Weekend Plans – Dance Lesson, Joplin Arts Fest, Asleep At The Wheel

We have the perfect weekend planned for you! Start your weekend off right with Connect2Culture’s Country Swing and Two-Step Dance Lesson on Friday, September 15, 7:00pm at Memorial Hall. This dance workshop and practice session will help you learn the right moves so you are ready to dance live at Asleep At The Wheel’s country swing dance party the following night. This session is open to the general public, including ticket holders for Saturday’s concert. Come learn the moves on Friday and then dance live with the band on Saturday! Judy Schneider of Judy’s Ballroom Dance Lessons will be our featured instructor. Judy is a performer, educator, and choreographer who has taught a variety of genres at all levels and helped plan/present national events in Dallas and at the Kennedy Center. Admission is $5 per person ($3 for ticket-holders) and payment will be collected at the door. To reserve your spot, call 417.625.6683 (leave a message) or email info@connect2culture.com. This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Additional financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

On Saturday, September 16, 10:00am–6:00pm, wake up and head downtown for the third annual Joplin Arts Fest on Main Street (4th to 7th Streets). Shop 50+ fine art booths while listening to live performances throughout the day. Grab a mimosa, buy some art, and enjoy your downtown community! Joplin Arts Fest is brought to you by The Joplin Kiwanis Club in conjunction with the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC), Connect2Culture (C2C) and Spiva Center for the Arts.

At 7:00pm that evening, head over to Memorial Hall for Connect2Culture’s concert featuring Grammy Award winning artist Asleep At The Wheel. Doors open at 7:00pm, show starts at 7:30pm Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia 46 years ago. Now based in Austin, the band holds 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. The Grammy Award-winning “Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys” is the band’s most recent release (2015) and marks their third full-length Bob Wills tribute album. Featuring 22 acclaimed collaborations, the all-star lineup includes legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Strait and newcomers like The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and many other fine talents. Asleep at the Wheel is bringing a fresh look and sound into 2017. Now traveling as an 8-piece band, recent additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin) and Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) have instilled a newfound energy and their own unique style within the band. Between those Texas Twin Fiddles and Boogie Piano, you can bet you’ll be dancin’ down the aisles and swingin’ all night long when the Wheel rolls into town! Tickets: $25 Floor, $15 Mezzanine. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 1-800-514-3849, or at the door.

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Revering the Phoenix Effect Dedication

A dedication ceremony was recently held at the Joplin Public Library for Jorge Leyva’s sculpture “Revering the Phoenix Effect.” The sculpture was made possible by a group of generous donors and was presented as a gift to the City of Joplin. The ceremony took place on August 24th at the new Joplin Public Library where the sculpture is intended to stay. It is one of the first things people see when visiting the new library at 1901 East 20th Street.

“One of the goals of the new library project was to better incorporate art throughout the building. This sculpture helps to illustrate that we’ve achieved that goal, as it’s one of the first things people see when they visit the library. We’re very excited to accept this gift on behalf of the community and we’re thankful to those who made it possible,” said Post Art Library Director, Jill Sullivan.

The sculpture celebrates those that were able to rebuild their lives after the Joplin tornado. Jorge Leyva hopes this piece will become a symbol of strength and tenacity for the community. “The sculpture is a piece celebrating resilience and hope in the midst of chaos and pain. Each house represents an identity lost, each branch a new growth, a new blade of grass, a new life rising from devastation. As nature and man-made objects come together, they grow in unison and become a renewed community.” – Jorge Leyva. Read Leyva’s artists statement here.  [spacer height=”0px” ]

MSSU Korea Semester Full of Learning Opportunities for All

Missouri Southern State University has chosen to spotlight Korea for their traditional themed semester. The main focus will be on South Korea (The Republic of Korea) but will make sure to include events about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) as well. These events range in time during weekdays at the Missouri Southern State University campus and are free and open to the public. The events of this semester consist of tasting the food of the country, learning to read and write Korean, K-POP and Taekwondo workshops, a Korean film festival, and lectures about life in Korea by guest speakers and even student speakers from the Missouri Southern International Studies program. MSSU’s themed semesters allow a large percent of the student bod to experience life abroad. It is the Universities way of bringing cultural awareness to the student body without each student individually participating in international travel. This provides a foundation for graduates of MSSU to understand what attending a multicultural school is really like. A complete list of events happening this semester can be found along with dates and times here. [spacer height=”0px”]

Midwest Regional Ballet’s Alice In Steampunk Wonderland

A new twist on Alice in Wonderland is being brought to the stage by Midwest Regional Ballet. An original adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland set to Queen music – with a steampunk flair! It will appear at the memorial auditorium in Pittsburg, KS on the 8-10 of September and again on the 15-17. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for Senior Citizen and under 13 years of age, $10 for balcony. If you are looking for something a little closer to home, witness this interesting twist on the popular novel at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School on the 22 and 23 of September.

