Say Hello To...
The Joplin Arts community welcomed several new faces over the past year. Heartland Opera Theatre hired a General Director, Michael Gregory (top left). Ivy Hagedorn (top right) took lead as Market Coordinator at Joplin Empire Market. Spiva Center for the Arts hired an Accountant, Kathy Lewis (middle right), and a Weekend Coordinator, Susan Covert (middle left). Bookhouse Cinema opened its doors by owners Holly & Bradley Crane (bottom left). And Joplin Historic Neighborhoods, Inc. (bottom right) got to work with Wendy Wright (Writer/Editor), Mark Neuenschwander (Photographer/Videographer), Anne McLaughlin (Graphic Designer), Michael Englebert Griffin (Preservation Architect), and Brad Belk (Preservation Director & Curator). Make sure to say, “hello!”
Art Feeds Mural
Art Feeds, in association with Mercy Hospital, revealed a new mural in Joplin’s Mercy Park on Saturday, May 5, 2018. “Together We Create,” features designs drawn from the minds of local elementary school students. Art Feeds held two workshops in their mobile art center—a large, customized school bus, aptly named the Van Gogh 2.0. The children completed four lessons helping them to learn how to work together to create something beautiful while letting each individual voice shine.
Location: Mercy Park (26th Street and Maiden Lane)
TANK: Public Art Mural
In August 2018, TANK: Public Art – a volunteer group of artists, friends and lovers of public art – created this "All-Seeing Eye" on the North side of Covey & Poe Body Shop Inc. This 3D larger-than-life eye has definitely contributed something new to the Joplin public art scene.
Location: Covey & Poe Body Shop Inc (1031 S Joplin Ave)
Graffiti/Artist Alley, located in the alley behind Joplin Avenue between 5th & 6th Streets, continues to grow. In October 2018, Derek Wieberg, one of the main artists contributing artwork to the alley over the years, decided to try something new. The new piece is about 90 feet long and 10 feet high and features the crew's name: Sucks Being Poor.
"End Gun Violence Together" Mural
On December 10, 2018, a new mural was installed on the North side of the Columbia Traders Building in Downtown Joplin. This mural is part of a nationwide campaign spearheaded by TOMS to end gun violence across America. TOMS commissioned area artists, Daniel Gulick and Anthony Carrera, to complete the mural in Joplin.
Location: Columbia Traders Building (420 S Main St)
Wildcat Glades Friends Group
While building ownership of the previous "Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center" has transferred to "Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center" owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Wildcat Glades Friends Group continues as an active nonprofit that exists to preserve, promote, and educate the public about the unique and limited chert glades found only in the Joplin area.
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 changed locations to Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th St). Don't miss the Spring edition on March 23, 2019!
Phoenix Fired Art
We are sad to report Phoenix Fired Art has officially closed its doors. Heather Grills, former owner of Phoenix Fired Art on Main Street, has moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas. Phoenix Fired Art will be missed in Downtown Joplin and the arts community. Some of you may have missed "Empty Bowls" in Joplin this year. This event, sponsored by Phoenix Fired Art for six years, raised a total of over $100,000 to help alleviate hunger in the community through sales of hand-crafted bowls filled with soup donated by local restaurants. We are pleased to report there will be an "Empty Bowls" event in 2019! Watered Gardens will host the popular event and local pottery shops like Crackpot Pottery & Studio (Joplin), The Clay Cup (Neosho), and Skinner's Pottery (Diamond) have agreed to create handmade bowls for the event.
Fiddlers on the Route
In 2017, Connect2Culture introduced a Fiddlers on the Route bluegrass festival outside in Landreth Park. Fiddlers on the Route features two days of outstanding musical performance. This year, the festival moved indoors to historic Joplin Memorial Hall. Day one featured GRAMMY Award winning duo Dailey & Vincent, while day two showcased an outstanding lineup including some of the best local and regional bluegrass bands.
Uke Can Play
In 2018, Joplin Public Library and Post Art Library partnered with Glory Days Music of Joplin to bring a series of ukulele resources to the library, including Uke Can Play! workshops, instructional materials, and ukuleles. The library has six ukuleles available for checkout to anyone with an active Joplin Public Library card. A ukulele club will begin in early 2019.
2018 marked the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Since its humble beginnings as a ghost story contest among friends, Frankenstein has imbued popular culture with dozens of retellings, including such iconic films as the 1931 silver screen classic of the same name, and Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedy masterpiece Young Frankenstein. To celebrate the bicentennial, the MSSU Department of English and Philosophy, in association with Literature Lives, hosted Frankenstein Week from March 2–8, 2018. All events were free and open to the public.
Joplin Historical Neighborhoods, Inc.
