movie with sound, “The Canary Murder Case” played just a few years later. Despite the advancements and introduction of new technologies, the past dwells in some not so obvious places telling the story of what came before.

Presenting traditional and contemporary folk, bluegrass and old-time music “the way it oughta be” in and around Lawrence, Kansas. West Side Folk works because of its volunteers and supporters. Bringing the world's best folk, celtic and bluegrass music to Lawrence, Kansas is an expensive and risky undertaking. West Side Folk has no paid staff, tries to keep expenses low, and relies heavily on volunteers. The Lawrence City Band has a well established reputation for being one of the top performing community concert bands of its type in the nation. In 1988 the band achieved the top honor for a community band when they were awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll. This prestigious award is part of a series of awards given by the John Philip Sousa Foundation in recognition for high achieving concert bands and their musicians.

New Horizons Band
Kansas Public Radio
Lawrence Community Orchestra
New Horizons Band
Photo by Michael Kelly (used with permission)
Kansas Public Radio
Lawrence Community Orchestra
Photo by Dave Gnojek (used with permission)

The New Horizons Band is a project of Douglas County Senior Services. Most, but not all, of the participants are retired or retirement age. The group holds regular rehearsals and performs at a variety of venues in and around Lawrence. There is no web site specifically for the Band.

Licensed to the University of Kansas, Kansas Public Radio began broadcasting on September 15, 1952 and we've been at it ever since. KANU-FM was given the charge to 'play good music'. In 1952, that meant classical music and jazz on long-playing records. In the early years of KANU, the station also was used as 'educational radio' for shows such as The Jayhawk School of the Air.
The Lawrence Chamber Orchestra is turning a new page and we have several exciting developments to report. First, we’re changing our name! We are now the Lawrence Community Orchestra. We want our name to reflect the fact that this is truly a Lawrence orchestra, with most of the musicians being from Lawrence.

Lawrence Civic Choir
Lawrence Children's Choir
Vintage Players
Lawrence Civic Choir
Photo by Barry Frank (used with permission)
Lawrence Children's Choir
Photo by Barry Frank (used with permission)
Vintage Players
Photo by Richard Gwin

The Lawrence Civic Choir, organized in 1975, welcomes singers from the area who love to perform serious, four-part choral music under a professional director. New members are welcome during the first couple of rehearsals each semester. We rehearse on Monday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 at First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive, Lawrence, KS. Formal auditions are not required, but singers must be able to read music and sing tunefully.

The Lawrence Children's Choir is a not-for-profit arts organization which offers vocal training and musical fellowship to young artists from preschool age through grades 9. Children from many different backgrounds benefit from participation in our choral programs. The Vintage Players are an older group of actors who want to have fun by performing. They create and perform for young and old in a grand variety of venues. They are an outgrowth of Theatre Lawrence, formerly known as Lawrence Community Theatre.

 

Libraries

Lawrence Public Library
Watson Library at KU
Spencer Research Library
Lawrence Public Library
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Watson Library
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Spencer Research Library
photo by Jerry Niebaum

The mission of the Lawrence Public Library is to provide and promote informational, intellectual, and cultural resources for our community. We invite you to use the collections and take full advantage of the many library programs and services.

The largest of the libraries on campus, this collegiate Gothic-style building opened in 1924. Besides research collections, it houses administrative offices, a conservation laboratory, and computer classrooms.

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library is home to some of the rarest and most precious volumes and materials in the world.
We welcome the public as well as researchers and scholars from all academic disciplines.


Audio Reader
Audio Reader
The Kansas Audio-Reader Network is a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired, and print disabled individuals in Kansas and western Missouri. We read daily newspapers, magazines and best-selling books on the air and on the internet, 24 hours a day, and we offer automated newspaper readings by telephone. Services are offered free of charge to anyone in our listening area who is unable to read normal printed material.

 

History

Watkins Museum
Freedoms Frontier NHA
Lawrence
Watkins Community Museum
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Fredoms Frontier National Heritage Area
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Lawrence Downtown
photo by Jerry Niebaum

The Watkins Community Museum of History, created by the Douglas County Historical Society, explains local history through its exhibits, lectures, tours, and other events. The museum building was commissioned by Lawrence financier J.B. Watkins to house the Land Mortgage Company & Watkins National Bank, and constructed between 1885 and 1888.

