8th Annual Joplin Arts Fest Happening This Weekend

(Joplin, MO) – The 8th Annual Joplin Arts Fest will be held on Friday, September 16 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm and Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. 4th Street in Joplin.

This is the second year for the Downtown Joplin Alliance (DJA) to spearhead the festival after the Kiwanis Club of Joplin originally began it. The festival will feature 30 artists, both local and from further afield.

Seven live musical groups, plus vintage swing dancers, will perform in the market courtyard on Third Street behind the main building throughout the festival. Live performing arts at the festival is made possible by Connect2Culture.

Food served by market vendors and food trucks will include barbecue, chicken and waffles, Thai cuisine,
sandwiches, gourmet hot dogs, and a variety of drinks, including fresh kombucha on tap. A courtyard bar will serve wine, beer, and artisan cocktails.

This year also features a communal art piece: “Mended Hearts.” Festival patrons are invited to create hearts from a variety of repurposed materials and include a handwritten letter expressing their hopes of healing the world within.

Other activities include: a 1980’s themed video store created by The Joplin Toad; the Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) Clay Club performing live pottery wheel demonstrations; an art station where children of all ages are invited to make suncatchers with George A. Spiva Center for the Arts.

New to this year’s festival are two scholarship opportunities: a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)
Scholarship, as well as an MSSU Art Major Scholarship. Waiving all festival fees and offering cash stipends to
assist with other festival-related costs, the scholarships are meant to encourage greater accessibility and inclusion.

The first BIPOC Scholarship is sponsored by EastTown Dreams District and Naomi Gonzales & Sean Hickey; the first MSSU Art Major Scholarship is sponsored by the Post Art Library.

Joplin Arts Fest is a collaborative partnership between Connect2Culture, Downtown Joplin Alliance, Joplin
Regional Artists Coalition, Post Art Library, and Spiva Center for the Arts. Joplin Arts Fest 2022 is generously
sponsored by Mid America RV, Southwest Missouri Bank, and Visit Joplin.


Ivy Hagedorn

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