Visionaries lead town forward
The small town of Hannibal has three institutions that make major contributions to America’s heritage. Each of these institutions has a talented, dynamic leader, and the contributions of each is helping to make Hannibal a town which is gaining attention all over the United States.
Today, I will introduce the first leader.
Michael Gaines, the Hannibal Arts Council director, has been in that position for 19 years. During his leadership, the Arts Council has expanded its scope, realizing its most important goal of being a community-driven organization.
The Arts Council has physically moved from a beautiful old house on Hill Street to a thriving city site at the wedge, and now to an historic, beautifully restored site at a strategic location in Hannibal’s downtown. With each move, the HAC has expanded its programs to include art openings, music events, children’s programs, cultural events, and community improvement outreach.
Michael is also director of Missouri Arts Council statewide.
Hannibal’s Arts Council consistently ranks in the top three Arts Councils in Missouri.
Hannibal seems to spawn visionaries, including many of us who live here, but visionaries with the ability to create and foster lasting institutions, who are willing to do the hard work and dedicate their energy to projects whose value can not always be measured in dollars and cents, but rather, in enhancing our rich culture, deserve to be praised.
Next nominee: Mark Twain’s legacy.

Candace Klemann