Steelville native Erin Whitson, who is an archaeologist working for the Missouri Humanities Council in St. James, is hoping area residents will take part in the 5th Annual Missouri Humanities Gala on Saturday, October 17.
“This year’s gala is a virtual event featuring Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jane Smiley,” Whitson said. “In addition to her life as a novelist, Smiley is an essayist and contributing writer to the New York Times. As a native St. Louisan, Smiley published a piece in the Times last year titled ‘What St. Louis Tells Us About America.’ She will discuss the article at the virtual gala and will help us think about what our respective communities tell us about America.”
Smiley’s talk will focus more intensely on St. Louis, but event organizers are hoping to get mayors and community leaders from around the state to send in their thoughts on what their communities say about America as well. Peoples are encouraged to use the hashtag #ShowMeAmerica to share their reflections of Missouri beauty, Show Me exceptionalism, and instances in our state that act as a bellwether for the entire country.
“In the times we live in, I think it’s sometimes good to remind people that we’ve all got a lot more similarities going for us than differences,” Whitson said.
The evening will also include a silent auction, with objects and experiences from all over the state, live music by blues musician Little Dylan, Native drummers and dancers, and speeches by the Council’s Executive Director Steve Belko and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe.
Events are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. The virtual auction will open at 8 a.m. on October 17 and close at 6:45 p.m. To view the silent auction items, visit www.mohumanities.org/auction. People can register for the event at https://bit.ly/3hOZNLT. You can also find more information about this year’s gala at www.mohumanities.org/gala.