Events that happened in the 29 eastern Kansas and 12 western Missouri counties of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area led to the Civil War and an enduring struggle for freedom. Conflict over slavery and other issues drew those on both sides into a violent Border War. Explore Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and experience from many viewpoints the strong freedom story that runs along the Missouri Kansas border.

The Kansas Territory was opened to settlement in May of 1854. According to the concept of "popular sovereignty," settlers could decide whether to admit their territory as a slave or free state. Soon after the territory was opened, abolitionists from New England rushed to the area in an effort to keep the territory from becoming pro-slavery. It is said that Lawrence is one of the few cities founded purely for political reasons.


Historic Lecompton
Baldwin City
Eudora
Historic Lecompton
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Baldwin City
Eudora
photo by Jerry Niebaum

Lecompton was founded in 1854 and platted on a bluff on the south bank of the Kansas River. It was originally called "Bald Eagle," but then later changed to Lecompton in honor of Samuel D. Lecompte, the chief justice of the territorial supreme court. In 1855, the town became the permanent and only official capital of the Kansas Territory.

The Battle of Black Jack, which took place to the east of Baldwin City in 1856, is recorded as the first skirmish between pro- and anti-slavery forces prior to the Civil War.
The City surrounds Baker University, which, founded in 1858, is the oldest four-year college in the state of Kansas. Four of Baker University's buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The history of the Eudora area predates American settlement. This region was home to various Indian tribes for thousands of years. The most notable tribe was the Kansa or Kaw. The Kaw lived along the rivers of this region in villages until they were forcibly removed in the 1820s by the American government to make room for the Shawnee Indian tribe.


Dyche Museum
Haskell Cultural Center
Booth Hall of Athletics
Dyche Museum
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Haskell Cultural Center
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Booth Family Hall of Athletics
photo by Jerry Niebaum

In 1864, as part of the university's charter, the Kansas legislature mandated that the university compile "a cabinet of natural history." The cabinet would be a teaching tool. Students would be able to study biology through preserved examples, rather than only textbooks.
Today, what began as the cabinet of natural history includes some 8 million specimens and 1.2 million archaeological artifacts. Students and staff are distributed across seven buildings on campus and conduct research on all continents.

The Haskell Cultural Center and Museum is a living center, celebrating living Native culture. Because we wanted to dedicate our building to the first students of Haskell, we had an opening ceremony at the Haskell cemetery, where some of Haskell’s first students remain. The Haskell Cultural Center officially opened on September 14, 2002. A proposal to fund the $1.3 million building was approved by the American Indian College Fund.

The Booth Family Hall of Athletics is a 26,000-square-foot museum adjacent to the east side of Allen Fieldhouse. This facility opened in January 2006 and is open year-round, allowing Jayhawk fans everywhere to experience the history and tradition of Kansas Athletics. The Hall honors KU's historic athletics programs, its coaches and student-athletes, past and present.


Midland Railway
Wilcox Classical Museum
McGregor Herbarium
Midland Railway
photo by Richard Niebaum
Wilcox Classical Museum
photo by Jerry Niebaum
McGregor Herbasium

The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on a line originally constructed in 1867. Trains cover a 20-mile round trip from Baldwin City via Norwood to Ottawa Junction, Kan., traveling through scenic eastern Kansas farmland and woods using vintage railway equipment. The Midland Railway is a completely volunteer-staffed, non-profit, common carrier railroad operated to preserve and display transportation history as an educational demonstration railroad.

The Wilcox Classical Museum was established in 1886 and is operated by the Department of Classics, University of Kansas. The museum houses collections of plaster casts of Greek and Roman Sculpture and Greek and Roman antiquities. The Ronald L. McGregor Herbarium is dedicated to the study of the flora of the Great Plains of North America. Our goal is to expand our understanding of past and current plant diversity and to preserve this knowledge for the future. This is facilitated by the collection, preservation, and management of plant specimens by professional staff.

 

Organizations

New Generation Society
Endacott Society
University Women's Club
New Generations Society of Lawrence
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Endacott Society
photo by Jerry Niebaum
University Women's Club

The New Generation Society of Lawrence (NGSL), incorporated in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization, is devoted to providing educational, social, volunteer and philanthropic opportunities for its members, who mostly consist of retired professionals and their spouses.

