- KTWU Productions
Sunflower Journeys has an exciting new format that launches for the 32nd season on KTWU this fall. We have a new studio host, Chris Hernandez, who will introduce our stories from the road. Chris has worked for several television stations and has served as host, moderator or emcee for more than 400 charity events, panel discussions, banquets, award ceremonies and town hall meetings. Chris loves to engage with people and bring out their best on camera. He currently is the communications director for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, but has graciously brought his talents into the KTWU studios to add this new dimension to our series.
Each new show will feature an in-studio segment where guests will visit with Chris on our Sunflower Journeys set. The road segments will continue in the formats you are familiar with, while the studio segments will feature guests who are knowledgeable on many topics such as travel, history, recreation, tourism, entrepreneurship, nature photography, and cultural activities that are a launching point to learning about and experiencing Kansas in new and different ways. This season, our set is decorated with images taken by our series producer, Scott Williams, at Old Shawnee Town 1929’s Farmhouse. The building is a museum exhibit that features a house that was originally built in 1878, which helps us set the tone of some of the rural experiences we encounter in the Sunflower Journeys program.
Sunflower Journeys 2019 – 3200 Season Outline (episode segments and scheduled air dates subject to change)
“3201: Parks and Pets” – Scheduled Air Date: 9/12/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We travel to Johnson County, KS, to find about efforts to preserve prairie habitat in their park system, which includes seed saving and prairie restoration efforts in Shawnee Mission Park; we head to the Southeast Kansas Nature Center in Galena, KS, to learn the history of Schermerhorn Park; we meet Emi Greiss from the Helping Hands Humane Society, who talks about the nuances of touring Kansas with pets on board, and utilizing social media, we share images that our viewer’s have posted. See it here!
“3202: Something to Eat” – Scheduled Air Date: 9/19/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We visit the town of Sawyer, KS, and see how the Family Food Store, a business built around on its Old German Baptist Brethren values, has become a destination spot for anyone who loves homemade breads, pies and deli meats; then, it’s off to Salina, KS, where we find out how the Prairieland Market connects citizens of the area with local artisans and farmers; and in our studio, we meet Louise Hanson, a Humanities Kansas speaker who has done extensive research on how important food is in the ethnic traditions of the people who originally settled our state. See it Here!
“3203: When History Matters” – Scheduled Air Date: 9/26/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We uncover the history of Cyrus K. Holliday, one of the founders of Topeka and learn about the contributions he made to the region; we explore the Women’s Suffrage movement, and see how it is being acknowledged for its 100th anniversary; we return to our studio to meet Jennie Chinn, director of the Kansas State Historical Society, to find out how people can interact with the historic past of our region utilizing the resources at the state’s museum and research facilities. See it Here!
“3204: Getting Down to Business” – Scheduled Air Date: 10/3/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We look into the state’s efforts to make hemp production emerge as part of the Kansas agricultural economy; we talk to Ron Wilson of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development and hear Ron define the term “Ruralprenaur,” – a rural entrepreneur who has a vested interest in making a small town grow, including two examples, B&W Trailer Hitches in Humboldt, KS, and the Landoll Corporation in Marysville, KS; in our studio segment, we meet Darin Miller, the owner of co-working spaces in Wamego and Manhattan where his members nurture individual small businesses. See it Here!
“3205: Outdoor Classrooms & Recreation” – Scheduled Air Date: 10/10/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We ride on a bus tour sponsored by the continuing Education Department of Wichita State University to Dodge City, KS, and see how participants experience local history lessons with writer Beccy Tanner as tour guide; we travel north of Topeka to observe the stars at the Banner Creek Science Center and see how the facility focuses on the nighttime sky without interference from city lights; we find out how the Shawnee County Parks and Rec department can deliver a recreational experience outside of an established park setting with their new Mobile Van.
“3206: Very Eventful” – Scheduled Air Date: 10/17/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We visit the Mulvane Art Fair on the campus of Washburn University, to see how this juried show features artists from 15 different states, as well as live music in an atmosphere filled with creativity; then it’s off to the Little House on the Prairie Museum in Independence, KS, where an annual festival pays tribute to the author Laura Ingalls Wilder; and in our studio segment, we visit with Rosa Cavazos, from the Greater Topeka Partnership, who give us tips on how a town can promote an event or historic festival using social media.
