Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Áine O'Connor

Áine O’Connor joined St. Louis Public Radio in May 2015 and works on St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape as a Production Intern. Áine graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology. She was a DJ and Events Director at KWUR 90.3 FM and has previously worked with the online journal Religion & Politics and the tech startup incubator T-REX.

Áine appreciates road-tripping, researching, writing, hiking, and really good sandwiches. She is currently on the lookout for a grad program in the social sciences where she might enjoy all of the above.

Used with permission from Yale University Press. From Eero Saarinen Papers Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, Photograph by Richard Knight

Susan Saarinen remembers an unusually cluttered basement.

She and her brother Eric would weave their way through cardboard mock-ups of tram capsules, landscape designs, and chains, which hung from the ceiling to determine relationships between height and width in models of a single graceful curve.

“It’s a wonderful reminder of our past, and our ideals as we go forward,” she said of the Arch her father designed. “And it’s a perfect expression of what we can achieve if we are thoughtful, and consider making something beautiful.”

Flickr, Damian Gadal, creative commons

St. Louis native Danny Meyer recently rocked the restaurant world, making national news with his decision to eliminate tipping from his family of New York City restaurants.

Some have lauded Meyer’s decision as the first true step towards a more equal restaurant; others question its feasibility, predicting a mass exodus of servers and a reduction in service quality.

 2013 arch photo
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon

The Gateway Arch reaches the big 5-0 this year, and is thus deserving of citywide celebration — not only for its beautiful, imposing design, but because the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is one of St. Louis’ top tourist sites, attracting more than 2 million visitors every year.

While many duck into the Old Courthouse or explore the Mississippi River on the Becky Thatcher or the Tom Sawyer, the big draw is the Arch itself — all 630 feet of it.

(Courtesy of the artist)

This month, St. Louis-based video artist Zlatko Ćosić presents two simultaneous—but quite different—exhibits. In one, Ćosić closes a mournful and war-torn chapter of his life; in the other, he celebrates the mundane, lively, hidden world of a park.

Maxine Linehan is an Irish-born performer currently located in New York.
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Irish singer and actress Maxine Linehan wants you to remember your roots.

This weekend, Linehan joins the Gaslight Cabaret Festival with her performance, titled ‘An Irish Singer. A Journey to America. An Immigrant’s Story.” The story she sings is her own; but it is also, she stressed, universal.  

“I came here 15 years ago from Ireland,” Linehan said, “but what I find quite remarkable, every time we perform this show, is how people connect with my story because it’s their story, or their parents’ or their grandparents’.”

Bill Kreeb, president and CEO of Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, and Elizabeth Patton-Whiteside, public health administrator at the East Side Health District.
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

It has officially been 100 days without a budget in Illinois, said Amanda Vinicky, statehouse bureau chief at Illinois Public Radio. But the impasse between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled legislature predates that.

Rauner is the first Republican in the governor’s mansion in over a decade. He won election with a business-friendly, budget-balancing agenda and the quest to right the Illinois government’s past wrongs.

Candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon pose following their 1960 presidential debate.
Associated Press via Wikimedia Commons

Washington University was recently tapped — for the sixth time — to host a presidential debate next October, when the current, far-flung battlefield of candidates will be distilled to a ring for just two opponents.

Though it seems a lifetime away, the extraordinary popularity of the more recent GOP primary debates has many — including all those St. Louisans who will scramble for tickets to the candidate face-off this time next year — wondering how the eventual presidential debates might look. And it has some wondering, why do we care? Do debates even matter?

Gen. Darren W. McDew joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss his new position as head of U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base.
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

General Darren McDew assumed command of U.S. Transportation Command, known as USTRANSCOM, at Scott Air Force Base on August 26 at a potentially critical time for U.S. security.

