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33rd Ozzie Awards This Weekend, and a New "Concert and Conversation" Series

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Arts Council)

Every year for the past 33 years, the Springfield Regional Arts Council has celebrate movers & shakers in the local arts community with their Ozzie Awards. Ozzies are given to individuals, organizations, and businesses, which have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the arts.  Arts Council representatives Nicole Chilton and and Rachel Johnson appeared on "Arts News" to talk about the Ozzies--and about a new "concert and conversation" series beginning this month that combines art, music and poetry to facilitate discussion of local "hot button" issues.

This year’s Ozzie awardees include:
Great Southern Bank – Corporate Award
Choir Director, Alberta Smith – Education Award
SATO48 founders, Jeff Clinkenbeard & Kyaw Tha Hla – Individual Award
Former City Manager, Greg Burris – Leadership Award
Arts Patron and Promoter, the late Donna Crosby – Legacy Award
Longtime ArtsFest Volunteers, Russ & Janet Rose – Volunteer Award

The event will be held at the Springfield-Branson National Airport on Saturday October 13, starting at 5:30pm with a happy-hour reception, a full buffet dinner catered by Touch Restaurant starting at 7:00pm, and the Ozzie Awards at 7:30pm.  Arts Council Marketing and Development Director Nicole Chilton says this is the ninth year the Ozzies have been hosted at Springfield-Branson National Airport. "It's also a fundraiser for Springfield Regional Arts Council and our arts education programming. We transform the Airport for one night--it's really fun," adds Chilton. 

Entertainment for the evening includes Sean Spyres of Springfield Regional Opera, Shaun Munday, John Strickler, and Ozzie honoree Greg Burris's band Leather Butterfly. Also, Chilton promises a short film and a performance by Springfield Ballet.   Also on hand will be Paco Padillo from Springfield's sister city Tlaquepaque, Mexico, performing with School of Rock.

Chilton says the evening isn't just for the honorees and their friends and families. "For anyone who's interested in the arts, it's a great time to celebrate."

Tickets are $100--and Nicole Chilton says there are only a "handful left" as of Friday--and they can be purchased online at or by calling the Arts Council at 862-2787.

The Springfield Regional Arts Council will co-host three facilitated conversations that combine art, music, and poetry with ‘red flag’ issues as identified in the Springfield – Greene County Community Focus Report, including poverty, LGBTQ, and race. Each event will be held at a different community center in Springfield, and feature live music and thought-provoking conversations. This series is free and open to the public, with funding provided by the National Endowment of the Arts.  The Arts Council's Director of Programs and Exhibitions, Rachel Johnson, says "it's a new program that's just starting this year.  We really wanted address" some of the issues in the Community Focus Report "using civil discourse, while at the same time using art to bridge gaps and bring people together." Three events are scheduled through the end of the year.
•    October 18, 2018 at 7:30pm – Live music from Andy Havens and art from Expression of Victory Artists, paired with facilitated conversation about poverty at The Fairbanks Community Center (1126 N Broadway Avenue, Springfield MO). Conversation led by Amy Blansit, Executive Director of the Drew Lewis Foundation and Janelle Reed from Victory Mission and Single Momz Rock.
•    November 8, 2018 at 7:00pm – Panel discussion with local artists in the LGBTQ community, paired with live music by Alisha Schroeder at The Creamery Arts Center (411 N Sherman Parkway, Springfield MO). Panel discussion led by Krista Moncado, Executive Director of The GLO Center.
•    December 6, 2018 at 7:00pm – Music, conversation, and spoken word poetry on race. Facilitated by Lyle Foster and featuring live music by JJ Williams and spoken word poetry by Verniquia Foster, held at The Midtown Carnegie Library (397 E Central, Springfield MO).
For more information, contact Rachel Johnson, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, by phone at 862-2787(ARTS) or by e-mail at  Or log on to

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.