Citizens’s Day for the Arts at the Legislature

You are invited to Missouri Citizens’ Day for the Arts at the Legislature on Wednesday, February 8, 2017! This event, hosted by Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA), takes place annually at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, MO. Citizens’ Day is MCA’s signature event in year-round efforts to advocate for continued public funding for Missouri arts. The day includes advocacy training, legislative visits, performances and Missouri Arts Council’s annual Arts Awards ceremony. Participants in Citizens’ Day are key to providing a strong voice of support for the arts that will ensure continued attention from the General Assembly. Connect2Culture will not be providing a bus this year, but carpooling is encouraged. For more info and to register, CLICK HERE!

Latest State of the Arts in MO via MCA: “Traditionally the Governor unveils budget priorities as part of the State of the State Address.  As Governor Greitens is transitioning into office, he is not expected to propose a budget until early February, and the House is waiting to file budget bills until they receive Greitens’ recommendations.

The Governor did make his first announcement on the budget this week, withholding over $146 million from the FY 2017 budget.  This is in addition to the approximately $200 million withheld by Governor Jay Nixon.  Higher education bore the brunt of the withholds, with $55 million restricted from four-year schools and about $12 million withheld from community colleges.

For the Arts and our Cultural Partners, he restricted $1,050,000.  This means another $610,000 from the Missouri Arts Council, in addition to the $610,000 former Governor Nixon withheld earlier this fiscal year.

Governor Greitens also restricted $181,875 from the June, 2017, Missouri Fine Arts and Missouri Scholars Academies. $3 million was restricted from Tourism.

Greitens said these withholds were needed to address the FY 2017 revenue shortfall, which stemmed in part from a greater-than-expected reduction in corporate income tax revenue as well as growth in tax credits and expenditures.

Based on current spending and revenue projections, the House Budget Committee said the FY 2018 budget will remain very tight, with a possible state revenue gap of over $400 million.  The House Budget Chair does not expect withheld items to be funded next year.  House and Senate Committees will begin hearings on the FY 2018 budget this month, and the House will vote on budget bills in early April.  The House and Senate must have the budget submitted to Governor Greitens by May 5.”

Even if you cannot make it on February 8th, you can still help the cause by contacting your elected officials, by mail, email or phone.  See the resources at to help shape your message.  [spacer height=”0px”]

Sharon Beshore Honored with Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service Award

Connect2Culture is pleased to announce Sharon Beshore, Connect2Culture Chairman, has been awarded the Martin Luther King Drum Major of Service Award by the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Southwest Missouri. A ceremony honoring Beshore was held on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 16, 2017 at the Independent Living Center.

This distinguished award goes to volunteers who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition.

Jo Mueller, past executive director of Spiva Center for the Arts, introduced Sharon as “an extraordinary woman with an extraordinary drive to engage in causes that have a positive, lasting impact. She is that rare volunteer who follows instinct and passion, always working toward a better future for her community, her state, and its citizens. Watching her, we can’t help but realize that it’s true: one person can make a very big difference. Her diligence, integrity, vision and passion inspire people, and without saying a word, remind us that we, if we choose, can make a difference too.”

Sharon is best known locally and across the state as an arts activist. Ten years ago she received the statewide Arts Advocacy Award from Missouri Citizens for the Arts. In 2008 she was a nominee for First Lady Melanie Blunt’s First Lady Awards and that same year was named one of the Joplin Tri-State Business Journal’s Most Influential Women. In 2013 she received the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Arty Award for contributions to the arts. In the next few months, Sharon will be recognized by Kansas City’s Business Magazine, Ingram’s, as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know, Class of 2017.

“We think that Sharon’s years of service to the arts in Joplin and other charitable organizations makes her a very deserving recipient,” said Shelly Goerz, Director, RSVP of SW MO.

