Sense of Community

Bailey Vassali / KSMU

Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park is a 112-acre property located on South Scenic Avenue in Springfield, across the street from Horton Smith Golf Course. 

(Photo courtesy Ozark String Project)

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.

Pamela Bates via Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)

Every day at school, Kenzie Warren, a sophomore at West Plains High School, sets her backpack down at one of the six rows of rectangular tables that line the cafeteria. She walks over to the small table in the corner and pulls a knob on a glass dispenser to fill a disposable, plastic cup. A thick, maroon-colored smoothie blend folds into the cup at her fingertips. Walking back to the table, Kenzie and her friend, Kaley, pluck their straws into their smoothies.

 

www.clio.com

In this installment of “Sense of Community” you’ll meet the two candidates vying for the Missouri State House 137th district: Republican John Black, and Democrat Raymond Lampert. 

www.clio.com

When Kevin Austin announced he was not going to seek a fourth term as State Representative for the Missouri 136th District, the “race to Jeff City” was on for two new candidates: Republican Craig Fishel, and Democrat Jeff Munzinger. From going door to door with their district to attending candidate forums and meet-and-greets hosted by supporter, both men are trying to get their faces—and messages—out to the people in their district.  You’ll meet both of them in this KSMU Sense of Community installment.

(Logo courtesy Temple Israel)

The Jewish faith is steeped in tradition, and that goes for the local Jewish community as well.  To find out about some of their traditions I spoke with Rabbi Barbara Block of Temple Israel near Rogersville.

(Randy Stewart)

“A holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.”

(Photo courtesy Missouri State University)

Since we've been talking this week about the issue of civility and civil discourse in Springfield, there's a program here at Missouri State University that deals every day with those very issues: the Center for Dispute Resolution, a part of the MSU Department of Communication. The Center provides numerous services and support programs to help individuals, organizations and communities deal with conflict in positive and productive ways.  And they can boast an impressive record of success in this area. So we thought the Center's Director and Associate Director, Dr. Charlene Berquist and Heather Blades, would have some valuable insight into the problem and creating, and maintaining, civil discourse in a society that seems to be geared toward everything but civility. 

Michele Skalicky

At times it seems that civility is dead.  People are constantly at odds with one another, and shouting matches are all too common, especially online.  Social media is often used as a battleground where people who disagree on various issues fight with words.   People who were once friends no longer talk because their political or other beliefs are different.  

Despite that, there are many things happening in the Ozarks that show civility and attempts to understand one another are, in fact, very much alive.