Missouri State University
Arts & Letters Expressions
An online publication for the alumni and friends of the College of Arts and Letters

Where is Building 2?: A brief history of Brick City

Welcome to Brick City. At Missouri State, we call it an urban oasis of creativity. The department of art and design calls it home.


Located just off campus, the cluster of brick buildings known as Brick City boast 85,000-square-feet of space.

When renovations began in 2007, as part of Springfield’s urban research park IDEA Commons, the buildings were about 100 years old, and time had not been kind — they were worn-out and unused.

Now, you’ll find classrooms, studios, offices and galleries. What you won’t find is Building No. 2.

Of the five original buildings — once belonging to the Springfield Ice and Refrigerator Company — four remain: buildings 1, 3, 4 and 5. This is their story.


Constructed in 1927, this four-story, 60,000-square-foot building served as a cold storage building. It was the last of the four buildings to be renovated, with art and design moving in July 2013.


Before the relocation, art disciplines stretched across the campus and downtown area and were comprised of arts that required specific hands-on approach to design and development.

University personnel worked closely with the developer, architects and engineers to build the appropriate infrastructure on the first three floors of Building 1 for the administration offices, as well as:

  • Art History
  • Ceramics
  • Digital Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Metals and Jewelry
  • Photography
  • Printmaking

School of Pharmacy

The 15,000 square feet on the fourth floor houses the UMKC School of Pharmacy.

The space includes three video-conference-equipped classrooms that support the synchronous distance education of classes among the UMKC School of Pharmacy’s Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield sites. The videoconference technology provides a stable connection allowing students to interact with professors and other students during lectures, regardless of their location.

Thirty students comprise the inaugral Class of 2018, 23 of which are MSU students. Ultimately, full enrollment for the 4-year program will be 120 students.



This three-story building was constructed in 1914 to serve as a cold storage warehouse. It was the second building to be renovated for the Brick City complex.

In 2011, art education, foundations and a gallery moved into 18,000-square-foot space on the first two floors.

The third floor is occupied by Marlin, a full-service advertising agency with national accounts and exposure. Marlin’s close proximity to the art and design department provides them an awareness of emerging talent and a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable exposure to real-world ad agency experience.



This two-story building, constructed in 1915, originally served as a cheese-processing and storage facility. It was the first to be renovated and in 2009, Missouri State University began occupying the 20,000 square feet, which now houses sculpture, drawing, painting and the Brick City Gallery.



This 3,000-square-foot building is the oldest of the five. It was constructed in 1900 as a boiler house to support the Armour Creamery. Because of the high ceilings, the architects chose this building as an ideal spot for the photography program’s lighting studios.

So what happened to (the elusive) Building Two?

This 1957 map shows the Mill Street location of the Springfield Ice and Refrigerator Company.
This 1957 map shows the Mill Street location of the Springfield Ice and Refrigerator Company.

According to a 1957 map, Building 2 was a smaller structure originally located between 1 and 3 and used as an office. The building was demolished before the Brick City renovations began, but not before the No. 2 was assigned to it. University officials say they kept the original numbers assigned to the remaining four buildings (perhaps to keep students on their toes!).

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Save the Date: Ozarks Celebration Festival Sept. 9-11

When you think about the Ozarks – what image do you conjure up in your mind? When the late Dr. John Keiser, former Missouri State University president, dreamed of the Ozarks Celebration Festival about 20 years ago, he wanted a festival that celebrated the many facets of the Ozarks. The goal of the festival was […]

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Revelations through the human experience: How this fall season will set the truth free

Tragic mine explosions, marriage proposals gone wrong and an angel of redemption for the redemption-less. Revelations is this season’s theme, and the theatre and dance department’s fall 2016 lineup is ready to engage audiences with productions that feature vastly unique voices and storylines, each meant to reveal powerful truths through both devastation and jubilation.

The first show of the season is “Ballad Hunter,” which begins on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. and runs until October 3.

You can purchase tickets for “Ballad Hunter,” “Legally Blonde” and “Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches,” at the campus box office — located in Craig Hall — or online through Missouri State TIX.


‘Ballad Hunter’: Truth through secrecy 

“Ballad Hunter” takes place in rural Appalachia during 1937. It’s a journey through love, loneliness and love once more, creating an emotional story about the crucial need for honesty amongst family.


