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Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $15M Available to Connect Kansans to Digital Devices and Public Wi-Fi Governor Laura Kelly announced today that applications are open for the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program. A total of $14.7 million in grant awards will be available to organizations addressing the challenges of broadband accessibility, affordability, and device availability. Governor Kelly Announces $28.5M for High-Speed Internet Infrastructure Governor Laura Kelly announced today that $28.5 million in grants were awarded to 12 entities through the Lasting Infrastructure and Network Connectivity (LINC) program. The LINC program provides strategic funding for crucial aspects of broadband connectivity to reduce the cost of internet service, increase availability, and improve performance. Governor Kelly Announces $5M to Expand Access to High-Speed Internet in Rural Kansas Communities Governor Laura Kelly today announced that $5 million has been awarded to eight internet service providers (ISPs) in the latest round of Broadband Acceleration Grants for 2023. The awards will be paired with an additional $6.6 million in matching funds, resulting in an investment of nearly $12 million for high-speed broadband access projects across 10 rural Kansas counties. Commerce Program Opens Employment Pathway for Justice-Involved Kansans KANSASWORKS, a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce, is taking significant strides to empower justice-involved individuals across the state through the Re-entry Specialized Employment Counseling & Training (ReSpECT)WORKS program. This program provides intensive case management and career navigation for eligible individuals released from the prison system in Kansas. View All


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Lem Sheppard

Traditional & Acoustic Music

Email:[email protected]


Lem began his career in graduate school as a guitarist and vocalist in Paradise lost and Regained a work created by Dr. Eva Jessey—the acclaimed choral director for George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Lem also appeared with Dr. Jessey in a CBS “Special Segment” and became a soloist in the Dr. Eva Jessey Choir before embarking on his solo career.

Drawing upon his academic experience and his background in contemporary music, Sheppard created a unique performance style and a vibrant brand of traditional music. He has the ability to move seamlessly from blues, spirituals, folk and music from the gilded age. Audiences of all ages engage with Lem’s modern take on traditional music interspersed with folklore, storytelling, and history. He composed and performed the soundtrack to the PBS documentary Black White & Brown, has received awards from The Kansas Folklore Society as well as The Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame and was a National finalist in the Telluride Acoustic Blues Challenge. Lem performed in South Africa at The National Eisteddfod, toured Brazil under the auspices of the US Embassy and a Congressional Committee selected him to represent Kansas at the Kennedy Center on the Millennium Stage. From 2001 to 2013 lem performed school shows across the United States. He presented nearly 200 school shows in over 40 states per year.

Primary Program Description

The musical activities of African Americans from about 1860 to 1920 are part of an untold story in Kansas history. They were active in; string bands, mandolin quartets, cornet bands, orchestras and as itinerant musicians and jubilee singers. They performed at venues in many cities as well as in private homes of the elite and “furnished” music for; barn dances, fairs, weddings and civic events. Lem Sheppard will be presenting a program of this music taken from the pages of Kansas history. Some of the songs will be familiar as they were popular songs of the day, but the people and places are a unique chapter in Kansas history.

Program Fee
  • For concerts and school presentations: $650.00 for presentations up to one hour in length. Fees include all expenses.
  • No charge for a 30 minute presentation at a; nursing facility, senior center or pre-school in conjunction with a concert. Must be on the day of the concert.
Community Activity Information

Pre-Kindergarten and Senior Citizen shows

Support Materials

Drinking Gourd


Take Time