The Downtown Peculiar Arts & Culture District (DPACD) held its first meeting in January of 2007. We are a mix of people who love Peculiar, people who want Downtown to retain its character and feel by managing the growth that is coming, artists, patrons of the arts, those wanting entertainment options and unique shopping & dining options in Peculiar for themselves and their families, forward thinking businesses, those wanting to help support Peculiar by keeping income and tax revenues here, and those wanting to preserve our unique history. Arts districts are pedestrian friendly and interesting, quirky, funky and fun! People are always saying they aren't a good fit for us because they "can't even draw a stick person". You do not have to be an artist to be part of DPACD and we promise - you are not required to draw a stick person (or dog or bird - stick fish, maybe) to be part of what we're doing!
What is an arts district, you ask? An arts district is a defined area within a city intended to draw a high concentration of arts/arts compatible businesses and attractions. Examples of the types of things you might find in an arts district are things like cafes, restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, studios, art galleries, antique stores, boutiques, bed and breakfasts, tea rooms, health food stores, street performers, vintage clothing stores, museums and performing arts venues like community theatre. Arts districts enrich the lives of those already living in a city or town as well as bringing visitors to our city. Arts districts strengthen the reputation of a city, the school district and help draw new residents and businesses. Arts districts vary in size and character (no two are the same). This unique personality combined with the constantly changing nature of an arts district means that both our residents and visitors experience something new every time they are in the District. In addition, a common feature of an arts district is that the artists/merchants often live and work from the same location. This allows visitors to the District to actually meet the artist/shopkeeper and discuss their merchandise with them providing for an even richer experience and reinforcing a hometown feel. It also helps small businesses with start up.
DPACD is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. Donations to our organization are tax deductible.
Traditionally Arts Districts Benefit a City and Its Residents With Things Like:
- Increased tourism which brings tax revenue and ancillary spending (hotels, gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores might benefit for example)
- Improved community image which helps with the attraction of new businesses (even ones that are not located in the District) which, in turn, bring new jobs; the attraction of new residents which increases the tax base, stimulates the local economy as well as providing more revenue for the City to provide services. Improved community image also helps the local school district
- Quality of life enhancement via more options for cultural and historical events and venues as well as a pedestrian based gathering area to promote connections within the community as well as a sense of community
- Higher property values
- New business investment both inside and outside the District. By creating a desirable place for business to thrive, we are in a position to choose what businesses are best for our town
- More job opportunities - more businesses mean more jobs closer to home which also helps to foster the small town feel identified as so important in the Comprehensive Plan meetings. In addition, shorter commutes open up time for family, community and recreation not available with a longer commute. Shorter commutes also save on gas and vehicle wear and tear
- Entertainment venues and shopping options not available nearby. Harrisonville, Raymore and Belton have all done a good job of enticing big box stores and chain businesses to their cities. We have the opportunity to draw and support small businesses, unique shops, community theatre, pedestrian traffic rather than vehicle traffic. In smaller shops and stores, you build relationships with the owners and operators of the shops again fostering that small town feel and sense of community. Spontaneous street performances and unique festivals and events thrive in arts districts.
- Ability to retain or own town's image and history. Peculiar has great oral history. We have rail road history, civil war history, a three legged water tower, a time capsule buried at our centennial in 1968 which will be opened in 2018. We have a 100+ year old, stone church built from old farm fences. We have family names which helped to found the town still living here. The story of how we got our name is so fun. We need to stay unique, unusual, one of a kind - stay Peculiar!
DPACD's organizational mission is the revitalization of the Peculiar, MO downtown city core as an interactive arts and cultural center which is defined by our unique city name with the compatible objectives of:
- quality of life enhancement for residents and visitors;
- creation of an economic identity with proactive attraction of well matched businesses; and
- broad spectrum arts education and appreciation initiatives
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead
Yeah, That's Us
DPACD is responsible for many of the things that a resident or visitor can see or do in Downtown.
We host the Peculiar Piccadilly & Art Auction the last weekend in February. This is a great evening to dress to theme (you don't have to), have a great meal, enjoy an unusual type of auction and listen to some live entertainment. Click here to see pictures from last year's event. Click here to learn about our next Piccadilly.
Around Easter time, we join with young community members (and those young at heart) to do Eggzibit. Eggzibit is a temporary, public art exhibit which is up in Downtown each year for about two weeks around Easter. Our artists participate in workshops where they create one of a kind pieces of three dimensional art from large, plastic eggs. While this event and variations of this event are being duplicated around Missouri - it is a Peculiar original! If you don't want to join the fun of creating "egg art", then, by all means, join in the fun of walking or driving along C Hwy and the cross streets in Downtown around Easter next year - we dare you not to smile!