On the day of Lotta’s conception — the day Gussie accepted her lustful desires over a traveling musicologist — her grandfather was killed in a tragic mine explosion. Fifteen years later, three generations of women (Hetty, Gussie and Lotta) continue struggling with the voids of lost love, losing themselves in the process. When an unexpected visitor passes through town with the promise of a wondrous, new-fangled invention called “electricity,” skepticism reaches an all-time high; Lotta finds herself smitten by this visitor’s melodious voice, and Gussie experiences an incredible sense of de ja vu. (Like mother, like daughter.)


Show times:  7:30 p.m. Sep. 22-23, 26-30 & Oct. 3; 2:30 p.m. Sep. 25 & Oct. 2
Location: Craig Hall Balcony Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID 

Join the conversation: #MSUBalladHunter 

‘Legally Blonde’: Truth through legality

“Legally Blonde” is a production chock-full of charming humor, quick-paced choreography and high-energy musical numbers. The heart-warming tale takes popular stereotypes and reveals them as nothing more than predetermined labels that can be broken — if we have the courage to do so.


Elle Woods dreams of the day her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, will finally pop the question. Instead, he breaks her heart and leaves for Harvard to pursue a law degree and a girlfriend who isn’t so, well, blonde. Elle is determined to prove her worth by following him on his academic adventure, but Harvard is nothing like her old UCLA campus. Her perky personality and hot pink clothes definitely stand out amongst the crowd — and not in a popular way like before. Nonetheless, Elle dives into her studies, ready to demonstrate her true lawyer-potential despite those who’ve already predetermined her as blonde.


Show times: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15 & 17; 2:30 p.m. Oct. 16
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID 

Join the conversation: #MSULegallyBlonde

‘Angels in America’: Truth through controversy

“Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches” is a mature production that exposes serious topics such as AIDS, infidelity, drug-exposure and religion. Despite its heavy themes, this play oozes a dark sense of humor without taking away from the significance of the story. 


In the year 1985, and during the “Reagan revolution,” Louis Ironson abandons his relationship after finding out his partner, Prior Walter, has contracted — and is dying of — AIDS. Meanwhile, devout Mormon Joe Pitt is finding complications in his own relationship: his wife is unsupportive of his new job offer and continuously struggles with a Valium addiction. Upon Louis and Joe meeting by chance in the restrooms of a courthouse, Joe begins questioning his sexuality and his very salvation. Meanwhile, as Prior’s condition worsens, an angel materializes before him, reassuring Prior that redemption for this world is definitely obtainable.


Show times: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-12; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID

Join the conversation: #MSUAngelsinAmerica

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Alumna helps ‘set the stage’ with mobile shop in St. Louis

From standing in the spotlight to setting the stage for a home, she’s learned how to make herself (and others) happy.

When alumna Jennifer Saputo-Peterson graduated from Missouri State in 2006, she wanted to use her bachelor’s degree in theatre to be a working actress in New York City, which she did from 2007-10. But now she helps St. Louisians set the stage for a happy home.

Brunching at a bakery with friends in early 2015, Saputo-Peterson saw a local mobile boutique—basically a food truck, but with clothes rather than eats—parked outside. She was inspired by the concept and thought she could apply her own flair to it.

“I’m not a girl who likes to shop for clothes, but drop me at Home Goods or Pier1 Imports and I’m occupied for a while,” said Saputo-Peterson.

“I figured there must be a mobile boutique for home decor. So I started doing a little research and found that there wasn’t.”

Todd Studios Photography & Stationary
Todd Studios Photography & Stationary

Finding inspiration

By September 2015, Saputo-Peterson and her husband Mike had officially registered the business, and after months of work on the business plan and truck, they opened Indigo Home on June 18, 2016.

“We’re a completely hands-on operation. I cherry pick every item you find on the truck,” said Saputo-Peterson. “I choose pieces that tell me a story. I find inspiration everywhere I go and bring a bit of that into the truck.”

For instance, Saputo-Peterson painted the ceiling of the truck light blue much like the porch ceilings of homes in Charleston, South Carolina. This color, called “haint blue,” is believed to keep evil spirits away. Indigo Home also carries both local brands—four to be exact—as well as work from various designers around the world.

