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Art, essay contest fosters a passion for history

Encouraging the next generation to have an appreciation of historic resources has been the goal of the Historic City of Jefferson (HCJ) Heritage Art and Essay contests for 18 years.

Jennie Busby, a junior high English teacher at St. Joseph Cathedral School, agrees.

“It’s important kids become familiar with their surroundings and appreciate what the city has to offer, like its history,” Busby said.

This year, HCJ also added a multimedia category to its contest, for which winners were recognized Thursday.

The local historic preservation organization has partnered for the past several years with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, which honored three Landmark buildings and two couples with the Greg Stockard Distinguished Service Award.

Writing has been a focus at St. Joseph’s this school year. Busby chose to include the HCJ contest as a full class assignment for her advanced seventh-grade course.

Last year was the first time she had students participate in the contest. They swept the essay category, and did so again this year.

The nearly 30 students were allowed to choose their own topic, within the parameters of the contest, and they could write an essay or submit a PowerPoint presentation.

“It was a good opportunity for the kids to use their writing skills in a bit of a different way,” Busby said.

HCJ organizers hope to receive video presentations in the multimedia category next year.

“We added the multimedia category to update the competition to appeal to today’s young people,” said HCJ President Steve Veile. “They live in a multimedia world, and we thought the new media and history mix would be a good one.”

The city commission has designated 96 Landmarks in 21 years. The selection criteria includes historical significance, type of building, its location and current integrity, and if it’s endangered.

The 2013 Landmarks are The Nelson C. and Gertrude A. Burch House, 115 W. Atchison St., owned by Michael and Laura Ward; The Watts House, 718 E. Capitol Ave., owned by Dave and Cathy Bordner; and The Stone House, 728 W. Main St., owned by the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

The Central East Side has seen a revival in recent years to two couples taking the lead in restoring the historic streetscape.

Michel and Donna Deetz and Darryl and Connie Hubble both received the Gregory Stockard Distinguished Service Award for renovating multiple commercial buildings along East High Street.

“It’s tremendous to have people here with an interest in preserving our community,” said Commissioner Bill Case. “As a community, we should be sure to do everything humanly possible to preserve these wonderful pieces of property.”

Contest winners

Heritage essay contest winners: Nathan Bax, first place for “Nelson and Gertrude Burch House”; Elizabeth Case, second place for “The Taste All Will Remember;” Rachel Schulte, third place for “the Historic of Catholic Cemeteries in Jefferson City since 1851”; and Ashley Hart, honorable mention for “Missouri Supreme Court.”

Heritage multimedia contest winners: Claire Kehoe, first place for “The Capitol: How It Started,” and Kelsey Brester, second place for “The Katy Trail State Park.”

Heritage art contest winners for sixth- to eighth-grades: Thomas Jefferson Middle School student Heather Brown, first place for “705 Washington Street” in watercolor; Thomas Jefferson student Patrick Rogers, second place for “Old West End School” in watercolor; Lighthouse Preparatory Academy student Jared Deutsch, third place for “Cole County Courthouse” in pencil; and St. Joseph student Sydney Nivens, honorable mention for “Governor’s Mansion” in pencil.”

Heritage art contest winners for ninth to 12th grades: Jefferson City High School student MaKayla Kutch, first place for “The Wall — Missouri State Penitentiary” in ink; Helias Catholic High School student Lydia Linsenbardt, second place for “Schmidt Apartments” in mixed media; Jefferson City student Kara Copeland, third place for “Buersmeyer House, 608 Broadway,” in acrylic; and Helias student Erica Prasad, honorable mention for “Missouri State Capitol” in watercolor.

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