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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: October 28, 2023

Flint Hills Discovery Center receives state tourism grant to fund new exhibit

Flint Hills Discovery Center logo

The Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) has received a Tourism Attraction Sub-Grants for Kansas (TASK) award in the amount of $200,000 to help build a new immersive virtual Flint Hills exhibit.

On October 27, the Kansas Tourism office announced a TASK grant award in the amount of $200,000 to go to the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

This funding will be matched by the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation to fund a new immersive virtual Flint Hills experience to enhance the Discovery Center visitor experience, improve regional quality of life, and positively impact the Manhattan and state economies.

The proposed exhibit, called Stepping into the Prairie, will use high-definition projectors, surround sound speakers, and motion sensing devices to create a virtual Flint Hills environment that reacts to guests in the space. The exhibit will feature the sights and sounds of the tallgrass prairie, digitally recreated to produce an immersive educational experience.

The goal of the TASK program is to provide one-time funding opportunities for the development of new or enhancement of existing tourism attractions in the State of Kansas. The Flint Hills Discovery Center is one of only eight Kansas sites receiving a grant.

Funding for the TASK program is through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation state grants. A total of $1.5 million was set aside for the TASK program.

“We are so excited to announce our latest exhibit enhancement for the Flint Hills Discovery Center that combines the latest in immersive exhibit technology with the timeless qualities of the tallgrass prairie,” said Stephen Bridenstine, Flint Hills Discovery Center assistant director.

“This grant award from the Kansas Tourism office is yet another testament to the strength of our mission and our ongoing success as a regional attraction.”

“Creating this new permanent exhibit continues our efforts to create a destination attraction that guests and our community members alike will want to visit again and again,” said Susan Adams, Flint Hills Discovery Center director.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, a private nonprofit organization, is providing a funding match in the amount of $200,000 for a total exhibit project cost of $400,000.

“The FHDC Foundation is thrilled to have this opportunity to support a dramatic addition to the first floor of the Discovery Center,” said Bruce Snead, Foundation president. “We know our supporters will jump at the opportunity to raise the matching funds to make this dream a reality.”

Additional details and project descriptions for all eight grant recipients can be found at

For more information about the Flint Hills Discovery Center award, please contact Bridenstine at or call (785) 587-2742.

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