Drury’s humanities film series returns to Moxie Cinema for fifth season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 12, 2016 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has again partnered with the Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield to host a series of screenings and open discussions at the local independent theater. The Drury Humanities & Arts Film Series is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The film series returns at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15 with a talk from Dr. Kevin Henderson following a screening of landmark British film “The Third Man.” The partnership between Drury and the nonprofit Moxie Cinema places a spotlight on films that ask enduring questions about the human condition and adds an open, facilitated discussion to the mix. After each showing, a Drury professor leads a group discussion about the movie’s themes. The post-film discussions are about 30 minutes each. Tickets are $5 and all screenings begin at 1 p.m.

“Our series continues to offer an eclectic mix of powerful films,” explains Dr. Kevin Henderson, director of the series and Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We screen movies that audiences enjoy weighing in on and may not have other opportunities to see in theaters.”

Oct. 15 – “The Third Man” with Dr. Kevin Henderson, assistant professor of English

Nov. 5 – “The Passion of Joan of Arc” with Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, professor of history

Nov. 19 ­– “Like Water for Chocolate” with Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, professor of Spanish

March 25 – “Life is Beautiful” with Dr. Richard Schur, professor of English

April 1 ­– “Son of Man” with Dr. Teresa Hornsby, professor of religion

April 22 – “The Sea Inside” with Dr. Chris Panza, professor of philosophy

For more information, go to


Media Contact: Kevin Henderson – Director, Humanities and Arts Film Series: (417) 873-7426 or

Exhibit shines spotlight on “outsider” artists from the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 29, 2016 — Drury University’s Pool Art Center Gallery will host the exhibition “Ozark Outsiders” October 7 through 28. The show features eight regional artists known for works that fall outside the confines of the traditional art world, and who were largely untrained. The show’s curator is Patricia Watts, who moved to Springfield in 2013 after living in California for 32 years. Her family settled in the Ozarks in Webster County in the early 1800s, where she spent her summers growing up in the 1960s-80s, with a regional appreciation for self-directed creativity.

The term “outsider” can be off-putting to some in the art world, and determining if an artist is an outsider depends on a number of traits and conditions, including the artist’s motivations, skill set, and training.

“One of the more difficult ways to assess this work is to make a judgment on the level of authenticity of expression,” says Watts, the curator. “This begs the question: can a pure form of creativity be taught in art schools? Is a naive approach more pure than having the technical skills and access to art-making materials?”

The Ozark Outsiders exhibit includes artists who, whether for reasons of mental health, physical disabilities, or because they simply like to use the visual arts as a medium of expression, ultimately made their art for themselves. The featured artists include:

James Edward Deeds, Jr. (1908-1987) was raised in Christian County and was confined at the Missouri State Hospital No. 3 in Nevada for most of his life. While there, he made hundreds of drawings. His “electric pencil drawings” were first shown in 2014 at Art Inspired in Springfield, where artists with disabilities explore their creativity through art activities.

Joseph Elmer Yoakum (1889-1972) grew up in Ash Grove and made hundreds of animated landscape drawings after an emotional breakdown while living near Chicago in the 1960s. Yoakum has yet to be given his due locally, even though he was featured in a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City one month prior to his death.

"Ozark Mts. St. Jeneeveive Mo" by Joseph Elmer Yoakum

“Ozark Mts. St. Jeneeveive Mo” by Joseph Elmer Yoakum. Pen, pencil, and watercolor on paper. Image courtesy of Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago.

Robert E. Smith (1927-2010) lived in Springfield for 40 years and is well known to the regional art community for his childlike mappings painted on canvas, often accompanied with a letter and/or a cassette tape. His work is portrayed in a large mural downtown at the corner of Campbell and Walnut streets.

Ralph Doss Lanning (1916-2009) was born and raised in Greene County, and also is well known in the local art community. His outdoor sculpture garden of cement and carved limestone figures was previously located in a roadside setting along Highway 70 in Republic.

Lucille Stoll (born 1922) is one of three included artists still living. Born at home in Christian County, she has lived off of Highway Z all of her adult life, painting landscapes in oils. After a stroke at age 73, she returned exclusively to her childhood expression of making drawings with pencil on paper. She is self-taught and has not previously shown her work in an academic art venue.

Tim West (1938-2012), from Winslow, Arkansas, is the only artist in the exhibition who was formally trained, but due to family problems and his desire to live “off the grid” in the woods, his art became more informed by visions of his mental states rather than his exposure to an arts education.

