Say Hello To...
The Joplin Arts community welcomed several new faces over the past year. Connect2Culture hired a Community Arts Assistant, Ashlea Norman (bottom right). Spiva Center for the Arts hired an Administrator, Jade Henning (top right). Pro Musica celebrated Bonnie Yetter in her retirement and hired Deborah Billings (middle left) as their new Managing Director. Downtown Joplin Alliance hired a new Executive Director, Lori Haun (top left), as well as a Communications Specialist, Mariah Irvin (bottom left). Make sure to say, “hello!”
Book Power Mural
"Book Power Mural," located on the third floor of Missouri Southern State University's Spiva Library, was created by Donna Pooley. Pooley, a library clerk, was inspired by a mural course taught by Kyle McKenzie. The mural shows a landscape featuring a bridge of books and trees with leaves made from book pages. “I just wanted to express how I value libraries,” Pooley said. Pooley was assisted in this mural by Gayle O’Neal, Zainab Almuhanna, Morgan Leeper, Veronica Picket, and Carla Rea. She hopes the mural will inspire others to take classes in the arts to help express their passions.
Location: On the right as you enter main entrance on the third floor of MSSU's Spiva Library (3950 E Newman Rd)
Before finding it’s home in Missouri Southern State University's Spiva Library, this mural was originally designed for a local library’s 2014 centennial. It is about progress. As library patrons walks up the stairs they are accompanied by allegorical figures walking through time, climbing above and beyond the circumstances into which they were born. Each panel symbolizes the essential role of libraries and learning at a different point in time by showing important cultural progress in each era.
Location: In the stairwell between the third and fourth floor at MSSU's Spiva Library (3950 E Newman Rd)
The MSSU Tunnel Mural was started in the Fall of 2013 and has been continued by MSSU students each semester. The murals painted throughout the tunnel are split into two sides. One side of the tunnel represents different career fields and majors of study offered at Missouri Southern, while the other features historical figures who have made it possible to study such career fields. The quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Gandhi, is featured. As of 2017, the tunnel has been filled. However, with an ongoing budget from the student senate, the mural will continue to be improved over the years by MSSU students. Students of MSSU in any major are welcome to participate in the Tunnel Mural by talking to any professor in the art department.
Location: Missouri Southern State University (3950 Newman Rd)
Revering the Phoenix Effect
A dedication ceremony was held at the Joplin Public Library for Jorge Leyva’s sculpture “Revering the Phoenix Effect” on August 24, 2017. The sculpture was made possible by a group of generous donors and was presented as a gift to the City of Joplin. This sculpture is one of the first things people see when visiting the new library at 1901 East 20th Street. The sculpture celebrates those able to rebuild their lives after the Joplin tornado. Jorge Leyva hopes this piece will become a symbol of strength and tenacity for the community. “The sculpture is a piece celebrating resilience and hope in the midst of chaos and pain. Each house represents an identity lost, each branch a new growth, a new blade of grass, a new life rising from devastation. As nature and man-made objects come together, they grow in unison and become a renewed community.” – Jorge Leyva.
Location: Joplin Public Library (1901 E 20th St)
Art Feeds + Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism Mural
This mural, a collaboration between Art Feeds and the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism, was unveiled during the Center's 10th anniversary celebration. The Art Feeds Mural Curriculum is four weeks long and leads children through the entire mural-making process. The mural centers on the theme of diversity and features a quote from poet Maya Angelou: “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what.” A fabric version of the mural hangs inside the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism. Another was printed on fire-kiln tiles and installed on a stone wall outside.
Location: Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism (2808 S Picher Ave)
Art Feeds McKinley Mural
A new mural was unveiled inside the McKinley Elementary School in Joplin by Art Feeds and McKinley students. Four weeks of curriculum was added to art classes to include the idea for the mural, the piecing together of the mural and finally the painting and presenting of the mural. This mural was debuted in October 2017 and shows all the paths where education can lead. In the top left corner of the mural is written “Big things often have small beginnings." A second version of the mural, made possible by Lance and Sharon Beshore, was recently installed on Broadway for the entire community to enjoy.
Location: One at McKinley Elementary School (610 Forest Ave) and the other at Joplin Schools Nutrition Services Building (1420 E Broadway St).
The Hip Handmade Market
The Hip Handmade Market is Joplin's curated indie-craft market. Hosted in the Fall and Spring of each year, you are sure to find the perfect gift for your special someone (or yourself!). This year, HHM announced they will be changing locations in 2018. The HHM Spring 2018 will be held March 24, 2018 at the Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th St). We think it will be a perfect match!
