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1. Free lecture

On Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Hesston, the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains will continue its 2018 Winter Lecture Series with Dr. Jon Gering, speaking about "Insect Diversity in Grassland Habitats."

Why are there so many animal species on Earth? Prior to becoming the new 15th President of Bethel College, Professor Jon Gering worked with his students at Truman State University to address this long-standing ecological question. He will summarize his research findings on beetles in deciduous forest tree crowns and katydids in grassland habitats while revealing the peculiarities of ecological field research that often go unrealized by the general public. An interactive session on ‘singing’ insect identification and natural history will empower the audience to become aware of the abundant ‘soloists’ (the cicadas, crickets, and katydids) in Kansas parks and grasslands.

The lecture will take place in the Prairie Pavilion, with a soup supper preceding it at 6 p.m. in the Visitor's Center. The cost of the lecture is $5 per person, or supper and the lecture is $10. Interested persons should call 620-327-8127 by 4 p.m. on Feb. 23 for supper reservations.

The Winter Lecture Series will conclude on March 27 with Curtis Schmidt presenting on "Bats of Kansas."

For more information about the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, visit www.dyckarboretum.org.

2. Learn about Chisholm Trail

NORTH NEWTON – Kauffman Museum has a new special exhibit on display, and the first Sunday afternoon program connected to it will take place Feb. 25 at the museum.

“The Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West” opened just before Christmas and will be at Kauffman Museum through April 1 (Easter Sunday).

Christy Davis, executive director of Symphony in the Flint Hills, based in Cottonwood Falls, will speak on “The Other Chisholm Trail: Little-Known Facts About the Great Cattle Drives” at 3 p.m. Feb. 25 in the museum auditorium.

Exhibit highlights include a comprehensive and accessible synthesis of new and existing research on the Chisholm Trail; a musical exploration of the cowboy song “The Old Chisholm Trail”; clips from films, such as The Old Chisholm Trail and Red River, that reference the trail; and several artistically rendered life-size longhorn cattle formed from blackened steel. Younger visitors can create their own brands with the “Brand Your Beeves” interactive station.

Kauffman Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekends.

Admission to the current special exhibit “The Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West,” as well as the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6.

For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/, or Facebook page.

3. Party with Picasso

NEWTON — The gifted Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was the inspiration behind this year's theme for Carriage Factory Art Gallery's "Love Your Gallery" winter fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 24, starting at 5:30 p.m.

"This year's theme, 'Party with Picasso' will feature decor in Picasso's style, bright and vibrant colors," said Darlene Dick, chairperson of the Love Your Gallery planning committee. "The two 'fiddling' musicians, Seth Girten and Jenny Bowen, will add to the festive atmosphere," said Dick. "We'll give away some prizes, and feature a fun auction of local art. There will be great food and drink too. We always have a great time celebrating the gallery, so we hope that many in the community and surrounding areas will join the party!"

Sponsors for the event are First Bank, The Citizens State Bank, Krueger Insurance Management, Action Pact Holdings and Midland National Bank. Reservations for the celebration are $60 per person and are available by calling 316-284-2749. Space is limited.

“Love Your Gallery is an annual fundraiser that brings art, music, good food and good times together for those who believe in the vision of the gallery,” said Director Cindy Snider. “Our vision is to be an outstanding showcase for art and artists and to be a center for celebrating art and enhancing the community. The gallery is a community resource that provides enjoyment of the arts and education for all ages.”

The gallery provides workshops in various art media throughout the year and offers space for rent for special events and meetings. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.