Joplin Arts News (Mar. 28–Apr. 3)

Heartland Opera Theatre To Present Songs For A New World

HOT Songs for a New World

A quartet of singers will perform Songs for a New World, the second offering of the season for Heartland Opera Theatre (HOT), on April 1 & 2 at 7:30pm. The performance will be a cabaret style evening at the Route 66 Events Center at 21 South Webb Street in Webb City Mo. Wine, champagne and soft drinks will be available for purchase. Songs for A New World debuted Off-Broadway in 1995 and vaulted composer Jason Robert Brown into stardom. Brown and stage director Daisy Prince crafted an incredible mixture of Broadway Musical and song cycle together into an unforgettable show. Four singers present a collection of songs all joined by the theme “a moment of decision” in stories connected across time.

The Cast:

Kayleen Seidl: Formerly of Joplin, who now has a musical theatre career in New York City. Seidl began performing at the Joplin Little Theatre and at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, graduating in 2009. She received classical training at St. Olaf College earning a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She received rave reviews for her performance at Sarah Brown in the national touring company of Guys and Dolls. Kayleen is the daughter of Dr. David and Rebecca Seidl of Joplin.

Shannon Martinous: A professional actor and teacher working in stage and film in Los Angeles. A graduate of Missouri Southern State University, she received her master’s degree in musical theatre at the Boston Conservatory in 2009. She has recorded multiple original cast albums and demonstration recordings showcasing works of new musical writers in Los Angeles.

Zachary Pettit: A senior at MSSU, has appeared in a variety of musical performances including Southern Theatre’s production of Chicago and The Drowsy Chaperone, as well as Singing with the MSSU Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers, He also appeared in HOT’s profusions of A Most Ingenious Paradox, La Traviata, and most recently Carmen.

Tanner Munson: A freshman Music Education major at MSSU and most recently appeared in their production of The Threepenny Opera. He also performed in the chorus of HOT’s Carmen. In addition to University musical activity, Tanner has been seen in production at the Joplin Little Theatre and Stained Glass Theatre.

Songs for a New World is being directed by Dr. Susan Smith, Professor of Music and Director of Vocal Studies at MSSU. Dr. Smith has staged several musical presentations for HOT and prepared the choruses for several productions including La Traviata and Carmen. 

To reserve individual tickets or a table seating eight, call 417-782-4953. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and $10 for students. For more information visit the web site at This production is funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. 

Celebrating Jo Mueller

3b89333e-ddd0-4333-a0ef-ffb4a223a07dSpiva Center for the Arts is hosting a reception to honor and celebrate Jo Mueller, recently retired Executive Director of Spiva Center for the Arts, on Sunday, April 3, from 3–5pm. At 3:30pm, special recognition and comments will be made for Jo. The public is invited to attend.

Since 2003 Mueller has been a committed and proven leader – truly an “arts hero” who has made Spiva and the arts in Joplin not only her vocation but her avocation. During her 12-year career as Spiva’s Executive Director, her leadership and passion for the arts has been transformative for Spiva, the lives of the region’s citizens and its children. Over the last 12 years Spiva has expanded into a dynamic visual arts center, a cultural “anchor” for the region and an institutional leader in the arts. During that time, Spiva developed three galleries, a gift shop, improved classrooms, a library/public meeting room and an archived permanent collection. It offers visual arts experiences to 14,000 visitors annually and encourages them to celebrate the creative experience.

In February she received the 2016 Leadership in the Arts award from the Missouri Arts Council at the Missouri State Capitol. The statewide award recognized that Mueller “transformed the center into a vibrant, accessible cultural anchor for the region and an engine for economic development and better quality of life with year-round exhibitions, events, and hands-on education programs for all ages.” In 2014 she received the prestigious Arty Award, a legacy award presented by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce for lifetime achievement in the arts. In 2011 she was recognized by the Missouri Department of Tourism as the winner of the Spotlight Award and in 2010 she was recognized as one of Joplin Regional Business Journal’s Most Influential Women.

Guests are welcome to bring a note of congratulations or thank you. In November a legacy fund was set up to honor Mueller for her 12 years of service to Spiva. It will be used to help support staffing needs. Donations to the legacy fund are welcome and may made to Spiva Center for the Arts, noting it is for the Jo Mueller Legacy Fund. 

Connect2Culture’s Next Arts Roundtable

C2C Arts Roundtable Leah HamiltonConnect2Culture’s next Arts Roundtable will cater to arts and cultural organizations in Joplin. This roundtable, Discover Your Arts Organization’s Lifecycle, will be led by Leah Hamilton (Independent Arts Consultant and Researcher) and take place Monday, April 4, 11:30am–1pm at Post Art Library (located inside the Joplin Public Library).

About this roundtable: “Facing changes, internally and externally, and feeling the need for more financial security is normal for any arts organization; you aren’t alone. This fun and engaging workshop will lead you through an honest assessment of your organization’s current lifecycle stage, and then provide you the tools to set realistic goals within that lifecycle to achieve greater stability. The tools include easy-to-follow action steps in pinpointing more purposeful relationships with stakeholders and honing your management techniques to positively influence marketing and programming.”

Click here to learn more about our speaker, Leah Hamilton.

RSVP’s are appreciated by emailing Emily at
A complimentary lunch will be provided.

Spiva Names New Executive Director

The board of directors of  Spiva Center for the Arts is excited to announce the hiring of the new Executive Director, Josie Mai. Mai most recently held the position of Associate Professor of Art and Art Education at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS, teaching K-12 art education and museum education, as well as curating and developing programming and interpretive materials for the PSU Museum of Art’s Art Connectors Community Gallery. Josie Mai New Spiva ED

Other past initiatives include the creation of the Beehive Collaborative, a local art studio, and coordination of the educational efforts of the Joplin Community Mural in 2011. Mai has been an active volunteer with Spiva since 2006, serving on the board of directors and education committee, as well as assisting with exhibits and exhibit-related events.

As an artist, Mai continues to develop her artwork, curate, and exhibit her works, and is a member of the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition.

Mai received a BSE in art education from the University of Kansas and a MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City. She has taught art to urban and suburban high school students in Kansas City area public schools and not-for-profit organizations such as Studio 150 and Chameleon, Inc. in addition to teaching at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in Springfield.

Mai’s first official day at Spiva will be Monday, May 2. “I am extremely honored and thrilled to be selected to lead Spiva, the arts champion in the Joplin region,” quoted Mai. Welcome, Josie!

Help Midwest Regional Ballet Make Peter Fly

9922115_1458081370.3302_funddescriptionMidwest Regional Ballet, the dance company and school that has brought you shows like Alice in Steampunk Wonderland, Dracula, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, has been enriching the four-states for over 20 years under the guidance of owner and artistic director, Kaye Lewis. For the first time ever, they plan to partner with the community in a new and exciting way. With their upcoming production of Peter Pan running April 14–17 at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium, they plan on making Peter fly…literally!

Renting a fly-system capable of performing Peter’s stunts and supplying that system with a crew of trained professionals is no frugal task. They need community help! A donation of any size will help them advance towards reaching their goal of providing the four-states with an unparalleled artistic experience for all ages. Click here to view their GoFundMe page. 

Arts & Cultural Opportunities In Joplin Throughout April


What’s coming up in April 2016? We have all the details on performances, arts events, exhibits, and classes happening throughout April in the #JoplinArts. Click here and mark these arts opportunities on the calendar now! 

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