January 7, 2021
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About this time last year, The Story Center staff began brainstorming with the staff of the Community Arts Program of the University of Missouri Extension about commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial. We wanted to develop programs that would represent some of the depth and breadth of Missouri stories— historical and contemporary, oral and written—while engaging diverse audiences in different ways.
Last August, we launched State of Stories, a series of free public programs that explore Missouri history and culture through storytelling performances and workshops, book conversations, humanities presentations, an anthology of Kansas City-area poetry, and other activities. Funding has been provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the William T. Kemper Foundation. This month features several programs, all of which will be broadcast live on The Story Center’s Facebook page beginning at 6:30 p.m.:
- On Thursday, January 14, Dr. Lisa Higgins and Dr. Michael Sweeney will talk about quilting and quilts, including the Bicentennial quilt, in their program Missouri’s Dynamic Quilting Traditions and Innovations.
- On Wednesday, January 20, author and photographer Regina Daniel will discuss her book Abandoned Kansas City.
- In a related program, on Tuesday, January 26, Woodneath Press will launch The Will of Missouri: The Life, Times, and Influence of Alexander William Doniphan.
A cornerstone of State of Stories programming is a series of performances and workshops by master Missouri storytellers. To date, acclaimed storytellers Bobby Norfolk and Marideth Sisco have performed and presented, and next month, Dr. Gladys Caines-Coggswell and Angela Williams will perform Stories from Family and Community and teach a workshop about developing and telling historical, family, and community stories. Storyteller Beth Horner will perform in May.
State of Stories programs will continue through this August. Keep an eye on the State of Stories webpage for information. You can also view select past State of Stories programs on MCPL’s YouTube channel.
Story Center Director