arts and culture


Art in the Park, the 2-day, free fine arts and crafts festival organized by the Columbia Art League, returns to Stephens Lake Park for its 59th year on Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4. The festival will feature 108 artists from 20 states, some from as far away as Oregon, Florida and Minnesota. There […]

“The Zenith Escape”

Imagination and excitement. The playwrights of the Jackie White Memorial Play Writing Contest look to capture both of these in the hearts of young audiences. At Columbia Entertainment Company (CEC), the contest is a staple of the theatrical season and this year promises to be a unique experience with the children’s musical “The Zenith Escape” […]

Big Muddy Folk Festival

The world is so noisy … music has been wounded by Steve Jobs’ technology … the main role of the artist is to serve the song, as opposed to him or herself.” — Musician and actor Wil Oldham There is something sincere, in this ironic age, about Prairie Home Companion’s Pat Donohue being a headliner […]

Book A Date

Columbia book lovers have reason to rejoice this month: The Unbound Book Festival is back for its second year, filled with spirited panel discussions, one-on-one author “conversations,” storytelling and readings. The highly interactive and engaging festival was founded by Alex George, a local attorney and author. He was inspired by festivals he attended while touring […]

Big Bucks for Columbia

Photo by L.G. Patterson “I don’t believe you.” The legislator glared over his bifocals as I testified. “I can prove it,” I answered, unfazed. “For every dollar you put in our budget, we’ll generate $60 for Missouri’s economy.” The legislator, a serious fiscal watchdog, had slashed Missouri’s 2005 tourism budget by 40 percent. It was […]

Delta Thrash

Photo courtesy of March is Women’s Month here in the United States. This is funny because it is just one month out of 12 when not only does this noble gender outnumber their male counterparts, they also, judging by January’s march, can out-organize men and make their point without inciting violence. Women, they say, […]

Inspired By Nature

photos courtesy of Faith Bemiss Of Sedalia Democrat On the last beautiful day of fall, just off Rocheport’s main street, a blanket of muted red maple leaves intermingle with vibrant yellow ginko leaves, padding a trail straight to the front door of porcelain artist Yukari Kashihara’s gallery. Inside Shirahaze Gallery, another world emerges. On well-lit […]

Body & Soul

Oscar Micheaux was an African-American filmmaker and entrepreneur, who produced and directed more than 40 films from 1919 to 1948. Micheaux’s movies were known as “race” films — made by black filmmakers, with an all-black cast for black audiences. These projects were a reaction to what was then a segregated Hollywood industry in a segregated society. […]

Dancing Through Life

  Columbia’s long history has many unique and long-standing traditions, but would you believe ballroom dancing is one of them? In the fall of 1936, three University of Missouri faculty wives (Novella Calvin, Margery McKinney and Ruth Bennitt) decided to start an organization of young couples interested in dancing. On Dec. 8, 1936, The Dance […]

Mattie Hon

Like a lot of other 12-year-old girls, Mattie Hon was a daydreamer and always looked forward to her family’s vacations at their cottage on Tybee Island, just off the coast of Savannah, Ga. Their little beach house had once belonged to a sea captain and she describes it as “nothing fancy – but full of […]

“Middle Grounds”

When I first arrived at MU in 1975, Columbia didn’t even have cable TV. But, the History Department offered “Epic America,” a pair of courses on Native American culture in a kind of primitive virtual classroom — just a black and white monitor bolted to the wall of a second floor Arts and Sciences classroom. […]

United We Stand

The 24th annual Columbia Values Diversity Celebration will take place at the Holiday Inn Expo Center on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 7 to 8:45 a.m. This year’s theme is “Building an Inclusive Columbia.” The keynote speaker is Naomi Tutu, the third child of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Tutu is a passionate human […]