Community Capacity Building Opportunity 
Have you ever thought you might like to facilitate conversations or group discussions better? 

If you've sat through a bad meeting before, you understand how much time can be wasted on unproductive debates and off-topic conversations.

Heartland Visioning wants to ensure that we maximize our community's resources including making sure our community meetings are masterful.

In order to reach our community-wide vision, it takes collaboration and coming together to make decisions that will impact our future. 

We have asked the author of the Secrets to Masterful Meetings and The Secrets of Facilitation, Michael Wilkinson, to present this free 90-minute webinar for our community. Please consider attending. 

When: Wednesday, July 18, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST
Where: You may access from your computer by registering here.
OR arrangements have been made for a room at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, to save a seat call our offices 231.6006 and ask for Bri or simply reply to this e-mail!
Calling All Artists!

As a part of the first Dia de los Muertos celebration in Topeka, the Tonantzin Society is seeking submissions from local artists for their juried art show.


The art show will include both two-dimensional and three-dimensional media and all media including: painting, drawing, digital art, photography, sculpture, jewelry, etc. 


The show will be on exhibit for one month and will be including on group tours. Deadline for submissions is October 1, 2012. 


Requirements include: 
  • Digital submission,
  • Original work or limited edition,
  • Piece's theme must revolve around "Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)" and
  • Art must be ready to display.
For a complete list of rules and requirements visit
Let the Sunflower State Games Begin!


This weekend Kansans will vie for top honors in a variety of sports. The Sunflower State Games, a midsummer tradition, attracts thousands of Kansans to Topeka from across the state. 


The multi-sport event will kick off the games on Friday, July 13 with the Hy-Vee Athlete Festival at Hummer Sports Park. The festival begins at 6:00 p.m. and includes a complimentary picnic for the first 500 registered athletes and volunteers, the Lighting of the Torch Ceremony and the 5k/10k Governor's Cup Race. The following weekend will be filled with a variety of games and sports.


This year, Sunflower State Game participants chose from a record number of sports (48) including: 

  • Basketball, 
  • Cross Country, Cycling, 
  • Horse Shoes, 
  • Martial Arts and even 
  • "Beat Jake Lebahn Decathlon." 

The 23rd Annual Sunflower Sports Games will continue until the end of July with different event each weekend. 


For more information on the Sunflower State Games, visit 



Fiesta Mexicana Celebrates 79 Years


Fiesta Mexicana is a summer tradition in Topeka. The 79th year has proven to be another successful Fiesta with events, bands and a week long carnival.


Fiesta began Friday, July 6 with the Parade and Street Party. The following day, the 5k Run/Walk, Golf Tournament and the Coronation Ball took place. 


King Edwin Martinez and Queen Michelle Garcia-Hubbard were crowned Saturday evening at the Ag Hall during the Ball. The King and Queen candidates raised $133,323.04 which will benefit Holy Family School. 


Opening ceremonies for the Fiesta were held on Tuesday, July 10. Food sales and the carnival will continue through Saturday, July 14. The carnival and food sales are located off Atchison & Lake. 


For a full list of events and entertainment, visit


NOTO's Outdoor Arts Market Moves to First Friday


On Friday, July 6 the North Topeka Arts District unveiled five new additions to the district. 


Over 1,000 First Friday Art Walkers joined NOTO in welcoming their newest additions.


The First Friday event officially opened the district's new walk-through from the parking lot to the Avenue and began the Art Market's first Friday appearance. 


The walk-through is the newest entry way into the district which is located off of a 250-car parking lot on the 800 block of N. Kansas Avenue. Market Vendors and street musicians filled the space to welcome First Friday Art Walkers.


The four shops that opened were:

For more information about NOTO visit 


Community Volunteers Recognized


On June 26, United Way of Greater Topeka recognized the hard work of community volunteers at the 12th annual Volunteer Awards Luncheon (VAL Awards). 


The VAL Awards honored 36 nominees for their 2011 contributions. Twelve of the nominees were selected to as winners by a panel of volunteers from United Way's Young Leaders Society. 