Sammy Landers (born 1957) lives in a group home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he has resided since the early 1980s. He is autistic and a self-taught artist who uses his art as a means of visual expression to communicate daily life events. He draws human figures, plants, and buildings using markers, pens, and crayons on paper.

Ed Stilley (born 1930) is a preacher from Hogscald Hollow in northwest Arkansas. In his mid-50s, he says he was told by God to make guitars from scrap wood and give them away for free to children. By 2005, he had crafted more than 200 instruments with Biblical verses carved and painted on them. Springfield photographer Tim Hawley recently published a book on Stilley titled Gifted, which helped put the artist on the “outsider” map.


About the Curators

Patricia Watts is Consulting Curator for the Marin Community Foundation in Northern California, since 2012, where she organizes large monographic exhibitions of under recognized mature artists. She was formerly Chief Curator at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa. Watts feels that the Ozarks are rich with independent, creative people who are waiting to be discovered. Learn more about her endeavors at

Assistant Curator Kate Tuthill graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Art History, focused on modern and contemporary art. A Northern California native, Tuthill has worked in the New York art world at: the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art; Christie’s; and Gagosian Gallery. She relocated to Springfield with her husband in 2014, and serves as board member for Sculpture Walk Springfield and docent for Springfield Art Museum.


Media Contact: Patricia Watts, Curator: (310) 704-2395 or

Drury community marks Banned Books Week with readings Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 27, 2016 — The Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society will host a banned book reading from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29, at Olin Library on the Drury campus in recognition of national Banned Books Week.

“The Banned Books Reading has become one of our signature fall events,” said Dr. Kevin Henderson, Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and advisor to Sigma Tau Delta. “The list of what some districts still deem inappropriate for high school students – including ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘The Giver’ and ‘Of Mice and Men’ – always inspires college students to celebrate what these books meant to them and what they have to offer all readers.”

Banned books stack

This year’s reading will feature some of these familiar selections but will also include novels such as “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Persepolis” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

“The Banned Books Reading is about the celebration of the transformative and liberating aspects of literature,” said Hayden Gann, president of Sigma Tau Delta and a senior English and writing major. “We believe that censoring or restricting the reading material for young people, or anyone, because it is deemed ‘inappropriate’ is a huge limitation to gaining a broader understanding of the world. Reading these banned books aloud for everyone is one great way to show our support for not only the texts, but for the freedom of ideas.”

In order to help make literature more available to everyone, Sigma Tau Delta will also accept book donations during the event for a Little Free Library located in the neighborhood west of Drury’s campus.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. Check out a list of the 10 most challenged titles of 2015.


Media Contact: Dr. Kevin Henderson, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences: (417) 873-7426 or

“Chromatic Pop” exhibition opens Friday in renovated C-Street space

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Aug. 31, 2016 – The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open its September exhibition “Chromatic Pop” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., on Friday, September 2 in its newly renovated space. Returning artist Jessie Schwartz will present his solo show as the opening to the gallery’s exhibition season. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is located on 233 E. Commercial Street. The opening reception is a free event with food and refreshments provided.

Chromatic Pop

“Chromatic Pop” is a retrospective of pop icons from history, films, television, and classic rock. Growing up in the late 60’s and 70’s has influenced Schwartz in a way that he only recently realized. Music, television, and films were a way to escape and helped him get through some very tough times. He is not only captivated by the body of work of his subjects but the character in their faces and what they convey. Each piece is targeted for a specific memory and time for each viewer.

The process of “Chromatic Pop” in which Jessie paints is highly intuitive. Unsure of the outcome until it is complete, Jessie relies on the songs and images of the retrospective pop. Using large canvases and brushes forces him to paint in a large scale and lets the subject have a visually bigger impact when viewing.

Schwartz’s solo exhibition will run September 2 through 30. Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays, September 13 and 27.

For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at

Media Contact: Rebecca Miller, Director of Arts Administration: (417) 873-6337 or

About Drury on C-Street

The Drury on C-Street Project is an initiative by Drury University, in partnership with other local organizations, to establish a Drury Center on Commercial Street. This center includes an art gallery, a business resource center, space for weaving looms, architecture classroom and a multi-use area for additional classes and seminars. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is a professional, student-run gallery featuring emerging and established artists. Drury University’s Drury on C-Street Gallery provides arts administration majors the experience of promoting the work of local artists. The gallery connects the community to new and relevant art in an accessible and welcoming environment.


