Blues in Schools program will continue in Columbia

Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 7:51 p.m. CDT; updated 10:44 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 28, 2012

COLUMBIA — Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold state funding for Blues in the Schools will not affect the program in Columbia.

"We will not end the program," said Joyce Harkins, the committee chairwoman for MO Blues Association Inc. "We never received any grants from the state of Missouri."

In fact, Peg Dzicek, president of the MO Blues Association Inc., said an expansion is planned to include more schools this year.

According to the MO Blues website, Blues in the Schools is part of a nationwide music education program that brings guest artists to classrooms to improve students' appreciation of the arts. 

"Blues in Schools at Grant School was funded by Missouri Arts Council and partially funded by National Endowment of the Arts," said Pam Sisson, a music specialist at Grant Elementary School. "Thumper Entertainment and other local sponsors make Blues in Schools possible in Columbia."

Sisson submitted an application to host a blues musician in September and is waiting to hear from the arts council about whether it will fund the project.

The program's main fundraising event, Grand Closing/Drink Us Dry Party, is from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday at Pem's Place, 3919 S. Providence Road. Admission is $14 and $7, depending on whether alcohol will be consumed.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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