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

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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Summer breeze: Enjoy classical music the best way possible

Jane A. Meyer Carillon Series returns to Missouri State July 10

The Jane A. Meyer Carillon Series, an outdoor concert on the lawn of Duane G. Meyer Library, will resume July 10 with the second concert of the 2016 season.


More about the concerts

The free concerts, which begin at 7 p.m., are held the second Sunday of each month from June to September. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Free ice cream will be served, courtesy Hiland Dairy, and carillon tours are offered after every concert.

July 10 concert features Jeremy Chesman

Dr. Jeremy Chesman, Missouri State carillonneur and interim department head in theatre and dance, will perform the July 10 concert, featuring music from American composers. .

Highlights include an arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and the Stars and Stripes forever. He will also perform folk songs from Appalachia and jazz standards.


Carillon series schedule

July 10, 7 p.m.
Jeremy Chesman

Aug. 14, 7 p.m.
Joey Brink

Sept. 11, 7 p.m.
Jeremy Chesman

Visit the carillon series website for concert programs and schedule.

Name that tune

Is there a song you’d like to hear played on the carillon? Message your requests online.

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Volunteers needed for 2016 Ozarks Celebration Festival

Organizers say exciting changes are on the way for the 2016 Ozarks Celebration Festival. They will unveil those changes and solicit volunteers at the Volunteer Information Luncheon on July 8 at the PSU Union Club.


Lunch attendees will learn important festival information such as the vendor and performer line-up and available volunteer positions, including:

  • Information booth attendants
  • Load-in helpers
  • Ice cream scoopers at the Ice Cream Social
  • Golf cart drivers
  • And many more jobs to choose from!

To RSVP, contact OCF Director Barb Jones by email or at 417-836-6605.

OCF Volunteer Information Luncheon

OCF-volunteers-lemonade-320x207Date: July 8
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Union Club, Plaster Student Union Robert W. Room 400
Admission: Free

Festival details

Date: Sept. 9-11
Location: Missouri State campus
More info: Visit the website for the full schedule
Contact: Barb Jones by email or at 417-836-6605

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Tent opens ‘Unnecessary Farce’ on June 23

“All Shook Up” was a great success to kick off the 54th season of Tent Theatre. The summer stock company is now looking forward to the next show on the line-up, “Unnecessary Farce.”

Rookie cops and would-be socialite coming to Tent this summer

This rookie cop comedy is a great addition to this season, themed “the Great Escape,” said Managing Director Mark Templeton.

“The production of ‘Unnecessary Farce’ is a fast paced comedic free-for-all which will have the audience in stitches. This will be a regional premiere of the show,” he said.

The last show of the season will be “My Fair Lady.”

Unnecessary Farce

June 23-July 1

Get ready for non-stop plot twists and side-splitting dialog as this award-winning comedy takes you on a police stakeout at an economy motel. Two rookie cops set out to nab the mayor for embezzlement, but it doesn’t take long for the operation to go hilariously awry.

My Fair Lady

July 6-9, 11-17

Since its 1956 debut, this award-winning musical has delighted audiences with its witty heroine, Cockney street vendor Eliza Doolittle. Her dreams of a life more prosperous than that of a flowerseller make her a great test subject for a phonetics professor who sets out to prove that manner of speaking —not wealth — is what truly sets apart the British social classes.

Ticket information

All performances begin at 8 p.m. on the tent pad behind Craig Hall. Tickets are $16 or $24 for adults, $14 or $22 for seniors, students and children and $12 or $21 for Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Season tickets are $40 or $66 for adults, and $35 or $61 for seniors, students, children, Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Special group rates are available.

To order tickets, call the Missouri State box office at (417) 836-7678 or toll-free at 1 (888) 476-7849. Tickets may also be purchased online.

Pre-show picnics

Show-themed picnic dinners are served from 7-7:45 p.m. for $12 each on the south patio of Craig Hall. Proceeds support the Tent Theatre scholarship fund. These lunches must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance online or by calling (417) 836-7678.

For more information, contact Templeton at (417) 836-4644.

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