Another year full of Joplin Arts activity has come and gone – and Connect2Culture, Joplin's community arts agency, has captured these memorable moments every step of the way. Our community is lucky to have so many supporters and advocates for the arts (like YOU). With high hopes for 2017, let us take a look back at some of the moments in 2016 we'll never forget...


Say Hello To...

The Joplin Arts community welcomed several new faces over the past year. Heartland Opera Theatre hired an Interim General Director, Xavier Moore (top right). Spiva Center for the Arts hired many new faces.... Top Row: Executive Director, Josie Mai (left); Weekend Coordinator, Aaron Skapik (middle). Bottom Row (from left to right): Bookkeeper, Kyle Ollis; P.R. & Marketing Manager, Eden Elliott; Program Director, Jordan Murdock; and Administrative Assistant, Sarah Clements. Make sure to say, “hello!”


Joplin Proud Butterflies

The 5@16 Fifth Anniversary Planning Committee (aka Joplin Proud) offered residents and business owners a way to beautify Joplin in honor of the fifth anniversary of the Joplin tornado. Larger-than-life metal butterfly sculptures now populate the Joplin area. Proceeds helped support a disaster conference in May 2016. “Spread Our Wings – Fly High and Proud” is a project of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Bronze Eagle Statue

The Joplin High School Class of 1954 gifted a bronze eagle sculpture created by renowned local artist Jon Fowler. They hope the eagle will encourage generations of student success and leave a lasting legacy at the newly constructed school. The eagle sculpture will rest on top of an important historical feature at the new school – the rock located in the Rose Garden.

Location: Joplin High School (2104 N Indiana Ave)

Graffiti Mural

The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Cultural Affairs Committee commissioned local graffiti artist Silver Perez to design and paint a mural in the relatively new Joplin Skatepark located in Ewert Park. This mural project was another avenue for providing “Art in Public Places” within Joplin, Missouri to enhance an already thriving arts community. They hope the project will bring visual arts to a younger generation of Joplin’s citizens.

Location: Ewert Park (5th St & School Ave)

The Butterfly Mural

The final activity of the Joplin Proud, 5th anniversary events was the unveiling of a large mural in the new Mercy Park. The Butterfly Mural is a 10-feet tall by 20-feet wide tile mural that features the colorful out-stretched wings of a butterfly. This mural is meant to be interactive. A person can stand in the center and become a part of the butterfly for a memorable photo-op. Butterflies have represented healing and hope for many of the past 5 years. The artwork is the creation of A.J. and Jordan Wood of Mythic Art & Mural, and the tile mural was manufactured and installed by Whitehill Enterprises, LLC.

Location: Mercy Park (26th St and Maiden Lane)

East Town Mural

"Belonging to All the Hands Who Build"

The mural at night! We hope other murals in town are soon illuminated...

This 2016 community-based mural shares East Town residents’ great pride and preserves neighborhood stories for the broadest audience. The mural project provided an opportunity for neighbors to engage from conception to execution. Community members of all ages collaborated to create this intergenerational and cross-cultural mural. Through community and design meetings, they were able to learn about making murals, offer ideas for mural content, participate in community painting days, and experience the execution of a highly visible public artwork. The mural provides seeds for future conversations about East Town and facilitates the sharing of its stories. The East Town Mural is the 6th Art in Public Places Project initiated by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Cultural Affairs Committee.

Lead Artist: Kyle McKenzie, assisted by Devon Estes, Jenny Journeycake, and Aaron Skapik; with the help of hundreds of East Town residents.

Location: Broadway & Mineral Streets

Graffiti/Artist Alley

And Graffiti/Artist Alley, located in the alley behind Joplin Avenue between 5th & 6th Streets, continues to grow...


Joplin Flag

The Joplin Flag initiative, a grassroots movement to find a new symbol of pride and hope for Joplin, began in July. A series of community flag design workshops were held across the city and an open call for designs was announced. 70+ entries were submitted by people from Joplin and beyond. In September, five judges from the community gathered in Downtown Joplin to review each entry based on five principles of flag design and how well it represented Joplin. The judges selected five finalists to present to the community at large for a vote. Final designs were presented along with their symbolic interpretation. Community voters ranked each finalist. Ultimately, Crossroads by Shane Ross emerged as the winner from 1,000+ votes and was presented to the community as the People's Flag in October.