Midwest Regional Ballet is a dance school in Joplin that allows dancers from across the Four State area to practice their skills and gain performance experience to grow as a performer throughout their lives. Since 1999 Midwest Regional Ballet has put on full length productions to provide the area with a connection to the arts and to allow dancers to build a resume for their professional career. Their mission is to “equip students for a successful career in any aspect of the arts, through knowledge, confidence, and discipline.” [spacer height=”0px”]

National Arts & Humanities Month Fast Approaches

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) will officially begin with a proclamation ceremony on Thursday, October 5, 5:00pm in Spiva Park (4th and Main in Downtown Joplin). The Mayor will be on hand to recognize the impact the arts and humanities have had on the cultural and economic growth of Joplin. NAHM is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration in October, with goals of: FOCUSING on the arts at local, state, and national levels; ENCOURAGING individuals and organizations to participate in the arts; ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

This ceremony will also kick off the final First Thursday ArtWalk of the season which will start at 5:30pm. Don’t worry, First Thursday ArtWalk will return in March of 2017. Make sure to grab a calendar from Connect2Culture to be up to date on things you can do in the month of October to celebrate the arts and culture brought to you by the individuals and businesses of the Joplin community. [spacer height=”0px”]

Art Feeds Mural Workshops Open to the Public

Art Feeds and Mercy will be teaming up to host two mural workshop for K-5th graders at Mercy Park. This mural will eventually be installed on the opposite side of the Butterfly Mural already located in Mercy Park. The workshops will be 3 hours long and consist of 4 lessons; Art Feeds Community Story Telling Web, Small Group Brainstorming, Community Collaboration Drawing, and Paint Brush Buddies. The designs produced in the workshop will be combined into a cohesive mural design to represent the ideas contributed by all the students. Mural Workshops will be held on Saturday, September 23rd and Saturday September 30th. Both workshops will work the same in order to get a variety of participants from the young artists of the community. These workshops are free but require pre-registration, which can be done here. [spacer height=”0px”]

Spend Friday the 13th at Open Mic Poetry Night

Friday the 13th  is the best time to read poetry you have written or poetry by an author you enjoy at Open Mic Poetry Night. Feel free to bring your darkest pieces and a bottle of wine or craft beer to share for this already considered dark day in October with a group of poetry lovers like yourself. This event is for poets of all levels – from pro to novice!

Open Mic Poetry Night is brought to you by Connect2Culture, Post Art Library, Pub Hound Press, and Downtown Joplin Alliance. It is meant for all readers and writers of any literature whether you just started writing, are a pro, or just like to read a poem every once in a while. Open Mic Poetry Night is for anyone over twenty-one and is free of admission. Look forward to spooky poems (or not spooky poems) and a giveaway at Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th St). [spacer height=”0px”]

Pro Musica Begins 37th Season with the Verona (string) Quartet

Pro Musica is pleased to launch its 37th Season with the Verona (string) Quartet in concert at 7:00pm on Thursday, September 21, at First Community Church, 2007 E 15th Street, in Joplin. Hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble of young musicians”, the Verona Quartet is a winner of the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition and have earned a stellar reputation for delivering a “sensational, powerhouse performance” (Classical Voice America) every time they take the stage. The quartet’s members, Jonathan Ong (violin), Dorothy Ro (violin), Abigail Rojansky (viola), and Jonathan Dormand (cello), are an international group from the USA, UK, Canada, and Singapore. They are strong proponents of community engagement and education. Verona Quartet’s appearance in Joplin is sponsored, in part, by Richard & Teresa Massa and the Missouri Arts Council. Outreach activities are funded, in part, by the Rotary Club of Joplin and the Rusty Smith Memorial Fund. The concert is open to the public at no charge with donations appreciated. For more information call 417-625-1822 or visit www.promusicajoplin.org. [spacer height=”0px”]