Joplin Historical Neighborhoods (JHN) officially announced the start of its historic preservation project on Monday, April 9, 2018 at the Charles Schifferdecker home. Since this date, Joplin Historical Neighborhoods has been working to restore, preserve, and memorialize former residences of Charles Schifferdecker, Edward Zelleken, and at a later date, Alfred Harrison Rogers. After restoration, they plan to open them as educational, historical museums to encourage an appreciation of the 1890s in the development of Joplin.
Joplin Empire Market
Joplin Empire Market opened its doors on April 28, 2018. The Downtown Joplin Alliance was gifted the building by Liberty Utilities - Empire District in December 2016. This vibrant, four-season city market is open from 10:00am–3:00pm every Saturday and has quickly become a staple in the Joplin community. The Market focuses on providing quality products made and grown right here in the Four-States. One can find: regionally grown produce, pasture raised meats, locally produced honey, farm fresh eggs, freshly baked breads, roasted coffee, artisan pastas, and more!
An exciting new business in the historic, up-and-coming neighborhood of East Town opened its doors in April 2018. Bookhouse Cinema, located at 715 Broadway Street, is an independent micro-theater and pub located on Broadway/Langston Hughes in what used to be the old Penny Pinchers thrift store. Bookhouse Cinema shows a variety of independent, classic, and foreign films while offering a great pub environment. Cinephiles and movie-buffs can enjoy a quality cocktail or beer while trying some of their unique and freshly prepared food – all while having great conversations about their favorite films in a spacious and rustic pub atmosphere.
C2C'S POP-UP BOX OFFICE
Interested in buying tickets to Connect2Culture's Curtains Up Series performances OFF-line? In 2018, C2C began a partnership with Joplin Empire Market and created a pop-up box office to accommodate those wary of online purchases! Four weeks out from any performance, you will find them at The Market selling tickets to upcoming performances. Beat those online fees and check it out 10:00am–3:00pm starting February 9, 2019 for THE MIDTOWN MEN – Stars from the Original Broadway Cast of the Jersey Boys.
Loren Long Homecoming
Bestselling author and illustrator, Loren Long – a Joplin native – visited Joplin in March 2018. He shared readings from his books and his journey as a professional author and illustrator with area high school students, as well as an educational luncheon (pictured) for the arts community. Long's visit to Joplin was made possible by Visit Joplin MO, Joplin Public Library, Post Art Library, Connect2Culture, and Spiva Center for the Arts.
MOMIX Performance & Workshop
Known internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of Moses Pendleton. In September 2018, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School brought them to perform at the TJ Concert Hall in Joplin. In addition, Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School partnered to offer a dance workshop including intermediate and advanced classes in modern contemporary dance.
In October 2018 Pro Musica introduced "Bach-A-Bye-Baby" – a special chamber music offering for young children and their parents/caregivers. Partnering with Joplin Public Library's Children’s Department turned out to be the perfect fit for this relaxed, fun mini-concert for children five and under. Hoping for 50 adults and children, both parties were thrilled to have 100+ in attendance with about two-thirds being children! We hope Pro Musica makes this an annual offering!
Whisky, Pie, and Poetry Event
In November 2018, Downtown Poetry and Bookhouse Cinema teamed up for the first ever "Whisky, Pie, and Poetry Event." Attendees enjoyed special dinner offerings from Bookhouse that included both whisky/ey and pie. If inspiration should hit while attendees enjoyed their whisky/ey and/or pie, paper and pens were readily available. To end the night, poems created during the event were read aloud inside the cinema. 25% of proceeds benefited Downtown Poetry to assist in bringing poets to Joplin from outside the area.
Literally Design Poster Competition
Literally Design is an annual juried typographic poster design competition for college and university students in Missouri. Fusing the written and spoken word with design, this competition challenges students to consider their personal interpretation of a specific text and how it influences design choices. The source text for the Spring 2018 Literally Design competition was William Faulkner’s 1950 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The six finalists in 2018 were Alicia Zustiak, Kayla Koskovick, Danielle Davis, Hampton Yust, James Stark, and Ellen Smith. Literally Design is a collaboration between Missouri Southern State University's student design club – 39FIFTY – and Post Art Library.
Bob Yapp Window Restoration & Weatherization Boot Camp
In celebration of National Preservation Month (May), Historic Murphysburg and the City of Joplin Historic Preservation Commission jointly presented a Window Restoration and Weatherization Bootcamp, led by historic restoration expert – Bob Yapp. The three-day event took place at Joplin Empire Market and the historic Schifferdecker home. Students gained hands on experience working on restoration of the Schifferdecker home's windows thanks to Joplin Historical Neighborhoods, Inc.
