"An Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent." It was 1946 when Winston Churchill delivered that line during a speech at Westminster College. The iconic phrase has been frozen in time ever since, including at the Iron Curtain sculpture that now stands on campus and almost never blinks. The sculpture depicts the statesman in middle of the speech that arguably marked the beginning of the Cold War.
Churchill's voice and leadership marked many of the 20th Century's most important moments, and this legacy is chronicled within Westminster College's National Churchill Museum. The museum is housed beneath St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a church originally built in London in 1677 and eventually moved stone by stone to the college's campus.
Here, the Winston S. Churchill: A Life of Leadership exhibit chronicles Churchill's life in full. Displays incorporate artifacts, audio-visual components, and interactive areas, including a "gentleman's club" with an overstuffed chair, where visitors can listen to tales of Churchill's intelligence and humor. In addition to this permanent exhibit, rotating exhibits showcase different items from the museum's ever-growing vault, which now houses more than 10,000 artifacts.
When a school of music also contains a live-performance venue, it’s an indicator that the lessons stick. Such is the case with the Columbia Academy of Music, where private practice rooms sit just steps from The Bridge, a club accustomed to welcoming musical talent from down the street and around the country. A stage within range of instruction can inspire even the most stage-frightened students to step into the spotlight, where they’ll get the hands-on, feet-on stage experience that renders books worthless.
The academy’s tuneful staffers are no strangers to this kind of public performance—some instructors have shared the stage with the likes of Chuck Berry, Sting, and Hank Williams III—but many also are experts in what goes on behind the music. In lessons tailored for all ages, skill sets, and music-making manners, the school strengthens the confidence of budding musicians in once-a-week sessions. Instrument instruction infuses students with techniques across a range of musical genres; audio-production and engineering courses teach students how to make solid records and tolerate most singers’ misguided requests for more Steak-Umms in the monitor.
Access Arts, a community-focused nonprofit, welcomes children and adults of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to discover the joy of artistic creation with 200 annual classes, earning attention from the Missourian for its work with students with special needs. During six-week sessions, experienced, compassionate instructors guide learning hands through pottery building, weaving, writing stories, and drawing, and help budding Michelangelos discover if their muses call out to them via telephone or semaphore. Classes for pupils with special needs support both children and adults with extra assistance as they knead clay or dabble in mixed media, and Access Arts’ fee waivers and scholarships enable learners from all income levels to tap into inspiration. Founded in 1971 to widen opportunities for the disabled, Access Arts is now in its fifth decade of enriching the Columbia area with classes and outreach programs that remind people that paintbrushes can be used for more than coloring dead plants a lively shade of green at the end of housesitting stints.
Jones and Norene Gann first imagined transforming their property into a golf course 18 years ago, and constructed an 18-hole course and golf facility now managed by the Rapp family. Open seven days a week, the course challenges golfers with outstretched trees, formidable bunkers and mounds, and hazardous waters. Designated cart paths wind around and through the course, guiding drivers to the next hole on their route or through a wormhole leading to the twenty-third century. Nestled atop the sprawling property, practice facilities help golfers warm up swinging arms, and a pro shop lets athletes restock balls and read up on instructional guides to high-level golfsmanship.
In regular golf instruction, owners Bill and Philip Rapp help students fine-tune their swing and boost their game with new skills. On Tuesday evenings, young putters can hone their swinging skills in free lessons.
Mike, the Bellman behind Bellman Computer Repair, provides mobile tech support for private clients and small businesses. He conducts quick and efficient visits, undeterred by weather, kids, or pets. His guidelines for clients upon his house calls are pretty simple. "Relax, it's your house," he says on his website. "Remember to smile. I don't scare easy." Mike matches his affable manner with an impressive résumé of technical skills, including 20 years of repairing Apple products, and expert-level knowledge of Windows, and membership in seven warranty organizations who help back his work.
Since 1967, Palen Music Center has been fostering the musical arts throughout Missouri with five locations stocked with instruments and staffed by musicians who offer both shopping insight and musical instruction. The center’s instrument rentals and private lessons—which are available for a variety of different instruments—give aspiring musicians a chance to explore their options before purchasing an instrument of their own. And for those ready to invest, Fender guitars, Tama drums, Roland keyboards, and a wide array of other instruments are kept stocked at each of the shop’s locations.