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Spotlight on Joplin For December 2019

Gospel singer David Phelps brings his "It Must Be Christmas" concert to Joplin on December 15, just one of many arts events featured in this month's "Spotlight on Joplin."
(Photo courtesy Connect2Culture)
Gospel singer David Phelps brings his "It Must Be Christmas" concert to Joplin on December 15, just one of many arts events featured in this month's "Spotlight on Joplin."
Gospel singer David Phelps brings his "It Must Be Christmas" concert to Joplin on December 15, just one of many arts events featured in this month's "Spotlight on Joplin."
Credit (Photo courtesy Connect2Culture)
Gospel singer David Phelps brings his "It Must Be Christmas" concert to Joplin on December 15, just one of many arts events featured in this month's "Spotlight on Joplin."

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin's area art agency Connect2Culture, turns the Spotlight on Joplin for December 2019.  Among the many events listed at http://connect2culture.org/december2019/for this month, Emily highlighted the following.                                                                                Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin's Connect2Culture, brings us the December "Spotlight on Joplin."

Joplin Little Theatre (3008 W. 1st Street) presents "Return of the Christmas Kid" now through Sunday Dec.8 (7:30pm evening shows, 2:30pm Sunday). Toy store owner Calvin is visited by two angels that take him on a ride through Christmas of yesteryear to show him what he's lost in his life. Emily Frankoski described it as a hybrid of A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and It's a Wonderful Life that "will make you laugh, cry, and remember why we celebrate Christmas."  Tickets: Adults $18, Seniors/Students $15, Children $8. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and place it the Joplin Little Theatre stage. After the production, all of the toys will be donated to The Salvation Army to help brighten a child's Christmas.  More information: (417) 623-3638.

December 5–8: Elf The Musical, at Ozark Christian College Chapel (1111 N Main Street). Performances at 7:00pm (Saturday & Sunday 2:00pm. Based on the holiday classic, Elf: The Musical follows Buddy, a human raised by Santa Claus’ elves. When Buddy discovers he’s not an elf, he travels to New York City to meet his father, but quickly realizes that his birth family is in desperate need of Christmas cheer. Tickets: Adults $10, Children (ages 12 and under) $5, Groups of 10+ $8, Under Balcony $5. More information: (417) 626-1221.

December 7: 10th annual Seasonal Choral Flourish, a highly-anticipated annual performance by the Missouri Southern State University Choral Department, directed by Dr. David Sharlow, at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, 812 Pearl Avenue in Joplin.  Two performances on December 7, at 1:00pm and 7:30pm. The concert will feature the Missouri Southern Chamber Singers, Madrigal Singers, and Concert Chorale, with accompaniment by Glenda Austin. Free and open to the public. More information: (417) 625-9318.

December 7: Post Art Library Holiday Tea, 2:00–4:00pm at Post Art Library, Post Reading Room (1901 E 20th Street). Get into the holiday spirit by enjoying tea, holiday treats, and performances by the Thomas Jefferson Cavalier Chorus and Thomas Jefferson String Ensemble. Performances will take place between 2:30pm and 3:30pm. Free and open to the public. More information: (417) 623-7953, ext. 1041.

December 12: Siblings Improv LIVE with the Joplin Toad, 8:00-9:30pm at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company (506 S. Joplin Avenue). It's Christmastime, which can only mean one thing... it's time to celebrate with the ones you love. And Siblings Improv loves the Joplin Toad arts-based online magazine. The two organizations collaborate for an evening of holiday cheer, storytelling and improv. Free admission. More information: https://www.facebook.com/siblingsimprov/.

December 13: Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th Street) presents Night Market Before Christmas, their last night market of the year, from 6:00-10:30pm. The Night Market Before Christmas will feature both spooky and festive themes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, live music, unique vendor offerings, and more. All ages welcome. More information: (417) 986-3914.

December 15: Connect2Culture's "Curtain Up" Series presents David Phelps "It Must Be Christmas," 7:30pm (doors 6:30pm) at Joplin High School Performing Arts Center (2104 Indiana Avenue). With a vocal range spanning more than three octaves, gospel singer David Phelp served as the Gaither Vocal Band's tenor for more than 15 years, helping secure nine Dove Awards and one Grammy. In 2017, Phelps left the Gaither Vocal Band to pursue a global, solo career. His concert will feature Christmas classics like you’ve never heard them before, and new songs that will become Christmas staples. Tickets: $50 Orchestra, $40 Mezzanine and Front Balcony, $30 Back Balcony. Tickets may be purchased at http://connect2culture.org, by phone at (417) 501-5550, or at Joplin Empire Market on two Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14.

Emily mentioned having "so many ideas for holiday gift-giving." Continuing through January 31 is the Winter Gift Gallery at Bookhouse Cinema (715 E. Broadway in Joplin). It's a pop-up shop offering a wide variety of products from local artists and creators, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during Bookhouse Cineman's operating hours, and featuring a selection of art, jewelry, décor, clothing, books, music, and more. More information: (417) 825-5161. In addition, Emily suggested visiting the Joplin Empire Market on Saturdays; Local Color Art Gallery & Studio; Spiva Center for the Arts; and Urban Art Gallery.

You can learn about Joplin history at a couple of events on December 14.  First is Historic Murphysburg Preservation's "Home for the Holidays" historic homes tour from 1:00–6:00pm (doors open 12:30pm). Step back in time for a glimpse into turn-of-the-century Joplin with a Holiday Homes Tour of nine private historic homes: four of the decorated homes are in the Historic Murphysburg District on South Sergeant Avenue between 3rd and 6th Streets; three are in the North Heights Neighborhood; and two are in the heart of downtown Joplin. The tour begins at Unity Joplin (204 N. Jackson Avenue), where tickets can be purchased and booklets can be obtained. Tickets can be purchased in advance at https://murphysburg.org or at Blythe Mercantile, 107 West 2nd Street. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 day of the homes tour. More information: (417) 483-3116.

Then from 7:00 to 9:30pm on December 14, there's the Old Joplin Flashlight Walking Tour starting at Blythe Mercantile (107 W 2nd Street). Hear the history and ghost tales of Joplin! Downtown Joplin Alliance and Paranormal Science Lab present a Flashlight Walking Tour in downtown Joplin, Missouri.  Cash or credit card at the door. Cost: $10 Adults, $5 Kids (14 and under). More information: blythemercantile@gmail.com.

Emily Frankoski always likes to highlight art-related classes taking place in Joplin. Spiva Center for the Arts (222 W. 3rd Street) presents a class on Resin Ornaments with Jade Henning for ages 12+ on December 7 from 1:00-3:00pm. Preserve small keepsakes or original designs of your own in resin to hang on your tree for years to come.  Cost: $35. More information: (417) 623-0183.

And on December 21, you're invited to make your own Clay Angels under the guidance of artist Christina Lorenzen from noon to 2:00pm at April's Art House (5245 Old Highway 71). Cost: $40 per person. To sign up for the class, call (417) 358-6329 or visit  https://www.aprildavisfineart.com/

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Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning "Arts News." Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's "Ozzie Award" in 2006.