Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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Grundy, company give demonstrations at Stephens

Karen Grundy, artist director of the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and members of her company were on campus today demonstrating the moves that make her modern dances so unique.
Grundy has been working with Stephens dance students for about seven weeks as a guest artist. The training culminated today with demonstrations from both professional and student dancers. v
Grundy’s contemporary ballet combines ballet foundations with routines that emphasize core strengths and amazing stretching abilities. Students from the Stephens College Children’s School joined Stephens students and staff for the performances, which included excerpts from the company’s upcoming production of CRAVE, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15 at the Missouri Theatre.  
During a question and answer session following the performances, one SCCS child asked Grundy how the dancers do what they do.
“Lots and lots and lots of training,” Grundy replied. “We rehearse everyday.”
Stephens’ three-year, two-summer dance program hosts guest artists throughout the year. Grundy said the most rewarding aspect of serving as a guest is watching the students grow.

“Seeing the progress and seeing the strength—that’s always the best part,” she said. “Seeing the results.”
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Freshmen Year Experience activity channels alumna, promotes team work

teamwork1teamwork2Freshmen at Stephens College today channeled the spirit of alumna Dawn Wells—best known for her role as Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island—during a team building exercise, part of the new Freshmen Year Experience

Faculty members converted the Kimball Ballroom into an ocean complete with various islands and palm trees.

Assistant Professor Kate Berneking Kogut began the exercise by reminding students that Wells attended Stephens and letting them know they'd get their own chance to play Mary Ann, the girl-next-door character Wells portrayed on the beloved show that has aired consistently for 50 years.

After being “shipwrecked,” students were assigned islands where they had to form a government, figure out how to access and share resources and to work together.

The activity continued a study about personality types. Earlier in the week, students took the Myers Briggs personality test to determine their individual strengths.

“This activity reinforces how they fit in and how they can work with other personality types,” said Kogut, who teaches English/creative writing. “One of the main lessons is team building and how they fit into this larger community of castaways.”

Students were given envelopes with resource cards they could eventually trade with those on other islands.

But first, students had to complete a series of academic and creative tasks.

“It’s just a fun way for our freshmen to work with others who aren’t necessarily in their academic fields or close friend groups,” Kogut said. “This really helped get them out of their comfort zones and let them push the envelope a little.”

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Stephens to celebrate Hispananic Heritage Month with Latin Night

Stephens College is hosting a Latin Night Tuesday, Oct. 15, a grand finale celebration marking the end of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month.

The event will feature local band La Movida with salsa lessons from members of the MU Latin Dance Club in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and the dance party is free and open to the public.

“It’s really important that we celebrate the Latino culture,” said Junior Lluvia Garcia, who is spearheading the event. “A lot of Latinos are doing really great stuff in the arts, and the Latino culture isjust fun in general. It’s fun to celebrate that culture.”

Garcia is a Chicago native who transferred to Stephens this year. She was sitting in Vespers, a secular meditation time for Stephens students, last month when the idea came to her. Because Hispanic Heritage Month spans Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, she decided to make the celebration a finale event, piggybacking off of a string of events hosted at the University of Missouri.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates important events that happened between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 in Latin American countries, which won independence Sept. 15. Mexican Independence Day is Sept. 16, Chilean Independence Day is Sept. 18 and Día de la Raza, or the celebration of race, (Columbus Day in America) takes place on Oct. 12.

In addition to Stephens students, Garcia plans to invite members of MU’s various Hispanic and Latino clubs. The general public is also welcome to attend, as well.
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International designer shares career highlights

Former textile designer Erich Biehle urged Stephens fashion students today to be enthusiastic about their work, pay attention to their surroundings and to develop strong relationships if they want to succeed in the competitive world of high-end fashion.

“When you put enthusiasm behind it, it’s easy,” he told a crowd at Charters Auditorium. “It’s very easy. Everything will become easy and one idea will lead to the next, but you have to have your eyes open. You have to be interested. You have to read. You have to travel.”

Biehle is on campus this week helping select student designs that will be entered into the Council of Fashion Designers of America student competition next spring. The contest is a highly competitive, invite-only scholarship program.

During a lunchtime lecture, Biehle, who is currently a consultant, outlined some of the highlights of his more than four-decade career as a designer. Immediately after graduating from the University of Art and Applied Sciences in Zürich—where he studied with Johannes Itten, a Swiss painter and former Bauhaus teacher—Biehle began designing floral patterns for various Yves Saint Laurent collections. What amounted to a couple days of work ultimately became fashion history, and Biehle’s designs are now housed at the Zurich University of the Arts Museum of Design.
Biehle insists he had “mediocre” talent but said he was enthusiastic and willing to put in extra work to add special touches to the designs.

“I liked what I did, and I was dedicated to it,” he said.

Biehle would go on to design for Givenchy, Paris, designed for special products for Haute Couture and became executive vice president for Bally International. From 1996 to 2002, he was president of the board of directors and CEO of the Abraham Group with companies in  Zürich, Paris and New York. He's also worked with Gucci, Prada, Calvin Klein, Armani, Chanel and Michael Kors.

Social and technological changes have altered the industry, though, and Biehle warned students that they would be working under different conditions than he did during his career.

Rather than working with specific clients, today’s designers work for the people on the street, he said.

“I didn’t really care if somebody was going to like” his designs, Biehle said. “Did I ever care? No, I didn’t. I was lucky enough to get away with it. But you do have to care. You have to respect the company you work for. You have to be aware of changes in society. You have to be aware of trends and what people are preferring. Do they want more comfort or do they want more elegance? You have to be flexible.”
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Saunders named Young Ambassador to U.S. Embassy

Junior Becky Saunders has been named a Young Ambassador to the U.S. Embassy, meaning she will be called upon from time to time to represent American youth around the globe.

