Art Feeds Mural Reveal at Mercy Park

Art Feeds, in association with Mercy Hospital, revealed a new mural in Joplin’s Mercy Park on Saturday, May 5. This beautiful mural, “Together We Create,” features designs drawn from the minds of local elementary school students.

The vision for a new mural in Mercy Park started when Patrick Tuttle, director of the Joplin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, saw a blank canvas of cement on the back of the park’s Butterfly Mural. Mr. Tuttle contacted Sharon Beshore, chair of Connect2Culture, and Art Feeds was brought in to create a mural inspired by area children.


Photos courtesy Whitehill Enterprises. 

Art Feeds held two workshops for local elementary school children in their mobile art center—a large, customized school bus, aptly named the Van Gogh 2.0. The children completed four lessons helping them to learn how to work together to create something beautiful while letting each individual voice shine.

After the workshops, Art Feeds’ graphic designer Abby Spillane created a digital rendering of the mural which incorporated the children’s designs. This was then sent to Paul Whitehill of Whitehill Enterprises, who specializes in high-tech digital printing services.

Mercy Park is located at 26th Street and Maiden Lane. [spacer height=”0px”]

Celebrate National Preservation Month 

May is national preservation month! Each of us have places that are special to us. And now you can show your pride and support for the places that matter most to you through participating in The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s #ThisPlaceMatters campaign.

Joplin’s Carnegie Library, 1902

Participation is easy:

1) Download This Place Matters materials including signs, social media shareables, and a campaign toolkit
2) Take photos at the places that matter most to you.
3) Share your photos online with the hashtag #ThisPlaceMatters and #joplinMOmatters.
4) Stay tuned to @SavingPlaces on Instagram and Twitter as they spotlight their favorite photos!

According to Nancy Morton, chair of the City of Joplin Historic Preservation Commission, they are teaming up with Post Art Library to highlight a variety of Joplin’s oldest properties using photo essays on social media.

“In addition, new markers or signs commemorating locally recognized properties [and] landmarks will be presented to their current property owners for placement on their respective properties and included the photo essay,” said Nancy Morton.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can participate in preservation month, the City of Joplin Historic Preservation Commission will also be participating in these events:

May 2–4: Annual MO Historic Preservation Conference in Sedalia, Missouri.
May 4, 6:00–8:00pm: Downtown Joplin Alliance’s First Friday WineShare at the Scottish Rite Cathedral; Co-hosts with Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau.
May 15, 5:00pm: City Hall, Fifth floor conference room, Historic Preservation Commission meeting.
May 18–20, 8:00–5:00pm: Bob Yapp 3-day Window Restoration Boot Camp at Joplin Empire Market, 931 East 4th Street (see below for details).
May 21, 6:00pm: City Council Chambers, Council resolution(s) recognizing annual local historic preservation efforts.
Ongoing: Written and photographic survey of historic properties in Joplin’s East Town neighborhood north of Broadway (Phase 1) conducted by Rosin Preservation, Inc. [spacer height=”0px”]

Bob Yapp Window Restoration & Weatherization Boot Camp

In celebration of preservation month, Historic Murphysburg and the City of Joplin Historic Preservation Commission will present a Window Restoration and Weatherization Bootcamp, hosted by historic restoration expert Bob Yapp. The three-day event is $100 per student and will take place on May 18-20 at the Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th St). Students will get hands on experience working on windows from historic buildings in Joplin.

Spaces are limited. To sign up or for more information, click here.

Why is window restoration and weatherization such a good investment? According to Bob Yapp, restoring and weatherizing original windows is at least as energy efficient, and more eco-friendly, than buying mass manufactured replacement windows. According to Mr. Yapp, these modern replacement windows are designed with replacement in mind and will typically last for only a decade of use. This prefabricated window design perpetuates a cycle of disposable products that end up in landfills across the country. Meanwhile, quality windows that have functioned for a hundred years or more can be restored and weatherized to meet or exceed current efficiency standards, and with proper maintenance, possibly last for a hundred years to come. [spacer height=”0px”]

Arts Heroes Recognized at Annual Chamber Banquet

Champions of arts and culture, Kaye Lewis and Sharon Beshore were recognized at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet on Thursday, April 26.

Kaye Lewis won the 2018 Arty Award for outstanding contribution to the arts in the Joplin area. Lewis is the director of Midwest Regional Ballet. Trained by some of the best instructors in the country, including Gus Giordano, she has taught dancing for almost three decades. Kaye has a passion for enriching the Four States with performing arts and equipping her students with the skills to achieve greatness.

On winning the award Kaye Lewis said she was “Extremely honored…as artists I think all of us believe our art form is our award… I mean I felt like I received a Tony or [an] Oscar…”

Connect2Culture’s own Sharon Beshore was honored by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Citizen of the Year award for 2018. Sharon serves as the chair of Connect2Culture and is a cofounder of the Chamber’s cultural affairs committee.

Sharon shared her excitement for her and for Kaye Lewis’ recognitions with a post on Facebook:

“I’m so honored to receive the award, as well as humbled to join 50 years of outstanding citizens. But it takes all of us working together to create positive change to impact the fabric of our community. I’m thrilled that Kaye Lewis received the 2018 Arty Award. Talk about talented, relentless, and impact! She has changed her students lives and has reach out to broad audiences in our region! We are on a roll!” [spacer height=”0px”]

Summer Art Camps For All Ages

There are plenty of opportunities this summer for kids and young adults to participate in fun and challenging visual and performing arts camps.

