Sunflower Journeys

Each year we produce a new series of programs which are broadcast on a weekly basis, with each new season premiering in the fall. Our show travels the state to tell stories of the people, places and happenings that are important to Kansans. We strive to incorporate historic elements to our segments when the story calls for it, and research historic images, documents and moving images from, county, state, and often national collections.

Click here to view the Sunflower Journeys site


Working Capital is a modern day business television show created in Topeka, Kansas by KTWU. The show is about local and regional businesses within the KTWU viewing area. As an on-going series, WORKING CAPITAL showcases entrepreneurship and provides an atmosphere for sharing business concepts and practical business experiences.

Click here to view the Working Capital site

I’ve Got Issues

I’ve Got Issues is a community affairs series at KTWU. The program is intended to be a wide-ranging community affairs show that explores a variety of topics. The community of which we speak encompasses that portion of eastern Kansas and western Missouri that KTWU serves by way of broadcasting and cable outlets.

Visit KTWU I’ve Got Issues Website


A partnership between Make48, Outpost Worldwide, and KTWU, Make48 is a new type of invention competition. 17 Teams are given 48 hours to come up with an idea, create a prototype, marketing materials, and a pitch. The goal of Make48 is to foster imagination, creativity, problem solving and the inventive spirit. Make48 captures the process of invention through a hands-on competition that challenges individuals of various ages and backgrounds to take product ideas from conception to physical prototype in a 48-hour period. Make48 is proudly presented and distributed to public television stations, nationwide, by KTWU and American Public Television.

Teams build a prototype.
Teams utilize a variety of tools, materials, work spaces and expert guidance provided by a resource-rich fabrication workshop. The workshop and staff, “tool techs”, provide the resources to prototype ideas of ranging complexity for competitors of varying building expertise.

Pitch your idea to the judges.
When time expires, teams pitch their idea to a panel of product development, scouting and sales experts.

Prizes and licensing potential.
Top three teams will be awarded prizes, including a crowdfunding campaign and licensing consideration!

Check out Make 48


Live, televised 1940′s-style radio drama…it’s radio you can see, complete with actors, music and a crew of sound effects technicians, creating it all right before your eyes.


Three mysterious and macabre tales from Edgar Allan Poe form the basis of TWISTED TALES OF POE presented like a live radio-style drama. The three classic stories are “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Raven.”




2009 Regional EMMY Award Winner
It is 1888 and, in Whitby, England, Lucy Westenra has fallen ill. Her fiance, Jack Seward has brought her to his sanitarium and called in a battery of physicians, but her condition worsens. Desperate, Jack sends for Van Helsing, a specialist in obscure diseases. Van Helsing’s visit coincides with that of Jonathan Harker and his wife, Mina, who had been Seward’s nurse, but resigned to care for Jon during his recent illness. Jon’s law firm has purchased, for one of its clients, the old Abbey next door to the sanitarium. The client’s name is Count Dracula.



Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles

2011 Regional EMMY Award Nominee
THE PLOT: Mrs. Hudson (Kirsten Goodman), landlady to master Sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Philip Grecian) and Dr. Watson (Cliff Alfrey) ushers in Dr. Mortimer (Shawn Trimble) and Sir Henry Baskerville (Russ Hutchison) who tell a tale of a family curse placed upon the Baskerville family. Mortimer relates the history of a demon hound, which killed Sir Hugo Baskerville on the moors near Baskerville Hall over two centuries before, and has haunted the family, dispensing death, ever since. It’s latest victim: Sir Charles Baskerville, found late one night at the edge of the moor surrounded by the footprints of the gigantic hound.




Victor Frankenstein set out to create life – using corpses stolen from graveyards. During a raging storm, he is successful but, too late, realizes he has created a misshapen, inarticulate horror. And so begins a haunting tale of creature vs. creator.



Journey back to the The beloved Charles Dickens’ tale of Scrooge and the lessons learned by a lonely, forlorn old curmudgeon — all presented with live sound effects like a classic radio-style drama the all-new “A Christmas Carol”



I Just Want To Testify

I Just Want To Testify is a conversation with 20 students and teachers from the segregation era. For the first time ever, students and teachers from the four segregated Black schools in Topeka talk about their community and educational experiences prior to segregation and after integration.


Filmed in partnership with Rockhouse Motion, PORTRAIT OF A LANDSCAPE is a visually-stunning 30-minute journey through the Flint Hills during one of their most visual times of the year, Spring. Gorgeous wildflowers, magnificent landscapes, dramatic prairie fires, tremendous thunderstorms…all part of the visual impact of the Flint Hills, showcased by magnificent aerial digital video. The program is an intense and unforgettable emotional voyage through the camera lens that takes viewers on a Flint Hills journey like never before.

Wood, Brick, and Stone – Lawrence

In this episode of Wood, Brick & Stone we examine the John Paul Usher House, the Watkins National Bank, Strong Hall, Carnegie Library and the Union Pacific Depot.

John Palmer Usher House (now Beta Theta Pi Fraternity)
Significance: This Italianate house was commissioned in 1872 by John Palmer Usher, who served as President Lincoln’s Secretary of the Interior. After the Civil War, Usher moved to Lawrence, Kansas while serving as the general solicitor for the Union Pacific Railroad. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with Usher and as an example of Italianate architecture.

Current Use: The Alpha Nu chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity has occupied this stately residence since 1912. The fraternity constructed a unique compatible addition to the house in 1993.

