Future Home of Connect2Culture & Spiva Center for the Arts


  • This grassroots initiative goes deep into the community.
  • Through a broad-based, participatory process, over 240 citizens – representing community arts organizations, artists, audience members, and community leaders – provided input into the 2010 study that envisioned a new visual and performing arts center as an exciting anchor for downtown Joplin.
  • On May 22, 2011, the EF-5 tornado hit Joplin.
  • In fall 2011, the Missouri Arts Council awarded the City of Joplin the Creative Community Award for using the arts to promote economic growth, tourism, business and resident attraction, and civic growth and to meet the unprecedented challenges created by the tornado.

Joplin may have changed after the devastating tornado of May 22, but the importance of the arts in Joplin remains. There is a coordinated, broad-based partnership of arts organizations, city government, and business. Joplin understands that a creative community is the city of the 21st century.” – Joplin Chamber of Commerce President Rob O’Brian at the February 8, 2012, Missouri Arts Council Awards ceremony


  • In fall 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded a disaster relief grant to move the visual and performing arts center plans forward through renewed community engagement and architectural planning.
  • In spring 2012, the project was identified as a priority as part of the disaster recovery effort and facilitated by a partnership of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Connect2Culture, and the City of Joplin.
  • In December 2014, Joplin City Council gave their unanimous approval for a public-private partnership to explore the potential of the Memorial Hall site becoming a community cultural arts center. In a 30-day effort in January 2015, Connect2Culture (C2C) raised $68,546, including $48,000 from JRCF, to fund architectural schematics for the Memorial Hall site.
  • In mid-2015, C2C decided to move the proposed visual and performing arts center to a site immediately adjacent to Memorial Hall, thereby retaining Memorial Hall as a flexible big box to accommodate 2,000 or more attendees; in December 2015, C2C and SPIVA revealed this plan to the Joplin City Council and the Joplin Citizens in a scheduled City Council meeting.


The Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center will be our region’s gathering place to:

  • Educate, enlighten, and entertain our children and families!
  • Attract more people and activities to  downtown directly benefiting our retailers, restaurants, and other businesses!
  • Reinforce Joplin’s strength as the region’s center for entertainment, medical care, retail, industry, transportation, and education!
  • Showcase and nurture the region’s creativity through visual and performing artists!
  • Bring to Joplin artists from across America and around the world!
  • Bring us together as a community to enjoy fun and creative programs for the whole family!


The Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center will showcase excellent visual and performing arts opportunities for children, area residents and tourists.

It will consist of:

  • New home for George A. Spiva Center for the Arts (SPIVA), a premier visual arts exhibition and education center in the four-state region
  • 500-seat theater for community performances, world-class performers, film, and corporate/community meetings and presentations
  • Community meeting and hospitality spaces
  • Shared lobby
  • Catering/warming kitchen capable of serving banquets, receptions, and small dinners
  • Related arts office spaces, meeting rooms, building services, storage spaces, etc.

All spaces will feel welcoming.

Joint condo project of SPIVA & C2C

  • SPIVA, the visual arts component for the new Joplin A&E Center, will own, manage, and program its visual arts and education wing.
  • C2C will own, manage, and program its performing arts/theater wing.
  • Common area maintenance agreements will guide the use of the lobby areas and public and community spaces.


As designed, Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center will:

  • provide spaces for classes, exhibitions, rehearsals, and performances
  • attract new audiences into Joplin
  • Enable a broad range of the region’s business organizations, hospitals, civic groups, community groups, schools, churches, educational and cultural organizations to take advantage of opportunities to use or develop cooperative programs with the Center for meetings, special events, fundraisers, exhibits, performances, workshops, services, graduations, weddings, and other celebrations
  • Be the location for world-class exhibitions and touring performances

Potential collaborators:

  • Pro Musica
  • Heartland Opera Theatre
  • Joplin Little Theatre
  • Midwest Regional Ballet
  • Community symphony and choral concerts
  • C2C programming:
    • Concerts – jazz, bluegrass, country, and classical
    • Films, lectures
    • Piano series
    • School-time performances and family series
    • Music and dance recitals
    • Corporate/community events, seminars, ceremonies, banquets,  receptions, and celebration
    • Touring artists and musicals


  • Enhances cultural opportunities for our children and families, and strengthens educational opportunities for students in the region.
  • Strengthens performing and visual arts organizations in the region by giving them a central, convenient showcase for their work.
  • Adds a point of pride for a City determined to build Joplin back, better than before!

It is an economically sound investment because of the volume of people going to/from the Center’s events, which will:

  • Leverage new downtown construction, renovation, and job creation.
  • Increase in property values/the local tax base and generate sales tax and other additional government revenue.
  • Attract residents, businesses, and employees who expect this type of quality-of-life amenity, thus building professional sectors such as medicine, technology, and research.
  • Boost tourism and be an important catalyst encouraging daytime visitors to spend the night.

First class cities have first class arts centers!

Past Updates:


Connect2Culture now exploring two potential partnerships:

School Community Partnership – Joplin Schools Performing Arts Center – November 25, 2014

Community Cultural Arts Center at Memorial Hall Site – December 1, 2014


Community Cultural Arts Center at Memorial Hall Site – December 7, 2015

1 Comment

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