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Quarantine Cat Film Fest Benefits Branson Regional Arts Council’s Historic Owen Theatre

A new online cat video movie made its virtual world premiere on June 19, and proceeds will help keep the Historic Owen Theatre afloat amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Filmmakers sifted through more than 1,100 submissions from across the world to create Quarantine Cat Video Film Festival— a 70-minute compilation cat feature that is now available to watch at home through virtual cinema.

The film brings together the cutest, funniest, bravest, and most loving cat videos exclusively filmed during the 2020 quarantine. Its release is through virtual cinema – a new tool used by cinemas nationwide to sell tickets for newly released films that customers can watch at home.

The response has been better than we could have ever hoped and we have so much great content to work with. It’s going to be a really fun feature with hilarious and adventurous cats and, of course, some adorable kittens too. – Brian Mendelssohn, Film Director

Quarantine Cat Film Fest was developed to help bring digital revenue to independent theaters during the COVID-19 closures. More than 60 independent theatre houses, most of which were closed this spring, signed on to show the movie through virtual cinema. Half of the $12 ticket will go directly back to the theater screening it through its virtual cinema portal.

The pandemic forced the Branson Regional Arts Council to close the Historic Owen Theatre last March, yet our expenses to lease and maintain the facility have continued without any productions to help support our efforts. Until we are able to safely welcome audiences back into this 200 seat venue, we are relying on virtual education classes in the arts and outdoor events to entertain our area residents. This online film fest is a fun and unique way to assist in our ongoing fundraising activities. – Jim Barber, Executive Director of the Arts Council


Unlike most virtual cinema films, Quarantine Cat Film Festival was created and distributed through Row House Cinema, an 84-seat independently owned theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mendelssohn, who also owns Row House Cinema, and his wife came up with the idea at the beginning of the quarantine when they were watching their own cats, Oliver and Isabella, play at home.

“We thought, if everyone is stuck inside with our cats anyway we might as well start filming the hilarious things they do and make a cat movie” said Mendelssohn.

Virtual cinema ticket sales for Quarantine Cat Film Festival in support of the Historic Owen Theatre can be purchased securely online now at BransonArts.org/meow.

GET QUARANTINE CAT TICKETS HERE

Just The Facts:

  • Quarantine Cat Film Festival invites viewers watch adorable cat videos at home while supporting their local theatre venue.
  • More than 1,100 cat videos were submitted for the compilation film Quarantine Cat Film Festival.
  • Ticket sales will help support more than 60 small, independently owned and historic venues across the country, including the Historic Owen Theatre in Branson, MO.
  • Purchase your virtual film ticket at BransonArts.org/meow

The 2nd Annual Talent Show to benefit the BRAC Youth Education Fund takes to the stage of the Historic Owen Theatre on Friday, November 22nd at 7pm.

Experience a wide variety of talented kids and adults as they perform their way into your heart! Open seating will begin at 6:30pm and all tickets are just a $10 donation per seat. Cheer for your favorite performers as they compete for your applause and some incredible trophies as selected by our panel of judges.

18 talented performers auditioned and were selected to appear in this year’s line-up. They include: Ralph Hepola and Luke Cooksey (Instrumentalists), Korey Brown (Vocalist), Jordan Kendrick (Vocalist), Sophie Douglas (Vocalist), Kaitlyn and Stephanie Schumacher (Ukelele Act), Wesley Brown (Vocalist), Bethany Brown (Vocalist), Dylan Pratt (Vocalist), Drake Bardwell (Vocalist), Molly Jones (Vocalist), Dominic Giannotti (Magical Dog Act), Savannah Jewsbury (Vocalist), Micah and Sheri Kuenzle (Vocalist/Pianist), Renee Elkady (Vocalist) and Ashley Rodgers (interpretive dance).

BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber will act a Master of Ceremonies, and a panel of celebrity judges will include Jody Maderas, Delyla Uebel, and Kevin Davis.

Jody Maderas is a New York based professional Producer, Actor, Director, Dancer and the creator of the amazing “All Hands On Deck Show” now playing at the Dutton Family Theatre in Branson.

Delyla Uebel is a skilled performer on piano, keyboard, guitar and vocals from Lampe, MO. She has 25 years experience as a High School vocal director and accompanist, with professional touring credits across the country as well as international tours in Japan.

Kevin Davis is a professional musician, song writer, and event promoter from Kentucky. He’s worked with many of Branson’s best known performers and is excited to help the Branson Regional Arts Council with this important fundraising event for our area youth.

The BRAC Talent Show will be for one night only, this Friday evening at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson.

Visit http://BransonArts.org/talentshow for advance tickets! Seating is limited!

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.


The Branson Regional Arts Council is honored to have been nominated as a top three nominee for the 2018 Charity of the Year award.

The Branson Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards luncheon will celebrate Branson’s small businesses, charity organizations and healthcare industry by awarding the 2018 Small Business of the Year, 2018 Charity of the Year and 2018 Champion of Healthcare.

The event is sponsored by Connell Insurance and will be held at Sycamore Creek Family Ranch on Friday, October 26th from 11:30am-1:00pm Central.

To attend the event, please register on the BransonChamber.com website.