What comes to mind when you think of Missouri? What has living here meant in your life? What do you hope for future Missourians? A team of Missouri School of Journalism students will be asking Missourians these and other questions at several bicentennial festivals and events this summer to record oral stories in a traveling audio booth.
Missouri on Mic is seeking any Missourians who are interested in the opportunity to record brief stories, anecdotes, and responses to provided prompts surrounding their experiences as Missouri citizens. KBIA News will produce and air stories from Missourians in a similar way as National Public Radio’s Story Corp series. Stories will be archived at the State Historical Society of Missouri and will be played before films at Ragtag Cinema in Columbia this fall. If you’re unable to attend the events scheduled for Missouri on Mic, you can still have your story recorded remotely for the project by contacting KBIA at email@example.com
Missouri on Mic kicks off May 8 and 9, noon – 6 p.m., at the True False Film Fest where Missourians can visit the audio booth at the island shelter pavilion at Stephens Lake Park. It will travel to CoMo 200, Columbia’s bicentennial festival, July 2-4. In August, it will be at Together for ’21 Fest, Missouri’s bicentennial festival at the Center for Missouri Studies and the University of Missouri-Columbia campus Aug. 6-8. Missouri on Mic will travel to Jefferson City for Statehood Day at the State Capitol, Tuesday, Aug. 10. Missouri on Mic will also be at the Missouri State Fair on select dates. COVID-19 safety precautions will be strictly adhered to visitors at the Missouri on Mic audio booth. Access to the audio booth is free at all events except for the Missouri State Fair where admission is required. If you’re unable to attend any of the events scheduled for Missouri on Mic, you can still have your story recorded remotely for the project by contacting KBIA at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a complete schedule of Missouri on Mic opportunities, visit the bicentennial calendar for dates, times, locations as it becomes available.
Missouri Statehood Day, Aug. 10, 2021, marks an important milestone of 200 years since the Missouri Territory became the 24th state to enter the Union. More than 200 bicentennial events are taking place this year, statewide, with major public events scheduled in August. Events are being developed with COVID-19 safety measures during the pandemic and in-person activities will adhere to local and state health guidelines at the time of the event. Some events will also be live streamed for Missourians unable to attend in person. Among the major events planned to commemorate the bicentennial include the Together for 21 Fest organized by the State Historical Society of Missouri and the University of Missouri. The three-day festival, Aug. 6-8, will be held at the Center for Missouri Studies and the MU campus in Columbia. The event will include live music, folk art demonstrations, children’s programming, talks/lectures, documentary film screenings and bicentennial traveling exhibits.
On Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site will host a bicentennial commemoration event for the public in St. Charles. The historic site is where Missouri’s first legislature met from 1821 to 1826 before the State Capitol was moved to Jefferson City. Tour the historic rooms where statehood began, attend lectures and walk the stationary parade route. The event is being organized by Missouri State Parks.
Jefferson City will be the location for several days of bicentennial festivities open to the public Sunday, Aug. 8, and Tuesday, Aug. 10, at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. These events include a Gold Star Memorial dedication, the dedication of the Bicentennial Bridge, a Statehood Day ceremony in conjunction with a U.S. Naturalization ceremony and an ice cream social. The Missouri Bicentennial Commission is planning the State Capitol events, including an invite to communities to celebrate Missouri’s birthday Aug. 10 with an ice cream social. The commission is asking communities to sign up for the statewide ice cream social at missouri2021.org; plan their community celebration and share photos using the hashtag #ScoopsAcrossMissouri.
The Missouri bicentennial is the theme for the Missouri State Fair, Aug. 12-22 in Sedalia. Our Missouri Celebration will include special bicentennial events and exhibits, along with livestock shows and competitive exhibits, entertainment, motor sports and other regular State Fair offerings.
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!