Director of Sheldon Art Galleries Olivia Lahs-Gonzales joined artist Larry Krone to discuss Krone's exhibit at the Sheldon, "The Best, Best Everything."
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Nationally-known multimedia artist Larry Krone grew up in St. Louis, but has not returned for a major exhibition of his work since 2006. On Friday, Oct. 2, that changes when the Sheldon Art Galleries opens an exhibition of his pieces, which combine found textiles, graphics and craft materials with his own artistic stamp.

Alex Heuer, St. Louis Public Radio

Grand Center advertises itself as the intersection of the arts and life in St. Louis. Home to Powell Hall, the Fox Theatre, the Sheldon, and several other cultural institutions, Grand Center has the ‘arts’ half of that label taken care of. Now, Karin Hagaman, Grand Center, Inc.’s new president and CEO, wants to develop the ‘life’ half.

The St. Louis Chamber Chorus' composer-in-residence, Melissa Dunphy, smiles with artistic director Philip Barnes on "Cityscape."
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus begins its diamond jubilee season Sunday, September 27, in celebration of its long tradition of introducing a cappella music—familiar, unfamiliar, new, traditional—to St. Louis audiences.

St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson spoke about the 2015-16 season with "Cityscape" host Steve Potter.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

This season at the St. Louis Symphony, “music tells the stories,” said music director David Robertson.

Robertson joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the Symphony’s 136th season, which begins this weekend and runs through June of next year.

From left to right: Dan Lovings, Phillip Johnson, and Andy Krumsieg.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Crumbling homes, missing bricks, dangerous streets, and crushing poverty — these details make up the overwhelming narrative of north St. Louis often offered by national media, local media and popular perception.

But Dan Lovings, a longtime St. Louis resident, moved to north St. Louis with the intention of owning and putting money into a house there. He meant to build a good home, increase property values, and join and contribute to the neighborhood. But to do so, he found, would require some individual initiative.

Justin Saffell and Matt Walters of Foeder Crafters of America
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

Justin Saffell and Matt Walters are two newcomers on the vanguard of an old, old tradition: foeder-brewed beer.

Foeders (pronounced ‘fooders’) have been used in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe for centuries, said Catherine Klene, managing editor at Sauce Magazine, but Saffell and Walters claim to be the first—and only—all-American foeder-makers. They run Foeder Crafters of America, located in O’Fallon, Mo., and construct their foeders by hand—just the two of them.

Stephen Lord, Tim O'Leary, and Aubrey Allicock joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

In 1976, a small group of dedicated opera aficionados brought eleven performances of four operas, ranging from Mozart to Britten, to St. Louis.

The repertory was unconventional, and all the operas were performed in English rather than their original languages—unusual choices for traditional opera festivals, but choices that continue, 40 years later, to draw curious locals and dedicated foreign followers to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Pokey LaFarge
(Courtesy of the artist)

LouFest will present its sixth lineup of platinum artists and hometown musicians and all those in between on September 12-13, 2015. 

Since 2010, LouFest has been a small-town festival drawing big names; it celebrates St. Louis as much as the musicians that come to play here. It puts local names like Pokey LaFarge and Clockwork next to artists such as Hozier, Ludacris, and Billy Idol. And smaller bands with their own core following get a big stage and enthusiastic crowd in exchange for their travel to the Midwest.

ProPhoto STL

The story is a familiar one: Jerry, Dave, Harold, Ethan, Malcolm and “Horse” are unemployed steelworkers in dire need of some extra cash. To make ends meet, they enter the…male entertainment business.

Maybe it’s not so familiar. But in musical theatre, the steelworkers’ story presented in “The Full Monty” is a fan favorite. First made as a film in 1997, “The Full Monty” became a musical just three years later and quickly broke box office records. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2001 and ran for 770 performances.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The debate on ‘right to work’ was at the forefront of Missouri’s most recent legislative session. 

Mother Jones leading a Colorado march.
United Mine Workers of America (Courtesy Rosemary Feurer)

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, the “grandmother of all agitators,” emerged as an activist in the late 19th century during the country’s rash of mine and railway strikes.

