Hutchinson-Reno County Cultural Commission (Hutchinson, KS)

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  Detail of a mural. Two large blue cranes, one in flight, one standing with head down, are depicted layered over a network of sinuous brown branches, which are layered over a white ground speckled with yellow dots of varying density

Cranes 2001 by Lora Jost, Lawrence, Kansas. Photo by Edward C. Robinson III

Created in 1989, the Hutchinson-Reno County Cultural Commission is a support agency for local arts and humanities councils. The commission's mandate includes fostering tourism through arts events and attractions, assisting organizations, promoting events community wide, and enhancing the quality of life of all citizens by making the arts accessible to the whole community.

In FY 2004, the Hutchinson-Reno County Cultural Commission received an NEA Challenge America grant of $10,000 to support the writing and promotion of Kansas Murals: A Traveler's Guide. The commission received funding from the Arts Endowment in 2001 to support initial research for Kansas Murals and the design and construction of a project Web site.

Oregon Bound, Fall Hunt, and Kansas Wildlife 1996 by Cindy Martin, Belvue, Kansas. Photo by Edward C. Robinson III

Due to be published in fall 2006 by the University Press of Kansas, the 250-page volume features color photographs and narratives of significant public murals from six Kansas regions. Featured works include Work Projects Administration-era murals and Kansas Statehouse murals by American Regionalist painter John Steuart Curry. The 90 highlighted murals showcase a diversity of techniques and approaches with artists ranging from professionals to students and community groups. Biographies of the selected muralists and an additional 400 murals are highlighted in the book's appendix.

Tragic Prelude 1937-1942 by John Steuart Curry, Topeka, Kansas. Photo by Edward C. Robinson III

The Hutchinson-Reno County Cultural Commission will use Kansas Murals to promote tourism and economic development in Kansas, encourage preservation of public art, provide an educational resource on Kansas history and art, celebrate Kansas artists, and foster interest in new community mural projects. The volume will be available for purchase at venues including historical societies, museums, libraries, and arts fairs.

(From the 2004 NEA Annual Report)