HPPR Arts, Culture & History

Native American history
early exploration
trails and railroads
community settlement
farming & farm life
Dust Bowl era
ghost towns
personal remembrances & biographies

ethnic groups

folk art
visual arts
events & festivals

Hispanic Heritage Month: Jose Ignacio Rael

Sep 18, 2014

This is National Hispanic Heritage month.  Over the coming weeks, the Amarillo Globe-News will be telling the stories of prominent leaders in the Amarillo Hispanic community.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Women shaping Amarillo

Sep 16, 2014

This is National Hispanic Heritage month.  Over the coming weeks, the Amarillo Globe-News will be telling the stories of prominent leaders in the Amarillo Hispanic community.


Hispanic Heritage Month began Saturday, September 15 and continues through October 15.  Hispanics are an important part of High Plains culture.  Here’s a snap shot across the states.

Texas News Roundup

Sep 15, 2014
Brandon Burns / texastribune.org

Here's a taste of Texas news:

Texas is a dangerous place to work.  Texas leads the nation in workplace fatalities and workplace injuries reported the Texas Tribune.  The rest of the story is here.


Rapid care in the golden hour after an accident or major health issue such as a stroke or heart attack offers hope to patients and their loved ones. For those who live in remote areas, time between the moment  a cardiac incident or traumatic injury occurs and treatment begins depends on how swiftly emergency services arrive on scene. For most of us living on the high plains, that means we depend on neighbor/volunteers during crises.

Luke Clayton

 Howdy, Folks!  It's your old buddy, and do I have a story to tell you!  The week up here at elk camp, one of our hunters, Chris, was hidden, waiting for elk to come by, when he caught sight of a mountain lion about 12 foot away!  Yes, I said 12 foot!  Now, Chris was beside the trail, pretty well hidden, and the lion caught his gaze, then appeared to move away.  Chris remembered what he'd been taught, and watched for the lion to circle back, and that's exactly what happened.  Listen to Chris tell the story of the hunter becoming the prey.

Unearthing Amache: Listener Response

Sep 11, 2014
Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey

The Amache series has prompted a listener to send in these interesting Amache facts:

The Survivor Tree

Sep 10, 2014
Fred R. Conrad / nytimes.com

During Skip's latest trip to The Big Apple she visited the 9/11 Memorial site and learned about a special tree that's growing in the center of the Plaza.  It's called The Survivor Tree, because it survived the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center and surrounding area.  Nursed back to health by many volunteers, it was replanted in 2010 and was a big part of the opening of the Memorial Park in 2011.  Today the Callery pear tree stands tall among a forest of oaks, and it serves as a reminder of our human strength and spirit throughout the seasons of each year.


“Into the sun” began its Kansas tour in Garden City, and finishes with a shining performance at the Folly Theatre in Kansas City.  Libby Hanssen reviewed the show for the Kansas City Star


Some people like to buy jeans with holes already in the fabric. I, however, prefer my new britches with only traditional waist and leg openings. Unfortunately, because I’m not good at crossing barbwire fences, I’ve ripped some fashionable extra tears in my denims.

Friends of Fogelberg V was, in my opinion, the best show of the series yet.  In the interest of transparency, I have performed in all 5 shows.  The band sounded great, the individual performers were all at their best, the string section sounded amazing.  Best of all,   we raised a significant amount of money for Prostate Cancer awareness.  During the intermission, we auctioned 3 pairs of tickets to see Paul McCartney in Lubbock next month, bringing in another $8,000 for the cause, in addition to ticket sales and donations.

Friends of Fogelberg: How it started

Sep 4, 2014

The loss of Dan Fogelberg touched the lives of many musicians.  It spurred Joe Ed Coffman to take action.  Less than a year after Fogelberg's death, Coffman had organized the first Friends of Fogelberg concert with all the proceeds going to the fight against prostate cancer.  That was 2008.  Coffman thought it would be a one-time shot, but with five concerts behind him, and over $150,000 raised, the effort continues.

The idea is expanding to Lubbock this September, with a performance by Lubbock based musicians on September 18.

Eight Juilliard artists start their Kansas tour in Garden City, Tuesday, September 2. Led by Southwest Kansas native, Kristin Doering, Into the Sun is an innovative performance of dance, drama, and music.

Into the Sun: Richard Ross

Aug 29, 2014

Richard Ross has a passion for capturing images and theatre.  When his good friend, Jake Alan Nelson, told him that the American Fusion Project was going to document their Kansas tour, he wanted to be part of it.

Into the Sun: Kyle Weiler

Aug 28, 2014
Jiyang Chen

Kyle Weiler grew up in Rosemount, Minnesota, which is about 25 miles outside the Twin Cities.  He’s always loved to dance.  Imagine this, he’s five years old, he goes up to his mom and tells her he’s headed to New York City to dance, and takes off walking down the street. 

Into the Sun: Colin Stokes

Aug 28, 2014
Jiyang Chen

Colin Stokes.  How do I even start to tell you who Colin Stokes is?  There are so many layers to this man, and I feel like I have scratched the surface, possibly seen through a crack of his carefully-constructed deliberateness.

Into the Sun: Jake Alan Nelson

Aug 27, 2014
Jiyang Chen

Where do you start to try and tell the story of Jake? 