Post Art Library
We couldn't be happier for our friends at Joplin Public Library and Post Art Library. Their new space at 1901 E 20th St includes a Makerspace and is everything a public library should be. Post Art Library organizes all artwork inside the Joplin Public Library, along with other regularly offered services. Make sure to visit often!
Van Gogh 2.0
In 2017, Art Feeds completed a new Mobile Art Center called Van Gogh 2.0 with the help of many in the Joplin community. This renovated school bus will be used for workshops, community events and to reach more children with Art Feeds programming. In September, Art Feeds hosted 2 workshops with 50 little Joplin artists aboard Van Gogh 2.0 thanks to the generous support of Mercy Hospital. Together, the children and the Art Feeds team designed a mural that will be revealed in Mercy Park in 2018.
Joplin Empire Market
We know, we know! The Joplin Empire Market is not quite open for regular business, but it will be very soon! In December 2016, Downtown Joplin Alliance was gifted the Joplin Empire Market building by Empire District. DJA's long-term vision is to create a vibrant, four-season city market. They already have many office spaces rented to small business owners and creatives. DJA believes the Market portion will be open for business Spring 2018. A recently gifted $42,996 grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will definitely help move things along!
Open Mic Poetry Night
Open Mic Poetry Night was the newest offering in the National Poetry Month (April) lineup of events presented by Post Art Library, Connect2Culture, and Pub Hound Press. Due to its popularity, a second event was held in October. A 21+ event, attendees were invited to recite a poem they had written OR one by a poet they love. The next Open Mic Poetry Night will be held in April 2018.
Spiva Vet Art Program
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts’ Vet Art Program was established in early 2017 to serve military veterans in the Joplin region. Vet Art offers free art workshops to veterans and their families providing camaraderie, reintegration into their communities, and an outlet for self-expression.
North Heights Porchfest
Joplin's first Porchfest was held in the North Heights Neighborhood on October 14, 2017. What is a "porchfest?" The idea is simple: for one afternoon, porches become stages and the neighborhood becomes a musical destination. A verifiable success, we can't wait to experience what they organize in 2018!
Porchfest is a grassroots community-based festival. It is a celebration music, art, and neighborliness on the second Saturday in October.
Downtown Poetry is dedicated to fostering a poetry community in Joplin. This groups hosts a poetry reading and open mic every third Monday of the month at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company. Open mic sign-up begins at 6:00pm. Featured poet(s) begin reading at 6:15pm. Open mic starts at 7:00pm.
Fiddlers On The Route
Connect2Culture and the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau teamed up for “Fiddlers On The Route” – a two-day festival of outstanding musical performance in Joplin’s beautiful Landreth Park. The performances took place on June 30 and July 1 at the Landreth Park amphitheater. On night one, crowds enjoyed the swingin’ shufflin’ blues and dance group Hudson’s All Star Hoo Doos and the rockin’ country sound of The Mother Road’s musical ambassadors, The Road Crew. Night two was a family affair featuring America’s premier youth fiddling show band, the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic. Local food trucks and vendors allowed patrons to have dinner on the grounds each evening. Stay tuned for what's in store for next year...
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts celebrated its 70th anniversary! Originally incorporated as the Ozark Artists Guild, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts has presented visual arts experiences to the four-state region since 1947. Among the celebrations – a special Homecoming event, honoring their rich history and traditions, and a knockout showing in the annual Membership Show.
Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center
Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center celebrated their 10th anniversary! Celebrations included a photo contest, an outdoor movie on the blowup screen, and even a cleanup day to keep the grounds free of unwanted litter. Though ties have been recently severed with National Audubon, we know the Center will be around for generations to come.
First Thursday ArtWalk
First Thursday ArtWalk (and by association, Third Thursday) celebrated a 10 year anniversary!
Joplin Arts Fest
The Kiwanis Club of Joplin, Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, Connect2Culture, and George A. Spiva Center for the Arts coordinated the third annual Joplin Arts Fest on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Many artists (from near and far) sold their work on Main Street while performing arts groups entertained crowds throughout the day. Rumor has it Arts Fest may be announcing an exciting twist for 2018's event. Stay tuned...
"Home for the Holidays" in Murphysburg
Historic Murphysburg Preservation presented "Home for the Holidays" in December 2017. Home for the Holidays included a Bourbon Tasting in the Scottish Rite Cathedral and a Homes Tour in the Murphysburg neighborhood. With 550 in attendance to the Homes Tour alone, over $15,000 was raised through this holiday offering. We can't wait to see how they decide to spend that money...
