Recently KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro spoke with C2C’s Community Arts Director Emily Frankoski about Missouri Citizens’ Day for the Arts taking place on Wednesday February 5th starting at 10 am. The one day annual event in Jefferson City focuses on the monetary impact of the arts throughout the state. According to Emily, you should attend if you’re an artist, part of an arts organization or somebody that just want to advocate on behalf of the arts. Online registration is both free and required.
Another aspect of the arts are the funds needed to support them and how they support the community. According the most recent economic impact report available from Americans for the Arts the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Southwest Missouri is likely larger than you think. According to the 2015 report in Joplin alone, 191 jobs were either created or sustained by arts and culture spending. And event related spending, excluding the cost of admission to the event raised $3.6 million dollars. Frankoski points out that this study was completed prior to Connect2Culture establishing their Curtains Up Series which hosts four nationally touring shows every year in Joplin. The next study is slated to take place in 2020 and be made available in 2021.
Even though the Bicknell as been around for 5-years worth of performances and events, there are still collaborations that are new. According to Joe, the first event held at the Bicknell in 2020 is the Pittsburg State Opera accompanied by the Southeast Kansas Symphony. The performances are taking place on Friday February 14 at 7:30 pm and against on Sunday February 16 at 3 pm. “Cosi fan tutte” by W. A. Mozart — a story in which two officers are convinced their fiancés will remain faithful, but a friendly wager with another officer that they will not leads to chaos.
Just 6 days after the Sunday February 16th performance of PSU Opera and SEKS Pittsburg State’s own Jennier Knapp will perform for the first time at the Bicknell. The Grammy-nominated Signer-Songwriter is originally from Chanute, Kansas and has sold more than 1-million albums in her first three releases. Knapp, who moved to Australia in 2002 has toured the globe speaking about Christianity and her LGBTQ identity. Her most recent album released in 2017 is titled, Love Comes Back Around.
According to the non-profit Feeding America there were 38 million people living in poverty across the United States in 2019. 37 million of those people also struggle with hunger and 11 million of those are children. Also, children are the most vulnerable group of Americans to face food insecurity. Locally, Crosslines Pantry in Joplin collects food donations from residents, local businesses and religious organizations and that serve 220 families on a monthly basis.
In an effort to raise awareness of food insecurity, while also providing non-perishable can food products to local residents through Crosslines and supporting local businesses Jomo Restaurant Week was established in 2015. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro recently spoke with Monica Burlingame of Crosslines Pantry who says that the Jomo Restaurant Week was originally created as a way to increase the amount of donations during a traditionally slow month after the busy holiday season.
The months of November and December are two of the busiest for food donations at Crosslines and as the calendar changes to the new year the amount of donations tapers off. According to Monica, donations reach a peak during the holiday season but the need from the community also climbs to its highest levels during those months also.
Taking part in JOMO Restaurant week is easy. You bring non perishable canned food items with you when you visit participating local businesses or restaurants. In return for your donation will they provide a discount or specials and you’ll be able to enter a drawing for 1 of 30 $25 gift cards from one of the 30 local businesses that are participating.
In 2019 JOMO Restaurant Week took in 3 tons of non-perishable canned food goods that were directly donated to Crosslines Pantry and assisted residents of SW Missouri. This year the organization has set a goal of 4-tons. The need for food donations to help struggling families is a year around effort and events like JOMO RW highlight just how vulnerable local families are to being hungry.
2019 was a banner year for the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The facility celebrated its 5th-anniversary in early December and hosted countless events from the Best of Broadway to the Pittsburg State Jazz Festival and former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. This year is scheduled to be another busy year at the center according to Joe Firman, Director of the Bicknell who joined KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro recently on the ‘Crimson and Gold Connection’.
The Best of Broadway returns to Southeast Kansas for another year of award winning performances. The national tour of ‘Finding Neverland’ stops at Pittsburg State for one night only, on Sunday January 26 at 7:30. The production is based on the film that was released in 2004 and starred Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Firman says that the show has a local connection, with one of the performers hailing from Miami, Oklahoma.
Firman, who helped open the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts over 5-years ago reflects back on what it was like in December of 2014. One of the aspect that he’s most proudest of is to share the facility with local groups that now call the Bicknell home. This includes the Southeast Kansas Symphony which was the first musical group to perform inside of the Bicknell.
If you miss one of the live performances at the Bicknell you can catch up by tuning into ‘Live From The Bicknell Center’ Sunday evenings at 6 and Monday afternoons at 3 on KRPS. It’s a collaboration that has been beneficial for listeners throughout the Four States who perhaps have never been able to visit the center or even Pittsburg State. Behind the scenes, Firman says that the Bicknell’s Technical Director Jonathon Eastman produces the series including the ‘Best of Holiday Extravaganza’ episode which include 5-years worth of performances from the SEK Symphony, the Bells of the Balkans and other local groups.
