Our View

There will be no shortage of arts and cultural events in Joplin in the coming year if Connect2Culture's annual preview earlier this week was any indication.

Representatives of more than 30 organizations, businesses, galleries and performance groups outlined their offerings during the event. Ballet, opera, comedy, painting, pottery, poetry, song — all of that and more will be available to residents through performances and classes.

We are lucky to live in a community where the arts are prioritized. No matter what your interest or skill level, whether you just want to try a tap class just for fun or you'd like to see a full operatic show, there's something for everyone.

Deserved award

Officials with Downtown Joplin Alliance won a much-deserved award last week for the Empire Market, which opened in April 2018 just a short distance from downtown Joplin.

The market has been a promising venture for Lori Haun and Ivy Hagedorn, the two individuals who received the award. It offers a variety of vendors and artisans during its regular Saturday hours, and the numbers are impressive: more than $135,000 in sales and 17,500 visitors through its first summer.

There are also a number of special events scheduled throughout the year that should pique anyone's curiosity. The first night market was held on the summer solstice in June, attracting hundreds of visitors, and an upcoming salsa competition promises lots of good tastes.

Congratulations on the award and on the continued success of the market.

Inspiration

As the start of school approaches later this month, there's a lot that Trystan Colon-Castillo could have been doing this week to prepare.

But we appreciate that he made the time to visit with the Webb City High School football team and give them some words of encouragement for their upcoming season.

Colon-Castillo, a 2016 Webb City graduate and starting center for the Missouri Tigers, said he returns to his hometown often. The Globe was there earlier this week when he met with the Cardinals to push them toward success and to show them what the future can hold if they work hard.

It would be easy to become a college football standout and never look back. The fact that Colon-Castillo not only remembers his roots, but also celebrates them, is admirable.