SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– One Drury University student hopes to connect the Springfield community through the arts.

Her name is Nikki Pastor, and she’s responsible for bringing a national art exhibition called “Race In America” to her campus.

“Over the summer during the George Floyd protests that I came up with this idea,” Pastor said.

Pastor says she was outraged with what she was seeing in the media. 

“I felt like I needed to do something more than just donate and posting about it on social media.”

This need to do more birthed ‘Race In America.’ 

“This is something that our campus needs because the minority population here is very small, but yet we still are a big part of this campus and our voice is important, and I wanted to bring that here,” Pastor said. 

Pastor’s exhibit features artists from Springfield and other cities across the country, like Los Angeles and Fort Worth. 

“These works of art, they say so much,” Pastor said. “It’s their stories. It’s stories that we need to hear, and stories that we need to learn from and stories that we need to pass down.” 

Drury’s director of diversity, Rosalyn Thomas, says stories are powerful. 

“When students of color see this kind of work from artists from around the United States, it brings a particular kind of pride I think,” Thomas said. “To know there are folks out there who look just like them that can produce this kind of work.” 

The exhibit offers an opportunity for perceptions and stereotypes of minorities to be changed. 

“Having students like Nikki come forward and say this really bothered me,” Thomas said. “I have too many friends in this area, friends of color who I know. Instead of just thinking about it, she put her thoughts into action.” 

The exhibit is on display beginning this evening at 5 p.m. and will run until November 25.