Sixty works from artists across Missouri are represented in a traveling exhibit to commemorate Missouri’s 200th year of statehood. It is making a stop at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Art Gallery from April 9 to May 15, which is located at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St., Columbia. Missouri Art Now, A Bicentennial Celebration is a juried exhibit that showcases the state’s dynamic visual arts culture and diversity. Artists ages 18 and older who reside in Missouri were eligible to enter the show. Among the nearly 400 entries, 60 works were chosen for the exhibition.
“We wanted to make sure the art represents works from each region of the state, so locale played a significant role in selecting art for this exhibition,” said Jill Sullivan, executive director of Post Art Library in Joplin, who helped oversee the exhibition. The types of work selected also vary, including acrylic and oil paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed-media, ceramics and watercolor. Subject matter ranges from abstract to landscapes, portraiture, and more.
Sullivan sees the exhibit is a snapshot of what’s happening right now in Missouri arts during the 200th year as a state. “Missouri has had a rich history in art. It’s also important to recognize Missouri’s strong, vibrant visual arts culture and artists today, said Sullivan. “I think it accomplishes what we set out to do for this traveling exhibit during the bicentennial.”
Following its stop in Columbia, the exhibit will at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin from May 29-July 17, Hannibal Arts council in Hannibal from July 24-September 4 and will finish with a run at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph from September 18 to November 7. Missouri Art Now, A Bicentennial Collaboration is a collaboration between The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau; the Hannibal Arts Council, Hannibal; Post Art Library and Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin; and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum, Saint Joseph.
Communities in Missouri have an opportunity to put their town or city’s folklore in the spotlight this bicentennial year. Grants for the Legends & Lore Roadside Marker program is funded fully by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, which established the program to promote cultural tourism and celebrate legends and folklore as part of local and state heritage. Missouri is one of 11 states eligible to receive the grant. The Missouri Folks Arts Program at the University of Missouri is the state’s organizer for the grant and invites communities across the state to participate.
“We are excited to join colleagues across the country as a Legends & Lore state partner – and to be the first to represent the Midwest,” says Lisa L. Higgins, director of the Missouri Folk Arts Program. “Missouri’s bicentennial year is an inspiring time and we hope Legends & Lore will encourage local communities to mark the Show-Me state’s unique culture in an enduring way.”
Applications are being accepted now through May 3 for the first of two application periods in 2021. The Pomeroy Foundation has funded over 70 Legends & Lore roadside markers to commemorate endearing local stories. One of those markers celebrates Ichabod Crane and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It’s said that this famous Washington Irving character was based on a real schoolteacher named Jesse Merwin in Kinderhook, New York. Another example is a Legends & Lore marker located Talcott, West Virginia, recognizing the folk hero John Henry and the famed story of his race against a steam drill.
“Missouri has many legends of our own – from Momo the Missouri Monster who was “seen” along the Mississippi River in St. Charles County to The Spooklight sometimes visible on a country road at the edge of Missouri and Oklahoma,” said Higgins. “Generally speaking, folklore is the stories, customs, traditions and expressive arts and crafts that are passed on from one person to another and often generation to generation. We’re excited about this opportunity and hope communities across the state will apply for the grant.”
More information on the Legends & Lore Marker Grant Program is found here or by contacting the Missouri Folk Arts Program 573-882-6296.
New Missouri Explorers Program Invites Missourians to Visit Historical and Cultural Sites in Commemoration of the Bicentennial
A new bicentennial program is underway to encourage individuals, families and groups to travel the state and participate in fun challenges and learn more about Missouri. Participants in the Missouri Explorers Program will receive a button upon registration and a list of challenges to earn additional merit badge buttons. To achieve the merit buttons, participants will be asked to submit a photo of each stop in their challenge. Participants can also share their photos on social media using the hashtag #moexplorers.
Challenges in the program include the German Heritage Corridor; Native American Heritage; Travel the Mother Road, Route 66; Get your Kicks in St. Louis; Historic Gems of St. Louis showcasing civic treasures and historic sites; A Walk Through Time: Missouri Cemeteries; The Way of American Genius exploring innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who helped shape American history, culture and life. The challenges are being sponsored by Missouri Humanities Council, Explore St. Louis, Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society, Drury Hotels, Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum, and Missouri Highway 36 Association. Additional challenges and sponsors are still being added to the bicentennial program.