The honor comes on the heels of her visit to Greece this summer, where she talked about entrepreneurship and worked with high school students in Athens as part of a Junior Achievement Conference. To counter the weak economy, the Greek government has been putting a focus on teaching entrepreneurship at a young age, and Saunders was there to show the youth just what’s possible.

Saunders was a fifth-grader when she started her own company in her hometown of Phoenix. It was a pet sitting business, and it was wildly successful. By the time she had to give up the business for college, she had 75 regular clients.

The success captured worldwide attention. Saunders was named Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneur of the Year Worldwide, was featured on BIZ Kids PBS and was selected to participate in a workshop with Arizona lawmakers.

It’s not the first time she’s traveled overseas on behalf of Junior Achievement. She’s also visited Japan to talk about the importance of training women in business.

Saunders is a fashion marketing and management major with no plans of giving up her entrepreneurial spirit. After she graduates, she plans to own her own boutique specializing in high-end equestrian goods.
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Andes to present reading of 'Color Blind'

Stephens music instructor and well-known Columbia musician Tom Andes will host a concert reading of his original musical “Color Blind” this weekend.
The reading—which will include performances of all 17 original songs—starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.
“Color Blind” is the story of Michael, a depressed alcoholic art professor who loses his ability to see color, forcing him to paint in black and white. When he loses his sight altogether following an alcohol-spurred car accident, he has to completely rethink his artistic abilities.
John Leen, a guest artist from Chicago, will read the script of Michael, with Stephens theatre students Katie Pautler and Shinah Brashears filling the lead female roles. 
Ed Hanson, creative director of Talking Horse Productions in Columbia, will also be making a guest appearance. Theatre Professor Rob Doyen will narrate, setting the scenes for the audience. Students from Andes’ class along with members of The Velvetones, an a capella group on campus, will also perform some of the numbers.
Andes has been working on the music, lyrics and book for four years following an especially successful summer at Stephens Okoboji Summer Theatre in Iowa.
“I was so inspired; it was the best theatre experience I’d had, so I started formulating a musical of my own,” he said. 
It was also during a season at Okoboji where Andes got the inspiration for his plot. There, a friend asked him what he’d do if he ever lost his hearing. 
“It was a dramatic thought to me,” he said.  “So I decided to write a play about a visual artist who loses his sight.”
This is the third and final reading before Andes hopes to see the musical on stage in a full performance. 
Sunday’s attendees “can expect a concert,” he said. “I wrote it as a vehicle for my music. So it’s a concert, basically, with some dramatic overtones.”
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Alumna critiques student designs for CFDA contest

A Stephens alumna who now works for Louis Vuitton as Women's Universe Manager in New York was on campus this week critiquing designs that will be entered into the Council of Fashion Designers of America student competition next spring.

Lizann LaGrange spent Tuesday working one-on-one with juniors, helping them select the best among their two- and three-piece outfits. During each 30-minute critique, LaGrange also suggested improvements, such as fabric or color changes.

The students are enrolled in a 300-level sportswear course and would typically be designing garments for the annual Jury of Selection and student fashion show on campus in the spring. This year, however, the designs will also be considered for the CFDA competition, an invite-only scholarship program. For that contest, students were specifically challenged to create sportswear related separates that exemplify Liz Claiborne’s philosophy and core design elements.

Students were given a chance to explain the inspiration behind their designs before each critique. Amy Shank said she based her part-silky, part-metallic pieces on the concept of a modern-day armored Joan of Arc headed into the workforce. Kelly Ferguson’s line featured draped tunics and tailored vests in hopes of creating a feminine androgynous look.

For her collection, Emily Horner created boxy designs inspired by modern architecture. She admitted it was a little nerve-wracking defending the designs but was pleased with LaGrange’s input.
“I’m proud of what I produced,” she said. “I liked all of my pieces.”
LaGrange, who has also worked for Escada N.Y. and Fratelli Rosetti, said she was impressed by the work.

“I saw some really interesting student designs,” she said. “It was exciting for me to see the creativity it took for being such a focused project with a very specific client.”
She also praised students for being “open-minded about how to take their pieces and make them even stronger.”

Now, the hard work begins, Horner said. She and her classmates have until the end of the semester to turn their ideas into marketable clothing.

“Coming up with ideas is pretty hard, but making them is a different animal,” Horner said. “It’s easy to dream up this amazing design, but it’s another thing to figure out how to get it to work.”
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Stephens welcomes delegation from Hong Kong

Stephens College today welcomed a group of educators from Hong Kong who were in Missouri this week learning about the school counseling process.
Missouri’s model of school guidance is considered one of the strongest in the nation, in large part because of the collaboration that occurs between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and those preparing students to become school counselors.
During a lunchtime presentation, Dr. Gina Sanders, director of the Master of Education in Counseling at Stephens gave the dignitaries an overview of the program, and instructor Carolyn Roof provided a more detailed look at the coursework. Among the visitors from China were school development officers and educational administrators.
Stephens is unique in that graduate-level counseling courses are taught in the evening, allowing students to work full-time. That said, program advisors work closely with students to balance their schedules when they’re ready for practicum experiences in area schools, Roof said.
“We advise and assist them to develop individualized academic plans,” she said.
Roughly 130 students are enrolled in the counseling program at Stephens, including men and women. Eighteen instructors, most of whom are either retired or working professionals in the field, teach the courses. In addition to Roof, who has decades of experience working at the elementary level in Columbia Public Schools, Ann Landes, who was a longtime guidance counselor at Hickman High School, is also part of the counseling faculty.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education led the group’s week-long visit, which also included stops at Benton Elementary, a STEM-focused school in Columbia, and the University of Missouri.
During her welcome, Stephens President Dianne Lynch gave the group an overview of the undergraduate side of the college, explaining that Stephens is a student-centered college that prepares women for life, not simply a job. In today’s technological and mobile world, young people need to develop their passion and a skill set that translates to various careers, she said.Asked how to foster that passion, Lynch advised the educators to simply listen to what students are saying, identify their strengths and encourage them.  
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Panelists: Status of women in film bleak, change is underway


Kalyen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz of The Riveter.

