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KSMU's weekly program providing a comprehensive rundown of area performing and visual arts event, airing Friday mornings at 10.

Waverly House hosts a fall benefit for a new initiative at Springfield Little Theatre

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(Poster design courtesy Waverly House Gifts and Gallery)
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"Lasting Impressions," the fall benefit exhibit at Waverly House Gifts and Gallery, will raise money for Springfield Little Theatre's new initiative, "The Supported Theater Experience for Young People of All Abilities."

On our weekly program, Arts News, KSMU's Randy Stewart hosts live interviews with artists, performers, directors and administrators from the region's visual and performing arts scene—and presents a comprehensive calendar of arts events. Arts News airs at 10:00 a.m. each Friday. To play this interview, click the "Listen" button above.

Every fall, Waverly House Gifts and Gallery in Springfield presents a special fundraising exhibit for a local organization. This year's fundraiser, running February 11 through December 17 at its location at 2031 S. Waverly, is a juried show called "Lasting Impressions." The event is a collaboration with Springfield Little Theatre. Waverly House owner and operator Eunice Wallar came to KSMU's "Arts News" to talk about it.

"'Lasting Impressions' will feature 17 local artists in a variety of media, including jewelry, paintings, pottery. This show opens next Friday, November 11th with an artist's reception and a benefit from 5:00 to 7:30pm at Waverly House. We're also excited because Johnny Strickler will be back, playing jazz guitar at our opening."

Waverly House's benefit this year is for a program called the "Supported Theater Experience for Young People of All Abilities" at Springfield Little Theatre. In addition to a portion of sales of items in the show going to Little Theatre's project through December 17, the opening reception will offer gift baskets at the $50 and $100 levels, along with drawings for artist-made jewelry and other artwork.

"If you just want to give $5, that will bring an entry to you in the drawings, and that will also continue through December 17th," said Wallar.

As with most of Waverly House's annual benefits, this one is a personal project for Eunice Wallar.

"It was inspired by my grandson, Adam, who has a disability. He's very inspirational," Wallar said. "This is a new project with Little Theatre. Adam started at Little Theatre when he was actually about five years old, and he has taken part in classes and been mentored by them throughout."

Last spring, her grandson graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Technical Theater, and now he works in that field.

Wallar said the new fund will be part of Springfield Little Theatre's Education Department, directly supporting any young person with a disability in their choice of classes or program.

"Our goal is to have SLT add an extra staff person by next summer who will have specific knowledge and training to meet the needs of all individuals. And people with disabilities can then be included in their classes," she said.

Waverly House and Little Theatre will both have "Donate" buttons available on their websites and Facebook pages for anyone who can't make it to the opening reception on November 11.

You can hear more about the show by playing the interview above, or call Waverly House at (417) 882-3445, or visit https://www.waverlyhouse.com.

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.