The Branson Regional Arts Council is excited to announce that the Veterans Memorial Garden at the intersection of Hwy 76 and Gretna Road in Branson, has dedicated the “Jean Cantwell Courtyard” in memory of our esteemed Arts Council founder and patron, Mrs. Jean Cantwell.
In a letter received this week, Ben Kinel, founder and administrator of the garden wrote the following to the Arts Council…
“We received a donation from you for the maintenance of the Veterans Memorial Garden here in Branson. We are so thankful for this generous donation. It will be used to purchase a metal bench to go into the “Jean Cantwell Courtyard” in her honor. It is nice folks like you that help to make the garden so beautiful for visitors, and especially veterans and their families to enjoy.”
– Ben Kinel, Founder and Administrator
“We were honored to be asked to participate in this wonderful tribute to Jean Cantwell, who sadly, passed away on March 20th in 2018,” said BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber. “Jean did so much to promote and develop the arts, not only in the Ozarks, but across the entire State of Missouri as one of the initial developers of the Missouri Arts Council. Her guidance, enthusiasm and support made it possible last January for the Arts Council to merge with another organization she help initiate, Tri-Lakes Community Theatre (TLC), and that synergy allowed us to quickly build our community theatre program here at the Historic Owen Theatre. I’m thankful that Ben Kinel and our mutual supporter Jerry Buckley invited our organization to help memorialize Jean’s influence in our community in this special way.”
Mr. Kinel added, “The volunteers who maintain the garden are using this time of year to add some perennial plants and take out some old worn out plants. Also, we are reworking the beds, adding compost and fertilizer all over. In a couple of areas we are replacing the original native rocks forming the stair-step beds with limestone landscaping blocks as funds allow. Also, we are adding a water drip system in a few beds each year. The drip way of watering is much better than with a hose and labor saving too.”
In addition to the “Jean Cantwell Courtyard”, Mr. Kinel is also developing the “Honor Wall,” a sixteen foot long, six foot hight concrete block wall, that will hold metal plaques honoring veterans from all wars. The plaques come in three sizes, and anyone who would be interested in honoring a beloved veteran is invited to contact his organization for prices at , or by visiting their official website VeteransMemorialGarden.com.
General donation checks for the Veterans Memorial Garden project may be mailed to:
Veterans Memorial Garden
136 Rose O’Neill Dr.
Branson, MO 65616