Donna Korando

Arts & Culture, Voices Editor

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.

She was part of the original staff of the St. Louis Beacon where she worked with features and commentary articles, combining her experience at the Post-Dispatch. Those areas remain her focus.

In addition to a journalism degree from SIUC, Donna earned a master of studies in law from Yale Law School. Her son and daughter took to heart her advice to go away to college and live far from St. Louis. Two cats rule the house.

Ways to Connect

Philip Slein Gallery

According to the release from Philip Slein Gallery, Gary Stephen has had more than 70 solo shows and has received awards from the Whitney Biennial, the National Endowmen of the Arts and others. His work is now at the gallery at 4735 McPherson Ave through March 29.

To find out more, we went to a 2010 article by David Carrier in Art Critical about Stephan’s “Transcending Suburbia” show.

David Robertson conducting at Powell Hall.
Scott Ferguson

The St. Louis Symphony has announced that David Robertson’s contract as music director has been extended through the 2017-18 season. Robertson came to St. Louis in 2005.

Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Nebula sent the email: "When internationally acclaimed street artist Faring Purth arrived in St. Louis last week looking to paint, all signs pointed to Cherokee as a vibrant creative district that embraces public art. With generous support from the greater St. Louis community of art lovers we pulled together funding and a boom lift to make it happen. A few days later in 20 degree temps, the form of a giant 80’ mural is taking shape on the South wall of Nebula."

Who is Faring Purth?

The obituary headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch read, Trebor Tichenor: The man with the backwards name. His father, Robert, gave him a gift of distinction by inverting his own name for his son. His mother gave him an equally lasting gift: ragtime music.

She played in Letty’s Collegiate Syncopators in the 1930s and required him to learn piano.

Provided by SLAM

Word from the Art Museum sent me looking for more information.

First the release: “The Saint Louis Art Museum presents Anything but Civil: Kara Walker’s Vision of the Old South. Kara Walker, the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur fellowship in 1997, is internationally renowned for her black-paper cut-out silhouettes of the American South. The free exhibition opens in Galleries 234 and 235 on Feb. 26.”

Jill McGuire and Kelly McMahn with cakes
Bill Greenbaltt | UPI

Cakes – lots of cakes – will be distributed throughout the area. Finding the pieces of public art can be a fun family project.

NOTE: Because of the unloving weather on Valentine's Day, the Burning Love Festival will be held from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 18. The event will still include vendors, entertainment and the Burnin’ Love 25 foot Heart of Fire.

Burning Love | Feb. 14 | Art Hill

(Yes, there will be tents and warming stations)

4:30 – Family friendly crafts & activities

Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
Provided by the foundation

In a recent conversation with my daughter, who works in the arts, I said that I liked to know about the artist before seeing his or her work.

She disagreed, saying that the art should be experienced on its own by each person. Expectations could cloud the impressions created.

I understand her view, but coming into something cold makes me feel vulnerable (which I’m sure she would say is a good thing) and the journalist in me wants to have done homework.

Richard Hayman
St. Louis Symphony

Richard Hayman, whose corny jokes and flashy suits became essential parts of the Pops at Powell and Queeny pops concerts, died Feb. 5. He was 93 years old and, according to the Miami Herald, was in hospice care in New York.

Hayman came to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as its principal pops conductor in 1976. And as a release from the symphony notes, he also was a highly regarded arranger and composer.

John Cage

Last week, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra took over the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.

That symphony musicians play at the Pulitzer is not news. Ensembles have been bringing new works to the Grand Center neighbor for some time. But this time it was the entire orchestra and the work was a major piece by an American composer that had not be presented in this country before.

Bob Uecker, Rick Hummel and Robert Duffy were honored by the St. Louis Press Club on Jan. 21.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Tuesday night, the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis honored Rick Hummel, Post-Dispatch baseball columnist, with its Media Person of the Year award, and it bestowed Lifetime Achievement Awards on Bob Uecker, baseball announcer, and Bob Duffy, campaign director of St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon.

Was there a theme for the evening? Sports, sports, arts? Commentators? People whose work often touches those things that bring enjoyment to others?

OK. But what makes these folks stand out?

the jefferson statue in the Missouri History Museum
Chris Yunker | Creative Commons

1866 -Missouri Historical Society created. The private organization was started to save “from oblivion the early history of the city and the state.

1913 - Jefferson Memorial Building dedicated. It was built at the site of the main entrance to the 1904 World’s Fair with proceeds from that event.

1988 - Missouri History Museum joins the tax-supported Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District (1987 election). It retains its own board for day-to-day operations and a subdistrict board is added to oversee tax money.

Antonio French

First, a tribute to those who are trying to work as the snow piles up. But for many, though, it's been a day at home. Reports have come in of cookies baking, chili in Crock-Pots and books being ready by people curled up under warm throws.

We asked staff and friends to send us photos if they ventured out -- some stayed in and took their photos; others didn't venture far, except for the intrepid Robert W. Duffy. To share your pictures, email to

sign for medical marijuana
Wikimedia Commons

With the start of the new year, hundred of laws are taking effect in Illinois. The marquee issues include marijuana, cell phone use, sex education and littering. But all sorts of laws will become enforceable, dealing with everything from special license plates to health-and-safety requirements. For a comprehensive list, go to the Quincy Journal.

view of studio
Thomas Crone for the Beacon

The move of community radio station KDHX from the former bakery on Magnolia Avenue to the newly rehabbed building in Grand Center was completed Sunday. The "Songwriters Showcase" broadcast from the old station from 10 a.m. to noon.

 2013 arch photo
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon

Today officials are set to break ground on the Central Riverfront phase of the CityArchRiver project, which brings $23 million worth of improvements to Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard and which should be done by October 2015. Among the most visible improvements: Elevating the road out of the Mississippi River floodplain.

We're getting our basic information together for the general election page that will be going up fairly soon on the Beacon. And I was double checking the Illinois districts.

Shimkus, check. Opposed.

Costello, check. Opposed.

Hare, hmmm. I haven't been following Illinois politics as closely as I once did. Who is Hare? He was first elected in 2006 and was unopposed in 2008. Since the race wasn't contested two years ago, he was under my radar screen.

I just opened an email from Rachelle L'Ecuyer, the excellent PR master for Maplewood. Part of this missive directed late night/early morning folks to Tiffany's Original Diner. According to L'Ecuyer, "Here you can indulge in made to order eggs, fries, burgers and great milkshakes. Plus, while your eggs are frying, you can pop a dollar in the jukebox and be serenaded by your favorite Classic Rock tunes."

Dollar?!? Jukebox?

From Lafayette Park Conservancy

The Benton statue was dedicated 140 years ago.


Harriet Hosmer was an artist who had to fight for the right to learn her craft. She was able to attend medical school and learn anatomy only because of the intervention of St. Louisan Wayman Crow. (Click here to read the Beacon story .)