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If you watch television or listen to the radio you’ve probably heard stories or seen images of some of the many poverty stricken communities around the world. It is those same stories of starvation, hurt, motherless children, disease, and even death that often encourage people to courageously donate much needed time or money to people they’ve never met, and places they’ve never been. But what if that same need was in your own backyard ? I’m Chasity Mayes. In this month’s Sense of Community Series we’re focusing on local individuals that are fighting for those less fortunate right here in the Ozarks.

“For the people who work here, this is not a job and it’s not a career. It’s a cause and you either believe in the cause or you don’t. And if you don’t, you shouldn’t be working here, and you won’t last very long.”

That’s the Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ tell-it-like it is executive director Melissa Haddow. She’s been with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks for nearly 17 years, and has been the executive director for the last nine. In that time, she’s seen a lot of people lifted out of terrible situations. The Community Partnership of the Ozarks is the driving force behind a lot of organized events like Community Wide Play Day and Neighborhood Night Out. Many of the organization’s events focus on pre-school children and preparing them for school. However, CPO isn’t only helping people through special events. As a matter of fact, they never stop helping people.

With methamphetamine lab busts on the rise in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon is calling on lawmakers to make certain cold medicines available only by prescription. The idea is to limit access to pseudoephedrine, a key meth ingredient. Nixon was in Springfield Tuesday to discuss the proposal. KSMU’s Missy Shelton was there and files this report.

In the full swing of the holiday season, take a few moments to stop by the lobby at Juanita K. Hammons Hall and experience WinterFest – combining the talents of the region’s best visual artists with the performing arts, central to the mission of the Hall. Festival-goers can enjoy live holiday music as they shop on four beautiful lobby levels.

And new this year – the award-winning Musical Theatre program from the Missouri State University Department of Theatre and Dance will present three performances of the holiday classic White Christmas, on the main Hammons Hall stage. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm.


  • Friday, December 3 – 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • Saturday, December 4 – 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 5 – noon to 5:00 pm

The Skinny Improv, 301 Park Central East, announces their lineup of holiday shows this month. Their award-winning mainstage improv comedy shows will continue Friday & Saturday December 10 & 11, and the 17th and 18th. This weekend they offer a satirical staged reading of the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol: Friday Dec.3rd at 7:30pm and Saturday the 4th at 7:30 and 10pm. Following the Friday evening show at 10:15pm is the "Mystery Hour," the hottest improvised talk show in town. The next three Saturdays (Dec.4, 11 & 18) at 11:30am and 2:00pm the Skinny Improv presents a show for kids, "Frosty, A Christmas Snowman Carol," an original script written and directed by Jeff Jenkins, in which Frosty is visited by three friends who help him re-find the magic in his old silk hat. THe show includes a special Snowman Dress up photo for each child. The "Christmas Spectacular and Hootenanny," a holiday revue show featuring comic sketches and your favorite holiday classics, will be performed Thursday Dec.9 at 7:30pm and Friday the 10th at 10:00pm; it's a fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting Bachelor of Fine Arts acting students at Missouri State University. Saturday evening Dec.11 at 10pm it's "Better Luck Next Time," an improvised game show--Christmas edition. Two teams of improvisers compete to answer questions--the twist is that points are awarded not for the RIGHT answer, but the most ORIGINAL. Finally, Saturday Dec.18 at 10:00pm Skinny Improv presents a "Mystery Skinny 3000 Christmas Movie," where live performers dub over the sound of a traditional Christmas movie. For more information call 831-LAFF (5233) or visit www.theskinnyimprovcom.

"Art in the Ozarks," an exhibit of new works by Eureka Springs artists Adrian Frost, John Stalling, Robin Barner and Patrick Smith, will be on display at The Space in Eureka Springs, Dec.10-17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The public is invited to an opening artist reception, Friday, Dec. 10, from 5-9 p.m. Admission is free. "Art in the Ozarks" is a benefit for Clear Spring School. Music for the Dec.10 reception will be provided by Cool Clear Water and Stevie Tombstone and catered by La Luna of Berryville. Frost, who splits his time between Eureka Springs and New York will debut his new series of abstract paintings and sculptures that focus on word play. Established metal artist Stalling will show a combination of functional furniture pieces along with new sculpture, and newcomers Barner and Smith of Ozark Mountain Rustics will have furniture on display. The Space is located at the corner of Spring St. and Pine St., upstairs across from the Eureka Springs post office. For information call (845) 247-0026 or go to adrianfrostart.com.