Coloring Book Club

In October 2015, Connect2Culture, Post Art Library, and Spiva Center for the Arts launched Coloring Book Club (CBC), with plans to meet every other month, alternating between the library and Spiva, for one year. The goal was to offer adults a well-deserved “brain break” without expectations while promoting mindfulness and self-expression, reducing anxiety, and strengthening community. Now that the goal has been met, feedback from CBC-goers urged organizers to reassess and determine the best way to move forward. Although Connect2Culture and Post Art Library had a wonderful time helping to launch this fantastic club, Spiva is taking the lead. Starting in January 2017, ALL Coloring Book Club meets will be held monthly at Spiva Center for the Arts on the second Saturday of each month, 10:30am–Noon. The organizations believe participants will have a better experience with monthly meetings at a consistent location. Plus, this location eliminates the need to register for meets – simply show up and color!

Route 66 Birthday Expression in Art

On November 11, Route 66 celebrated the milestone of being Main Street America for nine decades! On this date in 1926, Route 66 was officially designated as part of the U.S. Highway System. To celebrate, the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Joplin MO), in partnership with Spiva Center for the Arts and Connect2Culture, selected three professional artists and one up-and-coming artist to paint their interpretation of a Route 66 icon. Chosen local artists were J Todd Williams of Joplin, MO; Margie Graves Moss of Joplin, MO; Tom Jones of Carthage, MO; and Kayla Nash of Galena, KS (7th Grade). Finished works will promote Joplin ROUTE 66 REGION as a tourism destination, highlight Joplin’s vibrant arts community, as well as serve as the backdrop to the 90th Birthday Celebration. The paintings are on display inside Joplin City Hall on the first floor.

Post Mail Art Projekt

Post Art Library (PAL) and Connect2Culture teamed up to organize Post Mail Art Projekt 2016 – PMAP aims to encourage creative correspondence via so-called snail mail. This year’s theme was “Self-Titled" and mail art has been delivered to PAL ever since the call was announced. An exhibit in early 2017 will be held at the Post Art Library to highlight mail art received. #PostMailArtProjekt #PMAP2016


Joplin Little Theatre Audience Choice Season

This year, Joplin Little Theatre (JLT) listened to their audience – they asked YOU to decide their season's lineup! Many suggestions were gathered and the community-at-large ultimately voted for the excellent lineup you see above.

Joplin Arts Fest

The Kiwanis Club of Joplin, Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, Connect2Culture, and Spiva Center for the Arts coordinated the second annual Joplin Arts Fest on Saturday, September 17, 2016. Many artists (from near and far) sold their work on Main Street while performing arts groups entertained the crowds throughout the day. The third annual Joplin Arts Fest is planned for Saturday, September 16, 2017 (the 2nd Saturday in September) – mark your calendar now!

Joplin Jewish Temple's 100th Anniversary

Historic Murphysburg Preservation, Inc. (HMP) partnered with the United Hebrew Congregation of Joplin to open the doors of the iconic Jewish temple at 702 South Sergeant Avenue to the public on Sunday, June 12, 2016. This event commemorated the 100 year anniversary of Joplin’s most unique building of its kind and the area’s only Jewish temple/synagogue. Guests were treated to narrated tours, traditional Jewish food, and learned about the 1970 fire that destroyed the beautiful copper dome and minaret. There were also many opportunities to ask questions about the Jewish faith.

Visual Arts Education Summit

Ten art educators attended the first annual Visual Arts Education Summit hosted by Spiva Center for the Arts. Facilitated by Amber Mintert, Assistant Professor at MSSU, participants learned the components of an effective visual art lesson plan. They created a lesson based on the artwork in Spiva's Main Gallery, America's Parks, and discussed arts integration and diversity in the lesson. Next year's date is TBD.

JRAC Garden Party

Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC) Board of Directors member April Davis-Brunner and husband, Larry hosted a lovely JRAC Garden Party. Many enjoyed a day of beautiful serenity and art amidst this residential property at historic Cox Springs. All donations benefited JRAC – a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2010 by visual artists to network fellow artists to more effectively engage in cultural, economic, and educational artistic activity.

Founding Fathers Day Chautauqua

The Joplin Historical Society on behalf of the Joplin History & Mineral Museum hosted their first Founding Father’s Day – Chautauqua production. Through the art of a Chautauqua performance, not only do actors speak the words and tell stories of period characters, they dress the era & mimic their mannerisms; the actors become those they are presenting. President Theodore Roosevelt was portrayed by Dr. Doug Mischler and President Harry S. Truman was portrayed by Mr. Bill Worley. Performances were hosted at Joplin Little Theatre and Joplin History & Mineral Museum, respectively.