SIVA showcases original artwork by students Aug. 5 at Pool Art Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 28, 2016 — The public can see a diverse array of artwork from Drury University’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) next weekend during a thesis exhibition by graduating students and an open studios event. These events offer an opportunity to view a new group of imaginative, innovative, emerging artists in the region.

The Ninth Annual Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory (MART) Thesis Exhibition and Open Studios will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, August 5, at the Pool Art Center. Due to road work on Central Street, Pool Art Center is best accessible from the north on Clay Avenue.

The Thesis Exhibition is the culminating event for the program’s graduating students. Work presented in the exhibition is wide-ranging in form, material, and theme, and reflects a curriculum that supports multidisciplinary and individualized approaches. The event features the work of graduating students Felicia Ellis, Justin Gault, Sherry Iott, Sarah Jones, Eileen McCarthy, Betty Parnell, Erin Volker and James Walley.

SIVA Open Studios is an annual event that opens up the Summer Institute for Visual Arts to the public and features work from all participants. It is an exciting opportunity to meet the program’s vibrant and diverse community of artists, witness their process, and see what work has been made over that summer.

About SIVA

Since 2007, SIVA has offered students an opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree by working alongside visiting artists in a critically driven environment. Participants study under the guidance of visiting artist fellows, faculty and staff, who provide first-hand understanding of contemporary art issues. The program – a unique model in the Midwest – allows students to earn a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory over the course of three two-month summer sessions.

For more information visit or like SIVA on Facebook.


Media Contact: Sarrita Hunn, Director of the Summer Institute for Visual Arts –

Drury’s annual summer camps for gifted students now underway

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 13, 2016 — Gifted students from across the area are keeping their minds in shape over the summer break during camps organized by Drury University’s Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with Springfield Public Schools.

Drury provides summer experiences for gifted students from pre-K through the 11th grade. The younger age groups are in half-day camps at Sunshine Elementary School, while older students have a residential experience on the Drury campus. Each summer, more than 700 total students attend these camps.

Elementary School Students

The camps for younger students (called Summer Pals for ages pre-K through grade 1, and Summer Quest for grades 2 through 5) are taking place from each weekday 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. at Sunshine Elementary School, 421 E. Sunshine Street, now through Friday, July 22. The hands-on, activity-oriented courses feature an array of interesting experiences geared specifically toward gifted students. Summer Quest and Summer Pals give students a chance to interact with peers of similar academic abilities and interests, while encouraging them to use their intellectual and creative side.

VIDEO: Gifted Education Students Convene for Summer Camps

“It gives them a sense of self and a sense of community,” says Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education at Drury. “And it builds on what they’ve learned in the classroom during the school year, keeping their minds engaged during the summer break.”

Media are invited to cover the Summer Quest and Summer Pals camps. Opportunities for coverage are available each day of the camps, including classes on robotics, dinosaurs, toy box physics, veterinarians, “grossology,” astronauts and more.

Middle & High School Students

The camps for older students – called Summerscape for middle schoolers and Drury Leadership Academy (DLA) for high schoolers – allow students to take two weeks of in-depth classes and go hands-on in areas that interest them such as robotics, photography and videography, improv comedy, bio-ethics, world culture and much more. They are considered “pre-college” camps in that students live on campus and participate in activities ranging from games to lectures in the evenings. DLA students can potentially earn college credit for completion.

“The camps not only give this particular group of students the kind of enrichment they crave, but they also provide them with a sense of community and give them a taste of what life is like on a college campus,” Potthoff says.

About the Center for Gifted Education

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri, and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.


Media Contact: Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education: (417) 873-7386 or


Drury study reveals impact of volunteers in the Springfield area

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2016 — Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership will unveil the results of a new study examining volunteerism in the Springfield area during a news conference at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 21 at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center.

The study provides an in-depth look at volunteers in Greene and Christian counties, their service, and how they help organizations accomplish their missions. The 30-page report highlights trends in volunteerism, motives for giving time, and how organizations manage volunteers. One major finding: formal volunteerism (service documented by area nonprofits and institutions) has an economic impact of almost $45 million per year in the two counties.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.38.01 PM


The study is a follow-up to the Center’s 2014 Nonprofit Impact Report, the first such report ever conducted in Springfield. The Impact Report revealed the sweeping scope of nonprofits in the area, including the fact that about half of all private employees in Springfield work for a nonprofit of some kind.

“Notably absent from our 2014 Impact Report was any significant data on volunteers and how their work supports nonprofits,” says Dan Prater, Director of Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “The new study gives us valuable insight into what is essentially the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector – and it provides clues as to how volunteerism can be strengthened and amplified in our community.”

