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“Making Sorghum – A Family Affair”

The topic of saving and sharing family stories will be the focus of a presentation on August 8, 2023, 5:30- 7:00 p.m. at the Ozarks Heritage Research Center (OHRC) inside Garnett Library on the MSU-WP campus, 304 W. Trish Knight in West Plains.  A showing of the video “Making Sorghum: A Family Affair” will be featured.

There will also be a tour of OHRC and their next phase media lab; and the importance of media in saving and sharing family, historical, and culturally embedded stories will be the topic of discussion facilitated by Kathleen Morrissey, President of West Plains Council on the Arts.

“Making Sorghum: A Family Affair” will be shared by Kelly Pompei. It is a video interview with her grandparents, long-time West Plains residents Wilma and the late Melvin “Nick” Nichols, about the sorghum mill that has been in the family for 6 generations. Samples of sorghum will be shared along with additional discussion with Nick’s brother, Charles Nichols.

Kelly Pompei was raised in West Plains, and the Old-Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival has been a highlight of each year since she was little. Kelly attributes her love of old-time music and culture to her grandparents who grew up in the area and shared their stories and skills with her, along with bringing her to events like the Old-Time Music Festival. Kelly resides in West Plains with her husband Kyle (who she actually met at the festival) and their son Landon.

The presentation is part of continuing programming by The Alliance: Arts and Cultural Organizations (Arts Alliance). The public is invited to this intriguing program featuring local talent and stories. Refreshments will be served.

Questions about the program should be directed to or phone 417-293-2325.

Grant funding for the program is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of their Challenge America: Arts Engagement in American Communities programming.