“3207: It Grows in Kansas” – Scheduled Air Date: 10/24/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We learn about the Nicodemus Agricultural Education Camp, which is sponsored by the Kansas Black Farmer’s Association. The purpose of the camp is to encourage young African Americans to consider careers in agriculture. We drop by The Red Tractor Farm in Rural Douglas County find out how important it is for these farmers to carry a family tradition of farming with an attention to producing food using sustainable practices. And in our studio segment, we introduce you to Dr. John Richard Schrock, a retired biology professor from Emporia State University who talks about a publication that’s been produced since the mid 1950s, that helps educate those who are interested in natural history and nature education.
“3208: Along for the Ride!” – Scheduled Air Date: 11/7/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We start in Topeka and discuss how the Topeka Metro Bikes program has grown through the years, yet suffered budget cuts in 2019 resulting in the end of the program unless last-minute funding emerges; then we are off to Hutchinson and see the construction of the familiar yellow buses that many of us grew up with at the Collins Bus Corporation; and we meet Joe Hirsch, who purchased his own bus to tour people around Kansas.
“3209: Remote Places” – Scheduled Air Date: 11/14/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We follow the journey of the Little Jerusalem area as is it becomes a public state park; we find more unusual entries on National Register of Historic Places found right here in Kansas, and in our studio segment, we meet George Frazier, an author who has written a book about our state called “The Last Wild Places of Kansas.”
“3210: Learning Opportunities” – Scheduled Air Date: 11/21/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We start in Manhattan, KS, and are introduced to the S.A.V.E. Farm program which strives to encourage returning veterans to develop a career in agriculture; then we visit the Washburn University campus and see how a workshop for high school and college students endeavors to turn out the leaders of tomorrow through an interactive simulation program; and we discuss opportunities for 60+ seniors to audit college courses in Kansas, tuition-free, and interview Bob King, an eager participant, and Steven Grenus from the Washburn University registrar’s office.
“3211: Heritage Tourism” – Scheduled Air Date: 12/5/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We visit Abilene, KS, and see the result of an extensive remodeling effort at the Eisenhower Museum; we see how history tours of Lawrence, KS share the rich heritage of that town; and in our studio segment, we meet Courtney Garcia, who shares with us the significance of Fiesta Mexicana and the many ways it highlights Mexican culture.
“3212: Theatrical Arts” – Scheduled Air Date: 12/12/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We visit the Great Plains Theatre in Abilene, KS, and see how they have recovered from a devastating fire that destroyed their building just four years ago; then it’s off to The Flint Hill Shakespeare Festival in Manhattan, KS, where classic works are portrayed in a popular festival; and in our studio, we meet Craig Fisher, the artistic director of the Ad Astra Theatre in Topeka, KS, that utilizes the historic Jayhawk Theater for some of their productions.
“3213: All Things Outdoors”- Scheduled Air Date: 12/19/19 at 8pm on KTWU
We find out how high waters altered many events across our state including the cancelation of the Great Kaw Adventure Race in Eudora, Kansas. Then, we are off to check out the Salt Creek Ranch in Osage County. There, we will see opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to the environment, and how this facility accommodates the traveling horse enthusiast. And in our Studio segment, we meet Scott Bean, an accomplished nature photographer who will talk about his passion of capturing images of Kansas.
There are several ways to see our show…
Sunflower Journeys airs four times a week on KTWU. Thursday at 8 PM, Friday at 2:30pm, Saturday at 5:30PM and the following Wednesday on KTWU’s Enhance channel at 7:30pm. Visit watch.ktwu.org to see episodes on the night they premiere on KTWU.
Sunflower Journeys also airs on KCPT in Kansas City, KPTS in Wichita, and Smoky Hills Public Television in the western part of the state. Our broadcast schedule may differ greatly from the other stations in Kansas, and on KCPT in Kansas City, so please check local listings for airtimes on those stations.
“Chris Hernandez, the host of Sunflower Journeys.”
Download our .pdf index of all Sunflower Journeys productions. We have two links. One for the complete series and one that just includes updated pages from this last season to add to pages you may already have printed.
The 2019 Update Packet includes a new table of contents, and a revised index and listings for the latest programs.
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.
These programs often feature the insights of knowledgeable individuals who provide the expertise and experiences upon which the resulting stories are based. Although the three segments of each program are designed to complement each other, they may also be viewed separately, which may be desirable for classroom settings. To be a supporter, email Eugene Williams or call 785-670-1111.
We greatly appreciate any and all comments, questions or suggestions you have regarding Sunflower Journeys.
Please direct questions to Scott Williams, Series Producer and Journeys website manager
Jim Kelly Contributing Producer
Lloyd Slapar Production Assistant, provides technical support to the show
Jay Hurst Contributing Producer
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