The study was conducted over a period of two years and tracks a wide spectrum of formal volunteerism, from small organizations that exist almost solely as volunteer endeavors to large organizations such as hospitals that rely on platoons of volunteers for small but crucial tasks. It breaks down volunteerism data by ZIP codes, age, race, gender, education level, and income as well as the number of hours given and types of causes each group is most likely to gravitate toward. This information could help local nonprofits identify ways to better engage different constituencies such as minority groups, millennials or low-income families.

Hard copies of the report will be made available at the news conference. For information on the Center, go to


Media Contact: Dan Prater, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership: (417) 873-7443 or

Carl Bernstein & P.J. O’Rourke to speak at Drury University in September

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2016 — Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship will bring two of the most renowned political writers of the past 50 years to campus this fall for an insightful and thought-provoking look at Washington and the state of national politics.

Carl Bernstein and P.J. O’Rourke will appear together at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 at Clara Thompson Hall. Their program, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House,” is the first event of the Meador Center’s 2016-17 theme “45” – an examination of the 2016 presidential election and the administration of the 45th President of the United States.

The event is free and open to the public.

P.J. O'Rourke (left) and Carl Bernstein

P.J. O’Rourke (left) and Carl Bernstein

O’Rourke, a conservative, is a research fellow at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, and is a widely recognized political commentator. He is the author of 20 books, and has written for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Weekly Standard. He is currently a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast. Bernstein, a liberal, pursued and broke the Watergate story along with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, and co-wrote the best-selling book “All the President’s Men,” which was later adapted into a classic film of the same name. He has also written books on subjects such as Pope John Paul II and Hillary Clinton. He has worked for a number of outlets including The Washington Post and CNN.

The evening will include remarks and observations from the two writers on relevant political and economic developments, followed by a moderated discussion and audience Q&A.

“American politics is so polarized today that it is often beyond comprehension that people can have a civil discussion from different sides of the political divide,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Endowed Chair of Political Science. “Bernstein and O’Rourke will bring their playful, yet powerful and serious message, to Drury and the community to illuminate points of agreement as well as division.”

About the L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship

Dr. Lewis Elbern (L.E.) Meador taught political science at Drury College for nearly 50 years beginning in 1913 and was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter. Inspiration for the center’s mission comes from the words of Meador himself, who felt his students “should take a constructive and active part in trying to bring about a more democratic and more hopeful world in which future generations can live.” The Center carries out that mission through financial support of student scholarship and an annual speaker series addressing a range of pressing political and civic issues.


Media Contact: Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Endowed Chair of Political Science: (417) 873-7394 or

Drury-led conference helps nonprofits bolster their long-term viability

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 9, 2016 — Hundreds of nonprofit professionals from across Missouri and the Midwest are gathering today to help ensure the long-term viability of their organizations at the 2016 Nonprofit Sustainability Conference. The event takes place at the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks.

Organized by Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership and presented by the Roy W. Slusher Foundation, this one-day event for nonprofit professionals and leaders is focused on fundraising, financial stability and growth. Speakers and panelists will generate practical ideas on fundraising, management, and other important issues that help bring about a strong, sustainable organization.

Dan Prater

Dan Prater

“The recession has had a crippling impact on many community organizations and on the people who give to them,” says Dan Prater, director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “This conference focuses on strengthening and supporting leaders, helping them find sustainable solutions for their organizations.”

More than 200 professionals from Missouri, Kanas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois and New York will attend. The conference doors open at 8 a.m. Sessions begin at 9 a.m. For more information about the event and schedule visit:


Drury joins local patriotic groups to celebrate Flag Day’s 100th anniversary

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 8, 2016 — Drury University will host a Flag Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 14 in Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. The event is free and open to the public. Trustee Science Center is located on Drury Lane, just north of Chestnut Expressway.

The local chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution will join Drury for this special 100th anniversary celebration of our nation’s colors. Local Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Drury student and U.S. Air Force veteran Matthew Overcast will be recognized by the university for his military service and classroom leadership.

US Flag backlit

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring June 14 as Flag Day in 1916 and in 1949 an act of Congress solidified this national day of observance. June 14 is the day the flag of the United States was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

Drury’s tradition of serving those who have served our country dates to the days following World War II, when buses brought soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood to classes held on the Springfield campus. Today, one of Drury’s branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood.

The commitment continues today, as Drury has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media. Drury is also a supporter school of the Order of the Purple Heart and is a Yellow Ribbon School. Drury supports federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees and has designated staff to help coordinate these services.