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As we ring in the New Year, take a look back at some of the most memorable moments of 2014...
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Our community is lucky to have so many supporters and advocates for the arts. Thank you for your support! We are looking forward to what 2015 will bring! But first, take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from 2014...
New Arts-Based Businesses on Main Street

In early 2014, two arts-based businesses joined the Downtown Joplin Arts community…Firehouse Pottery and RSVPaint. They have made a big impact in a short amount of time and we are so happy to have them! Firehouse Pottery, located at 112 S. Main, is a paint your own pottery studio. Ceramic items are blank canvas ready for your personal touch of magic with colorful glazes! RSVPaint is located in the old Colombia Traders building at 420 S. Main. Their mantra is Relax, Sip, Visit, and Paint! Bring your family/friends, drink wine, and create a finished painting to take home. Both businesses welcome newcomers with no experience necessary!
First MSSU Contemporary Painting Symposium

Nine accomplished painters from across the region participated in an invitational exhibition which included a lecture series and panel discussions at the Missouri Southern State University Art Department. Open to both students and community members, the symposium provided an educational opportunity that was shared and absorbed by artists of all ages and backgrounds. Of the artists included, four were no strangers to the Joplin area. Dave Loewenstein, Amber Hanson, Nicholas Ward, and Ashley Laird were all involved in the creation of the 2011 Joplin Community Mural Project that produced The Butterfly Effect: Dreams Take Flight mural at 15th & Main in Joplin, MO. 
A Bright Future For Local Theatre

Joplin Little Theatre kicked-off their 75th Anniversary Season with JLT In Concert, featuring highlights from many of its most popular musical performances with both new and veteran talent. They were also gifted with a new marque (which is pretty fantastic) by Bill and Rebecca Perry – longtime supporters of JLT. Stained Glass Theatre made headway in readying their new theatre space at 21st & Annie Baxter! Since the 2011 tornado, they have been a traveling theatre, hosting performances and auditions in various venues. A capital campaign launched in June 2014 should realize a first performance in 2015.
Empowering the Visual Arts: Joplin Regional Artist Council (JRAC)

JRAC continued their mission to promote their artist membership through empowerment – by strengthening professional connection to community, providing educational opportunities, and advocating for visual arts in the Joplin area. Membership grew to 100+ in 2014! Aside from regular participation in Downtown Joplin's Third Thursday Art Walk, JRAC continued coordinating two rotational exhibits featuring artwork of members at both Joplin Avenue Coffee Company and Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. Their annual membership show, The Harvest: Gathering the Art of Joplin Regional Artist Coalition, was well attended. Are you a local artist looking to get more involved? Consider joining JRAC in 2015! 
Dancing to Commemorate & Entertain

In addition to having their dancers featured in the mural commemorating Joplin's performing arts history at 8th & Main, Karen’s Dance Studio brought down the house in May with their annual performance “Lights, Camera, Action,” raising a total of $4,445 for Children’s Haven of Southwest Missouri! The Midwest Regional Ballet Company & School treated the community-at-large to a return of the classic Tim Burton tale, The Nightmare Before Christmas. With imaginative sets, striking costumes and makeup, and of course incredible dancing (including aerial, ballet, modern, hip-hop, and chain), this show did not disappoint.
Got Mail? The Post Mail Art Projekt Does!

The Post Mail Art Projekt is meant to unleash and encourage creativity in our conventional “snail-mail.” Since its kick-off in January 2014 and holding several Mail Art workshops throughout the year, they have collected over 100 submissions and will share them with the public in an exhibit planned inside the Post Memorial Art Reference Library during January 2015. Trust us…you do not want to miss this one! Mail has never looked this good. 
Pop-Up Concert by Polyphony Marimba

The people of Joplin enjoyed an impromptu concert on 3rd between Wall and Joplin featuring Polyphony Marimba in late July. The group was en route home to Santa Fe, NM from a summer-long tour across the US. Maybe next summer? We'll let you know. Stay tuned!
Six New Murals Join the Ranks

We encounter public art day-to-day in outside spaces accessible to all. Your own experience provides context for what the artists had to say and brings meaning and inspiration without a visit to any art museum. Have you seen these newest murals and allowed them to speak to you?
  1. Downtown Gateway Mural by MSSU Art Department & Downtown Joplin Alliance
  2. "Rise of the Phoenix" Triptych Ceramic Mural by Phoenix Fired Art
  3. Geometrically-Inspired Mural #3 by TANK: Public Art
  4. Celebrating the Performing Arts in Joplin by Garin Baker, funded by The JACC Cultural Affairs Committee
  5. Paper and Pencils by Taylor Kubicek
  6. Mural at 2nd & Wall by TANK: Public Art
Art Feeds Engages Kids of All Ages

Art Feeds is always on the move! When they aren't providing weekly outreach to 8,000+ children (in 19 schools and 3 children's organizations in Joplin), they are expanding their impact nationally or dreaming up ways to reach a broader demographic. This year they lured young adults with the wildly popular Word Vomit: A Night of Storytelling and charmed the “more mature” with Art Feeds Grown Ups: Craft Workshops for Adults. In addition, Art Feeds hosted their first annual Art Feeds Gala in August, raising a total of $55,000! We are blown away by the amount of support fueling creativity in our community.
Spiva Center for the Arts: Norman Rockwell

