Article Header Image

Koch Industries Grant to Support Freedom Riders Exhibit at Kansas Africian American Museum

More than 300 fourth- and fifth-grade students in Wichita-area schools will have the opportunity to experience the Freedom Riders exhibit at The Kansas African American Museum this year, thanks to a $3,000 transportation grant from Koch Industries, Inc.

The Freedom Riders exhibit chronicles how small interracial groups boarded buses and trains in 1961 and traveled to areas of the Deep South, fighting to end segregation in bus and rail stations. The exhibit is traveling to museums across the country and will be in Wichita November 12 through December 17, 2011.

“This is an inspiring exhibit that complements the students’ curriculum and brings history alive for young learners,” says Susan Addington, community affairs manager for Koch Industries. “In a compelling way, the Freedom Riders exhibit illustrates how earlier generations of Kansans dealt with problems such as inequality in society, and how their courage and perseverance ultimately changed America for the better.”

Koch’s financial support will be used for buses to transport students to the museum. Transportation is an area that’s been subject to budget cuts in many school districts, Addington said. While traveling to and from the museum, the students will also visit other historic sites in Wichita.

“We look forward to the opportunity to impact young people in our community with the support of Koch Industries,” says Prisca Barnes, Executive Director of The Kansas African American Museum. “We are grateful for Koch’s support and look forward to future opportunities to work with them in engaging diverse groups and making this great community even better.”

The Kansas African American Museum has been a Kansas institution for nearly 40 years, contributing to the cultural landscape of the city and state through innovative exhibitionsof history, art, film, lecture series, and youth programs. The mission of TKAAM is to tell the stories of the African American experience in Kansas in order to educate about the past and inspire hope for the future.

Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private companies in America according to Forbes magazine. It owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining and chemicals; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; minerals; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching. Koch companies have a presence in nearly 60 countries and employ about 70,000 people. Since 2003, Koch companies have completed more than $43 billion in acquisitions and other capital expenditures.

Freedom Riders is a traveling exhibition developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Major funding for the traveling exhibition provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is provided by Liberty Mutual. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding provided by Lynn Bay Dayton, Rodger & Dawn Nordblom, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers