State of Stories is a series of free public programs developed by The Story Center at Mid-Continent Public Library and the University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program. Programs will explore Missouri history and culture through storytelling performances and workshops, book conversations, lectures, a publication, and other activities.
Charles McPherson: The Journey Home is the celebratory homecoming of acclaimed jazz musician Charles McPherson, who is from Joplin, Missouri and will be held July 23-25, 2021. Events include a free public performance featuring McPherson and his band; the establishment of a scholarship in McPherson’s name; and a public art piece featuring McPherson and other Black Americans influential in the performing and literary arts. The Minnie Hackney Community Service Center of Joplin is collaborating with several community stakeholders to organize this week-long celebration, including: Connect2Culture, George Washington Carver National Monument, Joplin Emancipation Park Days, Missouri Southern State University, Post Art Library, Pro Musica, Spiva Center for the Arts, and Visit Joplin.
Missouri Community Legacies is a documentation initiative of the State Historical Society of Missouri, a partner in the Bicentennial Alliance. The goal of the program is to create a “snap shot” of Missouri traditions, creative expressions, meaningful places, organizations, and institutions during its bicentennial of statehood and develop a resource – built by the people of Missouri – of long-term use to students and teachers, researchers, and others interested in the rich history, life, and culture of the state.
Since the pioneer days of the American Midwest, quilts have been a cornerstone of Missouri culture, fashion, and tradition. In honor of our great state’s two-hundred-year anniversary, the State Historical Society of Missouri, a partner in the Bicentennial Alliance, and Missouri Star Quilt Company, in partnership with the Missouri State Quilters Guild, teamed up to create the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt! With one quilt block to represent every Missouri county and the independent City of St. Louis, the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt showcases the unique characteristics of Missouri culture and style.
In 1921, Vinnorma Shaw designed a poster to commemorate the Missouri Centennial and advertise the Missouri Centennial Exposition at the Missouri State Fair. One hundred years later, what should a Missouri Bicentennial poster look like? Missouri students – grades three through twelve – are invited to help the Missouri Bicentennial Commission commemorate the state’s 200th anniversary by submitting a design concept for the Missouri Bicentennial poster. Four concepts will be chosen, with each winner receiving $200 and a certificate acknowledging his/her achievement, as well as an invitation to attend the poster unveiling.
Submission forms were due by October 31, 2020. All artwork must be received NO LATER than November 12, 2020.
Missouri’s anniversary of 200 years of rich history coincides with two other anniversaries: the incorporation of Blue Springs, Missouri in 1881, and the anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, which passed through the town from 1821-1825. Our project will incorporate public art awareness and its impact on the community with accessible activities for all ages. Our project will reach out to all creating active engagements to show how art and history are connected. We are hoping to create enthusiasm for both. Both have stood the test of time. The history of Missouri statehood opened up more access to the west part of the state, like our town of Blue Springs. The project will show and contrast life now and in the 1820s. There is a rich history in this town and we hope to have the community open its new eyes to our future!! We want to emphasize our history to mark the importance of our celebration!
The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in West Plains celebrates old-time music and the distinctive culture of the Ozark Highlands. Different from its rural counterparts, bluegrass and country, old-time music has its own distinctive sound that makes an important contribution to the complex palette of what we call indigenous American music. Demonstrating the spectrum of art forms from dance fiddling, local jig steps, and gospel singing, to the songs, narratives and ballads that tell the story of a place, to the occupational traditions of blacksmithing, log skidding, spinning and basket making, artists show how these arts are embedded in the experience of our daily lives and how they fit the functional and symbolic needs of our community. This will be our 26th celebration in Missouri’s Bicentennial year on June 4-5, 2021.
Celebrate Wildwood is the City of Wildwood’s annual celebration, held in commemoration of its anniversary of incorporation. This year the event (postponed from October 2020) marks the City’s 25th anniversary and will be held April 23-24, 2021. This is a large-scale public event with a parade, kids’ activities, local authors, live music, food and drinks, local organizations booths and demonstrations, Civil War reenactors, a Scouting area, and an art festival. The event is all about the community!
One of this year’s highlights is the City’s Historic Preservation Commission booth where current residents can learn about the area’s past and their heritage. The Commission has been working with a local author to compile a book on the history of Wildwood from pre-history through 2020. This year, the final chapter will be added and the book will be debuted at the festival
To commemorate the Missouri Bicentennial, Maplewood Barn Community Theatre will produce four plays in 2021 with a Missouri theme, featuring the work of a Missouri playwright, a Missouri subject matter, or a Missouri setting. The four shows that will be selected will showcase the wonderful talent of Missouri playwrights, the exciting history and stories of Missouri’s culture and heritage, and the majestic landscapes of this beautiful state. Shows and performance dates are as follows:
“Fifth of July” by Lanford Wilson: April 22-25 & April 26-May 2
“Plan 9!:The Musical from Outer Space” Book by Chris Bowling & Meg Phillips Crespy with Music & Lyrics by J. West: May 27-30, June 3-6, & June 10-13
“Henry V” by William Shakespeare: July 8-11 & July 15-18
“Meet Me in St. Louis” Book by Hugh Wheeler with Music & Lyrics by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane: August 19-22, August 26-29, & September 2-5
On the occasion of its bicentennial, it is important to recognize that Missouri has and remains a significant site for visual artistic production. The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, Hannibal Arts Council, Post Art Library and Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum in Saint Joseph are collaborating to create Missouri Art Now, an exhibition featuring sixty works from artists throughout the State of Missouri, together demonstrating the vibrant visual arts culture in the state. A call for art has been issued and the artwork is due December 1. The exhibition is scheduled for March-November 2021.
Details about the call for entry may be found here.