Camps this summer include The Next Generation Performing Arts Camp at MSSU, which offers a musical theater program and strings and collaborative piano; Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School’s Summer Discovery Academy, Midwest Regional Ballet, Joplin Little Theatre Workshops, and more.

Click here to browse our lineup of all 50+ of these camp offerings. [spacer height=”0px”]

Fiddlers on the Route Bluegrass Festival

The second annual Fiddlers on the Route festival is just around the corner! This year’s festival, featuring outstanding bluegrass music, will be held at Memorial Hall on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23.

Friday’s performance features multiple Grammy award winning bluegrass duo Dailey and Vincent. As members of the Grand Ole Opry and hosts of the popular Dailey and Vincent Show on RF-TV, Dailey and Vincent are one of the most sought-after bluegrass, traditional country and gospel music acts today.

Friday Admission: Floor and Handicap General Admission $25; Mezzanine $20; Balcony $15; children 12 and under admitted free. All ticket prices increase $10 for day-of sales. Tickets may be purchased by going to or by calling 1-800-514-3849.

Saturday features an all-day lineup of eight of the best bluegrass bands from the Four States. Admission is $10 per person at the door for all-day access via wristband, and free for children 12 and under.

The Line Up:

11:30am to Noon – Pickers Post Band (Joplin/Carl Junction, MO)
12:15pm to 1:00pm – No Apparent Reason (Carthage, MO)
1:15pm to 2:00pm – Southern Tradition (Tontitown, AR)
2:15pm to 3:15pm – The Vogts Sisters (Erie, KS)
3:30pm to 4:30pm – Brightwater Junction (Cassville, MO)
5:00pm to 6:00pm – Borderline Bluegrass (Neosho, MO)
6:15pm to 7:45pm – That Dalton Gang (Lamar/Lockwood, MO)
8:00pm to 10:00pm – SpringStreet Bluegrass (Muskogee, OK)

Pickers Post Band

From Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas, Pickers Post Band combines Bluegrass, Country, Gospel, and Folk to create a unique and enjoyable stage performance. The members are Robert Jones on bass; Phil Greer on Banjo; Debbie Elbrader, Megan Lamb, and Darryl Anderson on guitar; and Randy Corbin on Mandolin.

No Apparent Reason

Based out of Carthage, Missouri, No Apparent Reason blends skilled bluegrass with seriously hilarious comedy. The band members are Rick Rector on guitar and vocals, Randy Waggoner on bass, Travis Wagner on guitar, “Little” Ricky Carneal on dobro, and Jim Graham mandolin and guitar.

Southern Tradition

Formed in 2014 in Northwest Arkansas, Southern Tradition brings their smooth three and four part harmonies and instrumental versatility to concerts and festivals throughout the Ozarks. With Jeff and Justin Bond on guitar, Bobby Glenn on mandolin, Rick Evans on upright bass, Isaac Orvin on fiddle, and Tony Langley on banjo and dobro, they’re sure to wow audiences with their dynamic sound.

The Vogts Sisters

As regional and international award winning songwriters from rural Erie, Kansas, The Vogts Sisters touch the hearts of audiences wherever they go as Maggie and Abigail Vogts bring their sweet sister harmony to their acoustic Americana-Folk act.

Brightwater Junction

Formed in 1996 in Cassville, Missouri, Brightwater Junction is known for their hard-driving traditional and gospel bluegrass music. Members include Lyn Coones on banjo, Tonya Coones on bass, Eric Coones on mandolin, and Jason Jordan on guitar. The band has been nominated for and won several awards, including the 2012 Silver Dollar City National Single-Mic Championship.

Borderline Bluegrass

Tight three part harmonies, hot pickin’, and a high energy stage show – that’s what you’ll get from Borderline Bluegrass. Based in southwest Missouri, this four piece bluegrass band has been entertaining audiences across the country for the last four years. From an early age Julie, Ty, Daniel and Jon all played music in family bands, at music halls, festivals, and hootenannys.  Their musical influences are diverse – country, gospel, jazz, rock, and of course, hard driving Bluegrass, have all come together to create the sound of Borderline Bluegrass.  From regional festivals to their pending debut at the world famous Station Inn, in Nashville, TN, the band is gaining momentum and building their fan base.

That Dalton Gang

That Dalton Gang is a versatile group of young musicians, centered around the Dalton sisters Cheyenne and Maddie who play twin fiddles and mandolins with astounding professionalism. Their sibling harmony pulls audiences right to the center of every song. Rounding out the group is Alex Clayton on banjo, Wyatt Harmon on bass, and Jimmy Meyer on guitar.

SpringStreet Bluegrass

Hailing from Muskogee, Oklahoma, SpringStreet Bluegrass seeks to glorify God with their skillful mix of Gospel, Country and Bluegrass music. Their expertise is brought to the stage with founding member Mike Williams on banjo, Dan Nieto playing multiple instruments, Nick Alberty on mandolin, Roger Sparks on fiddle, and Steve Huhn on Bass.