On May 22, 2011, a catastrophic EF-5 tornado ripped through the heart of Joplin, Missouri. Estimated at three-quarters of a mile wide with winds in excess of 200 mph, the tornado devastated everything in its 13-mile path. More than 8,000 homes, schools, churches, and businesses were destroyed. Considered the nation’s deadliest tornado since 1947, the storm claimed the lives of 161 people and injured over 1,000.

Volunteers from across America immediately came to the aid of the community and its people. Their generous actions continue today. Rock a Joplin BowTie is part of that effort, designed to raise awareness and funds for rebuilding, while also providing a platform for community art.

Commissioned by George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, Rock a Joplin BowTie started with a community-wide design contest. Chosen from 200 designs, the winning BowTie was created by local artist Margie Moss to symbolize Joplin’s resilience in face of adversity and the resolve of its people to realize a new future.

For more information about the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, please visit spivaarts.org.