Kennedy Center Event Puts Spotlight on Springfield Arts Scene

At the Moxie Cinema, Springfield’s arts scene was the star of the show when the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Springfield Regional Arts Council and Springfield Public Schools hosted the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday afternoon and premiered a short film highlighting the scene.

The guest of honor was Darrell Ayers, vice-president in charge of education for the Washington D.C.-based Kennedy Center. Springfield is just the second (and one of seven overall) cities to be selected as part of the Any Given Child initiative, which focuses on creating, establishing and sustaining parts programming in communities and schools, with a focus on youth. Other cities in the program include Sacramento, Calif., Portland, Ore., Sarasota, Fla., Tulsa, Okla., Las Vegas and most recently, Austin, Texas.

It’s auspicious company for Springfield, but deserved, Ayers said, because of the sheer number of active arts organizations in the community. Add to that Springfield’s strong school system and diverse demographics (not so much in ethnicity, but in socio-economic terms) and the opportunity to reach and help a wide variety of children was apparent. Now starts the implementation process; with the Kennedy Center’s backing, arts organizations and the public schools should be able to offer even more arts programs that will be available for years to come.

Hosted at Moxie Cinema, Springfield’s non-profit independent theatre with a fund at the CFO, the event premiered the short film “Any Given Child-Springfield”, made by local filmmakers and SPS alumni Bryan Manning and Clay Mason. The final version of the film will be finished soon; we’ll post the delightful film once it’s through the final editing process.