Filmmakers and media experts yesterday painted a grim portrait of Hollywood where men dominate and refuse to not only give women the resources needed to make films but also refuse to reflect them in an accurate light on the big screen.

But attendees of the first ever Citizen Jane Summit yesterday agreed that they can change those statistics and said there’s a movement underfoot.

“We need to come up with practical ways and ideas on how we can make a change and how our evolution can turn into a revolution and happen a little quicker,” said Kerri Yost, associate film professor at Stephens and program director of Citizen Jane Film Festival.

Students and community members yesterday joined industry experts at Historic Senior Hall on the Stephens campus to talk about the under-representation of women in Hollywood and what can be done to boost those numbers.

Part of the problem is basic behavior, said Melissa Silverstein, author of “In Her Voice” and the Women in Hollywood blog. In general, men like to be entertained, and they’re more willing to go to movies on opening weekend to get that entertainment. Women, on the other hand, are more critical about what they pay to watch and they’re willing to wait a few weeks after the opening to go. That’s an issue for Hollywood, she said, which essentially judges success on opening weekend sales.

In at least one way, a solution is simple. Women need to support female filmmakers not only by going to see their movies but also by going on opening weekend.

Statistics aren’t any better for women on screen. The number of female actors is currently at a five-year low, she said.

And the numbers are worse for African American women, Yvonne Welbon, Academy Award nominated filmmaker said. Her research has shown black women have made just 80 films in the history of movie making. Two black male filmmakers—Spike Lee and Oscar Micheaux—together have directed almost as many films as all black women combined, she said.

“That’s a little troubling.”

But those numbers aren’t unique to film. Two recent University of Missouri graduates, Joanna Demkiewicz and Kalyen Ralph, said they were disheartened as students by the lack of women working in long-form journalism. That’s why they started “The Riveter,” an online and print magazine that provides space for women to tell their stories. Independent film is parallel to what The Riveter is doing, they said.

The summit closed with audience members joining panelists to talk about ways to improve the statistics.

The Columbia community can play a role in supporting female filmmakers this weekend during the Citizen Jane Film Festival. The festival kicks off today with a series of panel discussions, and the opening film, “Maidentrip” starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Missouri Theatre. Citizens can purchase single tickets at the venues or swing by the Box Office on campus for weekend passes. A complete schedule can be found here.

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Bartels represents Stephens at global conference

Junior Nickie Bartels represented Stephens College last week at a global conference in New York sponsored by The Women in Public Service Project.
“A Global Conversation: Why the UN Must Focus on Women’s Leadership,” hosted by Barnard College, brought together international leaders to talk about ways to boost the number of females taking on government and service roles.

“One thing they talked a lot about was that if you change the people at the table, you change the perspective,” Bartels said. “You can then address issues that a group of men might not otherwise think about. You bring a whole different perspective.”

The conference featured former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who is currently the administrator of the United Nation’s Development Program, and included the deputy executive director of UN Women, Mexico’s tourism secretary
and the executive director of Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

“It was so neat to meet everyone,” Bartels said. “The other student delegates were amazing, as well. They’re going to do awesome things, too.”

Stephens College joined The Women in Public Service Project last month, making Bartels’ trip a spur-of-the-moment opportunity. Bartels said she received an email from her advisor, Susan Bartel, dean of the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication, inviting her to participate just a week before the conference.

“It felt surreal,” Bartels said.

Bartels is studying strategic communications and integrated marketing in hopes of going on to law school. She wants that law background in order to start a not-for-profit organization to educate women about reproductive rights.

The conference “reaffirms my belief that this is what I want to do, and that it is doable,” she said.

Stephens College funded the trip through Magic Moments, a discretionary fund in President Dianne Lynch’s office that pays for unique opportunities that arise for students.

“I can’t thank Dianne enough,” Bartels said. “I feel if I were at any other school, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Stephens really prepared me for this both educationally and personally.”
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Stephens strives to get women working in film

Before the Citizen Jane Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, more than one reporter asked Director Paula Elias why we need a festival featuring all female filmmakers.
It’s simple. The entertainment industry is lagging behind other industries when it comes to gender equality. Of the top 250 domestic grossing films made in 2012, women accounted for 9 percent of all directors, according to a report from Celluloid Ceiling.
“This is an industry based on confidence, and women haven’t felt as confident because culturally they have no representation in the profession,” said Kerri Yost, director of programming.
Predominately male film schools and the notion that women could not handle elaborate equipment contributed to the problem, keeping many would-be female filmmakers away.
Enter Stephens College.
For nearly a decade, the Digital Filmmaking program at Stephens has been giving young women the chance to explore all aspects of the industry—the production, lighting, audio, editing and directing. The program culminates with seniors creating their own short films from start to finish.
So what do you get from a woman with a camera that you might not get from a man? An entirely new way of looking at things.
Assistant Professor Chase Thompson predicts moviegoers will start seeing those types of innovative ideas when more women are put in charge.
“We need a fresh perspective,” he said. “Everything we’re seeing now, they’re all remakes of the same old story told again and again from the same perspective. We need to get cameras in the hands of women.”  The digital filmmaking program at Stephens began in 2004, but it has deep roots on the Stephens campus. Women have been working in the two large Patricia Barry studios on campus for decades, previously as part of mass media and broadcast journalism programs.
Digital filmmaking was born out of the College’s goal to keep up with changing market trends and a desire to send more females into a growing industry that wields a lot of influence.
“Stephens is always focused on careers, and we’re small and nimble enough to adapt to changing times,” Yost said. “We started the digital filmmaking program strategically. We reaffirmed the women’s college mission, and there aren’t enough women in film. Our mission is to get more women in front of and behind the camera.”
Because the program was built for the times, Stephens was one of the early programs to adopt digital technologies.
“Others have tried to evolve with the industry, and some are now scrambling to get everything digitized,” Yost said. “We went digital early, and that was a smart decision.”
But while technology allows anyone to film from anywhere in the world, mid-Missouri isn’t exactly a mecca for moviemaking. That’s why Stephens launched the Citizen Jane Lecture Series alongside the major. The series brings women working in the film and television industry to campus, allowing students to see career potential and make connections in the field.
Again, Stephens proved to be ahead of her time: A study earlier this year from the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles found that mentorship is crucial if show business is going to achieve equity.
As an extension of the lecture program, Stephens in 2008 launched the Citizen Jane Film Festival, a three-day festival showcasing the works of female filmmakers from around the world. What started as a symposium has nearly doubled every year since and is now a full-blown festival, giving women a chance to screen and discuss their works.
“Citizen Jane Film Festival does a good job of championing the idea that women’s voices are powerful and need to be represented,” Thompson said. For students, here are people—women like them—doing what they want to do and showing them it’s not just a hobby.”