The Clara Brierly Festival of the Arts is named for Clara Porter Brierly - Miss Clara. Miss Clara was an outsider artist (artists with no formal training who often use unconventional materials and/or approaches when creating their art) who was a prominent figure in Downtown from 1904 until near her death in 1982. There is currently nothing else like this event in Cass County, Missouri. The festival is held the second weekend in June annually. Admission and entertainment are FREE to the public. We are "sweet" pet friendly and we have Free activities for the kiddos. If you are an artist, food vendor, performance artist or attendee wanting to know about next year's event - click here. DPACD wrote a book and created a DVD about Miss Clara, her life and her art in 2009. If you'd like to learn more about this feisty, little lady, you can order a copy of the set by clicking here. We also conduct our annual investment drive to help fund all of the things we do in June. To be a part of bringing Downtown back as a center of community and small business, click here.
As an all volunteer organization, we dedicate July for family and recuperation! But we jump back into the thick of it in just before school starts again with our annual meeting, our board educational retreat and resumed planning for all of our upcoming events.
We traditionally participate with a booth at the Chamber of Commerce's Harvest Moon Festival at the end of October. This festival is family friendly and "kidcentric".
We also participate with the Mayor's Christmas Tree lighting the first Saturday in December each year. We sell wreaths as a fundraiser during the event.
Permanent public art is a great addition to any community. Public art is art which is accessible to the community and visitors and they go about their daily lives. DPACD has facilitated a public art walk in Downtown which starts with a giant, 400 lb. mosaic egg located on the grounds of Peculiar Elementary. This piece, called Early Blooms, is by local artist, Rita Lillig. If you walk west from that site to 152 E. Broadway Street, you will see two pieces of chainsaw sculpture by internationally known chainsaw artist, Ken Tynan. From there walk to the intersection of Broadway and Main (also C Highway) in the heart of Downtown and look to the right. You will see the DPACD sign plaza. This space, once a weed riddled eyesore, is now home to four mosaic planters (two created by DPACD members, one created by community members at the Clara Brierly Festival of the Arts, one created by young artists at the Harvest Moon Festival), two ceramic totems which change with the seasons by local artist Natalie Thomas and a piece of metal art by artist Travis Galloway. The newest addition to the art walk is called "A Peculiar Family" by metal artists Steve Reddell. This piece was dedicated at the 2012 Clara Brierly Festival of the arts and is located adjacent to the court parking lot at Main and Center Streets. We hope you'll take a few moments (and a few pictures) with these wonderful pieces when you have an afternoon to walk around Downtown.
January 2012 marked the establishment of "a place of our own". Through an almost unbelievably generous gift from the Peculiar Charitable Foundation and the City of Peculiar, DPACD took possession and ownership of Cornerstone Chapel, Brierly Hall (formerly Friendship Hall) and the adjacent parsonage located in the heart of Downtown. The chapel, dedicated by the Methodist church that built it in May of 1908, is a major part of our history. The building had become run down and in need of repair. DPACD members, local tradesmen and the Peculiar Charitable Foundation are working together to give this grand old lady a face lift and bring it back to the gathering center it once was. To learn more about the property, our plans for it or how you can rent it for your upcoming event, click here.
Meetings & Contact
Most meetings are held at Brierly Hall located at 163 W. Center Street in Downtown (Center Street is one way in front of the hall so please use the alley immediately to the south of the hall or Broadway Street to turn west then north on West First Street and then east on to West Center Street). Please contact email@example.com to verify meeting times and locations. We do not hold meetings in July.
|Membership & Board Meeting Dates for 2011-2012|
|August 13, 2012||6:30 pm||Annual Meeting - party pants encouraged|
|September 10, 2012||6:30 pm||You could win a cool door prize|
|October 8, 2012||6:30 pm||Pumpkin cookies are reportedly possible|
|November 12, 2012||6:30 pm||You'll be "thankful" that you came|
|December 10, 2012||6:30 pm||Santa will put you on the "good" list if you come|
|January 14, 2013||6:30 pm||Keep your resolution to make a difference - be here|
|February 11, 2013||6:30 pm||If you love Peculiar, you'll love DPACD|
|March 11, 2013||6:30 pm||St. Patrick is watching you|
|April 8, 2013||6:30 pm||You can see the eggs at the same time!|
|May 13, 2013||6:30 pm||You know your mom would want you to...|
|June 17, 2013||6:30 pm||3rd Monday - needed a week to recover from the Clara!|