General Schedule - Friday evening August 24th - Sunday noon August 26th
The amazing Julie Roller, director of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, is our local host. If you know Julie, you know that's reason to sign up right now!
PRE-DIALOGUE TOURS ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON:
You'll have a choice of two activities before Kansas Dialogue begins:
1:00 pm - a 5-star tour of the famous Seelye Mansion, voted one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture. Owner / curator Terry Tietjens gives a fascinating 2-hour+ tour of this 1905 mansion (and receives 5-star ratings on Trip Advisor!) This tour is also being offered on Saturday, but since only 25 people can attend, we want to accommodate the expected overflow. Admission is included in your registration. 2:00 pm - Take a ride on the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad! This excursion train is a major attraction in Abilene, and we hope you'll join us for some pre-Dialogue fun. This is a regular public tour that we will be joining, and the $15 ticket is not included in your Kansas Dialogue registration. The trip includes a visit to the Hoffman Grist Mill in Enterprise, Ks where Heritage Turkey Red Wheat is ground into flour, just as it was in the late 1800's. Tickets are available online or on the day.
FRIDAY EVENING AUGUST 24th: "A 5-STAR CONVERSATION"
We figured the first thing people would ask is, "Are we going to get some Brookville fried chicken?" YES. Our hotel is right across the parking lot from the famous Brookville Hotel, so Do Not Pass Go; we'll be heading over to the Brookville for supper before we start our evening session at the Great Plains Theatre at 7:15 pm.
5 STARS OF ABILENE: Abilene has been home to some significant leaders and entrepreneurs: Joseph McCoy, a pioneer in the cattle industry; C.W. Parker, the "Amusement King"; C.L. Brown, founder of United Telephone, which later became Sprint; A. B. Seelye, a patent medicine entrepreneur; and of course President Dwight D. Eisenhower. We'll start our evening with a brief introduction to these remarkable people who lived in Abilene and changed the world. Then:
5-STAR REFLECTIONS: IS KANSAS IN A RUT OR BLAZING A TRAIL??
Abilene (famous as the railhead for the Chisholm Trail) is an apt location for exploring our trails of today. We'll take a look at 5 big areas of accomplishment - technology, health care, education, agriculture and government - and discuss examples of where Kansas is showing real leadership and achievement, and where we seem to be stuck.
We'll finish our first evening session around 9:00 and meet back at the Holiday Inn Express for "Dialogue After Hours" in the hospitality room.
SATURDAY AUGUST 25th
The Heart of Dialogue: day sessions at the Abilene Civic Center and downtown area
We'll breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express and travel by car to the historic train depot that is now the Abilene Civic Center. There will be two general sessions with the whole group, along with lunch at the Civic Center.
Our three 3 concurrent sessions will occur in the Civic Center AND a couple of nearby downtown buildings. We'll be splitting into smaller groups and have many topics to choose from. Thanks to the suggestions you make on your registration form, the conversations will range from nitty gritty to humorous and philosophical. There's something for everyone! It's also an opportunity to see some of downtown Abilene. Don't worry if you have mobility issues; there will be a trolley at our beck and call.
There is so much to see and do in Abilene it will be hard to decide. Take a captivating tour of the Seelye Mansion or visit President Eisenhower's boyhood home and the grounds of his Presidential Library. The Dickinson County Heritage Center houses the Museum of Independent Telephony, which is an absolutely fascinating look at how the telephone has developed over the decades. Take a ride on the 1901 C.W. Parker carousel, the oldest Parker carousel in the world that can be ridden. Pet a greyhound at the Greyhound Hall of Fame, and learn about the history of this amazing animal dating back thousands of years. Wander "Old Abilene Town" to get a feel for what Abilene was like in the 1860's. (Don't be mad you can't see it all in an afternoon. Just come back!)
SATURDAY EVENING AT THE EISENHOWER PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: OUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
This is our 25th Kansas Dialogue! Our special guest speaker this evening is Mary Jean Eisenhower, Ike's granddaughter! Mary Jean is Chairman Emeritus of People to People International, an organization President Eisenhower created in 1956 to help promote global dialogue and understanding among people of diverse cultures. We look forward to her insights about President Eisenhower's legacy and leadership style.
We'll continue our conversations "After Hours" at the hotel hospitality suite.
SUNDAY MORNING AT THE CIVIC CENTER: Some high octane conversation!
Many people say this is their favorite part of the weekend. We'll have three roundtables where you can choose from 10-12 topics at a time. These are fresh topics that you bring to Kansas Dialogue on Friday night, so they feature the latest current events, the most controversial subjects, the goofy, the esoteric, the political, the spiritual... topics that are best suited to small group sharing.
As always, we conclude the weekend with our own fake radio show: "This I Believe"... an inspiring collection of audio essays written and performed by several people in our group. This live show is modeled after the NPR Radio series.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR A MEMORABLE WEEKEND GETAWAY!