Sharon is a founding member and current Chair of Connect2Culture, the non-profit community arts agency founded in 2009 to “enhance community through culture.” C2C is an umbrella organization that offers support services to local arts organizations and works to provide resources to increase community involvement and audience development for the arts. Currently, C2C leads an initiative supporting development of an Arts & Entertainment Center in downtown Joplin. The formation of C2C and its growth are among Sharon’s proudest accomplishments. [spacer height=”0px”]

New Exhibits (Big and Small) at Spiva Center for the Arts
Spiva Center for the Arts recently opened two new exhibits in their Main and Regional Galleries, respectively. One includes larger than life paintings, while the other walls are lined with…miniatures! Something for the whole family to enjoy – plan a trip to Spiva soon…

The Reins: Paintings by Juan Kelly: Challenging our perceptions of reality, Juan Kelly’s artwork refuses to offer tidy resolutions to the questions posed. Utilizing the formal elements and techniques of old master paintings, Kelly constructs an enigmatic world that confronts our penchant for the familiar. Transported beyond stereotypical convention, Kelly’s paintings mine the fertile territory of our collective subconscious and introduce us to layers of nuance and double entendres.

Exquisite Miniatures by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist: Typically measuring less than nine square inches, not only are these small paintings, they are replete works of fine art capable of standing alongside conventionally sized works and competing in color, composition, and value, in spite of the fact that their exquisite detail is presented on a greatly reduced scale.  When viewed under magnification, these tiny treasures draw their viewers ever closer to the point where they can become lost within this miniature world. Their compositions reflect broad and diverse encounters with nature and often stress biodiversity and the ecology of humans as well as wildlife. [spacer height=”0px”]

Empire Market Open House Announced

Photo courtesy Google Maps

Downtown Joplin Alliance is looking for entrepreneurs and creatives ready for the move to a space…that isn’t the basement. If you are looking for a private office to practice your craft and run your business, they have a space for you! Attend the Empire Market Open House on Saturday, February 4, starting at 1:00pm, and tour spaces that are available for immediate occupancy. Space sizes are 140sf to 200sf and are priced $175-195 including internet. For more information, contact Lori Haun,

More about The Empire Market: The Empire District Electric Company presented the deed to the property at 931 East 4th Street to DJA on December 28. DJA’s long-term vision is to create a vibrant, four-season city market. “A place where citizens can find the best of what this area has to offer; meats, cheeses, wine, beer, crafters, artisans and any number of other vendors, in a collection of permanent and rotating market stands.” – Lori Haun, DJA board president. [spacer height=”0px”]

Poetry Out Loud at Thomas Jefferson IDS

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national recitation contest for high school students that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. POL helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The competition is structured as a pyramid that starts at the classroom level. Classroom winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional competition, then to a state (or territorial) competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.

Ultimately, the Missouri champion receives an all-expense-paid trip (with two parents or chaperones) to Washington, D. C. to compete in the national finals May 2017. National finalists receive $50,000 total in scholarships and travel stipends. The State Champion’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry instructional materials. The second place winner’s school receives $200. POL is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Left to Right: Savannah Dillard, Elias Burrough (first place), Lex Baird (second place), and Paige Lewis.

Elias Burrough, junior, received first place at TJ’s Poetry Out Loud competition last Friday, January 20, 2017. His poems were The Barnacle by A. E. Stallings and A Thousand Martyrs by Aphra Behn. Lex Baird, senior, was second place, and his poems were Peace Lilies by Cathy Smith Bowers and Waving Goodbye by Gerald Stern. Elias will now advance to the regional competition. The Southwest Missouri Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals hosted by the Springfield Regional Arts Council will take place Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at 4 p.m. at The Creamery Arts Center in Springfield.

For the competition, students must memorize two poems and perform them. They are graded on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, accuracy, and overall performance.

Judges for the event were Emily Frankoski, director of Connect2Culture and TJ alumnus, and TJ English department faculty Sarah Burgess, Achala Tiwari, Willie Plaschke, and Clayton Carnahan. [spacer height=”0px”]