“We have a growing list of challenges that would allow Missourians to either travel across the state or explore a little closer to home and, hopefully, come away with a better understanding of Missouri’s diversity and unique cultural and historical places and people,” said Michael Sweeney, coordinator for Missouri’s bicentennial.
The Missouri Explorers Program is open to anyone who is interested in traveling and learning more about the geographic and cultural diversity of the state. The program is free, but registration is required to receive merit buttons. Guides to each challenge is listed on the missouri2021.org website under Missouri Explorers. Also, if organizations are interested in sponsoring a new challenge, they can inquire about the program by sending email to email@example.com
Two sixth grade students from Jackson and Monroe Counties and two high school students from Cape Girardeau and Moniteau Counties are among the top four finalists of the official Missouri Bicentennial Poster contest. The four students were among 225 Missouri students who submitted designs for the theme: Sharing Missouri’s stories: past, present and future. The poster competition, open to all Missouri students in grades 3-12, was held to commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial in 2021.
The poster finalists are Lehualina Taula, 6th grade student at Fire Prairie Upper Elementary in Independence; Luke Ensor, sixth grade student at Holliday Elementary School in Holiday; Mia Foote, 11th grade student from Jackson High School in Jackson; and Ingrid Keene, 9th grade home-schooled student from Tipton.
Each of the finalists will receive a certificate and $200 prize money at several bicentennial poster unveiling ceremonies in mid-March at the counties where each student is from. Officials from the Missouri Bicentennial Commission and school officials will be at each of the local ceremonies. Judges from the Bicentennial Commission selected four final designs, including two designs from grades 3-6 and two from grades 7-12. Hallmark Creative Marketing Studio of Kansas City partnered with the commission to get the selected posters into their final format.
Vinnorma Shaw’s 1921 poster for the Missouri Centennial Exposition at the Missouri State Fair is an iconic reminder of the Missouri Centennial commemoration. Likewise, the final designs of this year’s Missouri Bicentennial Poster contest will serve as a lasting reminder of 200 years of statehood.
Missouri 2021 Presents on April 8, 11 a.m. will explore the cultural and art of quilting and its long-standing tradition that began in Ancient Egypt and still very much a part of Missouri’s heritage. Perhaps, you’ve seen the patterns of a quilt on a barn while traveling the countryside or you bought a raffle ticket for a quilt to support a community cause. Maybe your own family has passed down an heirloom quilt that you treasure and display with pride. For the past year, the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt has been part of the efforts to commemorate the state’s 200 years with a unique display of blocks representing all of Missouri’s 114 counties and the City of St. Louis. While the quilt has been traveling the state, additional communities have created a special quilt for the bicentennial, including Missouri 4-H, Missouri State Parks, along with several counties in the state.
You can learn more about this series, how to register, and watch previous recorded programs of Missouri 2021 Presents on our website by clicking the Missouri 2021 Presents tab on the main page.
Beginning February 23, mid-Missouri residents will have the chance to explore Missouri’s journey to statehood in a traveling exhibit that examines the conflict, crisis, and compromise surrounding its admission into the Union. The exhibit, Struggle for Statehood is on display at the State Historical Society of Missouri Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St., Columbia, Missouri, now through March 26. The Missouri Humanities Council and its partners developed the exhibit, which has been traveling across the state in commemoration of the bicentennial this year.
The exhibit explores the many facets of the Missouri crisis on both a national and local level. Learn about the history of Missouri leading up to its battle for admission and how that history shaped the future state. Visitors can examine what it means to be a state and how that meaning differed for the diverse groups of peoples living in Missouri at the time of its admission.
