Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Evie Hemphill

St. Louis on the Air Producer

Evie Hemphill joined the St. Louis on the Air team in February 2018. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2005, she started her career as a reporter for the Westminster Window in Colorado. Several years later she went on to pursue graduate work in creative writing at the University of Wyoming and moved to St. Louis upon earning an MFA in the spring of 2010. She worked as writer and editor for Washington University Libraries until 2014 and then spent several more years in public relations for the University of Missouri–St. Louis before making the shift to St. Louis Public Radio.

When she’s not helping to produce the talk show, Evie can typically be found navigating the city sans car, volunteering for St. Louis BWorks or trying to get the majority of the dance steps correct as a member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois. She’s married to Joe, cat-mom to Dash and rather obsessive about doubt, certitude and the places where refuge and risk intersect.

Stacie Lents, Rachel Tibbetts and Christopher Limber talk about artistic approaches to rehabilitation for incarcerated women.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A creative collaboration between a nationally known playwright and a group of women incarcerated in Vandalia, Missouri, is bringing new voices and stories to St. Louis theater-goers with the production “Run-On Sentence.”

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the initiative, which is a partnership between Prison Performing Arts and the award-winning SATE Ensemble.

The effort aims to move and entertain audiences and extend public awareness, particularly about the effects of incarceration and innovative, artistic approaches to rehabilitation.

Local historian NiNi Harris is the author of 14 volumes focused on the Gateway City’s history and architecture. She joined Thursday’s talk show to share highlights from her latest published work, “This Used to Be St. Louis.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When NiNi Harris isn’t busy writing, she’s most likely reading – old documents such as city directories, that is.

“It sounds like I have a pretty boring life, doesn’t it?” the local historian said with a laugh on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “I read old census records.”

But it’s that very attention to such records that has led Harris to some of the most fascinating stories she tells in her books – 14 of which she’s published thus far.

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” international journalist and St. Louis native Daniel Estrin (at left) talked with host Don Marsh in front of a live audience at St. Louis Public Radio.
Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Like other journalists based in Jerusalem and the region surrounding the ancient city, Daniel Estrin is often associated with one overarching, ongoing news headline: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He’s covered many of the latest developments within that continuing story during his time reporting in the Middle East. But there have been many other stories for him to tell over the course of that decade, too.

“Every day surprises me there,” the NPR correspondent and St. Louis native said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “You meet so many different voices and so many different perspectives … and oftentimes you’ll hear, ‘The Israelis think this, the Palestinians think that.’ But actually there are so many different perspectives among Palestinians. There are so many different perspectives among Israelis. And that’s the kind of texture that I like to bring out in my reporting.”

Tom Stockman, a self-described movie geek, joined Friday’s show for a look back at the heyday of St. Louis’ drive-in movie theaters, two of which still exist within an hour’s drive of the city.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Tom Stockman estimates that back in 1961 – the year he was born – about 4,100 drive-in movie theaters dotted the U.S. landscape. Now their ranks have dwindled to a total of roughly 350.

66 Park-in, The Airway Twin, Holiday – these and most other St. Louis-area outdoor theaters that were all the rage in the Gateway City several decades ago have disappeared. Much of the industry’s demise locally had to do with real estate, Stockman said on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Curator Sharon Smith notes that roughly 55 million people have attended shows at the Muny in Forest Park over the course of the outdoor theater’s 99 seasons thus far.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Muny marks its centennial season of outdoor musical theater, another Forest Park mainstay is also celebrating the milestone – with “Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage.” That show opens Saturday at the Missouri History Museum.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh offered listeners a sneak peek at the new exhibit, which explores the Muny from many different perspectives. Joining him for the discussion was curator Sharon Smith.

Ryan Dowis (at left) and Melanie Scheetz joined Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air” to discuss current challenges facing the region’s most vulnerable youth and those who care for them.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in two decades, a growing number of children in St. Louis and Missouri are in foster care, and the opioid epidemic is a driving factor.

