The Harlem (string) Quartet (Illmar Gavilán, violin; Melissa White, violin; Jaime Adador, viola; Felix Umansky, cello) praised for its “panache” by The New York Times, is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent,” says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Harlem Quartet was founded in 2006 by the Sphinx Organization. The original four members were all first prize laureates of the Sphinx Competition. The Organization wanted to create a group comprised of first place laureates to achieve the overall mission of bringing classical music to inner-city school children.
The quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Each member of the quartet is a seasoned solo artist, having appeared with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, National, Utah, Puerto Rico, Juilliard, New World, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. Harlem Quartet’s solo work as an ensemble is also a significant part of their career.
The quartet will perform for the Joplin community on Friday, September 30, 7pm at College Heights Christian Church (4311 E Newman Rd, Joplin). The concert is open to the public at no admission charge, donations appreciated. As part of the week-long residency in Joplin the Quartet will present eight outreach events – at local schools, a domestic violence shelter and a corporate sponsor.
Financial assistance for this residency is provided, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in memory of Elizabeth Meisinger. Outreach events sponsored, in part, by the Joplin Rotary Club, and the Rusty Smith Memorial Fund.
On September 10th, five judges from the community met and reviewed the 70+ entries to the #joplinflag Design Initiative. Each submission was reviewed and judged based on how well the design adhered to the five principles of flag design, and how well it represented Joplin. The winners have been announced and now it’s time for the community to weigh in. Voting will be open until October 14th, the winning design will be announced on October 20th in Downtown Joplin at the final Third Thursday of the year. Have you voted yet? Click here for a description of each flag design and cast your vote!
The year 2016 marks Post Art Library’s (PAL) 35th year existing within the Joplin Public Library! They are inviting the community-at-large to celebrate with them by participating in their Post-it Art Party & Fundraiser to raise funds for arts and cultural library programming. It’s simple: PAL provides the Post-its and you provide the art. Pick up your free PAL Post-it Art Packet from Post Art Library (300 S Main St), Joplin Public Library (300 S Main St), or Connect2Culture (407 S Pennsylvania Ave), make art on the enclosed Post-its, and donate what you create to PAL by Monday, October 17 at 6pm. Post-it artworks will be shown and sold for $1 each during a party to which all are invited on Sunday, October 30 from 2–4pm. All proceeds will benefit arts and cultural library programming. Questions? Give Jill Sullivan a call at 417.782.7678.
On Wednesday, September 21, months of planning and fundraising efforts by the Joplin High School Class of 1954 concluded with the unveiling of a bronze eagle sculpture created by renowned local artist Jon Fowler. The unveiling took place in the Rose Garden at Joplin High School with a special check presentation. TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys, on behalf of TAMKO, presented the Class of 1954 with $25,000, helping to meet its Eagle Project fundraising goal of $50,000. The JHS Class of 1954 started the Eagle Project as a way to recognize the recovery efforts by the district following the May 2011 tornado.
The JHS Class of 1954 hopes the eagle will encourage generations of student success and leave a lasting legacy at the newly constructed school. “We hope this eagle serves as a point of pride and encouragement and as a permanent reminder to students and staff of the power of hope and perseverance.” – JHS Class of 1954 representative Earline Kelley.
The eagle sculpture will rest on top of an important historical feature at the new school, the rock located in the Rose Garden. The rock, donated to the school by former Joplin School District Board of Education Member Lloyd Combs, was salvaged from the Rose Garden site at the original Joplin High School destroyed in the tornado.
Jon Fowler who created the eagle, is a long-time local artist who taught classes in ceramics and sculpture for 32 years at Missouri Southern State University and served as professor of art and chairman of the art department. He and his wife Judith, who also worked at MSSU, raised their family in Joplin and their children graduated from Joplin Schools. Jon’s most interesting and well-known sculpture is the life-size “Uncle Buck” bronze at Brass Pro shops in Springfield, Missouri, and Atlanta, Georgia.
A number of donors from the JHS Class of 1954, other Joplin High School alumni groups and the community helped make the eagle possible. In addition to the $25,000 donation from TAMKO, other major donors included:
$10,000 – Brent & Phyllis Kyte, JHS Class of ’54
$10,000 – Jon & Judith Fowler, sculptor
$5,000 – Freeman Health System
$1,200 – Bill & Earline Kelley, JHS Class of’54
$1,000 – Delmar Sutton, JHS Class of ’54
$500 – Dr. Lance & Sharon Beshore