Watkins National Bank (now Watkins Museum)
Significance: This Romanesque Revival building was commissioned by financier Jabez B. Watkins in at the height of the 1880s real estate boom. Chicago Architects Cobb and Frost designed the building to house the Watkins National Bank and J. B. Watkins Land Mortgage Company. During the bust of the 1890s, the mortgage company went into receivership. After another depression-era merger in 1929, the building was left vacant. Mrs. Watkins donated the property to the City of Lawrence, which used it as a city hall until 1970. The bank, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is significant as an example of Romanesque Revival architecture and for its association with the state’s economic history.

Current Use: Since 1975, the building has housed the Watkins Museum of History.

Strong Hall (University of Kansas)
Significance: Strong Hall is a rare example of high-style Beaux Arts architecture. It was designed by St. Louis architect MP McArdle, who gained national acclaim for his gold-medal-winning design at the St. Louis exposition in 1904. McArdle was charged with creating a building that would be the focal point of the campus plan of preeminent landscape architect and fellow exposition alumnus George Kessler. Differences between the architect and university, as well as financial troubles, delayed the building’s construction for years. By the time the building’s central section was completed in 1923, it was out of style. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the areas of Architecture and Education.

Current Use: The University of Kansas continues to use Strong Hall for administrative offices.

Carnegie Library (Ninth and Vermont Street)
Significance: Before the early twentieth century, most community libraries, like other institutions, occupied space in standard commercial buildings. Andrew Carnegie changed all this when he established standards for library construction. The libraries that Carnegie funded were often a community’s first free-standing institutional building, bringing the City Beautiful Movement to cities large and small. Like most Carnegie Libraries, the building was executed in the Neoclassical Style. However, because this is the only Kansas library designed by Nebraska architect George Berlinghof, it is unique. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Current use: Vacant – a proposal to add a wing to the building to enhance it’s public use is in process with the Historic Register.

Union Pacific Depot (402 North 2nd Street)
Significance: The eclectic/Richardsonian Romanesque depot was designed by nationally known architects Van Brunt and Howe. The firm was formed in the late nineteenth century, when Boston architect Henry Van Brunt partnered with Frank Howe, an MIT-trained architect who practiced in Kansas City. The building’s spire is inspired by that of the Van Brunt-designed Union Pacific depot in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is one of only a handful of intact nineteenth century masonry depots still extant in Kansas. The building is listed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places.

Current Use: The building is used as a visitors’ and events center.

Purchase a copy of this program from the KTWU Store

Wood, Brick, and Stone 2009

WBS 2009 – This program features the Topeka State Hospital Administration building, St. Josephs Catholic Church in Topeka, and we visit a “Lustron” house, a post-WWII pre-fab home that was made entirely of steel and enameled steel panels. The program is hosted by Bob Keckeisen, Director of the Kansas State Historical Museum, and assisted by architectural historian Christy Davis.

Purchase a copy of this program from the KTWU Store


Meet the spirits that haunt the plains and explore their history! Visit with a chef who cooks in the company of ghosts of the past. Discover a secret, hidden world that lies beneath a town and you can walk right in! Wonder about tiny handprints that appear at an old train depot. Relive a scandalous affair from a haunted fraternity, where many guys have seen the spirit walking through their bedroom. Tales of local ghosts—these “plains spirits” — are all around and they will thrill and entertain you!

PLAINSPIRITS tells the stories built up through mythology over the years and reveals the real truth that lies beneath many of these fanciful and mysterious tales.

View PlainSpirits

Beyond Theology

This ten-part series emerged from a documentary project related to the origins of the question What Would Jesus Do? That question, in its popularized form, came from a series of sermon stories told by the Reverend Charles M. Sheldon — a Protestant minister at Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas. The half-hour programs explores the notion that the guiding mythologies of modern civilization are undergoing a metamorphosis of historic significance.

Click here to view the Beyond Theology Site

June 8:The Topeka Tornado

Probably the oldest weather joke told around is “If you don’t like Kansas weather, wait a few minutes…it’ll change!”

But there was nothing to joke about on Wednesday, June 8, 1966 when a class F-5 tornado, with estimated winds of over 250 mph, ripped a 22-mile-long path, up to half a mile wide, through Topeka and surrounding areas. On that day 16 people were killed and over 400 were injured. The total financial cost in damage was $100 million, a record high at that time and even today, adjusted for inflation, still one of the most costly tornadoes ever in America.

Click here to view the June 8: Topkea Tornado site

The Story of Cancer

About It

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is a three-part, six-hour major television event from preeminent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, in partnership with WETA, the flagship public broadcasting station in Washington, D.C. Based on the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, the series is the most comprehensive documentary on a single disease ever made. This “biography” of cancer covers its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the 20th century to cure, control and conquer it, to a radical new understanding of its essence at a time when we are at an inflection point in knowledge and treatment — the dawn of an era in which cancer may become a chronic or curable illness rather than its historic death sentence in some forms.


Local Contacts:
Dr. Adrian Caracioni, St. Francis Comprehensive Cancer Center – 785/295-8982
Cliff Bond, Stormont-Vail Chaplain –
Robin Holthaus, RN Stormont-Vail Cancer Center –
Leigh Ann Schultejans, Social Worker Stormont-Vail Cancer Center –
Dawn Tallchief, Cancer Survivor –
Dr. Stephen Coon, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine – 785/295-8982
Tina Gannaway, Caregiver –
Abby Young, Caregiver –
Stephanie Selk, Caregiver –
Carl and Linessa Frazier, Caregiver and Cancer Survivor –
Dr. Gary Doolittle, University of Kansas Medical Center –
Judy Johnston, Research Instructor University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita –
Tina Bichler, Cancer Survivor –
Gary Anderson, Cancer Survivor – 785/295-8982
Max Williams, Cancer Survivor – 785/295-8982