The public is invited for a free concert and art event hosted by the State Historical Society of Missouri to conclude Missouri’s bicentennial year. Missouri Celebrated: Commemorating 200 Years of Missouri Music, Culture, and Art will be held Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 4-7 p.m. at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St., Columbia. The program includes a 30-minute, multimedia concert performed by Columbia Chamber Choir, a curated tour of artwork, objects and imagery at the time Missouri entered the United States, and the display of the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt that will begin its final exhibition in mid-Missouri for the bicentennial.
Presented in partnership with the Missouri 2021 Bicentennial Commission and the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Columbia Chamber Choir, under the direction of Emily Edgington Andrews and Nathan Lange, will honor Missouri composers, poets and artists in a unique concert with stunning photography of the state selected for My Missouri 2021 Photo Exhibition. Special to the program is a world premiere musical composition by award-winning Missouri composer Hans Bridger Heruth as a tribute to the bicentennial. The concert begins at 6 p.m.
A pre-concert reception, from 4-6 p.m., features the opening exhibition of the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt, on display at the Center for Missouri Studies through Jan. 28, 2022. The quilt is made up of blocks representing all 114 Missouri counties and the independent City of St. Louis, designed by quilters from or associated with each county. The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt has been touring the state since 2020. The exhibition will be extended into 2022 at State Historical Society of Missouri research centers in Columbia, St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Rolla, Springfield and Kansas City, before it goes on a long-term loan display at the Missouri Quilt Museum in Hamilton in the fall of 2022.
Also, from 4-6 p.m., visitors can take part in a curator-led tour of Cultural Crossroads: Missouri in the Era of Statehood at the SHSMO Art Gallery with artworks and objects from the time of Missouri statehood. In addition, attendees can experience the virtual reality exhibit Missouri: Heart of the Nation, a collection of 98 paintings from the 1940s, developed by students and faculty at MU College of Engineering Information Technology and Museum of Art & Archeology as a project of the Missouri bicentennial.
Richard Bookstore, inside the Center for Missouri Studies, will also be open before the concert, with Missouri gift items for sale including recently-published books on Missouri to commemorate the 200 years of statehood.
The State Historical Society of Missouri is extending the exhibition of the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt through the fall of 2022. The quilt, featuring blocks from all 114 Missouri counties and the independent City of St. Louis, has been on display in communities across the state since 2020. The one-of-a-kind quilt was to finish touring at the end of the year. With overwhelming interest by the public to have more opportunities to see the quilt, the State Historical Society will be hosting an exhibition of the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt at each of its six statewide research centers: Columbia, St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Rolla, Springfield and Kansas City.
In late 2018, the State Historical Society of Missouri and Missouri Star Quilt Company, in partnership with the Missouri State Quilters Guild, teamed up to create the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt. For the next year, quilters sent in 6.5 inch by 6.5 inch blocks to represent the county where the live or have a connection. Over the winter of 2019-2020, Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton stitched the blocks together and gave the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt its final look.
“The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt has been one of our most popular bicentennial projects,” says Beth Pike, who has been traveling with the quilt for the State Historical Society of Missouri. “The quilt brought so many people together and tells a story of who we are in this state and how we see ourselves and our neighbors in other counties. Each block is unique just like each region in Missouri,” Pike said.
Once the exhibition at the State Historical Society of Missouri research centers ends in September 2022, plans are for the quilt to be on long-term loan with the Missouri Quilt Museum in Hamilton. The community is also home to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year to the small town in Caldwell County, northeast of Kansas City.
Missouri Bicentennial Quilt Exhibition:
Dec. 14 -Jan. 28, 2022 – Columbia/Center for Missouri Studies
Feb. 1 – March 11, 2022 – SHSMO St. Louis Research Center
March 15 – April 29, 2022 – SHSMO Cape Girardeau Research Center
May 3 – June 14, 2022 – SHSMO Rolla Research Center
June 15- July 29, 2022– SHSMO Springfield Research Center
Aug. 2 – Sept. 15, 2022 – SHSMO Kansas City Research Center
Missouri’s bicentennial year brought many organizations together to create new and expand digital resources for learning about the state’s history. Students, teachers, researchers and the public at-large will find learning aids in many different subjects, including a new registry of past Missouri Artists, a digital exhibit that explores Missouri’s Struggle for Statehood, and curriculum that teaches the history of Missouri courts. History timelines, a Missouri Constitution quiz and online history exhibits are among the free resources available to help people understand Missouri and its past of more than 200 years.
The Missouri Timeline, developed by staff of the State Historical Society of Missouri, begins with ancestral Missouri from 1250 to present-day and offers photos, artworks, maps, manuscripts, documents and other images from the Society’s vast collections with narrative text accompanying each entry year. Missouri Encyclopedia and Historic Missourians are a growing digital resource that expanded this year to commemorate the bicentennial.
“Many hours of staff and volunteer time have developed these resources to broaden the public’s understanding of the culture, people, institutions, places and events that continue to shape Missouri,” said Beth Pike, who has been working on the planning of Missouri’s bicentennial year and helped to create the Missouri Timeline project. “While these digital resources were created and/or expanded to commemorate Missouri’s 200th year of statehood, these links will continue well past the bicentennial year and, hopefully, engage people of all ages to learn from our past and to think about how we want to be as Missourians in the future.”
A new online resource Making Missouri created by the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis offers primary sources, video content and custom plans for grades K-12. Another curriculum developed for elementary schools Four Years to Statehood comes from Missouri Council for History Education and covers the years between Missouri’s first petition to become a state and its final admission to the Union.
Additional Missouri history educational resources from Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri Secretary of State, The Supreme Court of Missouri, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Missouri Legislative Library and more can be found on the Educational Resource page on missouri2021.org.
About 1,500 Missourians have registered to travel to various part of the state as part of Missouri Explorers, an official bicentennial program to encourage families, individuals and small groups to travel the state, safely, and participate in fun challenges to learn more about Missouri history and culture. Participants in the Missouri Explorers program receive a button after registering and a list of challenges to earn additional buttons. Participants are asked to submit a photo of each stop in their challenge and to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #moexplorers.
There are 28 challenges in the program, including the African American Heritage, Boone’s Lick Road, Butterfield Trail, German Heritage Corridor, City of Fountains, Capitol City, Forest Park Adventure, Missouri Lakes, Missouri State Parks 21 for ‘21, Native American Heritage, French Colonial Heritage, Travel the Mother Road, Historic Gems of St. Louis, Libraries in the Lou, Missouri Conservation, A Walk Through Time: Missouri Cemeteries, Winding down in Wine Country and the Way of American Genius exploring innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who helped shape American history, culture and life.
“Throughout the year, we have added more challenges for folks 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.
From now through November 2021, 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 are listed on the missouri2021.org. Travelers are asked to abide by COVID-19 safety guidelines for each location.