WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the Republican nominee for governor, brought focus to an article Monday highlighting a set of drag shows where the flyers included the logo for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Schmidt’s team sent out a news release just after 3 p.m. informing media that he was holding a “news conference in Wichita to address reports of Laura Kelly’s government-funded drag shows for children” at 5 p.m.
Following the conference, Schmidt’s campaign forwarded another release that stated:
“According to reporting from the Daily Mail that broke this morning, Kelly’s Department of Commerce promoted ‘Dada Ball,’ a drag show held in Wichita open to ‘all ages’ and marketed to and attended by minor children. The show featured scantily-clad performers engaging in sexually suggestive dances in front of children. The report also cited a similar event held in Lawrence in June also promoted by the Kelly administration. Subsequently, a flier for a third event scheduled for October 28 at Towne West Mall in Wichita surfaced on social media.”
The two drag shows, DADA Ball and Mall Monster Mash, both sponsored by OpenStudios and Lear Heath Studio, were the events in question.
Lear Heath Studio released a statement on Facebook reading in part:
“You may have noticed we had to erase a few posts about the event because of some (frustrating) marketing miscommunications. After a few inquiries, we’d like to clarify that the KCAIC is not sponsoring this event. Their logo was placed on former posters because of their relationship with Fisch Bowl Inc., who hosts the OpenStudios spaces at Towne West. No state funds were used in support of this event.”
Pat Lowry with the Kansas Department of Commerce also provided KSN following statement:
“This story is blatantly wrong. Neither the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) nor the Kansas Department of Commerce sponsored the DADA Ball event that took place October 22 or the Mall Monster Mash event scheduled for October 28.”