Native American Contemporary at Spiva Center for the Arts
Native American Contemporary, on exhibition in early 2018 at Spiva Center for the Arts, featured current, regional artwork from 18 artists representing the tribes of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Chitimacha, Choctaw, Delaware, Eastern Shawnee, Mescalero Apache, Mohawk, Muskogee Creek, Osage, Sac and Fox, Seminole, and Wyandotte. The first exhibit of its kind to spotlight the Native American experience through the artwork of Native Americans, this exhibit examined contemporary works of art that showcased the dynamic nature of modern American Indian art. In addition to experiencing this ground-breaking exhibit, thousands of third graders from throughout the area learned from Artist in Residence, Richard Zane Smith of Wyandotte, OK. Smith worked at Spiva for the duration of the Third Grade field trips, telling stories, working on ceramics, teaching, and speaking in the gallery.
Edvard Munch Exhibit Highlights MSSU's Nordic Semester
A rarely seen collection of photographs from Norwegian artist Edvard Munch was exhibited at Missouri Southern State University's Spiva Art Gallery during the Nordic Semester in Fall 2018. Best known for his 1893 iconoclastic image known worldwide as “The Scream,” Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863–1944) is renowned for his expressionistic and psychological paintings, prints, and watercolors. Unknown to most, he also dabbled in photography. On view for only the second time in the United States, this exhibition of rarely seen photographs and short films by Edvard Munch emphasized the artist’s experimentalism and showcased his exploration of the camera as an expressive medium.
Joplin Regional Artists Coalition's Blue Bunny Show
Live music, blue theme, blue art, blues music, blue cocktails and raffles of original art from Joplin’s finest artists were what one could find at this year's Blue Bunny Show hosted by Joplin Regional Artists Coalition. Even attendees were encouraged to wear blue! This new and exciting event was held at the studio of local artist and JRAC President, Andrew Batcheller. This event provided the perfect opportunity to support local artists and art!
Joplin History & Mineral Museum Honors 100th Anniversary of World War I
In September 2018, the Joplin History & Mineral Museum exhibited "Lest Liberty Perish" to commemorate the 100th anniversary marking the end of World War I. The exhibit transported visitors back a century, when the United States entered "The War to End All Wars." This exhibit featured historic weapons and uniforms, newspaper clippings, vintage posters, and photographs. Special to this exhibit, several display boards explained Missouri’s involvement and the role women served in the war.
Joplin Writers' Faire
Joplin Public Library and Post Art Library co-hosted the second annual Writers’ Faire in October 2018. The purpose of the writers’ faire is to provide a venue for writers to connect with potential audiences and to encourage community support of local and regional writers. Individual writers, writers’ groups, and organizations, including published and non-published were represented at the faire. With 300+ people in attendance this year (100 more than last year!), we know this popular event will continue to grow.
Curtains Up Series
In its second year, Connect2Culture's Curtains Up Series expanded from three to five performances! This series brings national touring artists to Joplin and boasts a diverse lineup, offering something for everyone. In July 2018, C2C announced the 2018-2019 lineup: Best of... The Second City (September), The Jazz Ambassadors of The United States Army Field Band (October), The TEN Tenors (December), THE MIDTOWN MEN – Stars from the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys (March 2019), and Grant Landis (April 2019). Performances are held in both Memorial Hall and Joplin High School Performing Arts Center.
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. Their 2018-2019 season boasts Montrose Trio (September), Aeolus Quartet (October), Atlantic Brass Quintet (November), Van Kuijk Quartet (January 2019), Trio Virado (February 2019), Cheng2 Duo (March 2019), and Aaron Diehl Trio (April 2019).
Midwest Regional Ballet
We can't get enough of the creativity that is the Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School! This year brought the Black and White Series (June), Cinderella (April), and The Miniature Nutcracker Suite (December). MRB's production of Beauty and the Beast (December) was our personal favorite! In 2019, we look forward to their take on Cats the musical.
Joplin Little Theatre
There's no business like show business! Joplin Little Theatre knows just that and continues to listen to their audiences, which pays off with sellout shows. This year we were treated to Steel Magnolias (February), Greater Tuna (March), Shrek The Musical (May), Life Could be a Dream (August), Anything Goes (October), and A Swingin’ Little Christmas (December).
Heartland Opera Theatre
Heartland Opera Theatre's 20th season brought exciting melodic works to Joplin. Amahl and the Night Visitors captivated audiences in Joplin, Carthage, and Neosho! The spring show in February 2019 – La Bohème – is highly anticipated. This story of life and loss is one of the most frequently performed operas in history.
TJ Concert Hall
The Thomas Jefferson Concert Hall continues to bring quality musical and theatrical shows to the Joplin community. This year featured Opus Cactus by MOMIX (September), the Upper School Musical: Les Miserables (November), Midwest Regional Ballet Company's Beauty & The Beast (November), and the Fountain City Brass Band (December).