The Endacott Society, which meets at the Adams Alumni Center, is a program of the Kansas University Alumni Association. Created in 1983, the Society now boasts more than 400 members. Society members are retired university faculty, staff and spouses.

Affiliated with KU, our members meet for friendship and to serve the University. Formed in 1900 to help women take advantage of the educational, cultural and social heritage of KU, our club encouraged housing for women students and later founded what is now KU's longest continuous scholarship program.

Small World
Lawrence Bicycle Club
Small World

photo by Jerry Niebaum
Small World is a non-profit cooperative program that is operated entirely by volunteers. Our mission is to help International women and their children, adjust to the Lawrence community. Small World helps International women to learn or improve their English. At Small World, we meet new people and form friendships that span cultures and languages. International women improve their English and learn about American customs, and how to get along in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Lawrence Bicycle Club is an organization of members of the Lawrence community (along with members outside Lawrence) who have joined together to promote cycling for recreation, exercise, and sport.

We are the home of the Lizard Under the Skillet, Tour de Chicken Creek, and Octoginta bicycle tours.

 

Education

Dole Institute of Politics
OSHER Institute
Douglas Co. Senior Services
Dole Institute of Politics
photo by Jerry Niebaum
OSHER Institute
Douglas County Senior Services
photo by Jerry Niebaum

The mission of the Dole Institute of Politics is to promote political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bi-partisan, balanced manner. By providing a forum for discussion of political and economic issues, fostering for public service leadership and encouraging participation in the political process, we emphasize that politics is an honorable profession and that only through political and civic participation can citizens redirect the course of our nation.

The University of Kansas Osher Lifelong Learning Institute provides intellectually engaging and enriching classes and events solely for the joy of learning to diverse communities of lifelong learners, with a focus on those 50 years of age and older.
Three formal partnerships have been developed and successfully sustained with residential retirement communities in Kansas and Missouri.

Douglas County Senior Services is committed to creating opportunities that allow older residents of Douglas County to remain independent and active in their homes and communities.


Hall Center for Humanities
Americana Music Academy
Prairie Park Nature Center
Hall Center for the Humanities
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Americana Music Academy
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Prairie Park Nature Center
photo by Jerry Niebaum

The Hall Center's primary mission is to stimulate and support research in the humanities, arts and social sciences, especially of an interdisciplinary kind, at the University of Kansas. The Center brings together faculty and graduate students with common interests from various disciplines to enable them to build on each others' ideas and to share their knowledge within the university and with the wider community.

Conveniently located at the southern end of downtown Lawrence and now on the west side of Downtown Topeka, The Americana Music Academy offers group and private music lessons in a relaxed setting with some of the region's most notable pickers, players, singers and songwriters.

Prairie Park Nature Center was built in 1999 on an 80-acre nature preserve just southeast of Haskell and 23rd Street. The preserve features prairie, woodlands, and wetlands. The nature center preserve and education building are operated by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department and funded by City of Lawrence sales tax revenue.


Lawrence Visitors Center
University of Kansas
Ecumenical Campus Ministries
Lawrence Visitors Center
photo by Jerry Niebaum
University of Kansas
photo by Jerry Niebaum

photo by Jerry Niebaum

Kids - even the grown up vareity - love trains! Do some train watching at the Lawrence Visitors Center housed inside the restored Union Pacific Depot. More than 100 trains pass the Depot daily, just feet from the patio!

The University of Kansas is a major public research and teaching institution that operates through a diverse, multicampus system. KU's many parts are bound together by a mission to serve as a "center for learning, research, scholarship and creative endeavor" in the state of Kansas, the nation and the world. The University-Community forum (Wednesdays from 11:30-1:00) has been bringing together the KU and Lawrence communities since the 1940s. It is a series of presentations by faculty, students and community members to educate and facilitate dialogue on ideas and events that shape our society. An optional lunch is served.

 

Art

Lawrence Arts Center
Spencer Museum of Art
Lawrence Art Guild
Lawrence Arts Center
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Spencer Museum of Art
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Art in the Park
photo by Jerry Niebaum

The Lawrence Arts Center was founded in 1975 as a public and private partnership between the city of Lawrence and citizens who believed that Lawrence should offer the best in arts programming. The Arts Center has grown to include contemporary exhibitions, arts education, and performances for the community and the region.

