Erica Smith

Online producer

Erica Smith is a journalist and digital media strategist and editor with a passion for using social media and online technology to tell stories, gather information and engage people. She is the online producer for St. Louis Public Radio’s talk shows, “St. Louis on the Air” and “Cityscape.” 

Smith previously led social media efforts at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She is the social media instructor at Media Now STL, a summer journalism camp for high school students; and works with college journalism students across the state. Smith has worked in graphic design at newspapers in Indiana, Washington and Missouri, and won several awards from the Society for News Design and the Society of Professional Journalists. She also has won “best tweeter” awards from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Riverfront Times. She likes typewriters, craft beer and cat memes; eats M&Ms in Roy G. Biv order; is a St. Louis Blues and Kansas City Royals fan; and often tweets about the weather.

photo of David Robertson, Stephanie Berg and Jeanne Sinquefield
Courtesy of the St. Louis Symphony

How old do you have to be to compose music? A University of Missouri–Columbia program is proving that students of any age can do it.

The Creating Original Music Project, now in its 10th year, is a statewide composition festival that recognizes work from students, kindergarteners to high school seniors. This year, 70 students applied. Of the 18 winners, eight are from the St. Louis area.

Marathon runner Rae Mohnrmann and Go! St. Louis founder Nancy Lieberman talk about the upcoming Go! marathon with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 2, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

At next weekend’s Go! marathon, Rae Mohrmann will run in her 100th marathon.

Mohrmann, of Ferguson, started running competitively when she was a 30-year-old mother. “I needed another goal,” she told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. But Mohrmann didn’t run in a marathon until she was 49. She’s now a 67-year-old grandmother, and has run marathons in all 50 states.

James Shuls, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, talk about summer learning opporunities for students with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 2, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

What are kids doing when school’s out for the summer? A new app will make finding summer camps, classes and activities easier for parents.

'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' author Carol Swartout Klein talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 1, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

How do you talk to young children about Ferguson and what happened?

“Painting for Peace in Ferguson” tries to explain it through the story of artists and residents who created paintings on the boarded-up doors and windows of local businesses. Many businesses in Ferguson and on South Grand in St. Louis were boarded up in response to and to prevent thefts, vandalism and fires after a grand jury’s declined to indict former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Ferguson Public Library Director Scott Bonner talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 1, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

In the days after the August shooting death of Michael Brown, the city of Ferguson was in turmoil. Schools closed. Many businesses closed. But at the city’s public library, director Scott Bonner’s motto was to just say yes.

Actor LeVar Burton is bringing Reading Rainbow back for the digital age thanks to a Kickstarter campaign.
readingrainbow.com

To say actor LeVar Burton likes libraries would be an understatement. And it’s not just because he was the host of “Reading Rainbow” for 26 years.

“I love libraries. I think libraries are really underutilized national resources,” Burton told “St. Louis on the Air” producer Katie Cook on Tuesday. “Libraries ensure that all citizens in this country have access to the knowledge, the information. Libraries are sanctuaries. They’re like churches for me.”

St. Louis certified public accountant Lance Weiss talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Tuesday at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

State and federal income taxes are due April 15, making this the time to be asking those pressing tax questions.

Ed Spevak / Saint Louis Zoo

Is it too early to plant carrots? What about tomatoes? And is there any use for those spiky sweetgum tree seeds?

Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturists June Hutson and Dana Rizzo were on-hand Monday to answer questions about spring gardening.

If you’re just getting started gardening, turn to the computer, Hutson said.

Soprano Sydney Mancasola, left, and conductor Ryan McAdams talk to 'Cityscape' host Steve Potter about the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' Opera Tastings program on March 27, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Interested in having a little food and wine with your opera? No problem.

The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Opera Tastings pair music with food and wine samples.

“It’s an opportunity for people who maybe haven’t been in direct contact with opera singers to experience it for the first time in a very intimate and very sort of delicious setting,” conductor Ryan McAdams told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “I’m still glowing from the indecent amount of fun we had last night.”

John Lithgow
Craig Schwatz / C Major Marketing & PR

Actor John Lithgow loves stories.

“Storytelling was a big part of my growing up. I’m sure that’s why I’m an actor,” Lithgow told “Cityscape” producer Alex Heuer. “Shakespeare had great stories, but all of us have great stories. If you sit down with anyone and ask them about their lives, they can bring you to tears or cripple you with laughter — we all have stories.”

That’s the secret to Lithgow’s one-man show “Stories by Heart,” which he brings to St. Louis on Saturday. In it, Lithgow tells stories about his life and shares stories by others.

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