Pro Musica's 36th Annual PoPs

Pro Musica’s 36th Annual Joplin PoPs was held Friday, June 24 on The Oval at Missouri Southern State University. This long-standing tradition guaranteed an evening of patriotic tunes, show tunes and light classics “under the stars” with the Warrensburg Community Band, under the director of Dr. Russell Coleman. Those attending brought their own seating and picnics to have "dinner on the grounds" prior to the concert. New this year were food vendors (AJ’s Eatery, Kings Kettle Corn, Pineapple Bliss, Tac-O-the Town) on the grounds and fireworks!

Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School

In early 2016, Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School settled into their new facility at 2101 Stephens Blvd. They went on to produce SCROOGE: A Rock Ballet and performed at the TJ Concert Hall, continuing a holiday performance tradition.


Historic Preservation Plan

The May 2011 tornado in Joplin was a major event in the City's history and led to recovery efforts that have reshaped the community. The City of Joplin has prepared a Historic Preservation Plan to replace a previous preservation plan prepared in 1990. It builds on the recent developments in city-wide planning and implementation of new projects. This updated plan hopes to recommit the City of Joplin and community stakeholders to continued revitalization and recovery. The new plan builds on recovery efforts and offers a vision and program for the next five years and beyond, merging efforts within the tornado zone with revitalization of Joplin’s historic core. The plan embraces new and ongoing strategies for downtown revitalization, neighborhood revitalization, the enhancement of commercial corridors, and community engagement. Soon, this document will be available on the City of Joplin’s website.


Empty Bowls 2016


Phoenix Fired Art's Fifth Annual Empty Bowls raised $22,700 to alleviate hunger in our community! Crosslines, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Watered Gardens, and Webb City Farmer’s Market will share the proceeds. In 2015, $21,647 was raised.

That Shakespeare Thing!


Jessica Schaer, Main Anchor at KSNF-TV, took first place

The Missouri Shakespeare Festival (MOShakes) at Missouri Southern State University, introduced a new fundraiser – That Shakespeare Thing! – to defray expenses associated with the festival. They recruited your friends, neighbors, and bosses to help bring Shakespeare to life. These "chosen ones" attempted to give their best renditions of famous Shakespearian monologues. Plan to attend next year's event – tentatively scheduled on April 29th!

Art Feeds Day

$7,000+ for Art Feeds Joplin

Art Feeds introduced a new fundraiser – Art Feeds Day! The fundraiser centered around selling and wearing the iconic "Art Feeds ____" shirt. Through the month of July, Art Feeds chapters established partnerships with schools, clubs, organizations, restaurants, banks, boutiques and more. Each Art Feeds chapter received proceeds from all shirts sold – these funds covered programming costs in the 2016-2017 school year. Hundreds of Joplinites were sporting their personalized Art Feeds Day shirts on September 8th to raise awareness for the cause and share the story of why creativity and expression are so important in the lives of children.


New Mobile Art Center


For the third year, Art Feeds Joplin rallied votes from the Joplin community (and beyond) as they participated in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist voting grant facilitated by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Daily votes were cast from October 26th to November 4th. Out of 2,000 organizations, 200 were selected by the Youth Advisory Board to compete for $25,000. At the end of the ten-day voting period, State Farm gifted 1 million dollars between the Top 40 organizations with the most votes – each cause receiving $25,000. Art Feeds Joplin will use their winnings to renovate and construct a new mobile art classroom for the Joplin community!

Post Art Library

The closing of the year also brings the closing of Post Art Library’s Great Hall Gallery. The gallery was opened in early March 2016 as a temporary gallery to showcase local established and emerging artists in the library. In addition to closing their large gallery, the New Year brings new hours to Post Art Library. Beginning January 2017, PAL will be open Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri from Noon–6:00pm and Wed from Noon–4:00pm. This will allow the library’s staff time to prepare for their upcoming move, which is projected for Spring 2017.

Four-Season Market

Congratulations, Downtown Joplin Alliance (DJA)! The Empire District Electric Company presented the deed to the property at 931 East 4th Street to DJA on December 28. DJA's long-term vision is to create a vibrant, four-season city market. "A place where citizens can find the best of what this area has to offer; meats, cheeses, wine, beer, crafters, artisans and any number of other vendors, in a collection of permanent and rotating market stands." - Lori Haun, DJA board president. We can't wait to partake!


