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Fundraising begins for potential community cultural arts center - KOAM TV 7

Fundraising begins for potential community cultural arts center at Memorial Hall Site

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Update (12/2):  On December 1, 2014 the Joplin City Council approved the joint request of Connect2Culture, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, Pro Musica, and the Downtown Joplin Alliance to support the exploration of the Memorial Hall site becoming a community cultural arts center. The Center will be a public-private partnership and include a new home for George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, a 500-seat proscenium performance hall to accommodate Pro Musica's annual concert season, as well as other community performance needs and touring opportunities. Plans to redevelop the property will include space for public meeting and assemblies in the spirit of the the original ordinance for the site along with preserving and honoring all Veterans Memorials currently located at Memorial Hall.

Connect2Culture is leading the next step in fundraising the estimated $65,000 necessary to develop the plans and renderings for two separate plans for the site. The first plan would include repurposing the existing structure. The second would present a plan from the ground up.

All donations in support of this effort should be mailed to Connect2Culture, 407 South Pennsylvania, Joplin, MO 64801. Please identify “Memorial Hall” in the memo line of all checks. All contributions are tax deductible.

Connect2Culture is a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization founded in 2009 to enhance community through the development of cultural resources – arts, history, nature, and education. Connect2Culture aims to encourage the growth and development of a vibrant cultural community. The 15-member board of directors includes arts, business, and community leaders who recognize the arts as a significant contributor to the lifeblood of our community.

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(12/1) Joplin city council members are struggling with the future of Memorial Hall. 


Several area groups are looking to renovate the building with an arts-centered focus.

"This is an opportunity for the community to use an existing asset for the betterment of its future," V.P. and Treasurer of Connect2Culture Clifford Wert said.

The Joplin-based arts group is approaching the city to re-purpose the building into a community arts center. As well as a new home of the George A. Spiva Center of the Arts.

"Well this is just the first step and a preliminary step," Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert said. "The next step would be to see maybe some more details in design and cost."

Monday night's presentation to the city council just determines whether Connect2Culture can explore the development of comprehensive plans for renovation  and is not a commitment from Joplin to follow through with any remodeling.  

Though the facility is already in need of repair on its Northeast corner.

And Mayor Seibert says the proposal comes at a time when the city is already struggling with the future of Memorial Hall.

"Right now it's a facility in need of repair, and it's a facility in need of a future," Seibert said. "And we have an ongoing expense with Memorial Hall whether it sits empty or has some use. If, for example, it would be a cultural center and it would be a community need being met; I think that would be a good thing."

Council members, Monday, voted 9-0 to allow the development of an official renovation plan.

Any financial obligation to the project from the city will depend on the final proposal. Though Connect2Culture officials have said they're looking for a private-public partnership. 

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