Erica Smith

Online Producer

Erica Smith is an online producer of St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape. Erica has worked in newsrooms in Indiana, Washington and Missouri, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A Missouri native, Erica has received local "best tweeter" honors, as well as national awards for design. 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.


St. Louis on the Air
1:34 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Law Professor Explores Racism, Equality in America

Patricia Williams

For Columbia University law professor Patricia Williams, many of today’s societal and political problems come down to us versus them.

“Racism almost rationalizes the irrational,” said Williams, who has written several books and articles exploring racism in America and will deliver three equality related lectures this week at Washington University.

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1:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Martin Sheen Kicks Off St. Louis Speaker Series

Martin Sheen
Credit via St. Louis Speakers Series

Actor Martin Sheen will kick off this year’s St. Louis Speaker Series on Oct. 7.

“I’m going to reflect on my career as an actor, but also as an activist, as a husband, a father, a grandfather,” Sheen said.

On-screen, Sheen is well-known for “Apocalypse Now,” “Badlands” and “The West Wing.” Producer Alex Heuer talked to Sheen on the 15th anniversary of the debut of “The West Wing.”

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1:30 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

#WithNormandy Concert Organizers Want To Help Community Heal

Timothy O'Leary, left, Duane Foster and Jermaine Smith discuss #WithNormandy, Sunday's community concert at Normandy High School.
Credit Erin Williams / Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

“We are all one in song,” said Duane Foster, which is the idea behind Sunday’s #WithNormandy: A Concert for Peace and Unity.

The Normandy High School Choir, directed by fine arts teacher Foster, will participate in the concert at the school, along with an all-star cast of performers that includes Denyce Graves, Christine Brewer, Julia Bullock, Erika Johnson, Derrell Acon and Jermaine Smith.

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1:24 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

St. Louis Virtuoso Launches Guitar Society Season

Douglas Niedt
Credit David Coblitz

Guitar virtuoso Douglas Niedt never really thought about making a living by playing the guitar; it just happened.

“My dad learned the guitar when he was in the Merchant Marines down in Mexico, Peru, South American countries,” said Niedt, a St. Louis native. “When they went into ports, he would take lessons from whoever was playing the guitar down there.”

When his father returned home, he taught Niedt’s older sister how to play.

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St. Louis on the Air
5:06 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Camp Gives Young Burn Survivors ‘Opportunity Of Freedom’

Linda Hansen
Credit via Burned Recover Support Group

The Missouri Children’s Burn Camp, which recently finished its 18th year, has all the activities you’d expect: swimming and boating, archery, and arts and crafts.

But its campers are all burn survivors, and this camp has a hidden agenda.

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St. Louis on the Air
5:02 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

After Rosie the Riveter: Labor, Women’s Movements Seek Fairness, Justice

A turret lathe operator machines parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corp. plant, Fort Worth, Texas, in October 1942.
Credit Library of Congress

Iconic Rosie the Riveter got a lot of attention during, and after, World War II, but women have always worked.

Before the war, women made up approximately 25 percent of the manufacturing workforce, said Alice Kessler-Harris, an American history professor at Columbia University. Except for the poorest, women often left the workforce when they got married or had children. That’s what the war changed.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:54 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Historian Explores St. Louis’ 250-Year Past In New Book

Fred Fausz
Credit University of Missouri–St. Louis

St. Louis founder Auguste Chouteau set out with a simple goal: he wanted to build one of the nation’s finest cities.

Historian Fred Fausz believes St. Louis is living up to that goal.

“I think the vibrancy of the city, the spirit of the city is still here, even if you have to include 90 other communities because we’ve created a metro area,” said Fausz, a University of Missouri–St. Louis associate history professor whose new book explores the area’s history, “Historic St. Louis: 250 Years Exploring New Frontiers.” “It is a truly vibrant city as the founders envisioned.”

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Marijuana Legalization
12:50 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

How Much Could Missouri Make From Legalizing Pot?

Credit (via Flickr/peter.a photography)

Illinois legalized medical marijuana in January. Missouri lawmakers tossed around a few marijuana bills in their last session. Voters in Alaska, Florida, Oregon and Washington, D.C., will cast ballots in November on marijuana initiatives.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:21 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Catching Up On Events In Ferguson

T-shirts supporting Ferguson are sold at the Ferguson Farmers Market.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The protests, town hall meetings and conversations continue, but six weeks after the shooting death of Michael Brown, there are still a lot of unanswered questions in Ferguson.

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3:35 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

‘Lovely Friendship’ Backbone To Album

Elizabeth Futral
Credit K Cadel / Colbert Artists Management

Soprano Elizabeth Futral and composer Philip Lasser can thank pianist Margo Garrett for their friendship, which spans nearly a decade.

“There was a third party that gave my songs to Elizabeth,” Lasser said. “Then as fate would have it, she was collaborating with Margo Garrett, who happens to be a colleague of mine at Juilliard and who had a studio at the time right across the hall from my studio. We met over these songs.”

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