“[The number of children in foster care] had really been declining for many years, and especially in the St. Louis region but all across Missouri we saw fewer and fewer children in the system,” Melanie Scheetz, executive director of the St. Louis-based Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, said Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air. “Obviously that’s our goal – not to have children in the foster-care system. But unfortunately, when we have parents with substance-abuse issues, especially opioids, we see more kids coming into care.”

Emily Webb (1976-2018) began clogging as a young girl in St. Charles, Missouri. Family members and fellow cloggers joined “St. Louis on the Air” this week in remembrance of her love for the American folk dance.
Thunder & Lightning Cloggers

About three months ago, Emily Webb and her six children were traveling along Route 3 in Columbia, Illinois, when a large truck struck their SUV, killing 41-year-old Webb and leaving a huge void among her family and friends.

She is remembered as a beloved wife and mother. She was also a big part of the St. Louis region’s clogging community and an active member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois.

Calvin Lai is an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University as well as the director of research for Project Implicit.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In April, the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia sparked outrage across the U.S. The incident prompted the company’s announcement that it would close thousands of stores for one afternoon this spring in order to conduct nationwide training on implicit biases.

As that training got underway on Tuesday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh talked with Washington University’s Calvin Lai, who is the director of research for Project Implicit.

An assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, Lai is interested in thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness or control. Those thoughts and feelings can influence how we make sense of and judge other people, Lai said, and are reflective of “both the culture and the person.”

Latasha Johnson’s story is at the heart of a new “We Live Here” episode and a legal case that aims to level the playing field between Missouri tenants and landlords.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

What makes a particular place a liveable one?

That’s the question at the center of “Housing Defenders,” We Live Here’s newly released episode. It explores legal issues facing St. Louis landlords and tenants and is part of the podcast’s broader focus on fair and affordable housing this season.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with We Live Here co-host/producer Tim Lloyd about why such concerns are especially relevant for renters on a local level and how several attorneys are working on their behalf to try and change things.

Joining Wednesday’s show for a conversation about the many summer programming options for children in Missouri and Illinois were (from left) Allie Cicotte, Mary Rogers and Vicki Lang.
St. Louis Public Radio and Camp Little Giant

Summer camp is a tradition that stretches across generations and geographies – and these days, all sorts of interests, too. From cooking to cybersecurity, there’s a camp option for everybody.

That’s according to Allie Cicotte, senior programs manager for Blueprint4SummerSTL, a web app designed to make finding that perfect camp easier on families.

“Yesterday I was just on the phone with a mom who called and said she was looking for a water-polo camp for a 13-year-old, and I sort of sighed and thought, ‘I don’t know,’” Cicotte recalled on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “[But] I put in the search, and there were five water-polo camps for a 13-year-old in St. Louis.”

Augustus Tolton was born into slavery in Missouri in 1854 and is considered to have been the first African-American priest in the United States. He ministered in Quincy, Illinois.
Wikimedia Commons

A diverse group of people were once parishioners under the ministry of Father Augustus Tolton in Quincy, Illinois, during the late 19th century. That is until the African-American priest was advised to get out of town. Tolton, who would eventually return to be buried in Quincy, suffered much controversy and isolation in his day.

“Through it all, he kept open arms for everyone, white or black,” Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, said during St. Louis on the Air, “and was kind of mistreated because of that openness and accused of creating a situation of integration that society and the church was not ready for.”

Local experts in telehealth care (from left) Dr. Jennifer Wessels, Colleen Berding and Melissa Douglass addressed some of the latest developments within the growing field.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Collectively speaking, we’re living more and more of our lives virtually, and that includes the ways in which we seek out medical care.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the ways that telehealth care is evolving and growing as an option among patients and providers.