Joplin Regional Artists Coalition Membership Show
Joplin Regional Artists Coalition's Membership Show, New Beginnings, featured artwork from record numbers of their membership – many talented local and regional artists. Sandra Conrad won Best of Show. Angel Brame won 1st Place. Lola Nelson won 2nd Place. Melody Knowles won 3rd Place. Michael Steddum and Jodi Sutton received honorable mentions. Laura Lowry-Greene served as judge.
Thomas Hart Benton Chautauqua
In October 2017, Joplin History & Mineral Museum presented "Chautauqua! Living History with Thomas Hart Benton Series." The series featured "Cocktails with Benton" – a one-of-a-kind opportunity to view rarely seen sketches from Thomas Hart Benton; Mural & Historical Building Tours; and "An Evening with Benton" – a true Chautauqua experience featuring Thomas Hart Benton. We can't wait to see who they spotlight in 2018!
Joplin Emancipation Park Days
Emancipation “Park Days” is a Joplin tradition, celebrated annually since at least 1914. Emancipation “Park Days” Celebration provides a cultural event that educates about African American freedom and achievement. The event promotes cultural diversity and respect for all cultures. As in years past, three full days of community activities were planned, including: live entertainment, 11th annual car show, kids fun run, resource booths, Kids Fest, Afriky Lolo (pictured), Movie in the Park, free swim, kids picnic, historical re-enactments, kids crafts, and much more! All activities are free and everyone is welcome.
Curtains Up Series
On June 16, 2017, Connect2Culture announced its inaugural performing arts series, Curtains Up. This series brings national touring artists to Joplin and boasts a diverse lineup, offering something for everyone. For this first series, Connect2Culture brought Asleep At The Wheel (September 2017), David Phelps (December 2017), and Annie Moses Band (February 2018).
Pro Musica's chamber music series continues “to foster interest in, appreciation for and enjoyment of world-class, live classical music in Joplin and the four-state area." Unique to their series, the majority of musical offerings are offered free of charge to the public. This year we were treated to the sounds of Nordic Voices, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Ben Kono Group, Verona Quartet, New Century Saxophone Quartet, Adaskin Trio (pictured), and Calmus Vocal Ensemble.
Midwest Regional Ballet
We can't get enough of the creativity that is the Midwest Regional Ballet Company! This year Alice In Steampunk Wonderland returned by popular demand. Le Cabaret du Moulin and Stolen Christmas rounded out performances for the year. MRB's performances are often held in Pittsburg, KS.
Joplin Little Theatre
Local theatre never looked so good! Joplin Little Theatre has been listening to their audience for show suggestions and it continues to pay off with sellout shows. This year we saw August: Osage County, Arsenic and Old Lace, Little Shop of Horrors, The Snow White Show, Heathers The Musical, and I'll Be Home for Christmas.
Heartland Opera Theatre
Heartland Opera Theatre's 19th season brought exciting melodic works to Joplin. Both fall 2017 and spring 2018 productions will be performed at the beautiful Scottish Rite Temple at 5th & Byers. A double-bill of one act operas (The Old Maid and the Thief and Trouble in Tahiti), sung in English, opened the season in November 2017. The spring show in April 2018 – Come to the Cabaret – will feature a dazzling cabaret setting complete with wine and food for a spellbinding evening of great American music.
TJ Concert Hall
The Thomas Jefferson Concert Hall continues to bring quality musical and theatrical shows to the Joplin community. This year featured A Year With Frog and Toad, Trout Fishing in America, The St. Louis Children's Choir, TJ Middle School Musical Crazy for You, h2 Quartet with TJ's Orchestra & Choir, My Father's Dragon with Enchantment Theatre Company, and TJ Upper School Musical Curtains.
Stained Glass Theatre of Joplin
The Stained Glass Theatre of Joplin exists as an artistic ministry supporting their efforts to utilize theatre in reaching the lost and strengthening the believer. This year's family-friendly outreach included: The Importance of Begin Earnest, A Little Princess, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, Charlotte's Web, Anne of Green Gables, The Diary of Anne Frank, Arsenic and Old Lace, and A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas.
The Coda Concert House
The Coda Concert House provides a house concert series featuring talented artists. Suggested donation and location varies. All proceeds go to the performing artists. This year's lineup featured Ray Bonneville, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Amy LaVere, Chris Duarte Group, Dustbowl Revival, and more.
