The Branson Regional Arts Council is thrilled to host another fun paint and wine event, “Art Class by the Glass!”

Place: Vino Cellars at the Lake, 15038 Business Hwy 13
, Branson West, MO 65737
Date/Time: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 from 5pm – 7pm.

The $25 registration fee (per person) includes all painting supplies, and instruction. Wine is available separately by the glass or bottle.

The class size is limited to between 10 and 20 participants, so early registration is recommended. Click here to register.


This time, the class will be held on the deck of Vino Cellars, and the participants will be painting the incredible view of Table Rock Lake as seen in the painting above. As usual, the class will be led by professional artist and teacher, Kelly Wren.

“I have enjoyed several careers before retiring to Branson last year. My Clothing and Design degree from the University of Missouri led to an exciting career in the fashion industry throughout the country. When family brought me back to my roots in Missouri, I went back to school for my Masters in Education. I then taught high school art and adult classes in my hometown of Nevada, Missouri. As a member of the art communities of both Nevada and later Stockton, I developed art shows, classes, city murals, and workshops. My love of art and community always find a home wherever I live.” – Kelly Wrenn (Art Instructor)

Hundreds of area residents gathered at Liberty Plaza in Downtown Branson this past Saturday (June 1st) to enjoy a fun-filled day of art, entertainment and some of the tastiest barbecue ever to be served out of a firetruck!

The purpose of the entire event, was to raise funds to assist the Branson Regional Arts Council (BRAC) to eventually obtain full ownership of the Historic Owen Theatre, built in 1936, and now the official home of the Arts Council and it’s community theatre and Youth Arts Conservatory program. In January 2018, BRAC acquired the venue through a long-term lease with an option to purchase. Since that time, they have presented over a dozen broadway musicals and plays for the community, and also founded a Youth Arts Education Program with emphasis on young students from all across the area who are between the ages of 8 and 18.

Fresh food and cold drinks served all day!

“The first annual BRAC BBQ FEST was a big success, especially when you consider how fast our incredible team of volunteers pulled it together,” said Branson Regional Arts Council Executive Director Jim Barber. “We were able to raise $13,000 after expenses, thanks to the generosity of our event sponsors, Dr. Tallon and Branson Dental Center (Premiere Sponsor), Dr. Munshi and the Branson Institute of Sleep (Backstage Sponsor), Mercy Hospitals (Backstage Sponsor), Chic-fil-A Branson (Iced Tea Supplier), as well as our incredible vendors and the hundreds of hungry townspeople who came downtown to enjoy a fantastic meal along with amazing live entertainment on stage.”

BRAC BBQ FEST event Chairperson Darla Howe said, “We especially thank Branson Dental Center and Dr. Richard Tallon who not only participated as our main event sponsor, but also provided the converted, antique firetruck that served up hundreds of plates of delicious pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and hotdogs. Their support of what the Arts Council is doing in our community goes above and beyond our expectations. The entire Branson Dental team were 100% behind this effort, and even assisted in the preparation and serving of the food to our patrons in attendance.”

Dr. Richard Tallon prepares the BBQ meat!

Several local entertainers quickly offered their support of the Arts Council’s efforts to own and restore the Owen Theatre. “These are some of the nicest performers in our community,” said Jim Barber, “and because they graciously shared their amazing talents, we were able to offer free admission to the public, so everyone could enjoy the live music and comedy.”

Exciting performances throughout the day were provided by: Java Jived (acapella group from St. Louis), Branson Comedy Company (improv), Forte Theatre Productions (broadway cabaret music), BRAC Youth Troupe (solos and vocal selections from upcoming productions), Dylan Pratt (vocalist), Micheal Horn (guitar and vocalist), Joey Heard (songwriter and vocalist), Gary Dooms (Saxophone),  Robert Morris (Balloon Twister), and Rick McEwen (guitar and vocalist).

Forte Theatre Production’s Traven Harrington Performs at BRAC BBQ FEST

Multiple Vendors filled the plaza to the max with works of art, custom jewelry, and unique services. Participation vendors included:

James Bartley Shined with Solar Energy!