“No state, I can readily assure you,” said Dr. Steve Belko, Executive Director of the Missouri Humanities Council, “entered the Union with greater fanfare.” When the residents of the Territory of Missouri petitioned Congress in 1818 for admission into the United States, a three-year-long political and ideological battle began between “free” and “slave” states, almost destroying the very union Missouri sought to join. The political upheaval was temporarily resolved with the “Missouri Compromise,” in which Maine entered the Union as a free state, and Missouri – a slave state – became the 24th state in the United States of America. “Missouri’s admission to the Union laid bare the undercurrents of division over slavery and the increasingly fraught political balance between the North and South that would culminate in the American Civil War. In the two centuries since its admission, Missouri has become an integral part of the nation,” said Belko.
The exhibit was developed by the Missouri Humanities Council in consultation with the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy and is supported by the Missouri Bicentennial Alliance. Companion programming has been made possible in part from funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. A digital exhibit tour of Struggle for Statehood is also available on the Missouri Humanities Council website: https://mohumanities.wixsite.com/struggleforstatehood
In addition, the State Historical Society’s Art Gallery features a special bicentennial exhibit Native Creatures: The Indigenous Mammals and Birds of Missouri displaying images of animals that inhabited Missouri at the time the territory became a state in 1821. Images created in that era by John James Audubon and Karl Bodmer depict animals and birds that are still found in Missouri, as well as some that are now extinct or no longer exist in the state. Later works by artists such as Charles Schwartz and Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling represent Missouri’s biological diversity and encourage viewers to consider how settlement, industrialization, and agriculture have changed our ecosystems.
Both exhibits will be on display at the Center for Missouri Studies during regular visitor hours, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Facial masks are required while visiting the State Historical Society during the pandemic. Free parking is available on-site using the entrance off Locust Street.
Registration is open for the next monthly episode Missouri 2021 Presents. The March 2, 11 a.m., virtual program features Legends, Lore and Stories of the Show Me State. Missouri is rich in its history, folklore and storytelling. The bicentennial year offers plenty of opportunity to engage in our state’s history and culture through storytelling performances and workshops, poetry, book talks, online resources and more! Join us for this live, virtual hour to hear how organizations around the state are preserving the stories of our past and engaging new audiences in the oldest form of communication.
We’ll be joined by Lisa Higgins, Missouri Folk Arts director at the University of Missouri; Mark Livengood, Story Center director at Mid-Continent Public Library; GK Callahan, Community Arts & County Engagement Specialist with University of Missouri Extension; Carmaletta Williams, executive director of Black Archives of Mid-America and Brent Schondelmeyer, deputy director of the Local Investment Commission and trustee of the State Historical Society of Missouri who are involved with the Kansas City Black History Project. Plus, we’ll have a special guest joining the program to share a story! Missouri 2021 Presents is a live, virtual program on the bicentennial happenings this year. Registration is required for this free program on the Missouri 2021 Presents page.
Missourians are encouraged to participate in a statewide ice cream social to celebrate the 200th birthday of Missouri. While the event will be held Aug. 10, 2021, Missouri’s statehood day, the planning begins now. Missouri 2021 is looking for communities and organizations to organize an ice cream social and to register their event at missouri2021.org.
“We were looking for a statewide event where every Missourian could participate in the bicentennial, so why not a good old-fashioned ice cream social to celebrate our state’s milestone!” said Michael Sweeney, bicentennial coordinator for the State Historical Society of Missouri. Sweeney said the idea behind the event is to bring everyone together for 2021 to enjoy a tasty treat from a favorite ice cream shop or by making “homemade” ice cream from specially-created flavors for the day or enjoying old favorites using a hand-crank machine.
“It’s also a way to celebrate Missouri’s dairy industry and many of the finest ice cream establishments throughout the state. Plus, it’s usually very hot in August,” added Sweeney.
Anne McGregor, who serves on the Board of the Trustees for the State Historical Society came up with the idea for an ice cream social with a vision that it can happen at parks, porches, backyards, ball fields, and just about any location to celebrate the state’s birthday with a scoop of the frozen treat. “An ice cream social is a way to take a moment to pause as family, friends and community, and to reflect on our state’s history,” said McGregor. “It’s not all rainbows and butterflies but between the challenges and triumphs, we make Missouri ours to own. The ice cream is a sweet, very sweet way to make that happen.”
