MAC names MSIPC Outstanding Arts Organization for 2007

Parker Willis

Sounds of music from the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition (MSIPC) have caught the attention of the Missouri Arts Council (MAC).

The MSIPC received the 2007 Missouri Arts Awards for Outstanding Arts Organization in the state. The Arts Awards began in 1983 to honor significant students and universities for impacting the state’s atmosphere.

“It really is a grand thing,” said Vivian León, the competition director. “We have accomplished what we have set out to do.”

Gov. Matt Blunt and first lady Melanie Blunt will present the award to León Feb. 7, in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City.

León said this occasion will be extra special due to the competition celebrating its 20th anniversary. Since 1987, more than 50 different countries have participated in the concert for the $30,000 prize and performance in New York City’s Carnegie Recital Hall.

“We are very proud of MSIPC and the involvement of the community and the area schools,” León said. “It speaks volumes on the generosity and the values of the people in southwest Missouri. I’m so grateful for the help and support of the volunteers.”

One competition representative told León she was pleased because this is one of the two arts organizations promoting Missouri on an international level, and Southern was named “outstanding” in the state.

“There are few organizations in the state going that far out,” León said. “We will continue to work hard to promote Missouri Southern, southwest Missouri, Joplin and the state of Missouri. We will continue to make our competition better by progressing in all areas.”

Every year MAC awards five individuals in different categories of excellence. The nominees are selected from Missouri citizens who are knowledgeable in the arts. Along with MSIPC, those awarded for 2007 were: Vicki McCalley from Richmond in Arts Education, Russ RuBert from Springfield in Individual Artist and the Francis Family Foundation from Kansas City in Philanthropy.