You could go with the mundane.  He is a Texan.  He grew up outside Dallas.  He loves barbeque, and can’t wait to taste the Kansas version.  He found his way to the performer he is through community theatre, working the technical side in sound, scene design, and carpentry. He started classical music lessons when he was 18, went to Juilliard at 23, and now the baritone actor is 25 and moves to the next thing by simply saying, “Yes.”

Into the Sun: Cleo Person

Aug 27, 2014
Cleo Person

Cleo is the dancing astronaut, and always will be to me no matter where the rest of her life takes her.  I asked her why she wanted to be an astronaut and dance in space.  Her answer was profound.  She says the whole world would be your audience if you danced in space, and everything that separates us like battles over who owns what land, what country you live in, and what language you speak would all be eliminated.  That’s pretty profound for the youngest member of the Into the Sun crew.

Into the Sun: Gabriel Medina

Aug 26, 2014
Jiyang Chen

Gabriel Medina: A southern gentleman from Houston, Texas.

And more.

He’s a young composer, working on his master’s from Juilliard.  His undergraduate work was in piano performance, and something inside wasn’t settled with that.  He knew himself well enough to recognize he didn’t enjoy the spotlight, but the creative process and composing.  He took composition classes which turned out to be the road to his calling.

Into the Sun: Taylor Hansen-Johnson

Aug 26, 2014
Jiyang Chen

Taylor Hansen-Johnson is a dancer with the American Fusion: Into the Sun project coming to Kansas.  

Thinking back on our conversation, the words that come to mind in describing Taylor are: strong- of body, mind, and spirit.  She’s worked hard to get to the level she’s at in each area.   

Body.  Taylor wanted to dance since she was three.  Her mom started her in gymnastics, but Taylor kept insisting she wanted to dance.  Her mom was a dancer working at a studio in her hometown outside Columbus, Ohio.  That’s where Taylor began to dance, and she’s been dancing ever since.

Into the Sun: Jiyang Chen

Aug 25, 2014
Jiyang Chen

Jiyang Chen is the poster man for still waters run deep.  You ask him questions, and his answers are thoughtful and honest; even through his reservation, he is warm. 

Jiyang lived in China until he was eight, and he’ll say that his quietness is partly due to his culture. 

Jiyang’s father came to the United States to obtain his master’s degree.  He landed in Reno, Nevada.  He worked full-time as a chef and was a full-time student.  It wasn’t easy, but he did it.  The family followed him to Nevada.

Into the Sun: Maria Im

Aug 24, 2014
Maria Im

Maria Im is boundless energy with eyes that send messages louder than words. 

She loves sharing her music.  She says when she plays, she’s holding out her hand inviting you to come and join the experience. 

Into the Sun: Local artist brings New York to Kansas

Aug 24, 2014
Kristen Doering

If you could cross Tinker Bell with a pit bull, you would have Kristen Doering.  The Garden City, Kansas native is a willow on a mission.  Armed with an idea to bring New York art to Kansas in an innovative way, giving the artists and the audience opportunity to create relationships and share experiences was her goal. 


 “Going once, twice, sold!” patters the auctioneer as he transfers ownership of an old wedding ring quilt to a buyer. The crowd moves in unison from the flatbed display wagon to let the woman who purchased the heirloom retrieve it. As soon as she moves back into place, the curious mass  realigns itself like a giant amoeba shifting and reforming. Many become one on a sunny prairie morning.

Courtesy Marji Guyler-Alaniz/FarmHer

In a living room converted to a theater for the evening, Ethan Peterson and Madeleine Russell portray the characters from Mary Swander’s play, “VANG.” In it, the actors share the emotional stories of four immigrant couples who farm in Iowa. Swander used transcriptions of conversations with Hmong, Mexican, Sudanese and Dutch farmers to create the play.

Outdoor America

Aug 17, 2014

Any good outdoors person knows that Cabela’s is a necessary stop on any vacation destination within 200 miles of this famed outdoor shopper’s paradise.  As lovers of nature, my husband and I always squeeze in a shopping expedition on our way to or/and from Wyoming.  We would always wonder what we missed if we ever drove past that green roofed utopia on I-80.

Pioneer Plant Finder

Aug 13, 2014

Not all New World explorers discovered countries.  Some found new plants for the world to enjoy.  Today we'll look at a naturalist who helped record the floral finery of the gulf coast of Texas.  

Witness Trees

Aug 10, 2014

We once traveled to Montana where I met a remarkable man who introduced me to “Witness” trees. In that particular case, the storyteller was talking about 1000 or 2000-year-old pine trees that oversaw pack trains led first by native people and later by miners and then hunters heading into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Eight young musicians win private music instruction

Aug 6, 2014

Eight young musicians have won private music lessons from the Amarillo Symphony Guild.  The Amarillo Symphony Young Artist Project is a program that provides private music instruction to gifted young musicians who would not otherwise be able to afford it. 


Sometimes Western Kansans get so caught up in getting through a day or the week, they forget something special occurs toward the end of summer. Those unique events are area fairs, which began a few weeks ago and wrap up over the next few weeks. They provide opportunities to socialize, eat good food while supporting local organizations, and explore 4-H and open class entries in categories from fashion review to animal showmanship. It’s a time for kids and adults to showcase favorite projects.