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Tour exploring East Lawrence art, culture and community set for Saturday

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Transcript, map will be posted online afterward

Only a few spots remain for the community to join a tour to experience the arts and cultures of East Lawrence. But if you miss it, you’ll be able to take a self-guided tour in the future.

Suzan Hampton, a former East Lawrence Neighborhood Association board member, was awarded a Humanities Kansas grant to bring the vision to life.

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“The idea behind the tour is to promote understanding of how physical places and public spaces in a neighborhood help build community identity and bring people together,” Hampton said in an email.

“Especially in today’s political climate, telling local stories and highlighting meaningful cultural and artistic landmarks that build community becomes even more important.”

Join the tour

A few spots remain for community members to join the tour, but it is limited to 30 participants. Email Suzan Hampton at suzanhampton@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

For instance, Hampton said, the East Lawrence Outsider Art & Culture Walking Tour will include the neighborhood’s public art and DIY yard art installations. But another stop will be at the St. Luke AME Church at Ninth and New York streets, which recently underwent significant restoration. The church has long been associated with the struggle for racial equality in Lawrence, and it is one of the few remaining buildings in the city with documented ties to writer Langston Hughes.

Then, across the street, the tour will focus on Afro House “and talk about its connection with the neighborhood place of deep cultural and historical relevance.”

Artist and Humanities Kansas speaker Erika Nelson, from Lucas, Kansas, will lead the tour, with guidance and participation by East Lawrence artists and neighbors, Hampton said.

“One fun news update is that we just got the OK to go inside New York Elementary School to view the Langston Hughes community mural in the foyer,” Hampton said via email Wednesday. “And five of the artists whose outdoor works are featured on the tour have confirmed their participation for discussion with the participants.”

After the tour, a transcript and map will be posted to the ELNA website for future self-guided explorations. The resources will be available in English and Spanish.

The tour is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 9, and it is limited to 30 participants. Email Hampton at suzanhampton@gmail.com to reserve your spot. It is free and geared toward adults, “though all are welcome.”

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