Arts Council of southeast Missouri celebrates 50 years

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Happy Birthday to the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. The organization is turning 50.

Murielle Wyman, the council's new executive director, says it's one of the oldest arts councils in the state. She says they not only support visual arts like paintings and sculptures, but also drama, music, and dance.

Ann Gifford, the council's chair, says the arts council teaches the community about art, and helps artists promote their artwork.

She says it also helps the local economy.

According to study out of St. Louis, the council has supported events in the area that have generated over $1 million for the Cape Girardeau area.

Loriann Kinder, the vice-chair of the council, says the arts can help increase tourism as well.

"The arts council is just one of those many venues that can draw people in culturally, that are interested in seeing a different side of Cape," said Kinder. "You know something different than what they see off I-55."

"It's helped us because it brings a lot of people from the area to Cape," said Jeanie Eddleman, manager of Westray Studio. "It helps with the tourism because people are you know eating out and buying gas and some of them may be even staying in hotels."

"There's an absolute need, the arts are something that communities and individuals have to hold on to," said John Mehner, with the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. "Sports are important, the athletic side is important, the academic side of everything is important, the arts are equally as important."

Eddleman says the council has helped bring new art galleries to the area, which has filled vacant buildings in Downtown Cape Girardeau.

You can join in the celebration with a reception Wednesday Oct 26, 2011 at the Southeast Cancer Center at 5 PM. There will be visual artwork from regional artists, a performance from the St. Louis Ballet, and live poetry readings.

Tickets for non-members $35.

Tickets for Arts Council Members $25.

Tickets may be purchased at the door.

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