In 1917 Sallie Casey Thayer, a Kansas City art collector, offered her collection of nearly 7,500 art objects to the University of Kansas to form a museum "to encourage the study of fine arts in the Middle West." Her eclectic collection included paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, furniture, rugs, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, glass, and other examples of decorative arts, primarily from Europe and Asia. Eventually the University of Kansas Museum of Art was established in 1928, based on this collection.

Since its inception in 1962, the Lawrence Art Guild has strived to support the many artists and art events in the vicinity of Lawrence, Kansas. This "midwest oasis" has been calling to creative individuals for many years. It is interesting to find that in the early 1960s there were over 100 artists living in the Lawrence area. The creative energy and support of the arts in Lawrence continues today. At last count, there were more than 1,000 artists living in the Lawrence area and almost 270 of them are listed as Lawrence Art Guild members.

 

Athletics/Fitness

Lawrence Aquatic Centers
Parks and Trails
University of Kansas Sports
Lawrence Aquatic Centers
photo by Jerry Niebaum
Parks and Trails
University of Kansas

Looking for water fun? Then head to the Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center. Everyone can enjoy the zero-depth entry, water slides, toy features and abundant chairs for lounging. Visiting in the fall or winter? Never fear, the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center boasts all the same amenities will full locker rooms in a comfortable indoor environment.

The Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department oversees a park system which includes 54 parks. For maintenance purposes the city is broken down into three park districts. The department also has Landscaping/ Horticulture and Forestry Divisions to assist with the department and the community.

Men's Sports
Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track & field

Women's Sports
Basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball


Lawrence High School
Free State High School
Haskell Indian Nations Univ.
Lawrence High School
Free State High School
Haskell Indian Nations University
In our society, winning has come to mean everything. However, if winning comes at the expense of good sportsmanship, everyone is a loser. Sportsmanship and the objectives of educational athletics are what set our athletic events apart from other levels of sports competition. Remember our motto! Sportsmanship, Integrity, Respect...A Standard Higher Than Victory
Winning is for a day--sportsmanship is for a lifetime.
Lawrence Free State High School, the city’s second high school campus, opened in 1997. It sits on 77 acres of land located in northwest Lawrence. The school's name honors the role the city of Lawrence played in opposing slavery so the territory of Kansas could enter the union as a free state in 1861. Free State currently serves approximately 1,475 students in grades 9-12. The Department of Athletics provides students with the opportunity to participate and develop as scholar-athletes in accordance to the governance of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. A member institution since the fall of 1999, Haskell currently serves as the only four year athletic program in the nation whereby all scholar-athletes represent diverse American Indian and Alaska Native nations.

 

 

Events

Lawrence Christmas Parade
Busker Festival
Haskell Indian Art Market
Christmas Parade
photo by Jerry Niebaum

photo of banner by Jerry Niebaum

art by Brent Learned
photo by Jerry Niebaum
The Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade LLC has been formed to maintain and enhance the high-quality event that was started 18 years ago. This event was established as the premier horse-drawn event in the Midwest. The parade attracts entrants and spectators from multiple states. Amid the historic and funky shops and restaurants of downtown Lawrence, witness the crazy and creative acts, oddities, and performances of the Lawrence Busker Festival. Bold and Brazen, Buskers are incredible street performers who provide jaw-dropping entertainment, and when the clock strikes five in an evening in August, these Buskers will come out to play.

For more than 20 years Haskell Indian Nations University has hosted an annual Indian Art Market in September. The event attracts artists and buyers from many states. All of the art work offered is created by Native Americans.

A juried art competition is an integral part of the annual event.


Final Fridays
Lawrence Events Calendar
KU Band Day Parade
Final Fridays
  Events Calendar

photo by Jerry Niebaum
Final Fridays is a celebration of the arts that includes special exhibits, performances and demonstrations in Downtown Lawrence on the Final Friday of every month.

Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau Events Calendar

An events calendar brimming with cultural delights, proof that the people of Lawrence have the art of living perfected to a science.

This colorful event will begin with the traditional BAND DAY PARADE through downtown Lawrence. The parade staging area will be on the streets around Buford Watson Park, and the parade route will proceed down Massachusetts Street, ending at South Park. Bands will then bus to Memorial Stadium for the massed band rehearsal.

 

Please send suggestions for additions/changes to Jerry Niebaum
jniebaum@wizardofkansas.com