Ozarks Deep: Story Trail Screenings at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

               West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) will feature screenings of two new virtual productions of the Ozarks Deep: Story Trail at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival on June 3 & 4, 2022, in the Magnolia Room at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., in West Plains.

               In spring 2020, WPCA was awarded a grant from the West Plains Community Development Grant Program to develop the Ozarks Deep: Art & Culture Trails in West Plains. The ongoing program can expand the cultural tourism capacity in the Ozarks region and improve the vitality of our own community. The first trail is “The Story Trail”.

The Ozarks Deep: Story Trail – where the community stories link with artistic traditions passed down generations, to turn a place into a destination, an experience, for both local residents and visitors as well. The Story Trail is a combination of history, imagination, and creative use of the community stories that have been passed down through generations. They are the stories that make us unique as well as universal.  With that, the “West Plains Story Tour” was conceived.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded WPCA a grant to provide additional support for the “West Plains Story Tour” and simultaneously create an “Artist Showcase”. “Both the West Plains Story Tour and the Artist Showcase are virtual elements of Ozarks Deep: Story Trail, intended to increase accessibility throughout the year, bringing economic benefits to the artists and greater visibility to the creative community,” says WPCA President and project coordinator Kathleen Morrissey.

The “West Plains Story Tour” is a guided bus tour of downtown West Plains, created by local residents deeply connected to the history and stories of the region. Building on that foundation, WPCA worked with local artists, historians, tradition bearers, and storytellers to combine existing material with new narratives and additional tour sites, to include more depth, more voices, and more stories. Tour sites include historically significant locations in the downtown area. The stories demonstrate continuity through context. 

The “Artist Showcase” is a sampling of musicians, dancers, occupational artists who have been selected in the past to perform, demonstrate, or exhibit at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival. WPCA worked with approximately 30 artists to create this Artist’s Showcase featuring musicians at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in 2021, and archival materials.

Schedule for the screenings:

FRIDAY: 10:00   Artist Showcase at 10:00 AM and 6:30 PM
West Plains Story Tour at 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30 PM

SATURDAY: West Plains Story Tour, 4:00 and 6:00 PM

Both programs will be available on multiple websites after the screening. Additional support for these projects was provided by the Ozarks Heritage Resource Center and University/Community Programs, Missouri State University-West Plains. Partial funding was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

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