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New Exhibit Brings Chisholm Trail to Life

Symphony in the Flint Hills Gallery is kicking off its year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail with a new exhibit titled, “The Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West.” The exhibit will open to the public on Kansas Day, January 29, 2017.

“We were looking for a way to tell the story of the Chisholm Trail in our Cottonwood Falls Gallery. When we learned that no one was working on a travelling exhibit on the topic, we partnered with Flint Hills Design and Lost Trail Soda to create this unique display that incorporates wood, metal and leather — items commonly associated with the time period,” said Christy Davis, executive director for Symphony in the Flint Hills.

This original exhibit invites visitors of all ages to explore the Chisholm Trail from its inception in the 1860s to today. Exhibit highlights include an interactive musical exploration of the scores of verses to the cowboy song, “The Old Chisholm Trail,” video and audio clips of movies and songs that reference the Chisholm Trail, and several artistically rendered, life-size longhorn cattle.

“The Chisholm Trail symbolizes so much that is important to the Flint Hills, and they both share the same spirit and opportunities,” said Davis. “This new exhibit gives us a unique way to share the story with many communities in this anniversary year.”

Following its opening in Cottonwood Falls, the exhibition travels across Kansas to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Wichita, March 9 – May 2; Caldwell Opera House, Caldwell, May 4 – June 27; Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, August 24 – October 17; Kauffman Museum, Newton, December 14 – April 3, 2018; and Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, September 20 – November 13, 2018. More locations will be announced soon.

“The Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West” will be on exhibit through March 7, 2017 at the Symphony in the Flint Hills Gallery, located at 331 Broadway in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. The gallery is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Symphony in the Flint Hills will continue the celebration of the 150th anniversary at the organization’s Signature Event on June 10. This day-long celebration in the Flint Hills will take place at Deer Horn Ranch in Geary County and will include presentations about the Chisholm Trail, covered wagon rides, prairie hikes, cowboy poetry and a silent art auction. The event will conclude with a sunset concert performed by the Kansas City Symphony. Tickets for the Signature Event in June will go on sale March 4. Learn more at www.symphonyintheflinthills.org.