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.

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. 

Rosette Studios, according to owner Bridget Koonce, “is an artist gallery and consignment store in downtown Springfield.  We have 80 artists who bring us jewelry, ceramics, art prints, and it’s all on consignment.” 

The Missouri State University Theatre and Dance Department presents "Bare-the Musical" by Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere, directed by Sarah Wiggin, now through Mar 6 in the Craig Hall Balcony Theatre.  For “Arts News” we talked with the production’s assistant director—and an understudy for one of the roles—Caitlin Palmisano.

Director Rick Dines reunites actors from Springfield Contemporary Theatre's acclaimed production of "A Raisin in the Sun" to bring to Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza the third play in Dominique Morisseau’s “Detroit Project,” titled “Skeleton Crew.”

Girls’ Choir of Springfield (formerly known as "Springfield-Drury Girls’ Choir”) is now an independent organization providing singing opportunities for girls in grades 2-8 in two choruses: “Songbirds” for second and third graders, and the main “Girls’ Choir” for girls in grades 4-8.  Their next concert is a benefit for Dynamic Strides Therapy, and Brandi O’Reilly from Dynamic Strides Therapy joined us for “Arts News” along with Girls’ Choir of Springfield directors Alicia Lyons and Molly Faulkner.

Just because the Landers Theatre on Walnut is currently closed for renovations, no one at SLT is taking time off, according to Artistic Director Beth Domann and Marketing Director Megan Buchbinder, who visited KSMU’s “Arts News” to catch us up on what’s happening.

Springfield Little Theatre will present Kander and Ebb's now-classic musical "Cabaret" starting next weekend... not at their usual venue, the Landers Theatre—it’s under renovation at this time—but at Nathan P. Murphy's, 218 S Campbell Avenue. Dates are January 17-February 3.  We were visited on “Arts News” by the show’s director and choreographer Chyrel Miller; Lysander Abadia, who plays the Master of Ceremonies; and the two actresses alternating in the role of Sally Bowles through the show’s three-week run, Ellen Spann and Sally Trtan.

Springfield Contemporary Theatre at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, corner of Pershing & Jefferson downtown, presents the annual "Missouri Solo Play Festival" January 4-20, with three great solo performers appearing in repertory.  This is the third year of the festival, says Dr. Robert Bradley, who's directing the second show in the festival, "Chesapeake."  You may remember four shows in the festival last year--but one of them was actually a solo dance performance by MSU's Ruth Barnes.  This year it's back to three plays, period.

This is the story of a mysterious man, a pianist and music teacher by profession, who showed up in the small Northwest Arkansas town of Cincinnati in Washington County in the 1870s. He went by the name of Edwin Dolgoruki—sometimes reported as “G. Dolgoruki,” but usually as Edwin. But to this day no one is sure of who the man was, where he actually came from, or what was his real story.

Former Springfield News-Leader columnist Mike O’Brien wrote in May of 2001 that in 1946, a publishing house in Kansas put out a 32-page booklet called “True Stories of Peculiar People and Unusual Events in the Ozarks.”  It was written by former Kansas City newspaper reporter William R. Draper.

In the spirit of not shooting your eye out, kid, Springfield Little Theatre invites you to their production of “A Christmas Story—The Musical,” based on the 1983 holiday movie favorite, which was based in turn on the stories of author/humorist/broadcaster Jean Shepherd.  Dates are November 23-December 9 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut.  On “Arts News” we visited with director Chuck Rogers; Ryan Mattix, who plays “The Old Man” (aka Mr. Parker, Ralphie’s dad), and Chalmer Harper—himself a broadcaster locally at “The Wind” 88.3—in the role of “narrator/Jean Shepherd.”

The quarterly series “The Essentials” at the Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell, takes place throughout the year, showcasing the “essential” films everyone should see on the big screen, organized under themes such as directors, actors, genres, and eras or movements.  This quarter it’s “Classic Comedies”, featuring some of the most iconic comedy films of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  Mike Stevens from the Moxie stopped by to talk about the series. 

In a spirit of cooperation, there are two opera productions here in Springfield next weekend--and the producers deliberately worked out performance dates that don't conflict with each other.  Missouri State University Opera Workshop and Messiah Project will present a holiday double bill on Saturday and Sunday Nov.17 and 18, and Springfield Regional Opera will perform a Mozart-and-Salieri double bill Friday night the 16th (which you can read and hear about here).

Waverly House Gifts and Gallery, 2031 S. Waverly, presents the juried art show, "Dreams," and the gallery’s annual benefit silent auction for local organization A Sporting Chance on Thursday, November 8 from 5 - 8 p.m.  Eunice Wallar joined us to talk about it on KSMU’s “Arts News.”