Registration for the Missouri 2021 Ice Cream Social is open to businesses and nonprofit organizations. The only requirements are for groups to register their event to be officially recognized for the bicentennial and to hold their ice cream socials on the afternoon or evening of Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Missouri 2021 will be sharing submitted photos of the ice cream social using the hashtag #ScoopsAcrossMissouri.
Did you know that the ice cream cone is the official state dessert of Missouri? You may have heard that the ice cream cone was introduced at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. According to the Library of Congress, the sweet, creamy confection in a walk-away cone made its debut at the World’s Fair – thousands of years after the frozen treat would find its origins in either Persia, Rome or Mongolia. There’s much debate to where it all began!
Missouri 2021 welcomes Missouri University of Science and Technology as our newest member of the Bicentennial Alliance! Missouri S&T is also observing its 150th anniversary this year, coinciding with the state’s bicentennial. A product of the Morrill Act of 1862 and the land-grant movement of the late 19th century, Missouri S&T has grown into one of the nation’s top STEM-focused research universities. In honor of the bicentennial, Missouri S&T is hosting a lecture series throughout 2021 titled: “Honoring our past, envisioning the future: Missouri S&T Lecture Series for the Bicentennial.”
The series will explore the cultural history of the Rolla region and the social and economic topics relative to Missourians. All presentations will be available for live public viewing. The first programs in the series will be all-virtual due to the pandemic with later lecture programs possibly in-person, as well, depending upon safety concerns. The seven topics, scheduled from February-December 2021, include:
“Mining: From Missouri to the Moon” | 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, 2021
A look at how Missouri S&T prepared miners over the past 150 years and how it is now preparing engineers for a future in space mining.
“STEM at the elementary level” | Noon Friday, March 5, 2021
The importance of STEM education at early levels.
“Having a blast with explosives” | 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, 2021
More than 7 billion pounds of explosives are used in the U.S. each year. Learn how the fields of mining, construction, defense, homeland security, demolition, oil recovery, fireworks, special effects and more are involved in this broad industry.
“Batteries in the microgrid/solar houses” | 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021
A look at how batteries in the microgrid manage and store renewable energy and what that means for the future of Missouri solar houses.
“Building microsatellites for the future” | 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021
A look at how microsatellites could be used to inspect satellites, do small repairs or refuel spacecraft — and help eliminate the need for risky EVAs (“spacewalks”) when something goes wrong.
“Missouri’s German heritage” | 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021
Learn how German-speaking settlers influenced our agriculture, arts, sciences and beer!
“Remembering Missouri’s most famous generals” | 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021
Black Jack Pershing led the American Expeditionary Forces to victory in World War I, Omar Bradley led U.S. Army troops in World War II Europe, and Maxwell Taylor led the 101st Airborne Division through the Battle of the Bulge. Learn about these famous Missouri generals.
To learn more and register for the lecture series, please visit https://150.mst.edu/bicentennial-alliance-lecture-series/
Registration is now open for the Tuesday, February 2, 11 a.m., live program on Zoom: Missouri 2021 Presents, which will feature the art projects happening for the bicentennial. The series if free, but you need to register here.
Professional and amateur artists of all ages are expressing their work in creative ways to commemorate Missouri’s 200 years of statehood. Join us for a live presentation on collaborative projects across the state, including Missouri Art Now traveling exhibition featuring works of 60 Missouri artists; an update on the Missouri Bicentennial mural that invites Missourians of any age or ability to paint on a 30-foot canvas; and learn about the Missouri Remembers project, a free, online resource documenting artists who lived in or spent part of their career within Missouri. We’ll also share information on the finalist drawings of the Bicentennial Poster contest that are being shaped into the official poster by Hallmark Creative Marketing Studio. And, more!
Panelists include: Amelia Nelson, head of Library and Archives, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; John Knuteson with the Missouri Remembers Project at the St. Louis Public Library; Jill Sullivan, executive director of Post Art Library in Joplin; and artists Barb Bailey and Aaron Horrell of the Painted Wren Art Gallery in Cape Girardeau, who came up with the idea and have been reaching out to all Missourians who want to participate in the painting of the bicentennial mural.