Missouri Southern State University
Missouri Southern State University offers performances year-round. Be it Southern Theatre's depiction of Sleeping Beauty (pictured), the Korean Semester events, Missouri Shakespeare Festival, the French Film Festival, or the annual Seasonal Choral Flourish, there is something for the entire family to enjoy.
Give Ozarks Day
Give Ozarks Day is Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ 24-hour online fundraising campaign. New this year was the creation of a more localized effort – Give Joplin – led by Joplin’s Regional Community Foundation. This year, Connect2Culture ($12,201.11), George A. Spiva Center for the Arts ($1,459.59), and Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center ($1,714.01) raised over $15,000 collectively. All-in-all, almost $1.4 million was raised to help 240 nonprofit organizations across the region during this third annual Give Ozarks Day.
Empty Bowls 2017
$100,000+ in 6 years!
This year, Phoenix Fired Art's Sixth Annual Empty Bowls surpassed the $100,000 mark for funds raised over the past six years! This event helps alleviate hunger in our community through sales of hand-crafted bowls filled with soup from local restaurants. Crosslines, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Watered Gardens, and Webb City Farmer’s Market will share the proceeds. A grand total for this year has yet to be announced. In 2016, $22,700 was raised.
Sharon Beshore, Connect2Culture Chairman, was awarded the Martin Luther King Drum Major of Service Award by the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Southwest Missouri on January 16, 2017 at the Independent Living Center. Sharon is best known locally and across the state as an arts activist. Ten years ago she received the statewide Arts Advocacy Award from Missouri Citizens for the Arts. In 2008 she was a nominee for First Lady Melanie Blunt’s First Lady Awards and that same year was named one of the Joplin Tri-State Business Journal’s Most Influential Women. In 2013 she received the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Arty Award for contributions to the arts. Sharon was also recognized by Kansas City’s Business Magazine, Ingram’s, as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know, Class of 2017. Sharon was appointed Chair of the Missouri Arts Council by Governor Eric R. Greitens in March 2017. She has been a member of the Missouri Arts Council board since 2005.
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts
Not-for-Profit of the Year Award
In May 2017, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts was named Small Business of the Year in the category of Not-for-Profit at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Chamber Banquet. This award recognizes the importance of small businesses to the economy, job growth, and new products and services.
Historic Preservation Month
May is Preservation Month! Joplinites celebrated by participating in the National Trust for Historic Places’ This Place Matters campaign. Everyone has places that are personally important to them... places they care about... places that matter! This Place Matters is a national campaign that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and to their communities. Through This Place Matters, the National Trust for Historic Places hopes to encourage and inspire an ongoing dialogue about the importance of place and preservation in all of our lives. All you have to do to participate is download the official logo and take a photo of yourself with it at your places that matter most. Photos are shared online using the hashtags #ThisPlaceMatters and #joplinMOmatters.
National Poetry Month
National Poetry Month (NPM) in Joplin came to a close with Open Mic Poetry Night on April 28, 2017 at the Joplin Empire Market. NPM is the largest literary celebration in the world. Tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets mark poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April. In 2016 Connect2Culture, Post Art Library, and Pub Hound Press began an intentional collective effort to celebrate NPM in Joplin. 2017 marked the second year of Joplin’s official celebration. NPM mainstays were continued (such as Spiva’s 1,000 Words Event featured in the photo) and the committee rounded out the lineup by adding new poetry-centric events (such as Open Mic Poetry Night). Until next year!
National Arts & Humanities Month
In conjunction with the finale of the First Thursday ArtWalk season, National Arts and Humanities Month (October) was celebrated with a proclamation by Mayor Mike Seibert. Both the Ozark Bards and Midwest Regional Ballet Company performed. The ceremony recognized and celebrated the impact the arts and humanities have on the cultural and economic growth of Joplin. National Arts and Humanities month has been celebrated in October, country-wide for 30 years. It was launched by Americans for the Arts in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Arts & Economic Prosperity 5
Over the course of 2016, Connect2Culture participated in Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. In August 2017, C2C released the results of this study – reinforcing that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the City of Joplin—one that generates $5.4 million in total economic activity. This spending—$1.8 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $3.6 million in event-related spending by their audiences—supports 191 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $3.4 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $452,000 in local and state government revenue. This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we invest in the City of Joplin’s economic well-being.
America's Most Artistic Towns
Our very own City of Joplin was named one of "America's Most Artistic Towns" in 2017 via Expedia's viewfinder travel blog. We couldn't agree more!