The nominees and organization(s) volunteered for:

* Denotes Winner

  • Bobbie Anderson, Laubach Way & Topeka Literacy Council*
  • Elena Blum, Kansas Children's Discovery Center*
  • Jim Brewer, Women Empowerment, Inc.
  • Henry Brown, American Red Cross Kansas Capital Area Chapter
  • Joella Brown, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library*
  • Sue Buckley, Topeka Chamber of Commerce
  • David Chenlo, Harvesters
  • Dr. Forrest Craig, TDC Learning Centers
  • Claude Dain, Kansas Children's Discovery Center*
  • Sharon Dodd, Capitol Federal & Topeka Civitan Club
  • Milley Echeverria, United Way of Greater Topeka*
  • Lori Edwards, Women Empowerment, Inc.
  • Georgia Gore, Boys and Girls Clubs of Topeka
  • Mike & Tamara Hampton, TDC Learning Center*
  • Mary Haubold, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Topeka*
  • Susan Harlan, Kansas Children's Discovery Center
  • Earl & Emmi Homman, Stormont-Vail HealthCare*
  • Jan Howard, Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy
  • John Hunter, North Topeka Arts District*
  • Christina Kellim, American Red Cross Capital Area Chapter*
  • Robin & Allison Kempf, TARC
  • Connie Kessler, ChildCare Aware of Northeast North Central Kansas
  • Johnny Lemon, The Villages
  • Ed Lohmann, Sisters of Charity Health Systems*
  • Gary Mason, American Red Cross Kansas Capital Area Chapter
  • Roger McCauley, Topeka Civic Theatre
  • JoEllen McGranahan, Helping Hands Humane Society
  • Dwight Moore, Emergency Serivices & American Red Cross Kansas Capital Area Chapter
  • Heather Mosqueda, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. & United Way of Greater Topeka
  • Vicki Peoples, Highland Park High School, Topeka Public Schools USD 501
  • Mary Peterson, TARC
  • Donna Robbins, TARC
  • Brenda Stahl, Hill's Caring Hearts, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
  • Jodi Sturgeon, Emergency Services Showcase*
  • Dr. Scott Teeter, On behalf of HealthAccess
  • Rebecca Wessel, Helping Hands Humane Society

 For more information about the VAL Awards visit:


SHRMinar to Help Area Employers 


The Society for Human Resource Management's Topeka Chapter will hold their first full day event, the SHRMinar. 


The conference will be on August, 22 at the Prairie Band Casino & Resort, 12901 150th Road, Mayetta, Ks.


Registration begins at 8:00 followed by the morning session (8:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.) lunch on your own and an afternoon session (12:15 to 3:30 p.m.). 


The goal of the SHRMinar is to help local business owners gain a better understanding of issues that may arise in the work place. With an ability to understand and handle issues appropriately, making the work place better for both employees and employers. 


This year the SHRMinar will focus on three topics:

  • Unemployment -- Tax, Benefits and Claims;
  • Transgender in the Work Place and
  • Responding to Drama in the Workplace.

For more information or to register for the SHRMinar visit


2012 Inter-City Visit Scheduled


Fort Collins, Colorado has been selected for the 2012 Chamber Inter-City visit. For 10 years, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce has sponsored a yearly tip for community members to travel to other communities and learn what they do that keeps them dynamic. 


Previous visits  have been to: Des Moines, Iowa; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Greenville, South Carolina and the Quad Cities. Last year X amount of people went to



Update us on your BIG Dream.

  Last month we released our Community Report, to view the report please click here.

Fast Forward Topeka will host its second annual Golf Tournament. 
Contact Us
Top City Thursdays
@ Downtown Topeka
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
July 15 -- August 30

@ Mulvane Art Museum
Times Vary
July 11 -- August 19 
Inside Peanuts
@ Mulvane Art Museum
Times Vary
July 11 -- September 16

Concerts in the Park
@ Gage Park
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 
July 15-- July 29  

Celebration of Young Artists
@ Mulvane Art Museum
Times Vary
July 11 -- July 29

FIesta Mexicana
  @ Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Times Vary
July 11 -- July 14 
@ Grace Cathedral
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
July 13
@ Hummer Sports Park
Times Vary
July 12 -- July 15
Sunflower State Games
@ Various Locations
Times Vary
July 13 -- July 28 
@ Lake Shawnee
Times Vary
July 21 & 22
Camp Zoofari
@ Topeka Zoo
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
July 23 -- July 27

@ Helen Hocker Theater
Times Vary
July 27 to August 5 
For more information on these events and events like this please, click here.