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Kansas Sampler

Last Kansas Sampler Festival App...

The 28th and final Kansas Sampler Festival will take place in Winfield's Island...

Last Kansas Sampler Festival App...

The 28th, and final, Kansas Sampler Festival will take place May 6-7 in Winfiel...

Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers...

It took Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe four years to visit every one of the 626 in...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Kansas Sampler Festival

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 2016 Kansas Sampler Festival will be held on May 7-8 in Winfield at Island Park.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!

ERV

ERV

Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

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General/All News

Mar 18, 2014 | Kansans Think Big at Statewide Brainstorm
More than 175 people from around the state gathered at the Meridian Event Center in Newton on March 14 to brainstorm innovative ideas for rural Kansas.  The second Big Rural Brainstorm was organized by the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation.

Attendees chose one of twenty topics at each of the five sessions.  For thirty minutes groups of approximately ten people would throw out new ideas in an effort to create possible actions for that topic.  Architects to community volunteers from Woodbine to Wichita filled the room with diverse voices.  A third of the audience were PowerUps, 21-39 year olds who are rural by choice.

One of the sessions called "Ask the PowerUps" provided an opportunity for the audience to ask the younger ones about topics from volunteerism to marketing to that age group to finding out what PowerUps need to be happy living in a small town.

Topics that gained traction throughout the day included developing a trail of sunset viewing areas, a house concert circuit, a made-from-scratch food trail, and creating storybook and artistic themes along existing walking trails.  A couple of towns plan to go home and work on their own version of the brainstorm.  Others will start PowerUp groups.

Two bloggers from opposite ends of the agricultural spectrum, Katie Sawyer and Rosanna Bauman, will be sharing stories.  Discussions were had about how to advance high speed internet in rural communities, how to find and retain health care workers, and how to share rural Kansas stories with state and national media.

The group brainstormed creative ideas for a miniature golf course in Burdett, a small Pawnee County town.  The U.S. Rural Development regional director, Patty Clark, led a focus group asking how they could best help rural communities.

Facilitator and Foundation director Marci Penner said, "I think the greatest benefit of the day was the cumulative effect of enthusiasm and forward-thinking for rural Kansas.  You couldn't help but feel the energy and the support.  Each person had a voice.  Outcomes will be noticed for quite awhile."

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