Randy Stewart | KBIA

Randy Stewart

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.

Support Ozarks Food Harvest at the annual Tea Bar & Bites Apron Fashion Show and Silent Auction, Thursday Sept.19 from 7-9pm at Tea Bar & Bites Bakery and Cafe, 621 S. Pickwick at Cherry. Colleen Smith from Tea Bar & Bites, and Sara Roelke from Ozarks Food Harvest, joined us on “Arts News” to talk about it.

The Branson Regional Arts Council launches their 7th theatrical production of the year with "Steel Magnolias," opening August 29th at the Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S. Commercial Street in downtown Branson.  According to BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber, “We are so thrilled with the response that we are getting already—tickets are selling quite well.  And we really love the fact that Springfield is getting behind what we’re doing down in Branson.  We had several Springfield actors involved in many of our productions recently.”

Veronica Palit says the question she most often gets from friends and people she meets is, “’Where is Moldova?’ That is the biggest question—‘where is that country?’”

I’ll answer that. Moldova is a small country in eastern Europe, one-fourth the size of Missouri, says Veronica, situated between Romania and Ukraine.  It was under Russian—and later Soviet—domination for many decades. Moldova regained its independent status after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Springfield Regional Opera is about to celebrate its 40th season—the company’s official debut was a production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Gillioz Theatre in the summer of 1980. The year before that, there was a sort of “calling card” production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Landers, that was officially produced by Springfield Little Theatre. Its success proved to the late Dawin Emanuel, then Lecturer in Opera at Missouri State University, that Springfield was ready for a local opera company.

Springfield Contemporary Theatre's 25th season opens with the winner of the 1986 Tony Award for Best Musical, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza. Performances are June 14-30.  We talked on “Arts News” with the show’s director Rick Dines and actor Heath Hillhouse.

Springfield Sister Cities Association invites you to the C-Street City Market, 321 E. Commercial Street at Jefferson, on Saturday June 8 at 10:00am (weather permitting) for a free concert by Grupo Musical Canela, a four-piece band from Springfield’s sister city of Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico. Canela will be joined by special guest Enrique Ortiz. It's free and open to the public. You can get a taste both of Mexican culture and locally grown food.  

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin’s arts agency Connect2Culture, joined me once again for a “Spotlight on Joplin” segment focusing on arts events as well as arts camps and classes for kids in June 2019.  Here are the events Emily brought up—first, performances.

There is a time to weep. There is a time to mourn. And there is a time to dance! “Footloose – The Musical,” based on the hit 1984 movie that launched the careers of Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker among others, explodes onto the Landers Theatre stage in Springfield Little Theatre's new production June 7-23 to conclude LT's 2018-19 season.  I talked with the actors playing Ren and (no, NOT Stimpy!) Ariel—Patrick Sturm and Austen McGranahan—on KSMU’s “Arts News.”

“We’ve been going at it for 15 years, and each year grows a little bigger and gets a little better and more organized. So yeah, we’re ready to do it.”

Artsfest on Historic Walnut Street is 39 years old this year, believe it or not, and it’s scheduled for Saturday and Sunday May 4th and 5th from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, with a fully-programmed footprint along the Walnut Street Historic District, from National Avenue to Gilardi's Restaurant just west of Hammons Parkway.

For the second installment of our new monthly “Arts News” feature spotlighting arts events in Joplin, I was again joined on the phone by Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin’s arts agency Connect2Culture.  She provided a rundown of some of her favorite events for next month out of the huge list of performances, events, and exhibits. And as Emily pointed out, we never even got to the numerous classes taking place!

Sculpture Walk Springfield started four years ago, according to the project's Executive Director Nicole Brown.  It’s a public-art initiative whose goal is "to enhance the quality of life and to promote economic vitality” by displaying sculptural art in public places throughout Springfield.  

 

They were one of the most successful folk-rock duos of the 1970s.  Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley—Brewer & Shipley—are still making music together more than 50 years after they first teamed up. They’ll play a concert here in Springfield (Brewer says it’s the first time they’ve played here in a LONG time) next Saturday April 20 at the Fox Theatre on Park Central Square. In a phone conversation this week, I asked Michael to talk about how he and Tom first got together.

Nick Cave is one of today's preeminent multi-disciplinary artists, working in a wide range of media including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.  The Springfield Art Museum opens an exhibit of Cave's works tonight during the First Friday Art Walk with a reception from 5:30 to 7:00pm.  Museum Curator of Art Sarah Buhr, and Springfield Art Museum Development and Marketing Coordinator Joshua Best, appeared on KSMU's "Arts News" this morning to tell us about the exhibit.

Missouri State University Opera presents a double bill next weekend:  two operas—two women with a choice. Dr. Ann Marie Daehn, Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of MSU’s opera program, stopped by our “Arts News” program to give us the details.

The students of Drury University Professor of Theatre Dr. Mick Sokol are preparing two Medieval farces for the fourth production of the 2018-19 season: “Pierre Pathelin” and “The Cave of Salamanca.” The director of the latter play, Drury Theatre student Stephanie Madison, and one of her actors, Drew Moore, were joined by one of the actors in “Salamanca,” Jacob Maher, to talk about the double bill.

“So I think anybody who sees it will be quite pleased and quite impressed with what these actors have created in these roles.”

That’s George Cron, director of Springfield Contemporary Theatre’s new production of Mark St. Germain’s play “Freud’s Last Session”, which opens this weekend at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza.  Joining Cron in our studio were his two actors, Terry Bloodworth and Actor’s Equity member David Schmittou.

Saturday, March 30 at 7:30pm in Ellis Recital Hall, the Missouri State University Music Department will present a concert to commemorate the life and accomplishments of former faculty member and dean of the College of Arts and Letters, David O. Belcher, who died in June 2018 of a brain tumor.  Dr. Belcher’s wife Susan, and MSU composition professor and Graduate Coordinator for the Music Department Dr. John Prescott, came to KSMU to talk about David and about the tribute.

We’re starting a new monthly feature on KSMU’s Arts News: the last Friday of each month I’ll have a conversation with Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Connect2Culture, which is Joplin’s equivalent of the Springfield Area Arts Council.  Each month Emily will spotlight some of the major arts events taking place throughout the following month in Joplin. So today she highlights events coming up in April. But first, I asked her to give me a short history of Connect2Culture, which has evolved into the role of Joplin art agency over a period of several years.

This afternoon we’ll look at arts education and participation among children in economically-disadvantaged circumstances—and how area educators, artists and arts administrators are attempting to counter the problem. 

For Marty Moore, Executive Director of Learning Support and Partnerships for Springfield Public Schools, the problem is that families in poverty always have to make choices about where that money’s going to go. 

"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out those arts experiences are going to fall to the bottom of that list,” Moore said.

Springfield Regional Opera's local-premiere production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide at the Gillioz Theatre (Friday, April 5th at 7:30pm) is also a fundraiser for another local non-profit.  Ten percent of ticket sales to this single performance of Candide will be donated to Lost & Found Grief Center, which provides grief support services in a safe and supportive environment for children, their families, and adults who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Springfield Little Theatre Executive Director Beth Domann and Assistant Choreographer Emme Mauzey joined us on “Arts News” to discuss LT’s upcoming production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid Junior," March 21-April 7 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut.

While the current weather forecast doesn’t sound especially spring-like, Messiah Project presents their second "Messiah Spring Festival of Praise" Saturday March 2nd at 7:00pm in Evangel University’s Robert H. Spence Chapel Auditorium, 1111 N. Glenstone Avenue. 

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