FROM READERS: EcoArtFest helps showcase, preserve local arts

Thursday, September 4, 2014 | 6:25 p.m. CDT

Vanessa Leitza is the Missouri River Cultural Conservancy's event planner and coordinator.

Describe your organization or event. What is its purpose? What makes it special and unique?

The Missouri River Cultural Conservancy, also known as MoRivCC, is holding its annual EcoArtFest at Cooper's Landing in Columbia. This free event is one of two major fundraisers this organization holds each year to fund its recording and archiving projects. Eighteen music acts will perform, and both days will also feature artist and information booths as well as a children’s workshop area. A silent auction, raffle, and bake sale are also planned.

Event details

What: A two-day music event and art fair that showcases original artists in the area.

When: 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and 12:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7

Where: Cooper's Landing, 11505 Smith Hatchery Road, Columbia, MO 65203

Cost: Free admission and free parking

More Information: or call 573-657-2544.

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The main objective for this festival is to showcase the original and unique culture found along the Missouri River. MoRivCC will be represented at the event to answer questions and demonstrate the ways in which recording and archiving benefits the community. The Missouri River region is home to many talented musicians and artists. For nine years MoRivCC has made it its mission to be sure that these individuals are not forgotten. The group was formed by Jerome Wheeler and Michael Cooper, after kicking the idea around for approximately twenty years. On December 13, 2004, the first steps were taken to form this organization. Ten years later MoRivCC has active board members and dozens of volunteers from the area that work together to continue with their original vision.

What is your relationship to the organization/event (staff, member, participant, fan, etc.), and how long have you been involved?

I have been a staff member at Cooper's Landing for four years. Last year I volunteered my time helping coordinate parts of the 2013 EcoArtFest, and this year I became event coordinator for our spring benefit and now our 2014 EcoArtFest.

Describe why you chose to be involved and why other people might also want to participate.

I moved here ten years ago from a large city. Since becoming an active member of this community, I have been struck by how much music and art mean to people that live here.

The artists and musicians who write original music and create artwork from their hearts become such an integral part of our well being, and I wanted to be a part of stamping that into our local history. These are all talented individuals that deserve to be remembered by future generations.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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