Area art on move

Nathan Carter

A new arts program for the area will begin this Saturday with the Arts in the Park event.

“There are two purposes for this program,” said Eileen Nichols, coordinator of Arts in the Park. “The first is to bring arts in the area to the forefront. The second is to start Friends of the Webb City Parks, an advocacy group for local parks.”

Nichols said that the organization will focus on area art events and send out quarterly e-mails to people about upcoming events in the area. They will try not to intrude in people’s lives.

“We want to be a really low maintenance organization,” she said. “The kind of thing where people can join without adding to their commitments. We’ve all got plenty of meetings to go to already.”

Joining Friends of the Webb City Parks cost $5 a year and includes several benefits, including a free drink, $5 coupon to Chatters and entry into celebration drawings.

The Missouri Arts Council, a state run arts program, provided $5000 of funding for the event. Webb City is in the category of a DREAM city, which Nichols said has a special grant category that allowed Friends of the Parks to receive money for the event.

“We have a lot of arts going on in this area but the general public doesn’t often get a chance to participate in dance, drama, music, and the visual arts at a single event in a single location,” Nichols said. “We also want to show off the major improvements in the pavilion facilities made this year.”

These improvements include new concrete floors and expanded floor area.

In addition to the event, the Webb City trolley will be reopening and running starting at 9:30 a.m.

The trolley has been shut down for the last four years.

“The tracks have just been refurbished by the park and it will be running for free,” Nichols said. “The people of the city have missed the street car while its been off the tracks for the last few years. It really means a lot to us.”

The event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Webb City Farmers Market.

The event will feature food, art, theater, music and several other family friendly activities.