For many who attend the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival this week, they will take away memories of the event that will last a lifetime.
Visitors may want to find a way to share those memories with family and friends back home or may want to have a tangible keepsake of their visit to Sedalia and the concerts.
The Scott Joplin Ragtime Store, located in the West Lobby of the Liberty Center in the Joe Fischer Gallery, offers a full line of commemorative merchandise as well as a wealth of CDs and sheet music.
“This year’s event is a collaboration between three organizations,” said Deb Biermann, executive director of the Sedalia Heritage Foundation and an ex-officio member of the Scott Joplin Foundation. The Scott Joplin Foundation’s primary role is to produce the festival each year.
“The Sedalia Heritage Foundation is responsible for the Ragtime Archives and preserving and interpreting the history of ragtime and the event,” Biermann added. “The Liberty Center Association for the Arts is the operating performing arts center and is the cultural arts destination for the Festival.
In planning the 2016 Festival, Biermann said it just made sense for everyone to join forces.
“The offices for the Joplin Foundation have moved to the Liberty Center and so the question came up of what do we do with the Ragtime Store,” Biermann said. “The store is only open during the Festival and so it just made sense to relocate it to the Liberty Center since many of the performances are there.
“Once the Festival is over some of the items may come to the depot and will be sold on consignments here,” she added. “There are some individuals who can’t make it to the Festival but would still like to have a keepsake from the event so we are happy to help out with that.”
Biermann said all of the proceeds from sales at the Ragtime Store were given to the Scott Joplin Foundation and were used to support the festival.
Funds from items, such as the limited edition Christmas ornaments that are only sold at the Katy Depot Store, benefit the Ragtime Archives Project at the Sedalia Heritage Foundation.
“All of the sales go back to supporting and preserving ragtime and the festival,” Biermann said.
The Ragtime Store offers a number of items for visitors to choose from including CDs of all the performers at this year’s festival as well as other noted ragtime artists.
“Some people may not realize the extreme and tremendous talent that is at the Festival each year,” Biermann said. “We have artists who have played at Carnegie Hall as well as international stages across the world.
“We also have a wide range of sheet music available for sale,” she added. “A lot of these artists write their own music, which visitors may not be aware of.”
Biermann added that the Ragtime Store would also have some books available including a re-released edition of “King of Ragtime,” and three other additions that should spark readers’ attention including an autobiographical historical novel.
The store also features a collection of mugs, magnets, T-shirts and postcards and will again have commemorative posters and banners for sale.
The Ragtime Store is located in the West Lobby of the Liberty Center, 111 W. Fifth St. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484