A memorandum of understanding between the Joplin City Council and arts group Connect 2 Culture passed on first reading at Monday night’s (9/18) City Council meeting. The agreement gives control of the parking lot in front of Memorial Hall to Connect 2 Culture, so they can build an arts center at the site. Connect 2 Culture President Clifford Wert tells News Talk KZRG it’s now up to them to raise money for the arts center.
“We are very encouraged by the indications of support that have come previously…and we really do look forward to bringing forth the announcements of that continued support.”
NewsTalk KZRG asked Wert why the arts center project would succeed, when recent plans by master developer Wallace Bajjali and independent baseball operators the Suarez family fell apart. “They have a passion for Joplin. It is their community, it is their desire to see their community grow. That’s what’s so encouraging to me.”
The Joplin City Council’s vote was 7-2, with Phil Stinnett and Jim West voting against. Stinnett pointed out that the City was giving away valuable land without having a bidding process to sell it.