  • Peter Engler Designs – Jewelry, woodcarvings, free gifts, oil candles and more
  • Joplin Peace Frogs – T-shirts, hats, bags, jackets, purses, decals and jewelry
  • EBBboutique – Acrylic Pour Paintings, Shadow Boxes, Leather Jewelry and Accessories
  • Carolyn Cambronne-Hayes – Framed and matted digital original art prints
  • Silver Jewelry Artist – Sterling and gemstone jewely by award-winning artist Jayme Woodall
  • Sticks, Spoons & More – Handmade wooden spoons, ladles and measuring cups
  • Taneyhills Community Library – Promoting summer reading for kids and library services
  • Branson West Art Gallery Booth

    Scentsy – Scented Wax and Decorative Wax Warmers, and a variety of other home fragrance products.

  • Branson West Art Gallery – Original paintings, photography, jewelry, and wood carvings
  • Concept 24 By Design – Original Art, Crafts, and Prints
  • Salvation Army of Branson – Salvation Army services and community awareness
  • Carolyn DeJager – Young Living Essential Oils
  • Skywire Solar – Solar Energy Information

Jim Barber & Melonie Brown Enjoying The Day

In addition to all the vendor booths and entertainment offerings, the Branson Parks and Recreation Department provided a huge Bounce House for the kids to enjoy. Face painting was led by Melonie Brown with assistance from Roz Slavik and Kristen Ables. To top it off, a special bake goods tent provided tasty treats under the direction of Viola Beyer.

Mercy Hospital hosted the First Aid Booth, and even offered complimentary sunscreen to anyone who needed it. Dozens of BRAC volunteers joined the effort to assist with donation collection, food serving, event set-up and tear-down, and also promotional distribution of posters, flyers and signage all over the Branson area.

The Arts Council extends their sincere appreciation to the City of Branson, Branson Parks & Recreation, the DBBA, and everyone who assisted in this fundraising effort, and they organization looks forward to an even bigger BRAC BBQ FEST event in 2020.

Excitement is high as the Branson Regional Arts Council’s 2019 Summer Youth Institute production of Shrek the Musical Jr. opens for 6 hilarious performances at the Historic Owen Theatre.

Performances run June 6-9 at the Historic Owen Theatre in Downtown Branson. Advance reserved tickets are recommended and available online at or by calling the box office at 417-336-4255. Adult (18+) tickets are $16.95, and Youth (4-17) are $11.45.


“Enrollments for this summer’s Institute were through the roof, so we recruited additional teaching and directing staff to make this our BIGGEST and BEST Youth Troupe production yet,” said BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber.

71 students are enrolled for this production. In order to allow this many students to participate while presenting the best performance possible, the producers and directors decided to divide them into two separate casts, the Hansel Cast and the Gretel Cast. Each cast will perform 3 shows, and the individual cast members are all listed below.

“My favorite thing about this program is how it acts as a family, and everyone works together. We all learn from each other, and it’s a really fun experience getting to work with so many great kids! Come see it because it’s action packed and the music is very catchy!”
Dani Groff (Fiona – Hansel Cast)

“This production is so special because it’s made up of a whole bunch of students from all over the region, coming together to create a really fun show.  I love that we can hang out and create a bond we never thought we’d have. Come see it because your kids are in it!”
Joey Blackwood (Shrek – Hansel Cast)

I live in Springfield and I enjoy this program because I get to learn so much and be challenged each and every day to become a better actor, singer, dancer and overall person, thanks to the BRAC! Come see it because it’s Shrek!!!!”
Renee’ Elkady (Fiona – Gretel Cast)

My favorite song is called Make A Move, because the characters all start to bond after quarreling up until that point.  They discover their similarities and it becomes a very good moment! Also, there is a lot of funny (but slightly crude) humor at the end with “gas” and other things… you’ll have to just come see it to find out!”
Wesley Brown (Shrek – Gretel Cast)

The “Hansel” cast performs: Friday, June 7th (7pm), Saturday, June 8th (7pm), and Sunday, June 9th (2pm).