Joining the conversation were Colleen Berding, telehealth program manager for the VA St. Louis Health Care System; Melissa Douglass, owner of Goal Driven Counseling and a recent University of Missouri-St. Louis social work alumna; and Dr. Jennifer Wessels, who is leading SSM Health’s newly launched telemedicine program with its primary care physicians.

Joining Don Marsh (at left) for a conversation about pool safety this week were (from center left) Emily Wujcik, Stephe McCormick, Birch McMullin and Lisa McMullin.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Many years have passed since one of Lisa McMullin’s children tragically drowned during a family pool party on a warm September day back in 1982. Yet her memory of what occurred is still vivid.

“Nicholas got up from his nap – all the kids but one were out of the pool – and somehow he fell in,” she recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “There were adults there, there were children there, but if there’s not a designated person to watch, you can have a situation like that all too easily. And it happens very fast. It happens silently, almost invisibly, and so I feel very strongly about sharing that story in order to help other parents avoid that situation.”

Lona Luo, originally from rural China, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh and Sauce Magazine’s Matt Sorrell for a conversation about the success of her restaurant, Lona’s Lil Eats.
Virginia Harold | Sauce Magazine

Two key ingredients make up Lona Luo’s philosophy at her popular Chinese eatery in St. Louis’ Fox Park neighborhood: great food and excellent service.

The Lona’s Lil Eats chef suspects that both had something to do with her being named a James Beard Award semifinalist earlier this year.

“That’s what they are looking for all the time, no matter what, no matter where,” Luo said of the recent recognition during a conversation this week on St. Louis on the Air.

LimeBike
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

The month of May is National Bike Month, and St. Louis just launched a bike-share initiative, with two companies – LimeBike and Ofo – now operating dockless systems in the region.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a conversation on the topic of bike safety in light of the recent arrival of the bright yellow and green bikes around town and the presence of more cyclists in general on local streets as temperatures climb.

Joining host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s show to unpack the developments of the past 24 hours were (from left) St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann, former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice Michael Wolff and STLPR reporter Jason Rosenbaum.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the surprising turn of events that made headlines late Monday afternoon in the continuing legal saga surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

As St. Louis Public Radio reported Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Greitens after the prosecutor was herself endorsed as a witness in the case. The news came with jury selection for the trial already well underway.

River Styx editor Jason Lee Brown (at left) and writer Adrian Todd Zuniga discussed the magazine’s 2018 Literary Feast on Friday’s show
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

River Styx, St. Louis’ oldest literary magazine, will release its 100th issue this summer. And while that’s a big milestone on its own, the 43-year-old organization has lots to celebrate even beyond the long existence of the biannual publication itself.

That’s according to River Styx’s new editor, Jason Lee Brown, who took the reins back in November.

Proceeds from Denise Thimes’ performance this Sunday at UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center will help to support the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Much like Mother’s Day itself, Denise Thimes’ benefit concert that takes place during the annual celebration of moms has grown into a recurring and anticipated event.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with the jazz great about this year’s iteration, which is set for Sunday evening at the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Touhill Performing Arts Center.

It will benefit the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Thimes founded and named the foundation in remembrance of her mother, who died of the disease in 1997.

Carrie Houk (left) and Henry Palkes (right) talked about the  third annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The third annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis gets underway later this week in honor of a legendary American playwright, poet and artist who spent many formative years in the Gateway City.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed some of the highlights of this year’s lineup in celebration of Williams.

Benjamin Hochman describes his book, “The Big 50: St. Louis Cardinals,” as “an homage … to everyone and everything that makes St. Louis a rich and rarified baseball community.” May 8, 2018
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s no sports town quite like St. Louis, if you ask native Benjamin Hochman, and that’s what makes his new volume about the St. Louis Cardinals almost more love letter than book.

“My first lullaby was Jack Buck’s voice, if you will, and I’ve always just appreciated the connection between the team and the people here,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “I’ve lived in other sports cities, and there’s nothing like St. Louis and baseball.”

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