|Capital District Project stays in Capital Improvement Program
On March 6, the Topeka City Council voted and approved the Capital Improvement Program's (CIP) 2012-2013 Budget. The CIP includes projects for improvements in Topeka, the Capital District Project (CDP) is one of the projects in the program.
The Council Chambers were full on Tuesday night with many in attendance supporting the Downtown Project. After more than a half dozen people spoke in support of the Downtown, the Council voted 8-1 to approve the 2012-2013 Capital Improvement Program budget. The approved budget includes the money allocated for the revitalization taking place in Downtown Topeka.
In order to release the funds budgeted for the CDP, a project plan must be presented to the City Council for approval. Council members will vote to approve the plan at a later date.
Search Firm Seeks Public Input for City Manager
What are you looking for in a City Manager?
Today, Thursday, March 8, the search firm selected to assist in finding a new City Manager wants you to answer the question.
Bob Murray & Associates will facilitate a community meeting to get public input for what they want in a new City Manager. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 214 Southeast 8th Street.
The search firm will also ask City Council Members and the Interim City Manager the same question.
In addition to a public meeting, Topekans will be able to e-mail Renee Narloch, the project lead, to share their thoughts. Her address will be listed on the City's website in the near future and be active for nearly a month.
New Community Events Calendar Coming Soon
Ever wonder what's going on in Topeka this weekend? Or What plays are performing, bands are playing, art galleries and other events are happening?
In Mid-March, a new community-wide events calendar Topeka365.com will serve as resource to answer those questions.
The community events calendar will feature local arts and entertainment events as posted by community organizations. Event organizers can upload information to the site and upon approval will be posted for the community to see and use. The site will be maintained by ArtsConnect with assistance from Visit Topeka Inc.
The vision for a community-wide events calendar like Topeka365 came about through the initial Heartland Visioning meetings, when the community said it wanted a centralized location to look for arts and entertainment events happening in the Topeka area.
NOTO: Looking to the Future
On February 29, North Topeka Arts District provided a community update on the district's progress and collected input.
More than 40 people attended a neighborhood meeting and brainstorming session hosted by NOTO at the Garfield Community Center, 1600 Northeast Quincy Street.
During the meeting, John Hunter and Anita Wolgast, project co-chairs, celebrated NOTO's successful first year and expressed excitement about the next phase of the vision.
With nearly 30 artists using studio space and 11 new storefronts opening in the district, the project hopes to transition into Phase II and has hired Anderson Montgomery, LLC to help move the process forward.
At the community meeting, Larry Montgomery, principal at Anderson Montgomery, LLC lead the attendees through a brain storming session. They discussed how to make the district a hub for arts and entertainment more than just on the weekends and First Fridays.
Community members suggested many ideas including:
- A playground at Veterans Park;
- A venue for local independent filmmakers;
- A coffee shop;
- Beautify the future walkway into the district with flowers, include tulips for "Tulip Time;"
- Include local music and have performances in the district.
Shrine Bowl Comes Back to Topeka
On Monday, March 5 Visit Topeka Inc. announced that Washburn University will the be the site of the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl.
The Shrine Bowl will be held this summer and will include camps for: band, cross country, cheer and football. And will also feature a football game with High School Players from across the state of Kansas. The estimated economic impact the Shrine Bowl will have on the Topeka area is $250,000.
"Visit Topeka is thrilled to have the Kansas Shrine Bowl back in Topeka," said Olivia Simmons, president of Visit Topeka Inc. "Hosting the Kansas Shrine Bowl in Topeka is a goal that we have been working toward for quite a while, but it isn't possible without the involvement and support of many partners. Our community really came together and provided an excellent offer to the Shrine Bowl Committee."
In February, eight members representing Topeka and the Topeka Shrine Bowl committee presented to the Kansas Shrine Bowl selection committee in Emporia.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl is a non-profit charity raising funds and awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children, since it's inception in 1974 they have raised more than $2.5 million for their hospitals.
For more information on the Kansas Shrine Bowl and all the Shrine Bowl Activities, click here.
Historic Jayhawk Theatre Restoration Continues
Last month the Jayhawk Theatre was awarded a sizable grant from the Kansas Historical Society.
The Heritage Trust Fund granted the theater $54,420 to repair and revision work on the fly gallery and main roof of the 86 year-old theater.
It is estimated that the theater needs $9 million to fully restore and renovate the historic theater. Once renovation is complete the theater will seat up to 900 people and provide live theater, music, films and other events.
"We want to make the Jayhawk the crown jewel of downtown development," said Doug Jones, the newly appointed president of the Jayhawk Theatre board of directors.
The board of directors plans to raise the remainder funds through corporations, foundations, individuals, grant opportunities and several types of tax credit tools. It is looking for community volunteers to help clean up the theater, as well as help with office work, event planning and historical research. Anyone interested can contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, click here.
Update us on your Big Dream:
Coalition of community members working to reduce crime and substance abuse to make Topeka the Safest Capital City in America
For more information on the Safe Streets,click here.
March 7 thru April 15: "Industiral Nature"
@ Mulvane Art Museum
@ Mulvane Art Museum
March 2 thru March 31
@ Topeka Civic Theatre
@ White Concert Hall
@ Downtown Topeka
March 19 thru March 23:
@ Kansas Children's Discovery Center
April 1 thru April 26:
@ Gage Park, Lake Shawnee & Old Prairie Town
10 a.m. to dusk
For more information on these events and to find other events in Topeka