Bethanie Day

Anne Marie Wright

Day and Wright picked to attend fine arts academy

Webb City High School sophomores Bethanie Day and Anne Marie Wright were recently selected to attend the Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State University in Springfield this summer.

After two years off due to COVID restrictions, the program is back this summer. The two-week program, directed by a professor of communication, is open to Missouri students who are motivated artists in various disciplines. Applicants submitted video auditions, essays, grades, and teacher recommendations.

Bethanie was selected for theatre, and Anne Marie Wright was selected for vocal music. Both are interested in electives beyond their own area of emphasis. The academy emphasizes many disciplines of fine art: visual art, instrumental and vocal music, photography, creative writing, dance, and theatre. Some students who attend also earn college credit for their work.

Eugene Field Elementary is a Gold Star School

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that Eugene Field Elementary School in Webb City is one of eight Missouri 2022 Gold Star Schools.

The program, which aligns with the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizes schools for outstanding academic achievement or for performing at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.

The 2022 Missouri Gold Star Schools are: 

• Blair Oaks Elementary School, Blair Oaks R-II School District

• Chapel Lakes Elementary School, Blue Springs R-IV School District

• Dewey Elementary School, Chillicothe R-II School District

• Epic Elementary School, Liberty 53 School District

• Eugene Field Elementary School, Webb City R-VII School District

• Kirkwood Senior High School, Kirkwood R-VII School District

• Matthews Elementary School, New Madrid Co. R-I School District

• Nixa High School, Nixa Public Schools

“Congratulations to the students, teachers and staff members of each of these schools for earning this recognition,” said Margie Vandeven, commissioner of elementary and secondary education. “These schools exemplify what it takes to prepare students for success in school and in life while working hard to meet the needs of each individual child.”

 The Missouri Gold Star Schools program was established in 1991 and uses the same criteria for nomination as the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Schools will be announced this fall.

Webb City Chamber quarterly luncheon

Noon Thursday, April 28, at Just A Taste

The Webb City Area Chamber of Commerce is resuming its quarterly luncheons for chamber members.

The first quarterly luncheon will be held at noon Thursday, April 28, at Just A Taste, 103 S. Main St.

Click here to register. Sponsors are sought for future luncheons.

Hear two string quartets for free

7 p.m. Thursday, April 21, First Presbyterian Church of Joplin

Pro Musica is closing its 2021-22 season with a celebratory concert featuring not just one, but two incredible string quartets!

Enjoy this free program at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at First Presbyterian Church of Joplin, 509 S Pearl Ave. Doors open at 6:30.

The Jasper and the Jupiter Quartets will join forces to perform Mendelssohn’s glorious “String Octet” and share a wonderful program of classical and new works for quartet and octet. It promises to be an unforgettable evening with brilliant musicians.

In addition, the quartets will lead a free masterclass for university students at 10 a.m. Friday, April 22, also at First Presbyterian. For more information, visit Pro Musica’s website.

Tour of Mt. Hope set for May 19-20

Historic Murphysburg Preservation members will think outside their block by hosting a tour and workshop at Mount Hope Cemetery on Saturday, June 18. 

Have you ever wondered what a mausoleum looks like behind those ornate solid bronze doors? Do you want to hear directly from the “spirits” of Joplin and Webb City “influencers” of the early 1900s?

The cemetery tour, from 3 to 8 p.m. will offer theatrical vignettes performed every 15 minutes at select mausoleums by the Dream Theatre Troupe. There will also be docents, historic re-enactors, musical entertainment and refreshments.

This event, in partnership with the Webb City Historic Preservation Commission, will highlight significant people interred at Mt. Hope that rapidly advanced the city’s population and prominence in mining, retail, wholesale and manufacturing. 

Erin Turner, the director of economic and community development, said, “We will have the Webb City trolley at the event so that guests can ride to each tour spot if they wish to have the full historic experience. Docents will also explain the significance of Alfred H. Rogers’s electric inter-urban railway system that linked the cemetery and Webb City to Galena, Joplin, Carthage and other surrounding cities.

A hands-on workshop will be offered at 10 a.m. Guests will learn the basics of headstone restoration, maintenance, and safe cleaning practices.

Refreshments will be available at the cemetery’s “Founders Circle” atop Jasper County’s highest natural elevation.

Regarding the mausoleums at Mount Hope Cemetery, tour coordinator Paula Callihan stated, “Murphysburg founders built their houses with extraordinary architectural features, so it’s no wonder they wanted their eternal home to have the same classic design, built by the finest architects in the area.”

Tickets for either the workshop or are available in advance for $20 at, or will be $25 on tour day. Combination tickets for the workshop and tour are $35 per person in advance. Well-behaved children under 12 years of age will be allowed to enter for free.

Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome. Pet owners must clean up after their pet.

Mount Hope Cemetery, located on historic Missouri Route 66, represents an extremely valuable cultural and historical asset of the four-state area through their genealogical information, gravestone architecture, and iconography. The cemetery was designed in 1905 by the Hare and Hare firm, which later went on to assist in the design of the Kansas City Country Club Plaza and Nelson Art Gallery.

Travis Boyd, cemetery general manager, said, “We want to encourage our guests to also visit the Veterans Memorial of Timeless Honor section on the far north side of the cemetery where all branches of service are represented.”

Historic Murphysburg Preservation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that implements charitable and educational activities. The Historic Murphysburg District is generally on Sergeant, Moffet, and Byers avenues between First to Seventh streets near downtown Joplin.