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.
A special, public event on Missouri Statehood Day, marking the state’s bicentennial, will be held at the Missouri State Capitol August 10. The public is invited to attend a formal ceremony on the South Lawn of the Missouri Capitol beginning at 9 a.m. Governor Mike Parson, past governors and other dignitaries will recognize the 200 years of statehood. The public is invited to attend the ceremony in person. In addition, it will be livestreamed on Missouri2021.org for those who wish to attend virtually or view it later.
In addition to the Governor’s Proclamation, in recognition of the bicentennial, the U.S. Postal Service will unveil the Missouri Statehood stamp. Remarks will be made by Governor Parson, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, Judge Paul C. Wilson, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Missouri, Carrie Tergin, mayor of the City of Jefferson and co-chair of the Missouri Bicentennial Commission.
Missouri’s Poet Laureate Maryfrances Wagner will read a poem for the bicentennial and music will be performed by Missouri Choral Directors Association All-State Festival Choir and the Missouri National Guard 135th Army Band. Following the formal ceremony, the public is invited to a Naturalization ceremony that begins at 11 a.m. in the first floor Rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol. Special bicentennial-themed exhibits will be on display inside the Capitol, including the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt, the Missouri Bicentennial Mural, My Missouri 2021 Photo exhibit, and a Missouri Timeline display.
The Missouri Bicentennial Commission is planning the State Capitol event, 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. To-date, there are more than 150 registered events in 87 counties for the ice cream social.
The Missouri bicentennial is the theme for the Missouri State Fair, Aug. 12-22 in Sedalia. Our Missouri Celebration features special bicentennial events and exhibits, including Missouri on Mic, a project sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri and KBIA operated by the Missouri School of Journalism, to record stories of Missourians during the bicentennial year. In addition, there will be livestock shows and competitive exhibits, entertainment, motor sports and other regular State Fair offerings.
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.
The public is invited to a free festival Aug. 6-8 on the MU campus in celebration of Missouri’s bicentennial. Most of the events will be at the State Historical Society of Missouri Center for Missouri Studies, as well as Jesse Hall and Auditorium, Missouri Theatre and Peace Park. The three-day festival will feature live music, art, theater, dance, folk arts demonstrations, bicentennial exhibits, a time capsule, tree dedication, book talks, Native storytelling, and more.
“Missouri has a long and often complicated history, well before statehood,” said Michael Sweeney, Bicentennial Coordinator at the State Historical Society. “We planned this festival to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of our state as we study not only at our past but look toward the future of Missouri.”
Missouri music celebrating Blues, Folk and Jazz, will be performed on stage by Little Dylan Triplett, The Kay Brothers and the Burney Sisters, and Pablo Sanhueza and the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra with Carmen Dence. Missouri Folk Arts will present Missouri fiddling jam sessions and the Music in the American Wild Ensemble will perform new works inspired by Missouri history, culture, and geography.
Students and faculty at the University of Missouri will have some of their bicentennial projects at the festival including a new virtual reality exhibit developed by MU Engineering Information Technology program to showcase the entire Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney Collection titled: Missouri: Heart of the Nation collection at the MU Museum of Art and Archeology. MU engineering students helped to create a virtual gallery to see all 98 commissioned paintings in 1946-47 that highlights agriculture, industry and recreational activities in the state. Missouri School of Journalism students at KBIA will also be at the festival to record stories from Missourians and get their thoughts on the state and its future. Missouri on Mic is traveling to various festivals this summer as part of the Missouri bicentennial.
The theatrical debut of a new historical documentary, Missouri! A Bicentennial Celebration, produced by Ozarks Public Television and KMOS-TV will get a sneak preview Aug. 7, 7 p.m., at the Missouri Theatre before it airs statewide on PBS stations Aug. 12.
In addition, special bicentennial exhibits will be on display including the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt and other bicentennial-themed quilts, My Missouri 2021 Photo exhibition, the Missouri Bicentennial Poster finalists, and a smaller-scaled version of the Thomas Hart Benton’s A Social History of Missouri located in the Capitol will be at the festival.
For a full schedule of events in person and livestreaming, visit Missouri2021.org. All visitors will be required to follow the university’s COVID-19 safety regulations at the festival.
Missouri on Mic traveling audio booth will be at COMO200 festival on July 4, 2021, to capture stories of mid-Missourians for the bicentennial. The project is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri and KBIA. A team of Missouri School of Journalism students will record conversations with local residents about their thoughts living in Missouri and their hope for Missouri’s future.
Missouri on Mic made its debut at the True False Film Fest in May and recorded stories of mid-Missourians at the Columbia Farmer’s Market earlier in June. Missouri residents who are interested in having their stories recorded for the project can visit the audio booth at Flat Branch Park in Columbia, July 4, between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. In the fall, edited stories will air on KBIA and archived at the State Historical Society of Missouri.
“This project has been another reminder for our journalism team of the power of showing up, asking questions and just listening to people,” said Janet Saidi, KBIA assistant news director. “As our student journalists and professional team members engage with citizens at these festivals, we are all transformed by the process, and by the magic that happens by just connecting and listening.”
Using a sound-proof mobile booth that is cleaned between each user, along with social distancing measures in place, participants have a chance to safely engage in an intimate and meaningful conversation that will be part of the state’s official bicentennial collection. There is no cost to participants.
In August, Missouri on Mic will be at Together for ’21 Fest, Missouri’s bicentennial festival organized by the State Historical Society of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Columbia, Aug. 6-8 on the MU campus in Columbia. The audio booth will welcome visitors on Saturday, August 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Center for Missouri Studies. Missouri on Mic will travel to Jefferson City for Statehood Day at the State Capitol, Tuesday, Aug. 10 and will be at the Missouri State Fair, daily, in August.
Missouri on Mic is seeking any Missourians, longtime or recent residents, who can offer brief stories, anecdotes, and responses to provided prompts surrounding their experiences as Missouri citizens. Persons who are unable to attend the events scheduled for Missouri on Mic, can still have their story recorded remotely for the project by contacting KBIA at email@example.com.
The Missouri Bicentennial Time Capsule is seeking submissions from clubs, schools, community groups, businesses and government agencies to commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial this year. The deadline to submit to the time capsule is Aug. 10, Missouri Statehood Day. All Missouri-based profit and nonprofit organizations are eligible to participate. The time capsule is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Saint Louis Ambassadors with a goal to collect items that document Missouri’s past, present and future. The two organizations are asking for public participation in this project.
Organizations and businesses are invited to participate by contributing three items: one to represent their past, one to represent their present, and a note to future Missourians. Items should measure no larger than 8.5 x 14 inches – i.e., no larger than legal size paper – and combined be no more than a quarter-inch thick. All submissions need to be in printed form and not electronic. Click here to access the downloadable submission form and further instructions.
All participants will be notified of their successful submission and receive a certificate for participating in the time capsule. Contributions will be accepted through Aug. 10, 2021, and an event to commemorate the time capsule will be held Aug. 27, 2021 in St. Louis. Once sealed, the time capsule will be housed at the State Historical Society of Missouri until Aug. 10, 2046, when it will be reopened and shared with the public 25 years later.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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.