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Arts and Entertainment

Spotlight On Joplin For July 2019

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Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Connect2Culture, Joplin, Missouri’s community arts agency, is back with her July “Spotlight on Joplin,” highlighting major cultural events in the Joplin area for July 2019.

Starting with the performing arts, Emily notes that the three events she wants to highlight all take place at the end of July.  First, Joplin Little Theatre presents Neil Simon’s award-winning comedy “Lost In Yonkers” at 7:30pm Wed-Sat July 24-27 and 2:30pm Sunday July 28, at Joplin Little Theatre, 3008 W. First Street.  It’s the story of two New York kids, Jay and Arty, living with their grandmother and a large, dysfunctional extended family.  Tickets are $18 adults, $15 seniors & students, and $8 children.  Visit or call (417) 623-3638.

Wilder’s Event Center, 1208 S. Main St. in downtown Joplin, wraps up their 2019 Summer Concert Series on Saturday July 27 with various soulful jazz and blues performers including the Bel Airs, Annie & the Fur Trappers, the folk blues duo Brick Fields (Larry Brick and Rachel Fields), and Justin Cauble.  Food and beverage concessions will be available; it’s an age 21-and-over event.  General admission is $15. For information, email

And on Sunday July 28 starting at 5:30pm, Joplin’s house-concert venue Coda Concert House (2120 E. 24th Street) will host a fresh new take on its “Songwriters in the Round” series.  It’s a “One Man Bandstravaganza” featuring Ben Miller, Jaik Willis and Chucky Waggs, who will perform together and separately. Each of them is a one-man band, multi-instrumentalists who sing, play multiple instruments at the same time, and even beatbox and drum with their feet. Suggested donation is $20.  Email Coda Concert House proprietor Jeff Morrow at for information.  All proceeds benefit the performing artists.

Next, Emily tells us about other events in Joplin in July, starting with the opening reception for the exhibit “sample forms of compensation” featuring the work of Benjamin Cirgin, Assistant Professor and Ceramics Area Head at Eastern Kentucky University.  His object-based sculptures will be on display July 1-August 2  in the Spiva Art Gallery on the campus of Missouri Southern State University, 3950 Newman Road.  The reception is from 3:00 to 4:00pm on Monday July 1st, and is free and open to the public.  For information call (417) 625-9563.

Nearby Diamond, Missouri is the location of one of America’s national parks, the George Washington Carver National Monument (5646 Carver Road), presenting their annual “Carver Day” on Saturday July 13 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. It’s the park’s yearly celebration of the life of Carver and the establishment of the national monument in his honor.  The day includes children’s activities, guided tours, guest speakers, exhibitors, food, and live music from King Clarentz, Arlecia Elkamil, the Sensational Wonders, InCourage, and local choirs.  It’s free and open to the public.

Throughout the month of July (the 1st to the 31st), Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main Street in downtown Joplin, will host “Freedom Endeavor,” featuring Steve Snyder’s moving photographs of military veterans as they appear today, holding pictures of themselves while they were in the service. The artistic photographs are accompanied by brief audio/video interviews with each subject. There’s a reception for this exhibit during Third Thursday Art Walk on July 18 from 5:30 to 8:30pm. For information call (417) 438-5931.

At George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, 222 W. 3rd Street in Joplin, “Family Affair: A Multigenerational Exhibit” continues through July 27 in the center’s Regional Gallery.

For something different, there’s the weekly improv comedy workshop sponsored by Joplin’s Siblings Improv company, Tuesdays at 7:00pm at Spiva Center for the Arts. Every wanted to give improv a try? Drop into the weekly workshop session Tuesday evenings at Spiva. These no-pressure, loads-of-fun sessons are designed for improvisers with all types of experience. For more information contact Eric Epperson,

Saturday July 13 from 1:00 to 3:00pm, Spiva Center for the Arts will host a Bob Ross Paint-A-Long for ages 15 and over.  Relax and create happy little trees as you follow along with painter Bob Ross. Supplies and easels provided.  Cost: $30.  For more information call (417) 623-0183.

Finally, on July 30, Connect2Culture will host the fourth annual Joplin Arts and Cultural Preview in the Community Room West at Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th Street. The event provides area arts and cultural organizations the chance to tell their story and share what they have planned for the year ahead. Each group has up to two minutes to tell their story. 

For more information call Connect2Culture at (417) 625-6683, or visit