The Josh Mitchell Gallery at The Art Station, 1427 E. Cherry at Pickwick, presents cutting edge photography, and the lasting moments of nature's beauty. Celebrating the season of friendship and family, Josh Mitchell Gallery and Pickwick Underground Framing present "Create New Traditions" during the First Friday Art Walk, Dec.3 from 6 to 10:30pm, with a collection of new original artwork on display, all available for purchase. Hot refreshments will be served. For information call 860-2121 or visit www.joshmitchell.com.

The "Nature and the Arts" series at the Springfield Conservation Nature center presents a return engagement by nationally-known nature photographer Tim Ernst, giving two free presentations Friday Dec.3rd at 5:00 and 7:00pm. Tim will share his images set to music from his latest publication, "Arkansas Autumn," with stunning photos of fall color from the first sign of color in late summer until the last leaf falls in late autumn. You’ll be inspired to explore the natural beauty of the Ozarks and areas beyond. As an added bonus, enjoy photography from Tim’s recent trip to Iceland, one of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes in the world. Books and calendars will be on sale from 6-9pm and Tim will be available a for book signing from 6-7pm and from 8-9pm. The programs are free and for ages 12 to adult, but reservations are required. Call 888-4237 to register.

First Friday Art Walk welcomes the holiday season in December with student exhibitions, hard-rocking art by DA Frizell at Smart Group and Gallery, a threefold visual art show at The Creamery Arts Center, a portion of the national AIDS Memorial Quilt at APO After Dark, candle and soap-making at Farmers Gastropub and much more. The Art Walk on Friday Dec.3rd from 6:00 to 10:00pm includes 25 galleries with original art, music, food and fun in Springfield's downtown arts district. Also, Art Walkers are invited to serve as judges for "Springfield On Display", a holiday window-decorating contest unveiled during the Dec. 3rd Art Walk. Highlights for December include: *"The Face of AIDS," a photo project by Drury University students, along with pieces of The AIDS Memorial Quilt at APO After Dark. * Canvas is a new non-profit art gallery and event venue at 315 South Avenue in downtown Springfield, with a mission of being a cultural hub of creativity to showcase all forms of art. Local artist Eric Vaughn makes a point of speaking out for the common art enthusiast, and is spearheading the first ever "Living Art Installation" during the First Friday Art Walk Dec.3rd. If you've ever felt intimidated by the idea of going to Art Walk, you're not alone, and it's become Eric Vaughn's mission to define the Midwest art scene and make it more approachable, to find a new market for the arts and include everybody on some level. Eric's work will be on display at Canvas art gallery during the Dec.3rd Art Walk, featuring art pieces brought to life through his Living Art Installation, featuring live, local models from our community. It's a non-profit event supporting the Jeremiah Project, founded by Larenda Haden de Orellana from Rogersville, to provide nutritious lunches and education to kids in Guatemala. For information call Canvas at 869-4138.* The Creamery Arts Center breaks new ground in December with the first-ever joint exhibition of three area visual arts groups: the Visual Artist Alliance of Springfield, Springfield Plein Air and Studio 55.* Drury University’s Pool Art Center Gallery presents the "Iraq Suicide Attack Pillow Project: A Memorial" by artist Benjamin June, with an artist talk from 6 to 7 p.m. during the opening reception.* Artist Kelly Bigbee of Flower Child will be show floral art and demonstrate candle making and soap making at Farmer’s Gastropub.* Hawthorn Galleries presents new work by mosaic artist Juanita Herrel, plus live guitar music by Ray Smith and KSMU's Emily Higgins.*MSU Art and Design seniors exhibit their work at the MSU Brick City Gallery, MSU Student Exhibition Center and Good Girl Art Gallery. And the OTC Fine Art Student Fall 2010 Showcase Exhibition will be on display at the OTC Fine Art Gallery on the third floor of the Gillioz Theatre buidling and in the Gillioz lobby.* Experience the edgy art of "Monsters, Music and Mayhem" at Smart Group and Gallery, featuring the artwork of DA Frizell, internationally known for his work for Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed and Sevendust. For more information on First Friday Artwalk visit www.ffaw.org or call 849-8255.

Cleaver Guitars invites the public to play two radically-designed new electric guitars at the December First Friday Art Walk at Nick Sibley Music, 412 S. Campbell. The guitars were designed by four Springfieldians: Dunham Henry, James Radke, Kelly Cox, and Andy Cline. To introduce the guitars, nicknamed the "Randy" and the "Beaver", to Springfield and get feedback on the initial designs, Cleaver Guitars invites the public to play them at Nick Sibley Music from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. during the First Friday Art Walk on December 3rd. For more information, contact James Radke at 569-7169.