Linda Teeter

2016 JACC Arty Award Recipient

Artist, Arts Advocate, and Owner of Urban Art Gallery

Linda Teeter was named "Arty Award" recipient of 2016 at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet. In 2008 she brought Joplin a new cultural experience, the Art Walk on Third Thursdays. What began with a handful of artists and pop-up galleries in vacant Main Street storefronts expanded into venues across ten blocks of the city’s urban core. Over the last eight years, she secured gallery spaces, organized artists and performers, promoted the events, and somehow, continued to create and show her own award winning photography – all while running her own successful insurance agency. Third Thursdays are now festival-like, attended by thousands. Many, if not most, of the original storefronts are occupied, due in part, to the undeniably vibrant downtown that developed from the first Art Walk. In 2015, she helped organize the inaugural Joplin Arts Fest; opened a second business, Urban Art Gallery; and launched another March–October monthly happening, First Thursday Art Walk, to promote the fine arts. “Each year one person is chosen who has promoted and enhanced the arts in the Joplin community.”

Emily Frankoski

15 Under 40 Class of 2016

On September 1, Connect2Culture’s Community Arts Director Emily Frankoski and 14 other young professionals in the region were honored as the 2016 class of “Fifteen Under 40” at a reception hosted by Joplin Regional Business Journal. Frankoski began working at C2C in 2013 as a part-time Community Arts Coordinator. In short order, she grew her position to full-time as Community Arts Director. She has both identified and strengthened Joplin’s arts and cultural assets and helped grow audience by developing a variety of support services. The Joplin Regional Business Journal award honors young and influential members of the community who have already accomplished much in their professional lives while giving back to the community.


Arts & Economic Prosperity 5

Over the course of 2016, Connect2Culture has been participating in Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit organization advancing the arts and art education. As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, C2C first collected detailed financial data from local nonprofit arts and culture organizations. In addition, C2C collected surveys from attendees at arts/cultural events using a short, anonymous questionnaire asking how much money was spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event. Thanks to all who lent their voice to this survey! Results will be released June 2017.

National Arts Marketing Project Conference

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Connect2Culture, was awarded one of two national Emerging Leader Scholarships to attend and represent Joplin, MO at the Americans for the Arts’ 2016 National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMPC) held in Austin, TX November 11–14. To qualify for this scholarships, applicants had to be under 35 with less than 5 years of working experience in the arts field. This year's conference theme was "Fueling the Change."

➤ IN 2016 C2C HAS...

Connect2Culture's presentation of the United States Army Field Band & Soldiers Chorus at Joplin High School's Performing Arts Center
  • AND...
The US Army Field Band & Soldiers Chorus
Outreach at Third Thursday in Downtown Joplin
C2C Arts Roundtables educate and unite the Joplin Arts community
A creative renaissance in Joplin

Update on Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center

The future Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center between Joplin and Wall Streets on 7th

Great progress has been made in 2016 towards the development of the Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center at 7th Street between Joplin and Wall Avenues. During two weeks in June, consultants Alice and Halsey North of the North Group, Inc. interviewed 61 individuals over the course of 49 different interviews. As a result of these confidential interviews, recommendation is now being made to pursue the development that would include a new home for Spiva Center for the Arts, a 500-seat flexible multi-functional performance/event space, and an amphitheater with canopy that could accommodate 1,800 to 2,000 people in the festival plaza area located between the proposed new structure and the existing Memorial Hall. Total capital campaign need would be in the range of $14 million to $15 million. From the parties interviewed, indications of support in the amount of $9 million were received in 47 gifts. The goal is to complete the actual capital campaign in 2017 and initiate construction in 2018.

Thank YOU for Supporting C2C and the Joplin Arts!

Do you believe in our initiatives and bold vision?

DID WE MISS ONE OF YOUR FAVS? Let us know! Create a post via Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Include the hashtag #JOPLINARTS2016 so we can share.

407 South Pennsylvania Avenue | Joplin, MO 64801 | 417.625.6683 | Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director | efrankoski@connect2culture.com

All featured photography courtesy Connect2Culture, except...

  • National Arts & Humanities Month – photo courtesy Joplin Regional Business Journal
  • New Faces – photos courtesy Heartland Opera Theatre and Spiva Center for the Arts
  • Bronze Eagle – photo courtesy Joplin High School
  • Joplin Flag – photos courtesy Joplin Flag Initiative
  • Route 66 Birthday Expression in Art – photo courtesy Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Post Mail Art Projekt 2016 – photos courtesy Post Art Library
  • Joplin Little Theatre Audience Choice Season – photo courtesy Joplin Little Theatre
  • Pro Musica's 36th Annual PoPs – photo courtesy Missouri Southern State University
  • Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School (MRB) – photos courtesy MRB
  • That Shakespeare Thing! – photos courtesy Missouri Southern State University
  • Art Feeds Day – photos courtesy Arts Feeds Joplin

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