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Missouri Arts Council Names Kansas City Symphony 2019 Arts Organization of the Year

Executive Director Frank Byrne accepted the award on behalf of the Symphony on Feb. 6 in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The arts have a $1 billion dollar economic impact on the state and are important to tourism — Missouri's second largest industry. 

Missouri Arts Council award
Photo (L to R): Governor Mike Parson, Executive Director Frank Byrne, and State Senator Jason Holsman.

The Kansas City Symphony was one of six honorees:


Since 1983, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have been honoring our state’s arts heroes—the people who make the arts happen. The annual Missouri Arts Awards celebrate people, organizations, and communities that have made profound and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state. Honorees are selected by an independent panel in six categories: Arts Education, Arts Organization, Creative Community, Individual Artist, Leadership in the Arts, and Philanthropy.

The 2019 Missouri Arts Awards were presented in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City on Wednesday, February 6. 

Arts Education | Circus Harmony, St. Louis
Circus school and performance organization for young people using the power of circus arts to teach life skills, inspire performers and audiences, and connect communities—“we help people defy gravity, soar with confidence, and leap over social barriers, all at the same time”

Arts Organization | Kansas City Symphony
Kansas City’s full-time professional orchestra, serving people throughout the region through classical, pops, family, and Film + Live Orchestra concerts; education and outreach programs; broadcasts; recordings; and playing for Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet

Creative Community | City of Hannibal
Historic Mississippi riverfront city that has become an arts magnet, with programs by the Hannibal Arts Council, festivals from Twain on Main to Big River Steampunk, concerts indoors and under the stars, professional theatre, and studios and galleries fueling an economic rebirth

Individual Artist | Steve Snyder, Mount Vernon
Photographer esteemed for his images of his native Ozarks and a leader with regional arts groups, whose most recent project is his ongoing Freedom Endeavor traveling exhibition that enables veterans to tell their stories through dramatic then-and-now portraits

Leadership in the Arts  | Cecilia Nadal, St. Louis
Founder and executive director of Gitana Productions, Inc., who since 1996 has produced scores of concerts, dance performances, original plays, festivals, and community events to bring together diverse people for cross-cultural healing and acceptance

Philanthropy  | Alison and John Ferring, St. Louis
Donors of millions to numerous St. Louis-area organizations including COCA-Center of Creative Arts, Jazz St. Louis, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis Public Library, Forest Park Forever and more – “education and the arts are our charitable passions"

Read more here.