At Stephens, digital film faculty members don’t just teach filmmaking, they make films. Yost has directed several documentaries that have received national recognition. Thompson’s short film, “Threshold,” received a nod at an international film festival earlier this year—and he was back on set this summer with a new feature project. Assistant Professor Steph Borklund, the most recent addition to the team, spent the summer working on her new short film, “I Am One,” co-produced by Assistant Creative Writing Professor Kate Berneking Kogut.
“It is imperative for our digital film faculty to be working filmmakers,” Borklund said. “The digital filmmaking world changes so rapidly—new cameras, new codes, new recording formats. Being working filmmakers helps us relate to the students. We understand the stress and complications that go with making a film.”
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Student project could lead to fewer deworming treatments at stables

Horses at Stephens College could see fewer unnecessary deworming treatments in the future thanks to a study conducted recently by two students.

Caroline Schwerzenbach, who graduated in May, and Katie Sharp, a junior, teamed up to determine whether the horses at the equestrian center need to be dewormed twice a year, as was routine, or whether they could get by with fewer treatments.

One problem with deworming routinely is that horses can build immunity to the vaccinations over time.

Sharp and Schwerzenbach tested 51 horses by counting eggs in fecal matter. They discovered that three horses had especially high egg counts, with one being abnormally high. After deworming, the latter horse was the only to have egg counts in a follow-up test, indicating that the horse is especially vulnerable. Schwerzenbach presented the findings at an external conference, and Sharp gave a presentation on the work during Family Weekend at Stephens this past weekend.

By using the egg count method, Stephens can reduce treatments, saving money and improving the overall health of the college’s horses.

Students in the sciences at Stephens will likely to build on this study, conducting egg counts for the stables while also adding other research components to the tests, said Tara Giblin, dean of the humanities and sciences.

“This is a great example of the collaboration that happens at Stephens,” she said. “Students benefit from working in real-world settings, and they benefit by being exposed to other disciplines on campus.”

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Freshman coordinates dinners for fellow first-year students

Stephens freshmen last week had a chance to get to know one another better at back-to-back dinners at the President’s Home.

The events were the brainchild of Freshman Jenna Westra who talked to Stephens President Dianne Lynch after noticing students in the dining hall whom she hadn’t yet met.

“I wanted a way for people to meet everyone,” she said.

Westra is studying Event and Convention Management, a new major this year, so the project doubled as a way to get some first-hand experience. While Lynch’s office took care of logistics, Westra was in charge of coming up with icebreaker games, creating nametags and making sure attendees felt comfortable.

“I didn’t do everything, but it was certainly a step in what I want to do,” she said. “Everyone had a great time. There was really no pressure, people just got a chance to know more about one another.”

The dinners are just one example of how students can create their own opportunities at Stephens, parents were told during a Family Weekend event this past weekend. Lynch is always available to students who have ideas, Tina Parke-Sutherland, a professor of English/creative writing said during a faculty panel discussion.

"Our president is an amazing resource," she said.

And Westra didn't hesitate to take advantage of that. She's now working with Lynch on ideas for Halloween events at Stephens. She'd also like to coordinate another freshmen dinner.

Westra and fellow Event and Convention Management students are also getting real world experience in their courses. The class recently visited SC Events, the office that coordinates weddings, business meetings and other external and internal events on campus, getting a behind-the-scenes look at event planning.
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Fashion students design pink dresses for Breast Cancer Awareness

Logan Blagg explains her dress design.

Last Wednesday, Logan Blagg had a green towel and an idea.

The Stephens College junior wanted to create a ball gown using the towel as the bodice and a cut wicker basket to create the skirt. By Friday, the basket she’d ordered hadn’t come in, and Blagg had to revert to Plan B, using pieces of foam and wire to create the skirt instead.
Troubleshooting is one of the main lessons embedded in the annual Pink Dress project at the Stephens School of Fashion and Design.
“It’s an engineering feat,” said Tina Marks, who is teaching the Creating Sustainable Communities course. The project challenges students to create dresses using non-traditional materials. It doubles as a Breast Cancer Awareness project, and several of the dresses will be displayed in store windows downtown during the month of October.
Engineering wise, it’s one of the toughest designs students will work on, Marks said. Students can sketch imaginative works—but sometimes those ideas go awry in the design stage.
“I learned that I need to do a lot more preparation and planning and to make room for troubleshooting,” said Kelly Ferguson, a junior who also had to come up with an alternative plan when her original idea didn’t work.
Ferguson used a circle-patterned shower curtain to remind women to “Spot Cancer Early” through self-screenings in the shower.
The women presented their dresses to Assistant Fashion Communications Professor Lisa Lenoir this afternoon. A Visual Design class will now judge the dresses to determine which will be displayed downtown. This spring, a professional Jury will also judge the dresses, and the top designs will be modeled at the annual student designer fashion show, The Collections.
Junior Audrah Davidson is hoping her delicate fall-themed design survives the numerous moves. Her dress is a shower curtain base embellished with decorative leaves painted pink, a reminder to “Leave Cancer Behind.” The dress is designed to celebrate remission.“It’s fun,” she said Wednesday while gluing leaves. “It’s so much fun. I’m learning a lot—this gets your creativity going.”