Todd Studios Photography & Stationary
Todd Studios Photography & Stationary

Keeping things cozy

Saputo-Peterson, who attended Duchesne High in St. Charles, has a passion for making people feel comfortable and at home.

“We believe that it’s the little things that make your house a home, and that’s what we strive to bring you,” said Saputo-Peterson. “It’s that great picture frame holding a precious memory or that comfy blanket you curl up with on the couch at the end of a hard day.”

In a few years, Saputo-Peterson hopes the shop grows to become a brick and mortar store and eventually a lifestyle brand that provides accent pieces, home fragrance and even furniture.

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MJF professor: Screenwriting success comes with compassion, flexibility and hard work

Rich Amberg is the coordinator of the screenwriting programs in the department of media, journalism and film. He is also an award-winning working professional.

Photo by Bob Linder, MSU Photo Services

Photo by Bob Linder, MSU Photo Services

A working writer

Since joining Missouri State in 2013, Amberg has used his industry knowledge to help emerging writers develop their skills and learn to navigate the industry.

He encourages humility and perspective. “Everyone in this business is working hard, and no one came to Los Angeles with the goal of making someone else’s dream come true. It’s important to be kind to other people and assume that everyone’s doing their best. And when the planets align and a project works, it’s great.”

In addition to teaching, Amberg continues to work.

He has completed contracts with Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. He makes regular trips to Los Angeles, where he meets with contacts at film, TV and Web entertainment companies, including Nickelodeon, Amazon and Awesomeness TV. His work has been recognized with a number of awards, including Best of Competition in Faculty Scriptwriting at the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.

Read Amberg’s full story — written by Lucie Amberg — in the upcoming issue of Mind’s Eye, MSU’s faculty research publication. 

MSU’s screenwriting options

Missouri State has options to minor in screenwriting, get a screenwriting graduate certificate or earn a master’s degree in producing and screenwriting.

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5 reasons to attend the Ozarks Celebration Festival this year

Missouri State will host it’s 19th annual Ozarks Celebration Festival on Sept. 9-11 this year. Hundreds of exhibitors, artisans and musicians will be on campus offering free demonstrations and entertainment.

Here’s a preview of what makes this festival “the best one yet,” according to event coordinator Barb Jones.

The new Ozarks Jubilee Stage

Gravel Yard will perform on the Ozarks Jubiliee Stage at 5 p.m. on Sept. 10.
Gravel Yard will perform on the Ozarks Jubiliee Stage at 5 p.m. on Sept. 10.

This new stage will be located on the southwest lawn of Cheek Hall. It will feature storytellers, a variety of bands and the Young Fiddlers Concert.

Cooking demonstrations by MSU Chef Quintin Eason cooking-OCF-620x410

Missouri State’s executive chef, Quintin Eason, will sell fresh, homegrown produce and host cooking demonstrations throughout the day. Visit Chef Eason at booth #18 located in the Farmers Market area.

The Arthur Duncan Trio

The legendary jazz pianist Arthur Duncan will perform with The Arthur Duncan Trio at 1 p.m., Sept. 10, on the Clear Creek Performance Stage. If you love jazz, you won’t want to miss this amazing performance!

Remembering 9/11 with Dr. John Prescott

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, the festival will come to a halt as we pay tribute to those lost during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. MSU music professor Dr. John Prescott will orchestrate the world premiere of his piece, “Quadrivium.” Four Missouri State students — on two trumpets and two trombones — will play this moving piece that reminds us how our lives can change in an instant.

Ozarks Lecture Series


The festival lecture series will kick-off on Monday, Sept. 12 and run through Sept. 15. This year, the series will focus both on historical and current topics, including a look at African-American music in Springfield and contemporary homesteading in the Ozarks.

Don’t miss out on any events! Check out the Ozarks Celebration Festival website for a complete festival schedule.

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The Standard’s new editor-in-chief expects to shake things up this year

The printing presses for Missouri State’s The Standard will be back in action soon as the student-run newspaper heads into the fall semester with incoming Editor-in-Chief Nicole Roberts at the helm.

