The Center for Great Plains Studies will be holding its Friends of the Plains Dinner at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, April 26 in the KSTC Ballroom in Memorial Union.

Kevin Willmott, Oscar winner and professor of film at the University of Kansas, will be the featured speaker after the dinner around 7:30 p.m.

The event is open to every- one. However, a ticket is required upon entry. Tickets are around $30.

“We are supported through our endowment and can bring folks like Kevin Willmott, so it is important to continue funding our Friends of the Plains endowment,” said Susan Brinkman, assistant director of the Center for Great Plains Studies.

There will be a press conference with Willmott at 5 p.m. in the Veteran’s Hall of Honor in Memorial Union.

Willmott is the co-writer for the six-Academy-Award nominated “BlacKkKlans- man” and director of the William Allen White documentary titled “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” according to the Friends of the Plains Annual Dinner event page on brownpapertickets.com.

Willmott has directed 11 films, including “The Battle for Bunker Hill” and “CSA:

The Confederate States of America.”

“You’re not going to have the opportunity here in Emporia, Kansas for $30 to get to hear from someone of this caliber in the film and screenwriting industry,” Brinkman said.

Willmott also headlined many newspapers after Kansas passed the new concealed-carry law allowing anyone over the age of 21 to carry a firearm.

The politically-active KU film professor protested the law by wearing a bullet- proof vest over his clothes to class every day, according to Brinkman.

Willmott was chosen by the Center for Great Plains Advisory Committee.

In the past, the Center has had authors, historians, photo-

journalists and more as speakers for the dinner.

Willmott will be one of the first filmmakers, according to DeWayne Backhus, Chair of the Center for Great Plains Advisory Committee.

“I think some of his commentary as a black man in Kansas teaching and his thoughts on the policies being made in higher education here on the Great Plains combined with his work with William Allen White probably were the first things that our committee found the most interesting and wanted to share that,” Brink- man said.

Tickets can be purchased online at brownpapertickets. com or by contacting the Center for Great Plains Studies office on the second floor of the William Allen White Library, room 307. Online ticket sales end at noon today.

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