Today, media surrounds us everywhere we turn. From the local news, or watching a show on Netflix, to checking your Facebook Feed or making a new TikTok video. Or listening to Spotify while your working out or maybe catching with up with the news from NPR on KRPS. A lot has changed in just the past 10-years where regular everyday citizens can now become apart of the media, broadcast and share their voice to millions of listeners, viewers or followers around the world. With the rise and the availability of media to anybody there has also been an increase in the amount of fake news that is spread to both confuse and amuse.
Learning Outreach Librarian at Pittsburg State’s Axe Library Jorge Leon has been working for a number of years to both create and provide tools to spot fake news and how to understand it. He stresses that there are different types of fake news and various ways that news can be fake. Whether it be a quote that was mis-attributed, a photograph that is real but aspect about it have been altered or a video that was edited with high detail to make it look like the speaker was acting in a way that there were not.
While the use of the term ‘fake news’ has been popularized over the last few years by President Trump the phrase actually dates back to the late 1600’s. There was another instance when the phrase ‘fake news’ was used in 1836 when two competing newspapers reported two different set of facts about a murder. Leon, a scholar for a number of years on the topic of fake news even before the term reemerged into today’s society.
One of Leon’s duties an the Learning Outreach Librarian is to work with students and assist them in accessing what’s fake and what isn’t. In working with PSU students he’s found that many of them feel that because they grew up in the social media world that they feel the world of media is native to them. And in doing so they perhaps have let their guard down when it comes to weeding the good from the bad. Because of this Leon has developed a ‘How To Spot Fake News” card game that he uses an ice breaker when working with students at Pittsburg State.
KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro recently spoke over Skype with Calmus’s baritone, Ludwig Bohme who is also an arranger, conductor and lecturer. Bohme is the last founding member of the group and says that the original members of the group had just finishing attending school together and wanted to continue signing together. Fast forward over 20-years, 100’s of concerts and 23 albums later and Calmus is still performing and more popular than ever. The founding members had performed together in the St. Thomas Boys Choirs, which at one time in the late 1800’s Beethoven himself once directed.
The group is performing their ‘Just Voices’ concert when they visit Pittsburg, KS this upcoming Friday. After over 20-years of performing as a member of Calmus, Bohme says that each concert hall, from the very large cathedrals to the small chapels are special to him. The baritone voice of the group is rooted in its humble beginnings and says the past two-decades of performing have gone by quickly. Another aspect that has kept Calmus singing is that they largely arrange and write their own music.
Calmus’s first stop on this six-city US tour was on Friday , January 17 at The Westin at Times Square in New York City. They will perform at Pittsburg State on Friday, January 24 and then conclude their trip the following night at Grace Cathedral in Topeka, KS.
The George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri is one of the must visit destinations in the Four States. Open 7-days a week year-round the site is located just off of Interstate-44, down a couple of two-lane roads and is free to the public. If you love the outdoors and learning then the Carver is a great place to visit whether you’re just driving through or live here. Recently KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro sat down with the Superintendent of the George Washington Carver National Monument Jim Heaney to learn about some of the upcoming events.
Taking place on Thursday January 16 at 10 AM is Coffee with Carver. The program is held January through March on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10 AM. This months presentation is, “Expressions for the Soul” and will inform visitors about how Carver viewed arts as a way to express beauty of the natural world. Complementary tea and coffee will also be served. If you missed January’s CWC, then visit in February when it will take place on 2/21 or in March on 3/20 always at 10 AM.
While we are in the middle of the winter months in the Four States, it’s never too early to think about Spring and to start planning for it. One of the most popular events every year at the Carver NM is “Art in the Park” and this year it’s been held on Saturday, April 18 starting at 10 AM. It’s the monuments annual celebration to spotlight GWC’s love and passion for and creating art. The national monument invites artists from around the Four States to show and speak about their work. Jim says that visitors can also participate in hands-on demonstrations and instructional workshops with pastels, natural dyes and more. In addition, this is the perfect venue to visit and tour the park with kids as it allows them to see nature and are up close.
Every week the Carver NM hosts events, both indoor and outdoor, year-around that are open to the public. If you’re an artist that is interested in showing your work at the Art in the Park event in April contact the CNM so that you can reserve your space. Or call them at 417-325-4151.
It’s been just over a year since Kansas started offering paid parental leave for state employees. As Stephen Koranda of the Kansas News Service reports, a new study has an unexpected takeaway.
Mental health care providers in Kansas are having trouble recruiting enough staff to treatall of their patients.
A freshman Democratic lawmaker from Jackson County is expecting the 2020 legislative session to feature some election year posturing. St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum has more from Rep. Keri Ingle’s appearance on the Politically Speaking podcast.