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.