Nonprofit organizations and state bodies are already planning a celebration of 200 years of Missouri history and culture when the state reaches its bicentennial in 2021.

Michael Sweeney of the State Historical Society of Missouri is leading the planning for the bicentennial. He told the Columbia Missourian that the celebrations won’t just look to the past but will also consider the future of Missouri.

“As much as we are a history-based organization, in many ways, this is not about history,” Sweeney said. “It’s about Missouri’s third century, and why this is a place you want to call home.”

Missouri became the 24th state on Aug. 10, 1821.

Residents can get involved in a variety of community engagement projects to mark the state’s 200-year anniversary.

The State Historical Society and the Missouri Star Quilt Company are working together to create a bicentennial quilt, which will consist of block submissions from all of Missouri’s counties. Residents can also submit photographs to the “My Missouri 2021 Photograph Project,” which aims to “build a permanent visual record of Missouri at its bicentennial of statehood,” according to its website.

The Historical Society is also creating an online encyclopedia that will provide information on the important people, events and places that have shaped the state.

The Missouri Humanities Council plans to run a penny drive to raise funds to conserve the state’s founding documents.

The preparations are being supervised by the Bicentennial Alliance, which includes the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, the Missouri Arts Council and the Missouri State Fair.

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