Joplin, Missouri – On December 1, 2014 the Joplin City Council approved the joint request of Connect2Culture, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, Pro Musica, and the Downtown Joplin Alliance to support the exploration of the Memorial Hall site becoming a community cultural arts center. This center would be a public-private partnership that would include a new home for George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, a 500-seat proscenium performance hall to accommodate Pro Musica’s annual concert season along with other community performance needs and touring opportunities, and community spaces. All plans to redevelop the property will include spaces for public meeting and assemblies in the spirit of the the original ordinance for the site along with preserving and honoring all Veterans Memorials currently located at Memorial Hall.
The first step of this exploration effort was to secure the necessary funding to engage the architectural firms of Corner Greer and Associates of Joplin, MO and Westlake Reed Leskosky of New York, NY to develop pre-schematic design plans and renderings for two options at the Memorial Hall site. One option will be to retain the existing shell with necessary additions to facilitate the required space and the second option will be a new structure at the site.
Connect2Culture is very pleased to announce today, January 6, 2015, that the goal of obtaining contributions and pledges totaling $65,000 has been achieved. Donations have been received from businesses, individuals, and foundations, with the lead contribution coming from the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri (CFSWMO) in the amount of $48,000.
“To have raised the necessary funds in a month’s time, from multiple sources, to formally engage the architects, speaks to the positive momentum for the cultural efforts in our community. We are extremely grateful to the CFSWMO for its full support of our grant application.” Clifford Wert, Co-Vice President & Treasurer for Connect2Culture.
“We’re pleased to be able to support this study to evaluate an important historic structure in our city.” Stephanie Howard, CFSWMO President.
“The Board, staff, and volunteers of Spiva Center for the Arts are excitedly looking forward to the results of the Memorial Hall studies. They represent an important step forward, not only for the arts in our community, but also for the future of a landmark Joplin building.” Kerstin Landwer, President, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts.
“The Downtown Joplin Alliance highly values this project and recognizes the integral role Memorial Hall plays in the quality of our Downtown and what it means to our community. We look forward to the next phase in the life of the Hall as we continue to rejuvenate the Downtown.” Brent Baker, President, Downtown Joplin Alliance.
Connect2Culture is a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization founded in 2009 to enhance community through the development of cultural resources – arts, history, nature, and education. Connect2Culture aims to encourage the growth and development of a vibrant cultural community. The 15-member board of directors includes arts, business, and community leaders who recognize the arts as a significant contributor to the lifeblood of our community.
Contact: Clifford E. Wert, Co-Vice President & Treasurer
Tel: (417) 439-0385