MACAA  Featured Arts Agency    
Name of Organization: Connect2Culture (C2C) 
Location: Joplin, MO 
Organization founded in: 2009   

What types of community arts programs/services does your organization offer? 

C2C is the cultural heartbeat of Joplin and unlike any organization in the area. A nonprofit that seeks to enhance the Joplin community by “igniting a passion for the arts, culture, and entertainment,” it does just that as a community arts agency, visionary, and performing arts presenter. 

As Joplin’s community arts agency, C2C promotes and supports all arts and cultural activity in the Joplin area on a daily basis, serving as the collective voice for more than 50 organizations. Collaboration and uniting these organizations has been key to increasing the growth of Joplin’s arts and cultural community. These services not only benefit the organizations themselves, but the community-at-large. By highlighting and sharing information through a variety of channels, accessibility to creative offerings is reliable and greatly increased. 

C2C remains the driving force and visionary behind the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex (Cornell Complex), which will contribute to its annual performance capacity and the revitalization of downtown Joplin. The Cornell Complex will be a centralized home for the arts in Joplin, one that will encourage collaboration and offer arts and cultural organizations a state-of-the-art facility to utilize. The Cornell Complex will be a major destination, enhancing quality of life and creating a gathering place for citizens, area residents, and visitors. It directly benefits the local business community by attracting people to live, work, play, and stay in Joplin. The multifunctional building will include a 435-seat performance hall, new and expanded gallery spaces for Spiva Center for the Arts, a 2,000-person capacity outdoor amphitheater/festival plaza, rooftop venues, office spaces for arts and cultural organizations, and more. Aside from being a great asset to the community, the Cornell Complex will serve as home for both C2C and Spiva, who will oversee performing arts and visual arts respectively. 

As a performing arts presenter, C2C provides world-class entertainment in Joplin at an affordable price. Each year, C2C’s highly anticipated concert series features a variety of performers. Dubbed the “Curtains Up Series,” the series offers residents and visitors the chance to experience artists from across the globe who would otherwise not stop in Joplin. From gifted singers and remarkable bands to hilarious skits and thrilling dancers, each performance will delight audiences as soon as the curtain’s up. 


What do you feel is the best program/service your organization offers, and why? 

 The best service C2C provides its community is the fulfillment of its mission statement: “igniting a passion for the arts, culture, and entertainment in the Joplin area.” The services C2C offers are designed to work together to accomplish this mission. C2C’s work as Joplin’s community arts agency consistently exposes the Joplin community to local arts and cultural organizations, and the creative opportunities they offer. This marketing increases accessibility to creative offerings and bolsters awareness of these organizations, making them more visible, fundamental parts of the community. In turn, C2C provides resources and professional development opportunities to help its arts and cultural community thrive and better serve the Joplin community. 

As the managing organization of the Cornell Complex, C2C will use this state-of-the-art facility to attract and inspire local residents and visitors. The building will be equipped to host a wide variety of arts-, cultural-, and entertainment-related programming, ensuring that there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The Complex’s flexible spaces will enable area arts and cultural organizations to host new programs and activities. In short, the Cornell Complex will be a hub of arts and cultural activity that will instill a passion for the arts, culture, and entertainment in Joplin, as well as spur on more creativity. 

As a performing arts presenter, C2C expands its audiences’ exposure to performing arts by bringing affordable, world-class entertainment to Joplin. Artists who would not normally stop in Joplin are presented to area residents and provide them with the opportunity to experience the magic of live, high quality performances. 


How do you feel your organization contributes to your community and /or sense of community? 

As Joplin’s community arts agency, C2C works tirelessly to connect Joplin to its arts and cultural community through a variety of means. C2C collects information about more than 50 organizations’ creative offerings and markets them through C2C’s calendar, emails, and social media outlets, as well as local newspaper and magazine features, and TV/radio appearances. These services offer organizations increased publicity, expand public access to arts and culture, and help foster a connected, creative community. 

The Cornell Complex will also be a valuable community asset that will benefit Joplin far into the future. The building will act as a centralized home for the arts in Joplin, one that encourages collaboration and offers a space for arts and cultural organizations as well as area residents. The Cornell Complex will be a major destination that drives tourism, contributes to the revitalization of downtown Joplin, and generates valuable government revenues that will ultimately benefit Joplin citizens. 


“What’s New” with your organization or community?   

In November 2022, C2C will move into its new home, the Cornell Complex –  a dream-in-the-making since 2009! Along with managing this state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center, C2C will be one of the main organizations to utilize the Complex’s Beshore Performance Hall and Leggett & Platt Green. With a home for its performances, C2C can expand its role as a performing arts presenter and will offer a variety of additional performing arts series alongside its annual Curtains Up Series. 

With only two full-time employees, C2C will begin expanding its staff as it prepares to move into the Cornell Complex. Additional help will be needed to meet future responsibilities as Joplin’s community arts agency, a performing arts presenter, and the managing organization of the Cornell Complex. 

In May 2022, C2C announced its partnership with Americans for the Arts to conduct Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the sixth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry. Having participated in AEP5 in 2015, C2C is excited to once again quantify the value of Joplin’s nonprofit arts and culture industry and prove that the arts mean business. C2C will be collecting data through April 2023, with local and national findings being released in September 2023. 


Contact/Position: Emily Frankoski, Director 
Phone: (417) 501-5550 
Email: [email protected]