Shelter Insurance®is the platinum sponsor for the My Missouri 2021 photo project.

The State Historical Society of Missouri is coordinating a bicentennial commemoration in collaboration with local and statewide entities.

PRO Expo Exhibits designed the photo exhibition which will be traveling around the state for the next 21-months.

After receiving nearly 1000 submissions as part of the My Missouri 2021 Photograph Project, representatives from the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO) have selected 200 photographs to be featured in the My Missouri 2021 exhibition.

All photographs displayed on the My Missouri 2021 exhibition were carefully selected to represent the unique aspects of Missouri’s physical and cultural landscape. Oriented around the four seasons, the selected photographs showcase the geographic and cultural diversity of the state.

The exhibit, designed by PRO Expo Exhibits in St. Louis, will travel across the state in 2020 and 2021 beginning in April. Following a public event at the Center for Missouri Studies in Columbia March 28, the exhibition will begin its 21-month journey April 9 at the Missouri River Regional Library where it will be on display until April 27. See the full exhibit schedule here.

SHSMO is proud to announce that Shelter Insurance® is the platinum sponsor of the My Missouri 2021 photograph exhibition. As the platinum sponsor, Shelter has generously agreed to provide half of the cost of the design and fabrication of the exhibit and its travels around Missouri. Their sponsorship displays the commitment that Shelter has for the state and the commemoration of Missouri’s bicentennial.

Headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, with operations in twenty-one states, Shelter Insurance® is one of the largest super-regional insurance companies in the United States, offering auto, property, business, and life insurance. Information about the photo exhibition and other Missouri Bicentennial offerings will be available at Shelter offices throughout Missouri. For more information or to find a Missouri Shelter agent, visit

The State Historical Society of Missouri is the premier research center for the study of Missouri state and local history. Under the Missouri 2021 banner, SHSMO is coordinating a bicentennial commemoration in collaboration with local and statewide entities. The mission of Missouri 2021 is to promote a better understanding of Missouri and its regions, communities, and people, both past and present.

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More than 10,000 people have left their mark through painting on the Missouri Bicentennial mural. This unique mural project commemorating 200 years of Missouri statehood consists of 18 state symbols in various forms in front of the Missouri State flag.As the mural travels the state, Aaron Horrell and Barb Bailey, Best of Missouri Hands artists and Cape Girardeau natives, are focused on bringing people together to lend their hand to paint the mural.  With a goal to complete the project by the summer of 2021, Horrell and Bailey are continuing to make stops in all regions of Missouri.

Their most recent stop was at the Missouri State Capitol on Wednesday, February 19 to allow both the public and legislators to leave their mark on the mural. The first person to add their mark was Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Miss Missouri, Megan Kelly. Legislators from across the state also painted a small piece of the state seal, as well as general members of the public, including Missouri’s 4-H legislative leadership class and the Vision Leadership Class from St. Charles County. In total, 182 people painted on the mural.

The painting was hosted outside of Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe’s office, who has been an advocate for the project since first adding his mark in Chaffee, Missouri in Scott County.

“The first time I heard about this project, I was in love with it,” Mike Kehoe, Missouri Lieutenant Governor said. “This project allows thousands of Missourians to participate in the Bicentennial, in a small but very meaningful way. The mural showcases things that make up our Missouri and it’s a great way to capture the things that our state offer. Ultimately, it gives every Missourian an opportunity to be involved personally in the Bicentennial.”

Paint-for-a-Cause will continue its travels around the state with public painting in March in Cape Girardeau at the Noon Optimists Chili Day on March 4 and school stops at Dent County Schools and Poplar Bluff Middle School. Other public painting events include April 16 – 19 at the Dogwood-Azalea Festival in Charleston and May 15 -17 at the Art and Wine Festival in Washington.

To learn more or to schedule a painting event in your area, visit or contact Horrell and Bailey by phone at 573-579-1000.

The State Historical Society has launched a demonstration website for the Missouri Encyclopedia, an online reference work planned for publication during the state’s bicentennial year in 2021.

The Missouri Encyclopedia will offer concise, informative articles on all facets of the history of Missouri and Missourians. It is intended for general audiences.

The demonstration site will also serve as a developmental site, providing opportunities for the Encyclopedia’s staff to experiment with content and design, as well as to receive feedback from the public. The site is expected to undergo numerous changes as it grows and moves closer to the official launch in 2021.

The Missouri Encyclopedia website currently includes a small but growing pool of sample articles as well as a suggestion box encouraging visitors to offer ideas for improving the site and adding further topics. Article proposals will be reviewed by the Encyclopedia’s staff, and approved topics will be assigned to writers. Anyone may write for the Encyclopedia, although article submissions will be subject to review prior to acceptance for publication.

Visit the Missouri Encyclopedia

Two projects commemorating Missouri’s bicentennial in 2021 need your help. The My Missouri 2021 Photograph Project and the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt are both seeking submissions from Missourians in every single county to ensure the final results will be truly representative of the Show-Me State. Accepted submissions will become a permanent part of Missouri’s historical record after touring the state in traveling exhibits during 2020 and 2021.

The My Missouri 2021 Photograph Project invites professional and amateur photographers to capture and share images of unique and meaningful aspects of place in Missouri. Submissions are due November 1, 2019. Two hundred photographs will be selected for the traveling exhibition as well as a digital showcase on The images will also be added to the State Historical Society of Missouri’s permanent Bicentennial Collection.

“Photographs provide a window into a time that is really irreplaceable for people trying to understand a specific place and its culture,” Anne Cox, SHSMO photograph archivist, said. “The images from the My Missouri Photo Project will be invaluable to future students, family historians, and scholarly researchers hoping to better understand what the Show-Me State is like today. Plus, we hope it preserves images of places that might otherwise go undocumented.”

Learn More about My Missouri 2021

The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt, a collaborative project of the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Missouri Star Quilt Company, also invites submissions, which are due before September 2, 2019. Individual quilters and quilting organizations are encouraged to submit blocks expressing unique characteristics of Missouri culture and style. Submissions should be 6.5-inch squares, as blocks will be finished at 6 x 6 inches. Entries should have no embellishments, contain no copyrighted images, and be made of 100 percent cotton fabric. A description of the block and its significance to Missouri must accompany each submission.

“Using one quilt block from every Missouri county and the independent City of St. Louis, we’re looking to create a quilt featuring both the diversity of the Show-Me State and its solidarity,” said Michael Sweeney, SHSMO’s bicentennial coordinator.  “Like a patchwork quilt our state is greatly varied, but I’m learning through visits across the state that Missourians are remarkable in the ties that bind us together—our communities, our innovations, and our ingenuity.”

Learn More about the Bicentennial Quilt 

Missouri 2021 is excited to announce that Missouri Prairie Foundation has joined the Bicentennial Alliance!

“Missouri Prairie Foundation is very pleased to be part of the Alliance,” says Executive Director Carol Davit. “At the core of Missouri Prairie Foundation’s mission is the protection of original, unplowed prairie, which was abundant as recently as our year of statehood, but is now reduced to less than 1/10th of one percent of its original extent. The remnants of this once vast ecosystem that figures so dramatically into the natural, historical, and economic history of Missouri are still vital habitat for prairie wildlife, still very much part of the fabric of the state’s landscape, and must continue to be protected for the benefit of all Missourians.”

Missouri Prairie Foundation will be planning many events to connect citizens to Missouri’s prairie legacy, and these activities will take on enriched meaning in the context of the state’s auspicious upcoming anniversary.

The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial throughout the Show-Me State. Visit to see a wide variety of projects that are already underway by Alliance members.