Melinda Thiedig and her cork themed dress.

Jessica Yuhouse used plastic bags and tissue paper to create her strapless dress. She works in retail and wanted to find a use for the materials that often end up on a landfill. Her dress—which she was able to try on herself—is themed: “Don’t get wrapped up in breast cancer.”
Melinda Thiedig also was able to try on her dress, made up of hundreds of donated wine and  Champagne corks painted pink. The dress, which featured the pink ribbon design on the back, wasn’t as uncomfortable as one might imagine, Thiedig said.
Other designs featured water bottles, insulation foam and parts from old high heel shoes.
Although she put in some long hours after her initial plan fell through, Blagg was also ready to show off her finished dress during presentations today. Her dress’s theme, “Uncage Your Inner Strength,” was a play on the birdcage-like skirt. She covered the towel in pink pillow stuffing and Himalayan salt.
The students had just two weeks to design and create the dresses, Marks said. “I’m impressed. I really am.”

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Faculty discuss first-year challenges

Having tenured professors teach and advise freshmen gives students numerous advantages, but it can also be intimidating for young women just out of high school.
That’s one challenge first-year students face as they transition to Stephens College, said Annette Digby, vice president of academic affairs. Digby joined a faculty panel Saturday morning to talk to parents of first-year students about adjusting to college. The event was part of Family Weekend.
At Stephens, students work alongside tenured and tenure-track faculty all four years, meaning they’re working with professors who have decades of experience and long lists of scholarly accolades. That’s unique to Stephens—at most colleges and universities, students don’t begin working with tenured faculty until their junior years, and graduate assistants teach most freshmen-level courses.
Freshmen here just need to realize that they should take advantage of that, Digby said. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, share ideas or ask for advice or help.
“Everyone here wants to see you succeed,” said Jim Terry, association professor of art history. “Pester us. This is what we do.”
While college is sometimes portrayed as a “non-stop party” in the media, Stephens students quickly realize that it requires work.
“Stephens College is a job,” President Dianne Lynch said. “You work as hard as a young professional college student as you would as a young professional in the office.”
And students are welcome to contribute to the workplace as much as anyone.

“This is a place where ideas become possible—where anything is possible,” Lynch said.
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Children's School project focuses on collaboration, beautification of grounds

Preschool and elementary children enrolled in Stephens College Children’s School worked together this morning to create mosaic stepping stones that will be placed in the new butterfly garden in the playground.
The school has been working on the garden since last year. The stones will lead to the tent-shaped trellis, and butterfly bushes and milkweed will be planted in the spring, elementary teacher Lindsey Clifton said. She also envisions vines eventually growing up the trellis.
“They’re learning that it’s a nurturing process that takes time,” Clifton said.
The project is also a way to let preschool and elementary students work more closely together. Children worked in multi-age groups of 10 to design and create the mosaics.
The Children’s School already offers multi-age classrooms to allow students to progress at their own pace, but the preschool and elementary grades are located in two separate facilities.
“One of our goals is to help students see the school as one,” said Beth Watson, elementary teacher. “Our preschool students are learning from the older kids. They’re seeing them as role models.”
Junior education majors at Stephens who serve as teachers’ aides also got in on the action this morning, assisting with the mosaic project.
“It’s a good example for them to see community building within a school,” Watson said.





The butterfly garden is one of several projects improving the looks of the grounds around the Audrey Webb Child Center off Windsor Street. The school, with the assistance of Stephens Project Manager Richard Perkins, teamed up with the City of Columbia to create a rain garden on the edge of the property. The layout of the design was finalized earlier this month and planting will begin this spring.

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A Royal victory: Students place at American Royal

A Stephens College sophomore picked up a big win at the American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City this past weekend.

Shelby McCoy won the large Open Adult Western Equitation showing Radical Rendezvous.  With 21 riders, it was a competitive class of advanced riders, equestrian instructor Karen Craighead said.

“It was a huge win,” she said. “We’re proud of Shelby and all of our students’ accomplishments this past weekend.”

The American Royal Horse Show is one of the largest, most prestigious events in the Midwest. It opened earlier this month and continues through November and features livestock exhibitions, professional rodeos and barbecue contests alongside the horse shows.

The show hosted more than 1,200 entries this past weekend with classes running to nearly midnight on Saturday, Craighead said.

McCoy wasn’t the only Stephens equestrian student earning accolades at the event. Junior Candis Miner placed 3rd in Novice Adult Western Horsemanship showing Sheiks Artifact (also known as Arthur), and Kyla Szemplinski showed Private Timin, or Tarzan, to a 4th in Novice Adult Western Horsemanship and a 5th in Novice Adult Western Pleasure.
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Panel explores One Read selection at Stephens

President Dianne Lynch, left, moderates the faculty panel.