Hansel Cast Members include: Joey Blackwood (Shrek), Dani Groff (Fiona), Millie Jo Stauffer (Young Fiona), Sydney Patrick (Teen Fiona),  Carter Hendrickson (Lord Farquaad), Nathanel Bond (Donkey), Emma Hesemann (Dragon), Lola Zobel (Mama Ogre), Xander Greenamyer (Little Ogre), Wesley Brown (Papa Ogre), Sophie Douglas (Pinocchio), Lauren Tiefry (Little Pig 1 / Blind Mice 1), Eden Burgess (Little Pig 2 / Blind Mice 2), Emma Melton (Little Pig 3 / Blind Mice 3), Sylvie Barbour (Ugly Duckling), Arthur Selzer (Papa Bear), Sydney Pride (Mama Bear), Josslynn Silvy (Baby Bear), Kylee Moody (Wicked Witch), Liam Leven (Big Bad Wolf), Addison Patrick (Gingy), Pace Gillman (Peter Pan), Uriah Guevel (Captain Of The Guard), Hoyt Gubin (Dwarf), Chelsey Qualkenbush (Story Teller 1), Jackson Guffey (Story Teller 2), Aubrey Melton (Story Teller 3), Sailor Tillis (Puss In Boots), Mia Johnson (Pied Piper), Ashleigh Williams (Bishop), Jude Barbour (Knight), Hallie Groff (Goldie Locks), Madeline Cox (White Rabbit), Cassie Greenamyer (Elf), Haley Guffey (Fairy Godmother), Addison Russell (Humpty Dumpty), Sydney Rickman (Sugar Plum Fairy), Sophie Douglas, Sydney Patrick, Sylvie Barbour and Addison Patrick (Dungeon Knights), Sophie Douglas, Pace Gilman, Hallie Groff, Mia Johnson, Sydney Pride, Addison Patrick and Sydney Patrick (Duloc Dancers), Sophie Douglas, Pace Gillman, Hallie Groff, Emma Melton, Aubrey Melton and Ashleigh Williams (Rat Tappers).

The “Gretel” cast performs: Thursday, June 6th (7pm), Saturday, June 8th (2pm), Sunday, June 9th (7pm).

Gretel Cast Members include: Wesley Brown (Shrek), Renee’ Elkady (Fiona), Charlee Mitchell (Young Fiona), Bekah Williams (Teen Fiona),  Cole Hill (Lord Farquaad), Jake Musser (Donkey), Liya Rivere (Dragon), Johanna Luthardt (Mama Ogre), Lee Brown (Little Ogre), Joey Blackwood (Papa Ogre), Grace Clark  (Pinocchio), Kylee Chandler (Little Pig 1 / Blind Mice 1), Charlee Roberts (Little Pig 2 / Blind Mice 2), Madison Lundeen (Little Pig 3 / Blind Mice 3), Jael Frost (Ugly Duckling), Morgan Brown (Papa Bear), Sydney Pride (Mama Bear), Lundyn Mitchell (Baby Bear), Lara Elkady (Wicked Witch), Cameron Morrison (Big Bad Wolf), Alexis Fischer (Gingy), Ashley Rodgers (Peter Pan), Liam Hill (Captain Of The Guard), Tyler Tees-Webster (Dwarf), Molly Jones (Story Teller 1), Korey Brown (Story Teller 2), Gigi McAdara (Story Teller 3), Halle Horn (Puss In Boots), Megan Rodgers (Pied Piper), Savannah Turner (Bishop), Colin McAdara (Knight), Anastacia Petri (Goldie Locks), Elyse Smith (White Rabbit), Gianna Daniels (Elf), Emma Hess (Fairy Godmother), Taylor Miller (Humpty Dumpty), Loughlynn Murphy (Sugar Plum Fairy), Jael Frost, Sydney Pride, Alexis Fischer, Beckah Williams (Dungeon Knights), Kylee Chandler, Grace Clark, Alexis Fischer, Ashley Rodgers, Megan Rodgers, Madison Lundeen, Sydney Pride and Savannah Turner (Duloc Dancers), Grace Clark, Ashley Rodgers, Liya Rivere and Savannah Turner (Rat Tappers).

The education staff and production team members include: Kim Hale, Lisa Murphy, Karie Dykeman (Producers), Melissa Rivera, Kyle Bradley, Jacob Estes, Kristen Dasto (Directors), Jake Deck (Assistant Director), Kellsey Bradley, Mesa Mitchell (Education Specialists), Kristen Dasto (Choreographer), Jake Deck (Assistant Choreographer), Nicole Dasto (Assistant Stage Manager), Melissa Rivera (Music Director), Pamela Meadows (Lighting Design), Mac Hill (Audio Director), Jonathan Crum (Costume Designer), Kim Hale, Melody Snyder (Costumers), Heather Douglas (Makeup), Jacob Estes (Hair and Wigs), Roz Slavik (Props), Jacob Estes, Jake Deck (Set Design), Jacob Estes, Jake Deck, Art Hale, Kim Hale, Kyle Bradley (Set Construction), Velvet Case (Photographer), and Jim Barber (BRAC Executive Director – Marketing and Design).