building community through the arts

Students help Missouri Hotel residents unlock expressive potential

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 11, 2014 — For fourteen years, a unique class at Drury University has helped residents of the Missouri Hotel unlock their expressive potential and encouraged them to think about their lives in new ways.

The class is called Building Community Through the Arts and its goal is to provide the Hotel residents an artistic outlet over the course of two weeks, with a final public exhibition from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Friday, June 13 at the Missouri Hotel, 420 W. Commercial St. The Missouri Hotel provides shelter to homeless men, women and children. It is a program of The Kitchen, Inc.

The course offers the students an experiential approach to everyday living and learning, while giving them a chance to make a difference in the Drury neighborhood at the same time. It is open to graduate and undergraduate students of all majors and the 2014 class includes those studying biology, theater, religion, education, architecture and more. The seven students have been using their varied skill sets to connect with the residents of the Missouri Hotel.

“The idea is to inspire them, motivate them and give them something that’s their own and that they can feel proud of,” says Madison Miles, a fourth-year architecture major.

This year’s theme is “Don’t Stop Believing” and some of the artistic endeavors have included dancing, singing, drawing, paper weaving, designing T-shirts and more. Some of the subject matter has been heartfelt – such as the reactions to the 2012 fire that briefly displaced residents and damaged several rooms at the facility.

“Through art, we are getting to know them and they’re getting to know us,” says Yufei Zhao, a senior religion and philosophy major.

Students gain valuable insights and context about poverty through the book A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne. The text has been in the spotlight in the Springfield community during the last year, including a high-profile visit by the author in February.

“It’s apparent very quickly that it’s a false stigma that these are people who are untalented or uneducated,” says Evan Stelzer, a senior psychology major.

The Drury students are learning about the power of connecting with others from different backgrounds — and about the power of art.

“So much can be said through art,” says senior biology major Ali Barnes. “Before I took this class, I did not know you could do such a thing.”

Media are invited to cover the class as they work with Missouri Hotel residents from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. today and Thursday, and the reception on Friday. The reception is free and open to the public.

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Drury inspires motivation by using art to connect on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 7, 2013 — For the thirteenth year in a row, a Drury class is partnering with The Kitchen, Inc. to create and inspire art with residents of the Missouri Hotel.  The class is called Building Community through the Arts and its goal is to provide those living in the Missouri Hotel an artistic outlet over the course of two weeks, with a final exhibition on Friday, June 14 from 1-3:30 p.m. at Drury on C-Street located at 233 E. Commercial St.

This year, for the first time, the Drury class is also working with young people from the Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center. Rare Breed works with homeless and high-risk people between the ages of 13 and 20. “The young people from Rare Breed are so close in age to us that we get a perspective about how well we have it and we’re actually considered their peers,” said Philip Dozier, a fourth year accounting major. “We can impact their lives and let them know that they have a lot of opportunities left and they can seek out those opportunities.”

This year, the theme is: Community as masterpiece: The art of the fresh start. “Drury promotes engaged learning from a liberal arts perspective and this class synthesizes talent, insights and social concerns,” said Dr. Rebecca Burrell, the instructor for Building Community Through the Arts. “It gives us the opportunity to work together as a community studio. These Drury students are artists in working with the youth and residents through our various arts interests:  music, art, poetry and dance.”

Building Community Through the Arts, typically a graduate level course is also available to undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Arts Administration or Entrepreneurship. The class is designed to offer students an approach to creativity in everyday living and learning, while giving students the opportunity to make a difference within the Drury neighborhood by introducing those experiencing poverty to visual arts, music and literature. Students explore poverty through the text A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne.

“For the people we work with, the class is about motivation and inspiration,” said Tarynn Gritzner, a senior arts administration and theatre major. “Everyone can do some type of art. Hopefully, that will lead to some self-awareness.”

Also this year, the class has dedicated the exhibition to Sister Lorraine Biebel, who founded The Kitchen, Inc. in 1983.

The exhibition of the work is free and open to the public from 1-3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14 at Drury on C-Street. The artwork will be on display at Drury on C-Street through the end of June.

Media Contact: Rebecca Burrell, Ed.D., Drury adjunct professor of education, Office: (417) 873-7349, E-mail: rburrell@drury.edu
Or
Chelsea Mulkey, Student Media Relations Chair, Mobile: (417) 872-9682, Email: cmulkey@drury.edu

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Drury inspires motivation by using art to connect on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 13, 2012 — For the twelfth year in a row, Drury students are partnering with The Kitchen, Inc. to create and inspire art with residents of the Missouri Hotel.  The class is called Building Community through the Arts and its goal is to provide those living in the Missouri Hotel an artistic outlet over the course of two weeks, with a final exhibition this Friday from 1-3 p.m. at Drury on C-Street located at 233 E. Commercial St.

This is the first year in the twelve-year history of the project that the class is being held outside of the Missouri Hotel basement and at Drury on C-Street. “Drury is connecting on C-Street by bringing everyone out of the Missouri Hotel and building a relationship with the people participating at our new location,” said Dr. Rebecca Burrell, Drury adjunct professor of education.

This year, the theme is pARTners in Weaving Community: Our Shared “Looming” Vision, a metaphor for the weaving and loom exhibit that was the first to be hosted in the Drury on C-Street location when it opened last fall.

Building Community through the Arts, typically a graduate level course, is available to upper-level undergraduate students in Arts Administration and/or Entrepreneurship this summer. The class is designed to offer students an approach to creativity in everyday living and learning, while giving students the opportunity to make a difference within the Drury neighborhood by introducing residents of the Missouri Hotel to visual arts, music and literature.

“We are giving residents an opportunity to have relaxing, art-making time because that nourishes the human spirit, to have creative time and quiet time,” said Dr. Burrell. Besides the opportunity to work with the Missouri Hotel residents, Drury students gain an understanding of visual and performing arts while also examining poverty in America.

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 1-3 p.m.

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Eleven years of “Building Community through the Arts” at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 14, 2011 — For the eleventh straight year, Drury graduate students are partnering with The Kitchen, Inc. to create and inspire art with residents of the Missouri Hotel.

The artwork produced by Missouri Hotel residents, a shelter for homeless single females, families or couples, will be shown on Friday, June 17 at the Missouri Hotel from 2-3 p.m. The theme of the art show is “Pieces of my dreams.”

“We chose that theme because the residents are visioning a fresh start in their lives,” said Gwen Marshall, a Drury graduate student.

The graduate course, Building Community through the Arts, is designed to offer students an approach to creativity in everyday living and learning, while giving students the opportunity to make a difference within the Drury neighborhood by introducing residents of the Missouri Hotel to visual arts, music and literature. “We are giving residents an opportunity to have relaxing, art-making time because that nourishes the human spirit, to have creative time and quiet time,” says Dr. Rebecca Burrell, Drury adjunct professor of education. Besides the opportunity to work with the Missouri Hotel residents, Drury students gain an understanding of visual and performing arts while also examining poverty in America.

Besides Marshall, other graduate students taking the class are: Scott Pearson, Marcia Wheeler and Kacie Craig.

The art show is free and open to the public.

During the eleven years of the class, Dr. Burrell estimates that she has had about 75 students take the class and has worked with over 160 Missouri Hotel residents.

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