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Marideth Sisco is known in these parts for many things: she's the singer for The Blackberry Winter Band, which rose to fame after its work with the Oscar-winning film "Winter's Bone." She's a folklorist and Ozarks storyteller. But she's also a person near and dear to the KSMU family: she writes our popular series These Ozarks Hills. Right now, Marideth Sisco is in the midst of cancer treatments. And artists around the region are pooling their talents tomorrow (Sat, 9/28) at the Yellow House Community Arts Center in West Plains for her sake. Jennifer Davidson sat down with one of the event’s organizers, and has this interview to share.
The event is a fundraiser to cover the expenses of Marideth’s caretakers, and the public is invited to take part. Phoenix Keffer has put a lot of work into tomorrow’s fundraiser.
“Marideth is undergoing radiation therapy at Barnes [Jewish] Hospital in St. Louis, and it’s a long way from home. She has caregivers who need to be with her 24/7 available, and they’re the ones doing the heavy lifting. And they’re racking up expenses out of their own pocket. And most of them can’t afford it,” Keffer said.
The Yellow House has decided to participate by hosting a silent auction and baked goods benefit.
“We have live music. Most of the major artists of the area have been so generous,” Keffer said.
The Renee Wood Trio, Linda Stoeffel, Scott Shipley, and members of the Blackberry Winter Band will be playing throughout the afternoon and evening, she said.
“The major artists have just been amazingly supportive. We have Kathy Fisher, who does oil painting. Susan Minyard is a potter. Mara Bosch is donating an oil painting. Michael McClure is doing a very large watercolor called “Butterflies.” It’s just beautiful. Susan Lumston is donating a quilt block. Bill Dugan--and these are just a few,” Keffer said.
A hand-crafted teapot, a mosaic, a shadowbox of streamer flies, framed photography, a wire basket, a collection of Marideth’s albums, and other pieces of art are already up for auction online.
Keffer said its neat to see local artists coming together for the sake of an old friend.
"It's wonderful. It's really wonderful. Her friends are very generous. We have some lofty goals. We're trying to raise 7,000 dollars to cover just the non-medical costs," Keffer said.
There's no admission cost to the event, Keffer said, although organizers will be running a raffle at the door for those interested.
The event is from 2:00 to 7:00 pm, and the address is 209 W. Trish Knight Street in downtown West Plains. If you can’t make it in person, you can take part in the silent auction online starting now by clicking here. The link to the overall fundraiser is here.