A faculty panel at Stephens College last night explored in depth gender and cultural themes in “The Ruins of Us” by Keja Parssinen.
The novel is Columbia’s One Read book selection this year. It follows the story of an American woman, Rosalie, whose Saudi Arabian husband of more than 20 years has taken a second wife. The family dynamics get even more complicated as the couple’s teenage son becomes more radical in Islam and daughter becomes more Westernized.
The book provided plenty of fodder for the Stephens panelists who offered a range of areas of expertise. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design, shared how technology and mobility are influencing culture, both at the micro and macro levels. Muslim garb that Rosalie wears, for instance, is not simply “ethnic,” but rather becoming more common in Islamic communities across America. McMurry also explored the notion of expression through fashion—even through subtleties such as wearing an eggplant abaya rather than a traditional black headscarf.
Tina Parke-Sutherland, professor of English/creative writing, took a broader view of the book, warning readers to view it as a love story rather than a portrayal of life in Saudi Arabia. Although Parssinen herself lived in the Kingdom as a child, the book is from the perspective of a 21st Century American woman, Parke-Sutherland said.
In the novel, Rosalie’s daughter manages an anonymous blog that ultimately plays a critical role in the climax. Although it’s possible to get required permissions to use social media in Saudi Arabia, it’s not commonplace, said Laura Flacks Narrol, assistant professor in the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication. In other areas of unrest in the Middle East, however, Twitter and other instant online media are contributing to social changes, said Flacks Narrol, who has traveled through the Middle East.
“We really appreciated the opportunity to be part of this community discussion, to share the breadth of knowledge we have here at Stephens, and to engage our students and the community at large in so many inter-related issues of community, culture and gender,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said.
Sponsored by Daniel Boone Regional Library, One Read is a community-wide reading program that encourages the public to read the same book and attend discussions and events about the book throughout the month of September.

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Stephens firm to help Columbia Regional Airport with re-branding

A student-run marketing firm at Stephens College has been selected to help the Columbia Regional Airport come up with a new brand.
Airport staff finalized the contract with Creative Ink last week. Students who work at the firm now have the semester to come up with a logo, tagline, marketing campaign and style guide that will be used by airport staff.
“I’m so excited for Creative Ink,” said Bree Martino, the firm’s creative director. “This is such a good thing for the firm and a huge opportunity for the college.”
Columbia Regional Airport is a division of the City of Columbia’s Public Works Department and currently offers direct flights to Chicago and Dallas.
“This is an exciting period of time at Columbia Regional Airport,” said Steve Sapp, public information officer for Columbia Public Works. “Our new relationship with American Airlines and new destination cities, significant upgrades to the runways and taxiways and, recently, conceptual images of a future new terminal—working to re-brand the look of Columbia Regional Airport was a natural next step. Working with Creative Ink brings a youthful insight and enthusiasm to our re-branding and marketing efforts.”
The airport has been using the tagline “Fly COU—Why drive when it’s so easy to fly?” The Creative Ink staff anticipates an entirely new look and feel that is “forward moving,” said Michelle Niewald, firm director.
Creative Ink will roll out preliminary ideas this winter. Sapp said the city is looking forward to “hearing and seeing their ideas like children waiting to see what Santa has brought them.”
Although the largest client to date, this isn’t the first time Creative Ink has partnered with the community. The firm has also designed materials for the Office of Cultural Affairs, Ronald McDonald House and the Heidelberg. This year, Creative Ink is also working with the Men’s Minority Network.
“Regardless of the size of our clients, we strive to put out the best possible work,” Niewald said.
That said, Niewald and Martino agreed it’s overwhelming to think the firm will have a hand in shaping the look and feel of the city’s airport. Martino remembers checking into flights at the Columbia airport when she was coming to Stephens as a freshman.
“I would never have imagined being a part of helping develop a logo for the airport,” she said. “I’m excited, and just as excited for Creative Ink.”
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MU veterinary program teams up with Stephens

A University of Missouri professor is on the Stephens College campus this week collecting blood samples from horses at the equestrian facilities.

The samples serve as comparisons for Dr. Philip Johnson, professor of veterinary medicine and surgery, and others at the MU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

“Stephens' horses tend to be young, healthy and athletic,” Johnson said. “They’re good, normal horses and are easy to work with. At the hospital, we’re working with sick horses, so we use the blood samples as controls.”

The Stephens College Equestrian Studies program has been collaborating with veterinary faculty and researchers at MU for years. The proximity of the Stephens stables to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine makes for convenient partnerships. And that especially comes in handy when a hospitalized horse is in need of a blood transfusion.

“If a horse needs blood to save its life, we have an arrangement that lets us collect from the Stephens horses,” Johnson said, adding that he logs the horses’ blood types in advance. “That’s a great resource.”

Stephens’ equestrian faculty and students have also assisted in lameness locator research, as well as a study determining the benefits of resveratrol—the antioxidant found in red wine—in horse supplements.

For Stephens, the partnership means giving students a broader educational experience, said Becky Clervi, program coordinator.

“Students get to learn from it,” she said, noting that there are currently four research projects happening at the stables. “They’re getting to observe and work alongside researchers and make new types of connections.”
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Swan, Kushner kick off Writers on the Edge Series

The process of writing is a lot like the premise of a joke: A man riding a horse rushes by another man who asks where he’s going. “I don’t know,” the rider replied. “Ask the horse.”
“Sometimes we’re on that horse and we’re on a mission that we don’t know about yet,” Wisconsin writer Dale Kushner said. “As an author, it’s so important to trust the horse, the process of discovery.”
Kushner and well-known Columbia author and artist Gladys Swan kicked off this year’s Writers on the Edge Series at Stephens College. The series brings guest writers to campus to talk to English/creative writing students about their careers.
Yesterday’s event also drew more than 30 community members to the Penthouse at Hugh Stevens Library. 
The authors spent more than an hour talking about the writing process and reading selections from their respective books. 
Kushner was an established poet before writing her debut novel, “The Confessions of Love.” 
“Being a poet greatly influenced my fiction,” she said. “But it’s also why it took forever. Every word has to count—not only count but sing.”
The book, published earlier this year, traces the journey of a girl from childhood to adulthood as she navigates family ties, friendships and relationships. 
Swan described her first novel, “The World of Carnival,” as a comic fantasy.
“After my first novel, I didn’t think I’d write a second because the book included everything I knew,” she said. “I was empty.”
The book, however, would go on to spawn four more. Swan also has several collections of short stories. 
“My stories have, in some ways, created me,” she said. “They allow me to articulate the things that are important in my life.”
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Panel to discuss why so few women work in film

Film industry experts will convene on the Stephens College campus next week to discuss why there are so few women working in Hollywood and what can be done to boost the number of females in film.

