Band Kansas to participate in NOTO fundraiser for proposed Redbud Gardens

To continue raising funds for the development of the NOTO Redbud Gardens, members of the band Kansas are contributing to the cause.


On Friday, Oct. 6, the NOTO Arts District is hosting a fundraiser, allowing guests to meet and take photos with members of the band, and participate in an auction for signed Kansas memorabilia.

The auction is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the NOTO Arts Center, 935 N. Kansas Ave., and will include an indoor gourmet picnic. Kerry Livgren, one of the founding members of Kansas, will provide items from his personal collection to be on display, according to a news release from the NOTO Arts District.

Guests will also receive a special champagne flute personally autographed by Livgren to toast the band during the event and then to take home.

Two local prominent figures will serve as auctioneers for the fundraiser, Zach Ahrens, publisher of The Topeka Capital-Journal, and Brittany Crabtree, of Jones Huyett Partners.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Redbud Gardens, a planned interactive sculpture garden that will be placed at the entrance to the NOTO Arts District on N. Kansas Avenue after money is raised to support the project.

According to the news release, the garden will honor NOTO’s major benefactors, the Redbud Foundation and recognize Kansas, whose musical origins began in Topeka.

Anita Wolgast, the NOTO Arts District co-founder, said last month the arts district board met with designers LaMotte West in Lake Oswego, Ore., and Chicago-based firm The Lakota Group who drew up the original plans for the arts district, to decide the next steps.

“And now our plan is to use part of the money we raise from this fundraiser to bring them back and help us develop work plans for that — specific goals, specifically what it will be, and they will draw up a picture and a plan,” Wolgast said. “That will be made public, and they’ll seek input from the district, from anyone that is interested in helping with that vision.”

An unveiling of the signage for the Redbud Gardens project will occur at the end of the event. Wolgast said the sign will also say how the community can get involved in the project.

Kansas’ roots include a former recording studio in a rental house in the NOTO area, and the NOTO Arts Center, which used to be the post office where founding members sent off demo tapes.

The band is currently touring the country for their Leftoverture 40th Anniversary Tour, and as part of the tour, will be performing the evening of Friday, Oct. 6, at the Topeka Performing Arts Center.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $150, and are available online at

Contact reporter Savanna Maue at (785) 295-5621 or @CJFoodFun or @SavannaMaue on Twitter.