Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mark Twain Book Published 117 Years After His Death

The Missouri Writers Guild extends congratulations to the children’s book author-and-illustrator team of Philip and Erin Stead on the recent publication of The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. The book is a fleshing out and reimagining of a previously unpublished bedtime story conceived by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, 140 years ago.

Although Missouri native Twain did not write books for very young children, he regularly told fanciful bedtime stories to his young daughters. One of the tales, about a poor boy named Johnny who eats a magic flower that gives him the ability to talk to animals, must have struck the author as having special appeal, because he jotted down sixteen pages of handwritten notes about it and titled it "Oleomargarine." In 2011, scholar John Bird came across the manuscript at the Twain archives at the University of California, Berkeley, and he brought it to the attention of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. The museum, in turn, sold the story to Doubleday Books for Young Readers.

The Steads turned the thin manuscript of "Oleomargarine" into a 152-page story entitled The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. Published in late September, the book features talking animals, giants, dragons, and other fairy tale creatures. In the expanded version of the tale, Johnny, after eating the magic flower and discovering his unusual ability to talk to animals, sets out with his new friends to rescue Prince Oleomargarine, who has been kidnapped by giants and taken to a cave guarded by dragons. The Steads say they were very aware of the creative risk involved in working with a story by such a distinguished literary figure as Mark Twain and that they tried to be as respectful and true to the original text as possible.

Mark Twain was born near Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal, where his boyhood home is now preserved as the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. Many years ago, Twain was posthumously inducted into the Missouri Writers’ Guild as an honorary lifetime member, and the state guild is proud to welcome the Hannibal Writers’ Guild as its newest affiliate.
Contact: Larry Wood
Ph. 417-624-3009

Thursday, July 13, 2017

NEA funding for 2018

Today, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to provide funding for our nation’s natural and cultural resources, proposing $145 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2018. This is a $5 million cut from current levels and $10 million less than the request supported by a record number of members of Congress this year.

The good news is that this proposal counters and fully rejects the Administration’s call for termination of our nation’s cultural agencies that arts advocates have been fighting against since March when the Administration budget proposal was initially released.

This subcommittee action is even more relevant since this is the first authoritative step from Congress in this year’s funding cycle. It is a clear endorsement acknowledging the importance of the work of our nation’s cultural agencies. But there is still more to come.
Interior Subcommittee Members met today to advance a bill to the full Appropriations Committee for FY 2018

Next week, the full House Appropriations committee will likely meet to consider the bill. Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) stated in today's meeting that he "strongly supports" the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Following the House appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations committee may advance their own proposal this fall. Funding for key arts education programs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are being considered in a separate appropriations bill. Track all of this with us in our Arts Mobilization Center.

Take two minutes now to urge your congressional delegation to pass a budget that invests in our nation and supports access to the arts in America for all. Thank you for taking action.
More Details

Faced with a smaller overall allocation, the House appropriations subcommittee is proposing a 2.5 percent cut overall in its bill, with some agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeing more severe cuts. The NEA and NEH would be cut 3.3 percent under the current proposal to a level not seen since 2008.  Due to these cuts and other policy disagreements, the subcommittee Democrats voiced their opposition to the bill.

This proposal falls short of support for important environmental and cultural resources programs. It would reverse the past two-year trend of increases to our nation’s cultural agencies that have supported the expansion of the NEA’s Creative Forces program, which increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. These sites, located mostly at military bases in 10 states, have begun launching their programs this year.  The Creative Forces initiative could be in jeopardy due to the proposed $5 million cut to the NEA.  

Take two minutes to write to your member of Congress. We know members have been hearing from you. And, it is making a difference. Our grassroots advocacy this year has seen an all-time high with over 170,000 messages sent to Congress. Messages have been sent to all U.S. House and U.S. Senate offices. Thank you for helping to take that action and make that impact.

Want to do more? Help us continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today - it's free and easy to join.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Captial Arts Trivia Night this March 30th

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (March 19, 2017)-Capital Arts of Jefferson City is proud to present "Test Your Smarts with Capital Arts" this Thursday evening on March 30th starting at 6pm and ending at 9pm. The event will be held at Avenue HQ which is located at 621 East Capitol avenue right next to the old Missouri Pennitentiary.

The cost per person is $25. Each table will have eight members. You or your organization have the ability to get an entire table for $200 or go premium for $300.

The event includes a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, mulligans, light snacks, and alcohol. You may bring additional snacks if you wish.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to Capital Arts. Capital Arts has been serving the Cole County area for eight years now with gallery exhibitions of local and statewide talent in visual arts. Capital Arts also offers a variety of classes for all ages and levels of skill.

For more information about this event please contact Leann Porrello at 573-635-8355 or email her at


The following are sponsors of this event:

Avenue HQ:

Samuels Tuxedo:

American Shoe Company:


Downtown Book and Toy:

Sawadee Thai Cuisine:


J Pfenny's Sports Grill & Pub:

NH Scheppers Distribution:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Steven Wilson: NAMI Advocate Fall issue 2016

Here are a few pics of the article.  I am happy to be a board member and an advocate for consumers around the country.  I express my illness and recovery process through my art.