Jo Mueller Named 2016 Missouri Arts Awards Recipient – Leadership In The Arts

Congratulations to Joplin’s very own Jo Mueller! She has received the Missouri Arts Council’s “Leadership in the Arts” Award for this year’s Missouri Arts Awards! So very well deserved. During her 2003-2015 tenure as executive director of George A. Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, Mueller metamorphosed the Center into a leading force for the power of the arts. People in the four-state region now have opportunities and experiences that did not exist before she took the helm. Spiva was founded in 1947 to foster performing, literary, and most especially visual arts. Mueller created a slew of new showcases for artists. She invigorated community awareness and support for the Center. She ramped up educational programming and made it accessible to all. She developed a library/public meeting room, a gift shop, an archived permanent collection, and three year-round galleries, including the Regional Gallery for local artists. She multiplied the number and variety of hands-on art classes. She built collaborations with organizations from Pro Musica to the Lafayette House Domestic Violence Center. She swung Spiva into action after the 2011 tornado with programming that helped the community heal through art. Beyond Spiva’s walls, Mueller has given her talents to Connect2Culture, the Chamber of Commerce’s Cultural Affairs Committee, the Joplin Public Library, Main Street Joplin and more. She is a strong public voice for the arts’ role in the region’s economic development and quality of life.

Jo Mueller

Since 1983, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have been honoring our state’s arts heroes—the people who make the arts happen. The annual Missouri Arts Awards celebrate people, organizations, and communities that have made profound and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state. Honorees are selected by an independent panel in six categories: Arts Education, Arts Organization, Creative Community, Individual Artist, Leadership in the Arts, and Philanthropy.

The 2016 Missouri Arts Awards will be presented in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City on February 10, 2016.

Other notable Missouri Arts Awards recipients from the Joplin area:

  • John and Joy Spiva Cragin in 1995
  • Cynthia Schwab in 1999
  • Missouri Southern State University International Piano Competition in 2007
  • The City of Joplin (Creative Community Award) in 2012
  • Meg Bourne-Hulsey (Arts Education Award) in 2014 [spacer height=”0px”]

Connect2Culture To Host Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts

Connect2Culture will host the first Arts Roundtable of FY 2015–2016 next week on Wed, Nov. 18, 6–7:30pm at Spiva Center for the Arts. We are excited to welcome back Don Simon, J.D./LL.M, president of Simon Business Consulting, Inc. In our last Arts Roundtable series he taught us all about Copyright Law.

C2C Arts Roundtable: What Everyone Should Know About Contracts
With Donald R. Simon, J.D./LL.M, president of Simon Business Consulting, Inc. & member of Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts (KCVLAA)


About the roundtable: Written contracts are a very important part of any business transaction. They take on greater significance when creative property is involved. This presentation will highlight some of the basic concerns when entering into the sale or licensing of creative property. A Q&A Session will follow.

About our speaker: Don Simon is president of Simon Business Consulting, Inc., a firm concentrating in media- and arts-based entrepreneurship. He also teaches law, business, and communications courses at The Art Institutes International – Kansas City and Avila University. Don lectures and writes extensively on legal and business matters and has appeared in Billboard, DownBeat, and Screen. Before relocating to Kansas City, he concentrated his legal practice in entertainment and intellectual property matters. His clients included musicians, filmmakers, producers, and entertainment companies. Prior to becoming an attorney, Don worked for 7 years in the broadcasting, cable, and publishing industries as an award-winning producer and director. He also played bass guitar in several bands. Don received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (Intellectual Property) degrees from The John Marshall Law School and his Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Missouri Southern State University.

ALL arts and cultural organizations, businesses, and artists are welcome to attend. Feel free to invite interested staff, board members, and friends. C2C Arts Roundtables are a great time to learn, share, network, and establish connections. Let’s grow the #JoplinArts together! To RSVP, please email Emily at This will help us secure enough seating and refreshments! [spacer height=”0px”]

Missouri Citizens for the Arts Called and Joplin Answered
Letter Project Joplin MO

We collected a total of 101 letters for inclusion in Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA) “The Letter Project” on behalf of Joplin and the surrounding area. That is 1/5 of the entire state’s goal of 500 letters!!! We are so fortunate to have so many local Arts Advocates. Thank you, Joplinites!

