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.