A one-man juggling circus providing a “goofy” look at the world along with magic tricks will kick off the summer season at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art.
Back for its third year, Summer Nights at the Daum will provide four free venues during the season that includes kick-off performer Tommy Wizard from the St. Louis-based Circus Kaput on Thursday, May 23.
Wizard, the apprentice of Circus Kaput’s founder Josh Routh, will give a family-friendly solo performance for the museum. The program will be presented in the Stauffacher Theatre on the campus of State Fair Community College.
“He’s a juggler, magician and rides the unicycle and he supposedly is very humorous, and goofy,” said Daum Curator and Director Thomas Piche’ Jr. “It will be interactive and then after his performance, there will be a circus skills workshop.”
Wizard will invite children onstage to learn how to juggle and spin plates. He has a trunk-full of objects and props, Piche’ added.
Matt Rahner, exhibitions coordinator and registrar, suggested the idea to invite Wizard for the Summer Nights program. Piche’ said the first Summer Night’s presentation in 2017 featured magician Eric Vaughan, of Kansas City. Vaughan was well liked by the audience.
“That’s why we decided to offer this sort of act again,” Piche’ said. “It was one of our best received performances in the first year.”
Piche’ noted the museum is trying to reach a variety of age groups with the Summer Nights programs — the first focusing on children, the second on older adults, the third on young adults and the fourth on a mixed age group.
“We’re really happy with this series,” he said. “It gives us some focus during the summer months when school’s out … this is a way to bring people in.
“We are fairly broad in what we think will work well at the museum,” he continued. “We want to keep it arts related.”
The summer program will feature not only visual arts but also performing arts.
On June 27, the Daum will host an opening reception for the museum’s summer exhibitions, including “Sarah Nguyen: Winged Eclipse, Momentary Shadows,” “Constructions and Interventions: Photographs from the Collection,” and “Dreams: Sedalia Visual Art Association Members’ Exhibition.” Piche’ will also give a gallery talk that evening.
The July 25 program will feature the Kay Brothers and Burney Sisters in concert. The brothers are known for presenting stomp grass music traditions of the Ozarks, while the Burney Sisters, ages 10 and 13, provide an indie-folk-pop sound.
“We are really excited for July,” Piche’ said. “These two groups, who are from Columbia, they seem to be on the verge of getting national recognition. They are two separate acts, but they often play together.”
Piche’ added the brothers produce “sibling harmony” while playing the upright bass, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, washboard and using foot percussion.
“So, it’s a variety of non-electric instruments,” he said. “Their goal is to preserve the rural music of the Ozarks.”
Olivia and Emma Burney are singer/songwriters who perform their original music with ukulele and guitar. Piche’ said “they are very professional and fun.”
The final summer event will be presentations by SpoFest, a local spoken word organization promoting original poetry, prose and music, Aug. 22.
“I think it’s good to support local folks who are involved in the spoken word,” Piche’ said. “Again, from our point of view it’s literature and also a type of performance, and we’re excited they are going to bring the Poet Laureate of Missouri.”
Missouri Poet Laureate Aliki Barnstone will read her original work. Barnstone is a writer, translator, critic, editor and visual artist. She has authored eight books of poetry and is the Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Also reading will be Missouri’s first Poet Laureate Walter Bargen and several other local and area writers.
Summer Nights at the Daum will be presented at 6 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month, May through August. For more information, call the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art at 660-530-5888 or visit www.daummuseum.org.