“The Letter Project” is a way for citizens to let Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon know that they care about the arts! Citizens were asked to create their own masterpiece in the frame at the top, write a short note, and include their name and address. For more information about the project, click here. [spacer height=”0px”]

New Exhibits Opening at Spiva Center for the Arts

68th Annual Membership ShowNew exhibits open to the public at Spiva this Saturday, November 14! Area artists who are members of Spiva Center for the Arts will have the opportunity to show their best work during the 68th Annual Membership Show, a competitive exhibit opening in the Main Gallery. Running in conjunction with the Membership Show will be Figurative Sculpts by Dustin Poché in the Regional Focus Gallery. Both exhibits run through Thursday, December 31.

Dustin Poché

A smorgasbord of art mediums is promised in the Membership Show in categories of adult competitive and display only. There will also be categories for children ages 11 and under and youth ages 12-16 years. Artists of all ages will compete for $3,000 in cash prizes, funded by Dr. and Mrs. John C. Windle, long-time Spiva members and philanthropists.

Cash prizes will be presented in both 2-D and 3-D adult categories and will include $500 for first place; $300 for second place; $200 for third place; $100 for merit award; and $50 for honorable mention. Children and youth will be competing for $600 in prizes. Awards will be announced and distributed at the opening reception this Friday, November 13.

In addition to the cash awards, the Barrie Hunt Memorial Award for an Emerging Artist in Water Media will be presented. The Donna Gilbreth Memorial Children’s and Youth Awards will be presented at a children’s reception on Sunday, November 15.

Jessica S. Stout, head of the art program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Miami, will judge the adult competition. Susan Rhea, Joplin, and Melody Knowles, Carthage, former art educators at Joplin High School, will decide the children’s awards for the 16-and-under crowd.

Figurative Sculpts by Dustin Poché  in the Regional Gallery exhibit will feature multimedia sculptures and one-of-a-kind fine art figures. Formally educated at the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver, the Russell, Kansas, artist draws inspiration from his love of period fashion and his work experience in New York City, where his career involved costume design, textiles and illustration within the fashion industry.

Poché’s exhibit is sponsored by Nancy G. Holland and Jim Stratton with additional support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The 68th Annual Membership Show is sponsored by Empire District Electric Company. [spacer height=”0px”]

“Called To Walls” Film Screening

Kansas Filmmakers Amber Hansen and Nicholas Ward will be on the Missouri Southern State University campus Sunday, November 22 at 2pm to share a sneak preview of their soon to be released Documentary film Called to Walls. The film chronicles a series of community-based murals led by muralist Dave Loewenstein between 2010 and 2013. Featured in the film is the story and creation of Joplin’s own mural, The Butterfly Effect: Dreams take flight, 2011.

Called to Walls Preview

“Out of view of the high art world and the hip gallery scene comes this heartening story of unlikely partners in Middle American communities working together to reexamine their histories, celebrate what makes their towns unique, and imagine their futures in the form of monumental community murals. Called to Walls is a thoughtful and uplifting film that not only leaves viewers reassessing their notions of art, but also with an itch to go out and do it themselves.”

Following the screening there will be a panel discussion with the filmmakers, local mural project participants and project muralist Dave Loewenstein. Please visit for screening updates, press and additional project info. This film screening will take place at Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall. Visit the event page on Facebook to RSVP! [spacer height=”0px”]

Get Funded – Learn More About Missouri Arts Council Grants

logoInterested in receiving funding from the Missouri Arts Council (MAC)? Every year, MAC hosts workshops in cities throughout Missouri. Learn how to navigate through the MAC grant process by joining them this fall at Spiva Center for the Arts on Tuesday, November 17 from 3–5pm.

Who should attend? Eligible organizations (Missouri-based, tax-exempt only) looking for funding for arts projects who are not familiar with the Missouri Arts Council application process, or who have previously applied and not received satisfactory panel scores. Those who have previously applied and are familiar with the process do not need to attend.

Each two-hour workshop covers basic information on MAC grants, both monthly and annual, eligibility, creating an online profile in the updated grant system, the application and panel process, preparing support materials and how to address narrative questions. If you have never applied for MAC funding, or seek to improve your grant application, you will benefit from attending this free workshop. FY2017 is from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. FY2017 is an on-year for these grant programs: Arts Education, Arts Services, Dance, Minority Arts, Theater, and Visual Arts.. The deadline for applications for annual grants for FY2017 is February 29, 2016. The workshop is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance. Questions? Call or email program specialists Courtney Schlueter, 314-340-6858,, or Jill Williams, 314-340-6857, [spacer height=”0px”]