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The Front Porch, 310 S. Avenue downtown, presents a free concert by "Sufficient Cause" TONIGHT (Fri. 8/20), and next Friday the 27th it's a free concert featuring Roger Jeager. For more information call 865-CORE (2673) or visit



The 39th Northwest Arkansas Bluegrass Festival continues through Saturday Aug.21st at Beacon Park, the Northwest Arkansas Fairgrouds five miles north of the Harrison city limits on Highway 65. Music starts at 6:30 each evening, with another session Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 5:15pm. Bring your acoustic instruments and jam with other players starting at 7am. Everything from traditional bluegrass to modern "newgrass," gospel music and jam sessions is featured this weekend. For more details visit www.sabinebluegrass.com.

The guest speaker at the next Creamery Writers Workshop on Thursday Aug.26 will be Kathy Mullens, president of Ozark Romance Authors. her writing career didn’t begin until after she was married and she started writing stories for her three children. Now a grandmother, she has published numerous short stories and newspaper articles, and is currently editing her first non-fiction Christian book. At the Creamery Writers Workshop next Thursday, Kathy Mullens will present 6-step guide to “Creating Believable Relationships in Fiction.” The group meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7:00pm at the Creamery Arts Center, 411 Sherman Parkway across from Hammons Field. It’s free and open to anyone interested in writing. For more information call the Springfield Regional Arts Council at 862-ARTS (2787) or visit www.springfieldarts.org.

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The first day of classes for Springfield Public Schools is Tuesday, and most older kids will be taking with them one item they consider more important than all the others combined: a cell phone. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports that many kids are finding out the hard way that sending certain types of text messages can quickly put them at risk.

The Family Violence center of Springfield helps women and children that are victims of abuse establish new lives by providing a safe-haven as well as other services such as counseling. Today, dozens of volunteers worked to fix it up for the residents. KSMU’s Emma Wilson reports.

Evangel University’s Community School of Arts is now accepting students for the fall. Classes begin in September and are taught by Evangel fine arts faculty. They include drawing, photography, piano, guitar, strings, voice, brass/woodwind ensemble, improv, and communication. Private lessons for a variety of musical instruments are also offered this fall. All classes include eight hours of instruction for $125. Anyone from Evangel, Springfield and the surrounding areas is welcome to enroll in a class. For more information email communityschoolofarts [at] evangel [dot] edu or call Susan Sheets at 865-2815 ext.7254.

Springfield Regional Opera has changed their name to SRO Lyric Theatre. Under the new leadership of Managing Director Derek Munson and Artistic Director & Conductor Dr. Amy Muchnick, SRO has a new vision for its changing audiences. Programming will include musical theatre, light opera, free concerts, original works as well as fully produced opera. Their new performance home is the Gillioz Theatre with other locations for special events. Some Enchanted Evening, The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, a celebration of classic American musical theatre, will open SRO Lyric Theatre’s 2010 – 2011 season on Friday and Saturday Oct.1st and 2nd at 7:30pm at the Gillioz Theatre, 325 Park Central East. The concert will feature favorites from South Pacific, Oklahoma, Sound of Music, State Fair and Carousel, among others. Director Derek Munson has cast five performers, including SRO favorite Kim Crosby, Broadway star and Tony nominee. Kim was last seen in SRO’s production of A Little Night Music. Also in the cast are local favorites Sean Spyres and Seth Hunt, newcomer Laureen Niamesny and last year’s SRO Young Artist Scholarship recipient, Kelly Osborne. For ticket information call the Gillioz box office at 863-9491 or order at www.gillioz.ticketforce.com. The SRO season also includes a full production of Puccini's "La Boheme" at the Gillioz next March. For season tickets call SRO at 863-1960 or visit SRO Lyric Theatre's new website, www.srolyrictheatre.org.

Each year, the United Way of the Ozarks organizes hundreds of people to volunteer at various non-profits around Southwest Missouri for the “Day of Caring.” KSMU’s Emma Wilson reports.

The Vagabond Playhouse, Branson’s first professional regional-style theatre company, producing a season of plays, original works, and other professional theatre, presents its inaugural show through the end of October: the irreverent romp through the Bard's works, performed by only 3 actors, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare--ABRIDGED" performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 3:00 and 8:00pm, from August 20th through the end of October. The Vagabond Playhouse is located in The Majestic Building at 2849 Gretna Road in Branson. For information call (417) 297-0392 or visit www.vagabondstagecompany.com.