Stained Glass Theatre of Joplin
The Stained Glass Theatre of Joplin exists as an artistic ministry supporting efforts to utilize theatre in reaching the lost and strengthening the believer. This year's family-friendly outreach included: Father of the Bride (February), A Tale of Two Cities (April; collaboration with Ozark Christian College), The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (June), The Count of Monte Cristo (July), Pollyanna (November), The Egg and I (September), A Christmas Carol (December; musical collaboration with Ozark Christian College), and An Evening with Sherlock Holmes (December).
The Coda Concert House
The Coda Concert House provides an intimate house concert series featuring talented artists from across the country. The suggested donation for each concert varies, but all proceeds go directly to the artists performing. This year's lineup featured Paul Thorn, Indigenous, Ben Miller Band, Split Lip Rayfield, Paul Benjaman Band, Nace Brothers Band, Tinsley Ellis, Birdcloud, Charlie Hunter Trio, Carolyn Wonderland, Hadden Sayers, Motel Mirrors, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling, Hot Club of Cowtown, Igor & The Red Elvises, Twisted Pine, KALO, Hamilton Loomis Band, Eilen Jewell Band, Missy Andersen, Brewer & Shipley, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, The Suitcase Junket, Chris Duarte Group, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and Tyrannosaurus Chicken.
Missouri Southern State University
Missouri Southern State University offers performances year-round. Be it Southern Theatre's depiction of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts (pictured), the Nordic semester events, or the annual Seasonal Choral Flourish, there is always something for the entire family to enjoy.
Kaye Lewis won the 2018 Arty Award for outstanding contribution to the arts in the Joplin area. Lewis is the director of Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School. Trained by some of the best instructors in the country, including Gus Giordano, she has taught dance for almost three decades. Lewis has a passion for enriching the Four States with performing arts and equipping her students with the skills to achieve greatness.
“I am extremely honored…as artists I think all of us believe our art form is our award… I mean I felt like I received a Tony or [an] Oscar!”
Citizen of the Year
Connect2Culture’s own Sharon Beshore was honored by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Citizen of the Year award for 2018. Sharon serves as the Chair of both Connect2Culture and the Missouri Arts Council.
“I’m so honored to receive the award, as well as humbled to join 50 years of outstanding citizens. But it takes all of us working together to create positive change to impact the fabric of our community."
Missouri Arts Awards' Signature Image
Since 1983, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have been honoring our state’s art heroes – the people who make the arts happen – by establishing the Missouri Arts Awards. Individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state are honored at this time. Honorees are selected by an independent panel. This year, the artwork of Joplin’s very own Jorge Leyva, was selected as the signature image of the Missouri Arts Awards. His artwork (pictured above) was featured on the poster, invitations, and programs for the awards ceremony.
Higher Ed. Art Educator of the Year
Amber Mintert, assistant professor of art at Missouri Southern State University, has been named Higher Education Art Educator of the Year by the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA). The MAEA annually honors “those who have shown dedication to our beliefs to promote, preserve, and perpetuate art education in the state of Missouri."
“It’s an honor to know that people I work with recognize how seriously I take it and how passionate I am for what I do...To receive this award from my peers is a little bit humbling.”
Historic Preservation Month
Joplinites celebrated Historic Preservation Month (May) in various ways this year... most importantly, by participating in The National Trust for Historic Places’ This Place Matters campaign. This Place Matters is a national campaign that encourages people to make known and celebrate places meaningful to them and to their communities. To participate, 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. In addition, (as highlighted above) Historic Murphysburg and the City of Joplin Historic Preservation Commission jointly presented a Window Restoration and Weatherization Bootcamp, led by historic restoration expert – Bob Yapp.
National Poetry Month
National Poetry Month (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 a collective effort to celebrate NPM in Joplin. 2018 marked the second year of Joplin’s official celebration. Events included: Downtown Poetry Reading, 1,000 Words Event at Spiva Center for the Arts, Poem In Your Pocket Day, Veteran Poetry Reading and Workshop, Open Mic Poetry Night (pictured), and Polyphony at Missouri Southern State University. A highlight of this year's celebration was a surprise visit from Missouri's Poet Laureate, Aliki Barnstone, at Open Mic Poetry Night!
National Arts & Humanities Month
In conjunction with the season finale of the First Thursday ArtWalk, National Arts and Humanities Month (October) was celebrated with a proclamation by Mayor Gary Shaw inside City Hall. Those in attendance were serenaded before and after by rising talent Dillon Leggett (12 year old from Riverton, KS). Both Linda Teeter (First Thursday ArtWalk) and Emily Frankoski (Connect2Culture) made remarks. This ceremony recognized and celebrated the impact the arts and humanities have on the cultural and economic growth of Joplin. To encourage active participation in the arts and cultural events happening throughout Joplin in October, Connect2Culture created and distributed a physical version of their online calendar. National Arts and Humanities month has been celebrated in October, country-wide for over 30 years.