Nicole Roberts edits her first issue as The Standard's new editor-in-chief.

Nicole Roberts edits her first issue as The Standard’s new editor-in-chief.

Roberts hopes her experience will guide positive change

Roberts, a senior print and Internet journalism major, is from Rolla, Missouri. She graduated high school from nearby Vienna, Missouri.

After an extensive application process last April, Roberts was appointed to the editor-in-chief position by MSU’s Advisory Board for Student Publications.

She has been on staff at The Standard since May 2014, first as a reporter and then as a news editor. She says she’ll use that experience to make a few changes to the paper this year.

In this Q&A, Roberts talks about those changes, what she looks forward to as editor-in-chief, or EIC, and more.

What are you most excited for as EIC this year?

I’m really excited to watch everyone on staff develop their skills and go out of their comfort zones. I always feel proud when someone on staff learns something new, whether it be an unique way to write an article, a different way to shoot photos, or a cool way to design a page for the newspaper.

Has anyone given you advice yet for how to do the job?

I received advice from Jack Dimond (The Standard’s faculty advisor), editors at The Standard, professors, friends and my parents. I guess the best advice was from my mom … She told me to act like how I would want an editor-in-chief to act. This advice forces me to ask myself, “If I were a reporter or content editor, would I want my editor-in-chief to do this?”

Are you planning any changes to the paper this year?

There are two things I really want to focus on this year.

The first thing is improving interaction with students, faculty, staff and The Standard’s readers in general.

I don’t want people to view The Standard as this mystical paper that suddenly appears on Tuesdays and that’s it. I want readers to see that people at The Standard are working throughout the week — not just Monday nights — to create a good paper.

These interactions will also help The Standard staff hear more from students, faculty and staff on their thoughts about things going on around campus and Springfield.

The second thing is I’m putting an emphasis on multimedia this year. The editors have been throwing around ideas on how to improve our social media presence and how to incorporate other media into The Standard articles.

We live in a world of media, so why not take advantage of that?


Why should the campus community care about The Standard?

The Standard is a great way for the Missouri State community to learn about what’s going on around campus. I know that is a pretty stereotypical answer, but it really is true.

There are four sections in the newspaper: news, life, sports and opinion. That means there is a lot of information in all four of those sections that students might be interested in or benefit from.

The Standard is also a great way to build connections with other people at Missouri State.

For example, last semester, I wrote an article about a new radio station that may be coming to campus. Afterward, I had someone ask me for the contact information of the four students I talked to in the article because she wanted to figure out a way to join the radio station they were working on.

That connection might not have happened if I hadn’t pursued that story.

Nicole-Roberts-TheStandard-620x620What do you want to do after graduation?

That’s the million-­dollar question. Like almost all college students, I’m not 100 percent sure, honestly.

Part of me wants to write about psychology or world news since I’m very interested in those two things. The other part of me wants to do something where I write articles while traveling abroad.

Part of me wants to write for a magazine. Another part of me wants to write for a newspaper.

I guess the best answer I can give is that I would really like to write for a news magazine like The Week, but I know that the chances of doing something like that right out of college are slim, so I’ll probably try to write for a local newspaper and work my way up the ladder.

There are so many options, and I want to try almost all of them.

What advice do you have for students interested in working for The Standard?

I would say to throw away any of their fears about joining The Standard and just do it.

I had never written for a newspaper or even taken a journalism class until I joined The Standard, and to be honest, I was absolutely terrified when I first started working here because I had very little experience. I thought for sure that I had gotten myself into something that was way over my head. Now, two years later, I’m so glad that little freshman Nicole decided to take a leap of faith and join The Standard. 

If students want to join The Standard, they can contact Jack Dimond, the advisor for The Standard. When students join, they will go through this training process where they will learn how to write articles, interview people, use correct AP style, and so on. Once they get done with the training, they become part of The Standard staff and will start writing articles for the newspaper on a weekly basis.

*Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length or clarity.

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Political discussions can be civil, says professor

As a young child, Dr. Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk learned about politics handing out fliers for family members running for office or joining her father at political rallies. Now an associate professor of socio-political communication at Missouri State University, she teaches about political messages, commentary, debates and so much more. She’s shares about the shifts in the […]

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