Arts News

Every Friday morning, Randy Stewart talks with artists, performers, directors and administrators from the area visual and performing arts scene, and presents a comprehensive calendar of arts events.


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.  

(photo courtesy


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.

(Photo courtesy Springfield Art Museum)

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.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Opera Program)

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.

(courtesy Wikipedia)

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.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

“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.

(Photo courtesy Missouri State University Department of Music)

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.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Theatre and Dance)

The Missouri State University Theatre and Dance Department’s annual Spring Dance Concert takes place this weekend.

(Logo design courtesy Lost & Found Grief Center)

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.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

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.

(Poster design courtesy Messiah Project)

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. 

(Picture courtesy Rosette Studios)

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.” 

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

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.”

(Logo design courtesy Dynamic Strides Therapy)

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.