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What do the City Council Candidates think of the Community-wide Vision? 


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More than 5,000 citizens of our community worked together to create a strategic plan to help carry out the community-wide vision. A public /private partnership has helped carry us through the first three years, and in order for Heartland Visioning to continue to build on our civic collaboration, it is essential to have a sense of what the candidates think of our community-wide vision. Recently the Government Foundation team sent out questionnaires to the candidates running in districts 2,4,6 and 8. These responses can be found on our website at

New NOTO businesses to open in conjunction with First Friday Art Walk 


The Eclective will be opening at 900 North Kansas Avenue this Friday, April 1. The Eclective will be an eclectic art showroom and studio. Ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. Friday featuring live entertainment by Mother Kali.


Owner Renee Johnson will feature her unique Stainless Steel Design Concepts, highly recognized in the Topeka art community.  She is joined in the studio by five other artists with studios:  Angela Lexow, fine jewelry and gourd artist; Cora Spencer, fiber artist; Pat Abellon, painter; Randy Fay, Iron Florist, and Pam Renovato, digital fine art.  Their studios will be in the back of the store, with a public gallery featuring the artists' work in the front of the store. 


The other business to open is The Two Day Monthly Market, located at 824 North Kansas Avenue.  Co-owners Coralee Evans and Lisa Cusick of Brickhouse Antiques, 3711 SW Burlingame Road,  are expanding and opening another business that will be conducted as a 'monthly market' which will be open the first Friday and Saturday of each month.  The inventory will include antique, vintage, and mid-century modern items. Along with unique industrial pieces, home décor, jewelry and much more.  Their hours will be 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. For the Grand Opening weekend, the featured visiting artists are photographer Nathan Ham, whose work will be displayed, as well as paintings by Louise Brock Hamilton.

Google News for Kansas

Despite the great efforts by the Think Big Topeka group, Google has chosen Kansas City, Kansas, as the location for their ultra high-speed fiber project.

Last year, Google unveiled their plan to build and study the use of ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. As part of this process, the company asked interested communities to submit an application. More than 1,100 cities across the nation joined Topeka in submitting an application for this unique and innovative partnership but none went so far as to rename their city to help catch the attention of Google.

In March of 2010 Topeka, Kansas was renamed Google, Kansas, which caught attention not only nationally, but internationally, after Google renamed themselves Topeka on April 1, 2010. According to CJOnline, while Topeka caught the attention of Google we didn't have all the "technical stuff" that was needed to make it a Google Fiber community.

While Think Big Topeka is congratulating another community on securing the Google Fiber project, they have not given up on pushing for progress in our community.

"Congrats to our neighbors down the road in Kansas City, Kansas for being selected for the Google Fiber Experiment," said Alissa Sheley, one of the founding members of ThinkBig. " While this chapter is over, Think Big Topeka will continue pushing for increased technology access for all of Topeka and Shawnee County. We're in active talks to bring high speed wireless broadband to downtown Topeka, Lake Shawnee and Gage Park." 

2nd Annual ReThink Topeka Exhibition and Art Walk set for April 9, 2011 


In its second year, ReThink Topeka Exhibition and Art Walk has grown to include more local businesses and over 100 regional and local artists of visual and performance art. The

array of artwork will showcase 2D visual art, music, film and poetry.


The 2nd Annual ReThink Topeka Exhibition and Art Walk will take place from 1:00p.m.-6:00 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at six venues and along the thoroughfares in Topeka's downtown.


The event is open to the public and asks for a $2 donation, which will give the attendee a handmade ReThink Topeka button and admission to all venues and activities.


A variety of activities will occur throughout the afternoon, including activities geared toward entertaining and immersing children in art. Music, chalk drawing and other activities will line the sidewalks during the event. And look for handmade signs directing pedestrian traffic that will mark the Art Walk route.


"All the venues will emphasize the importance of downtown's resurgence," said Justin Marable, co-founder of ReThink Topeka. "Local eateries will provide refreshments at chosen venues, which will bring more local flavor to the event, stimulate the economy and produce an awareness of Topeka cuisine."


For full details on venues and activities for the event, visit 

Aaron Douglas Art Fair Call For Artists


The 6th Annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair will be held September 24, 2011. The Fair will feature space for more than 40 local artist exhibits. A variety of mediums are requested. If you have interest, submissions will be accepted through July 29, 2011. 

For more information visit their website,

Project Progress
Capital District Project (CDP) Business Recruitment team hosted Dean Palos, director of Johnson County Planning.
Wednesday March 30, Palos shared with the group of about 45 attendees his experiences and thoughts on downtown planning. Palos was instrumental in the redevelopment of downtown Lawrence and Mass St.
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