The art of Norman Rockwell brought so many arts opportunities to Joplin! 323 Saturday Evening Post covers lining Spiva’s Main Gallery sent shivers down our spines and refreshed both our memories and our spirits. Then an evening to remember, “Idealizing America: Norman Rockwell and Irving Berlin,” combined lecture and live musical performance to explore societal issues during those times. Berlin’s arresting music was performed by the local voice and piano duo of Rebecca Luebber Ensor and Robert Ensor while insightful and entertaining commentary was provided by Michael Lasser, a New York author and broadcaster. Later, a collaboration of Spiva and 9Art Photography brought Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers to life as community members were photographed recreating their favorites. Many thanks to the Beshore family for making this possible!
Fall 2014 Hip Handmade Market

In November, Joplin welcomed Southwest Missouri’s first modern and juried indie craft show at The Roxy in Downtown. The Hip Handmade Market drew over 1,000 looking for original pieces made by local artists and crafters. We can’t wait until the market returns this spring in March at the same location!

Pro Musica: Cantus & Theater Latté Da

It’s always a challenge to isolate a peak performance in Pro Musica’s line up, but this one was definitely the emotional standout. The Central Christian Center (formerly Fox Theatre) was packed to receive the music of Cantus individually and in combination with the drama of Theater Latté Da. Considered the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the U.S. by many, Cantus, is known worldwide for its engaging performances. Theater Latté Da, is a musical theater company recognized for its ability to connect artists and audiences through diverse and relevant stories. This night they brought the exquisite true story of soldiers trying to bring peace on Earth in the midst of World War I during the miraculous Christmas truce. Using journal entries, letters, official documents and speeches from both sides to tell the tale interspersed with songs of war, homesickness, Christmas, and cold sadness, this collaboration emotionally communicated a fitting message for the season.
Local Color Art Gallery & Studio

Local Color artists were well represented at the annual Spiva Membership Show, many being recognized for outstanding work in both 2D & 3D categories. Members graciously donated pieces of art to local organizations and charities throughout the year, including Art Feeds, Spiva Center for the Arts, and artCentral – to name a few. In addition to creating their own work, giving back to the community, and helping nurture the artistic skills of others, Local Color donated supplies, services, and expertise by hosting the annual Mwangaza Art Auction. Artwork from children in the Congo, as well as the work of local artists, was auctioned off with all proceeds going towards Mwangaza International’s Christmas Project. The project reaches out to children victims of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
3rd Annual Empty Bowls at Phoenix Fired Art

Phoenix Fired Art had a big year! In addition to welcoming a new Studio Manager (Geoffrey Kunkler) and Office Manager (Lauren Brown), they installed their triptych ceramic mural Rise of the Phoenix at 17th & Main, hosted a second national juried exhibition The Joy of Drinking, and held a third annual Empty Bowls fundraiser that collected a total of $16,652 that will be put towards alleviating hunger in our own community!
C2C Explores Two Potential Partnerships

The future of the Arts in Joplin looks bright! On Nov. 25, Joplin Board of Education approved a joint exploration of ways they can collaborate with Connect2Culture to enhance the cultural offerings at the Performing Arts Center currently under construction at Joplin High School. On Dec. 1, a joint request by Connect2Culture, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, Pro Musica, and the Downtown Joplin Alliance was approved by the Joplin City Council to support exploration of the Memorial Hall site becoming a community cultural arts center. Click here for a comprehensive review of progress thus far.
Let's continue to support our area arts into the New Year! Take a look below for some ways YOU can become more involved and help make a difference.
 
  • Pre-Register for Classes
It can be a real bummer to find out the art class you were interested in was cancelled due to low enrollment. Organizations must fill a certain number of spots by a certain time or are forced to cancel the class. Don't procrastinate! Sign up at least a week in advance to help them and you!
  • Explore a New Gallery/Studio Space
Open your eyes and mind to the visual arts! Joplin has so many opportunities to see new artwork – and they're all free! Have you ever visited The Post Art Reference Library, Spiva Center for the Arts, Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, or Mosaics Art Gallery? New artwork rotates in and out  of these venues regularly. Want to see an artists studio? Studio Argonauta and Jorge Leyva Studio would be happy to show you around by appointment.
  • Try a New Class
Always wanted to learn more about glass art? Basket weaving? What's holding you back?! There are many arts classes happening around Joplin. Keep your eyes on our arts calendar and you are sure to find something! Intimidated or scared to attend your first class? Bring a friend!
  • Become a Member
Many arts organizations offer memberships! These memberships can come with many perks, like: discounted merchandise, discounted classes, special events, and more. Explore the realm of possibility and see if membership might be for you!
  • Support Art in Schools
Go to a performance or exhibit at one of our area schools. You might be amazed by the talent that surrounds you! Did you know that Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School even hosts a fantastic concert and theatre series throughout the year in the TJ Concert Hall? Encourage your high school to participate in Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.
  • Share the Arts
Do you regularly attend art events, performances, classes, and exhibits? Bring someone along with you that might not go otherwise. Grow our arts community together!
  • Visit Public Art
Joplin's public art scene is booming and accessible to all! Grab a coffee, take a stroll, and explore. Click here to plan your route.
  • Stay Up-to-Date
Stay in-the-know about all things Joplin Arts through C2C's resources! Click here to visit our website/calendar. 
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