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2023 Year End Appreciation from the BRAC Board and Executive Director Jim Barber

On behalf of myself and the Branson Regional Arts Council Board of Directors, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible for us to present so many wonderful community arts events in 2023 at the Historic Owen Theatre in Downtown Branson.

It’s important that we express our gratitude to those who have generously supported nonprofit arts and youth theatre in our community. Your contributions play a pivotal role in sustaining our organization and ensuring that we can continue to offer valuable programs and opportunities. Through your donation, you are helping to provide access to the arts for young people who might not otherwise have the chance to participate, fostering creativity, self-esteem, self-expression, and personal growth. Your generous support enables the Arts Council to create high-quality productions, workshops, and educational initiatives that enrich our community and inspire future generations of performing and visual artists and arts enthusiasts.

I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to these important causes, whether as a financial donor, theatre patron, arts instructor, supportive parent, student, actor, director, technician, or volunteer. None of this would be possible without you!

Our current Board of Directors include: Kristine Brown (President), Josh Silvy (Vice President), Rick Uebel (CFO), Lorie Best (Secretary), Justin Ables, Dr. Madeline Allin, EdD, Roxanne Amundsen, Leslie Austin, Kyle Blanchard, Josh Boulden, Dean Donat, Mary Jo Green, Dr. Art Hale, Lisa Muphy (Ex-Officio), Jim Myers, and Loran Polson. We also wish to recognize  Kim Hale (Past President), who termed off the board this year after 10 years of continued service to the organization. Kim remains an active volunteer as our Youth Arts Director of Education.

I also thank our small but mighty staff: Karie Dykeman (Box Office Manager / Executive Assistant), and Kyle Blanchard (Theatre & Special Events Manager).

Kristine Brown – BRAC President

As one year ends and another begins may I wish you happiness and good tidings.I am so excited about our show list for this upcoming year. We will continue to give our community the entertainment that they have enjoyed and are excited to present some new directors and performers. We will have some new educational classes to give our community chances to join in the future. And who knows maybe even on stage. Come on out and see us this February with our opener SpongeBob the musical. 

Kristine Brown  – BRAC Board of Directors/President 

In 2023 the Branson Regional Arts Council engaged our community in a variety of ways:

  • 8 Main stage Musicals or Play Productions
  • 8 Monday Night Movies Presented in Theatre (in July, August and December)
  • Multiple Special Events with Purpose (including our Special Abilities Program, and Holocaust Education Week)
  • 6,833 Adults and 1,861 Youth Theatre Patrons
  • 265 Acting Roles Created
  • 116 Theatre Director & Crew Positions
  • 166 Theatre Volunteer Positions Filled

Josh Silvy – BRAC Vice President

I want to extend a huge thank you to our patrons, sponsors, and volunteers.

It is because of you that our community has such a great Arts Council right here in Branson, Missouri.

It is going to be another fantastic year with BRAC!

Josh Silvy – BRAC Vice President

We give extra special appreciation to the thousands of theatre patrons, and hundreds of individuals, organizations and businesses who contributed financial assistance through donations or grant opportunities. Some of our outstanding major supporters include the Missouri Arts Council, the Jean Cantwell Family, the Meredith Mizell Family, Mrs. Barbara CohnSpringfield Regional Arts Council, White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Titanic Museum Attraction, Herschend Family Foundation, Dr. Arthur & Kim Hale, Mercy, Sight & Sound Theatres, Stickman Family Enterprises, Inc., Tim & Valerie Brinkman, Joy Merrill, Todd Aeschliman, Wendy Youngblood, Rick & Delyla Uebel and one who asked to remain Anonymous.

Lorie Best – BRAC Board Secretary

I think in todays world, where there are so many folks out there that are constantly trying to keep people afraid of the different; different beliefs, different backgrounds, different ideas, different ways of life…community outreach is a very important way to breakdown that false fear.

By getting involved and getting to know all that difference around you, you can see just how beautiful difference makes the world and I believe that is what we do here at BRAC. We bring people together to share their love of the Arts with one another and for a brief moment in time the difference is wiped away and everyone is a collective one; laughing, crying, learning and growing as one, and in these moments people can see one another in a light that shows that the differences they have aren’t so different at all and the person next to you isn’t some big bad bogeyman coming to get you in the middle of the night; they are just a fellow human being trying to make it through the great, big, beautiful world one day at a time…just like you.

I look forward to another year of working with BRAC, reaching out and getting to know the different…I invite you to come join us and make a difference in someone’s life.

Lorie Best – BRAC Board Secretary

In October 2023, we held our 1st Annual Arts Gala at the Branson Convention Center as our primary fundraising event of the year. With approximately 200 in attendance, this new and exciting event allowed us to engage our patrons and donors in a fun, new way. We invite you to mark your calendars for Saturday, September 14, 2024 and make plans to join us for our 2nd Annual Arts Gala for an even bigger and better evening of entertainment and delicious food.

Kim Hale – BRAC Director of Education

One of the most important contributions you can make is to your own community. BRAC fosters creativity and creates a space where everyone’s contributions are valued. In a world that increasingly values digital interactions, community theatre and the arts provide a tangible and immersive experience that enriches cultural engagement. BRAC productions nurture teamwork, communication, and creative problem-solving. At the Owen Theater, volunteers, sponsors, staff, performers and audience members come together to share the joy of live theatre. The impact of BRAC extends beyond the stage, positively impacting the community as a whole. As Director of Education, I’m excited to further our community outreach efforts and the ongoing youth education programs, including our special abilities program and a campaign on how the arts impact health. Keep an eye out for many exciting youth productions in the coming year!

Kim Hale – BRAC Past President / Director of Education

Lifting The Burden Brings Long Term Sustainability!

Jim Barber – BRAC Executive Director

As we begin our 7th Season at the Historic Owen Theatre, in addition to our exciting musical theatre and play productions, youth arts education and programming for special needs individuals, we are heavily focused on paying off the balance of our mortgage on the theatre facility. Once the mortgage is paid off, the organization will no longer have to allocate funds for monthly mortgage payments which will free up a significant portion of our budget for other purposes such as programming, renovations, and future expansion. This will bring financial stability for the organization into the future. Also without the burden of a mortgage, our operating expenses will decrease, leading to more financial flexibility and the ability to invest in areas that directly benefit the organization’s mission.

We invite you to assist us in this effort by making a tax-deductible donation to the HISTORIC OWEN THEATRE FUND through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (links below)!

  • Click Here to Donate via Credit Card:  Under Gift Designation, select “Historic Owen Theatre Fund (Branson)
  • or Mail donation check to: Community Foundation of the Ozarks, PO Box 8960, Springfield, MO 65801 (in the check memo include: Historic Owen Theatre Fund (Branson)


Thank you again for your support in 2023, and from everyone at the Branson Regional Arts Council… Happy New Year!

Jim Barber – BRAC Executive Director