“Where are the Women?” is the first Citizen Jane Summit, although similar discussions have happened in the past. The Summit, which is free and open to the public, will kick off the Citizen Jane Film Festival, a three-day festival highlighting the work of female filmmakers.

“What’s exciting to me is that we have always had these conversations happening organically at the festival because we have these amazing women around the world here,” said Paula Elias, director of Citizen Jane. “People naturally start talking about why women are so poorly represented behind the camera and begin strategizing ways to make it better.”

The summit begins at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in Historic Senior Hall on campus. At 3:15 p.m., Melissa Silverstein, author and blogger, will discuss her new book “In Her Voice.” She will be followed by a short presentation on how women tell their stories hosted by Joanna Demkiewicz and Kalyen Ralph, journalists and founders of the new feminist magazine The Riveter.

Two Academy Award nominees will also participate in the summit. Julia Reichert, founder of New Day Films, will talk about women in independent cinema, and Yvonne Welbon will explore gender and race in cinema.

At 4:30 p.m. all of the guests will participate in a panel discussion about storytelling.

The summit will be interactive, and Elias anticipates heavy audience participation, especially at 5 p.m. when attendees will break into small groups to strategize ways to improve the status of women in film. Solutions will then be presented to the entire group before the event wraps up with a 6 p.m. reception.

“We hope the community takes advantage of this unique opportunity to meet and work with these amazing women,” Elias said. “The summit is going to be really fun and interesting and inspiring.”
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Theatre students tackle cold-hearted comedy

The Warehouse Theatre Company presents “The Smell of the Kill”—a dark comedy that will leave audience members with chills.

The play by Michele Lowe opens the company’s four-show season. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26-28 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Sept. 29. Get ticket information here.

Settled in the North Chicago suburb of Wilmette, the play follows three wives who have tolerated one another for years as their husbands, former college roommates, get together regularly for dinner. This time, though, while preparing dessert, the women exchange confidences, revealing that all three marriages are on the brink of disaster.

When the men mistakenly lock themselves in a basement meat locker, the women are faced with a life-or-death decision. Should they let them out?

“This show is about friendship,” Director Becca Hudgins said. “It highlights how important friendships are in times of crisis.”

The Warehouse Theatre Company is a student-run company under the School of Performing Arts that provides unique opportunities for students to participate in all aspects of production, management and direction.
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Stephens celebrates Talk, arg, Write Like a Pirate Day

Talk-like-a-pirate-day1Talk-like-a-pirate-day2International Talk Like a Pirate Day might have been Thursday, but Stephens College students weren’t quite finished celebrating.

About 75 English, creative writing, theatre and other students gathered in the Penthouse at Hugh Stephens Library today to celebrate “Write Like a Pirate Day,” Stephens’ twist on the nontraditional holiday.

During the lunchtime event, students shared pirate-themed haiku, sported pirate costumes and yelled “aaarrrg.” A lot.

Assistant Professor Kate Berneking Kogut created the writing-themed celebration to draw campus wide attention to the English and writing program, but also to give students a chance to explore different types of writing.

In addition to haiku, they were also challenged to create chain stories—each student contributed a line to a story without knowing what classmates would be adding to it.

“It’s a way to play with language and words,” she said.

Chelsea Wherry was one of five winners of the haiku contest. She wrote:  

All of the lasses 
And rum in the world could not 
Take me from the sea.

The event also included this pirate parade:

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Civil Rights activist shares leadership advice with students

Civil-Rights-speakerThe woman who helped Ted Turner nearly succeed in a hostile takeover of CBS in the 1980s encouraged Stephens students yesterday to be fearless, courageous and, most importantly, active.
“Do something,” Civil Rights leader Xernona Clayton said. “You’ve heard ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?' I say if it ain’t broke, break it so you’ll have something to do.”
This was the second time Clayton has visited Stephens this year. She was also on campus in January to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Clayton served as a close advisor to King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.
During yesterday’s presentation, “The Power of One,” Clayton talked about how one individual has the ability to spark change.
Clayton worked as an assistant corporate vice president for Turner Broadcasting when she was tapped to help Turner in his bid for CBS ownership. She remembers traveling the country finding groups of viewers tohelp the company make its case.
“I took on the leadership role fearlessly because Ted Turner thought I could,” she said. “He had faith in my ability. When people believe in you, make it happen.”
Clayton's resumé is full of examples of her leadership abilities. She was the first black woman to have her own television show in the South, formed a friendship with a former KKK leader and led agroup of black doctors to Washington, D.C. to petition President Lyndon Johnson to desegregate hospitals in Atlanta. 

“People ask ‘When will we get another Martin Luther King?’” Clayton said during her hour-long address in Firestone Baars Chapel. “I say ‘What about you?’ If Martin Luther King had waited for someone else to do what he did, we would not have come as far. Leadership is simple. It’s ‘I will do something about whatever it is that’s a thorn in my side.’ You get up and do it.” 

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Inside Columbia creative director offers critique

Assistant Professor Kate Gray discusses the critique process.

The creative director for Inside Columbia magazine visited Stephens today critiquing student work and offering constructive criticism.

Carolyn Preul spent more than two hours with students in Kate Gray’s Information and Promotion Design class, showing them specifically what design elements worked and which did not.

Students were asked to design a four-page spread, similar to one they might see in Inside Columbia magazine. They were given a headline, body copy and photos of Cardinals baseball star David Freese to arrange in a magazine layout for the magazine's target audience. The assignment forced them to think about design elements such as the use of white space, graphics and fonts, in a real-world setting.

