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story.lead_photo.caption Scott Joplin Photo by Submitted to the Texarkana Gazette / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA -- Because of coronavirus concerns, the Regional Music Heritage Center and Scott Joplin Support Group have canceled this year's Scott Joplin Birthday Celebration main gala.

The gala is held annually the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. The evening events will be rescheduled for November next year, including a guest performance by ragtime pianist Scott Kirby, according to a news release. Kirby has performed Joplin's music in Texarkana several times.

The groups still intend to honor Joplin's birthday by displaying and holding a silent auction with art painted by Missouri artist H.M. Fort Jr. titled "Scott Joplin at Orr School Texarkana." This will be shown at the 1894 Gallery downtown from Nov. 28 through Dec. 5.

"The work of art will be promoted online and on community broadcasts," the RMHC and Joplin Support Group stated.

Proceeds will benefit the skyscape art project "Music in the Air," which consists of lighted, music-themed artwork on downtown rooftops. The project is a joint endeavor of Scott Joplin Support Group and Main Street Texarkana.

During November, which is National Music Month, KTXK radio station will also air commercials inviting listeners to name the Scott Joplin songs being played for a chance to win dinner for two at several downtown Texarkana restaurants.

As well, the locally filmed 2017 Joplin Centennial documentary, "Scott Joplin - Texarkana Hometown Hero," will be shown on the Scott Joplin Support Group's Facebook page beginning Thanksgiving weekend.

"We are honored to again share this video co-production with local videographer, Marvin Williams. A sequel is in pre-production for 2021," the news release said.

- From the Regional Music Heritage Center and Scott Joplin Support Group

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