“This is really a great example of how we bring real clients and experiences into the classroom,” Gray said. “The students heard constructive feedback from someone who does this on a regular basis.”

Following Preul’s intensive critique, students were then asked to discuss what they liked about their classmates’ layouts before deciding what they might change within own spreads.

The exercise was held in the new Stamper Studio in Windsor Lounge. Formerly an open lounge*, the renovated studio includes a Mac lab with 24 computers, as well as a sectioned off classroom with display space.

*A previous version incorrectly described the space as an auditorium. 

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Stephens welcomes new professors

She’s been a fashion reporter and editor, as well as travel and society editor, at the Chicago Sun-Times; has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago, where she helped develop the fashion journalism curricula; and has recently completed a Master of Science in International Public Service from DePaul University, where she graduated “With Distinction."

In short, Lisa Lenoir will be a perfect fit on the Stephens School of Fashion and Design faculty, said Dean Monica McMurry.

“We are very pleased to have Lisa join the fashion program as she brings with her both talents as a fashion journalist and reporter and strong skills with writing and the English language,” McMurry said. “Additionally, she has a engaging personality that will immerse students in new conversations about fashion, the world and how to bring that to the public. Plus, they are just going to want to be around her!"

Lenoir and Dr. Carrie Whittle joined the Stephens faculty last month as tenure-track professors. Whittle is teaching College Algebra, Calculus I and a physical science course this semester.

Lenoir is assistant fashion communication professor, bringing with her not only extensive experience but also familiarity with the program. Lenoir served on an advisory committee to help Stephens develop its fashion communication program, and has served on the Jury of Selection, helping judge student designs.

“Monica called me one day and told me about Jury and said they were looking for some different voices,” Lenoir said. “I came down and just really loved it. It was such a different environment.”

So when McMurry called her earlier this year asking whether she knew anyone who might be interested in the vacant faculty position, Lenoir decided to apply. After meeting Stephens’ administrative team, Lenoir said she felt a connection.

Lenoir has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a minor in graphic design from Indiana University. She spent seven years as a reporter before becoming fashion editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, a position she held for seven years before becoming travel editor at the paper.

At Stephens, Lenoir wants to empower students to be “super smart about what they write,” she said. “Social media provides different ways for students to get their voices heard, but they also need to be responsible. I’ll be teaching journalistic standards from a traditional journalism background.”

Whittle recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, where she taught College Algebra as a graduate assistant. She has a master’s degree from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s from Truman State University.

Stephens is a good fit, Whittle said, because the focus is on teaching. “During my phone interview, I really liked what I heard,” she said. “Then I had an in-person interview and when I got here and met the students, faculty and administrators, I was blown away. I thought, ‘This is fantastic.’ The emphasis is on helping students learn.”

Whittle also likes the small classes, allowing her to give students individualized attention. She describes her teaching style as interactive, making sure students learn through discovery.

“It’s important for them to figure things out for themselves,” she said. “When they discover the underlying concepts themselves, it’s going to stick with them much longer than if I just stood up and tried to explain it.”
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Behind the scenes of 'Almost, Maine'

In this video, acting instructor Dan Schultz takes viewers behind the scenes of "Almost, Maine," now playing at Macklanburg Playhouse.

The show opened Friday and continues this weekend. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Almost, Maine, a romantic comedy by John Cariani, takes a look at the nuances of love through a series of vignettes. All of the stories take place during the course of one night in a small community in northern Maine.

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Terrace residents tour fashion exhibit

fashion-exhibitResidents from Terrace Retirement not only learned about Bohemian styles during a private tour of the Historic Costume Gallery yesterday, they also shared their own memories and knowledge of the garments.

One visitor had information about one of the oldest garments on display that she was able to share with curators, said Monica McMurry, dean of Stephens’ School of Fashion and Design. She now plans to send them a photo of her grandmother wearing a similar garment.

“Another person actually lived in a Bohemian society and had much history to share,” said McMurry said. “He remembered some of the styles on display looking like the styles worn in his home town as a child.”

The collection also features garments worn by singer Jane Froman, which are set up next to a garment owned by alumna and actress Patricia Barry, as well as a dressing gown owned by Matilda Magnus Price, a Columbia socialite after whom the historic fashion collection is named. A photo of a young Price is also displayed in the exhibit.

Bohemian Rhapsody is open to the public every Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.

Private tours are available, however, for groups that would like to view the collection at other times.

By scheduling a private tour, visitors get more behind-the-scenes narratives about the history of the garments, McMurry said, and the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a curator. To schedule an exhibit tour, call 876-7220.

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Stephens to be inducted into Boone County Hall of Fame

Stephens College is being inducted this year into the Boone County Hall of Fame.
Sponsored by the Boone County Historical Society, the honor is given to organizations and individuals that have contributed to the development, growth and preservation of Boone County. 
“We’re honored that the College is being recognized for its contributions to the community,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “Stephens has a rich history. We were founded in 1833—the city of Columbia essentially grew up around Stephens College.”
With rising enrollments, facility improvements and recognition by some of the top college guides in the country, Stephens continues to contribute to the community’s educational landscape.
“Stephens is in great shape,” she said. “We’re truly one of the few women’s colleges not just surviving but thriving.”
In addition to the College's educational mission, Stephens also contributes to the vibrant arts and performing arts culture that Columbia enjoys.
Other inductees into the Hall of Fame this year include Jane Duncan Flink, publisher emeritus of the Boone County Journal, and posthumously to Luella Wilcox St. Clair, president emeritus of Columbia College.
Honorees will be recognized at a reception and awards ceremony next month. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Boone County Museum and Galleries in Nifong Park. For ticket information, call 573-443-8936.
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