Fighting for organizations such as the United Mine Workers of America during strikes, Jones organized a transnational, multi-ethnic movement in support of a living wage, restrictions on child labor and public ownership of resources. She came to be nationally known as a dissident, a “dangerous citizen,” and an unapologetic Bolshevik—later in life, she owned up to all three.

City circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce joined roundtable regulars William Freivogel and Mark Smith to discuss local and national issues of note.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The legal roundtable reconvened this week with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and plenty of local and regional topics to discuss. On the docket for local news: unconstitutional red light cameras, dual investigations into the shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey and eleventh-hour charges against Ferguson protesters and journalists. In national issues, the panelists covered the shooting of two Virginia reporters and arguments that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s takedown of Todd Akin was illegal—and asked, should prosecutors be elected or appointed?

Deborah Gambill and Ronald Montgomery display their collaborative effort, "Let's Heal STL."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

In November 2014 a St. Louis County grand jury ruled against indicting Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. Announcement of the decision sparked protest, and later on in the night, violence wracked Ferguson and parts of St. Louis.

Gallery 201 director Terry Suhre (left) talked with artists Brett Williams (middle) and Deborah Alma Wheeler (right) about their work in the exhibit "Exposure 18: Nervous Laughter."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

A trio of St. Louis-based artists featured at UMSL’s Gallery 210. Their work examines—and prompts—the kind of anxious and inappropriate reactions we display when a situation feels like it’s gone awry.

The exhibit, “Nervous Laughter,” is meant to engender some degree of unease for viewers; critiques of medicine and society, discussions on homosexual guilt and reason, and commentary on pop culture and the self are made with dark humor and subtle subversion. But the ultimate aim of the artists’ works is to snap viewers to attention and incite them to think.

Brian Owens joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Soul singer Brian Owens has called Ferguson home for about nine years and encapsulates his experience there as “interesting, frustrating,” and ultimately, “hopeful.”

Now, Owens capitalizes the “hopeful” part by presenting a Labor Day weekend concert. The Soul of Ferguson Community Festival is based on a simple idea, Owens said: unifying the community with healing, peace and music.

Jessica Liss (left), Michelle Smith (middle), and AJ Bockelman (right) joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Awareness of transgender individuals and trans* issues has grown substantially in the past couple of years, but for many people—transgender and cisgender alike—uncertainty still prevails.

Harris-Stowe State University president Dwaun Warmack joined "St. Louis on the Air" as part of its series on regional institutions of higher education.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Dwaun Warmack became president of Harris-Stowe State University in July 2014. Calling himself a “change agent,” Warmack told “St. Louis on the Air” last November that his first focus was on assessment: understanding the university he meant to guide.

Creative director Andrew Johnson (left), journalist Dominique Shields (middle), and illustrator Najee Person (right) are members of On the Money Magazine's core team.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Dominique Shields said she already had a basic knowledge of how to manage her money thanks largely to her mother, who was her “handbook” growing up. But Shields came to realize that she may have been uniquely lucky to have had that handbook.

“When I first started working here, I didn’t really realize that so many of my peers didn’t have that fundamental information about finances,” Shields said.

Prof. Sarah Gehlert (left) and Dr. Will Ross (right) discussed precision medicine in studio on "St. Louis on the Air."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Precision medicine, sometimes called personalized medicine, is a model of health care in which care, treatment, and medicines are customized to the individual—tailored, extraordinarily, to a person’s genetic code.

Precision medicine is lauded by some medical professionals and hopeful patients for its potential to elevate individual health, but some critics ask if precision medicine is being cast, to the cost and detriment of some groups, as a miracle cure.

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

The debate over school choice touches on complex questions of individual merit, public responsibility, and the oft-cited ‘right’ to a good education. It also touches close to home.

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton (left) spoke with education reporter Dale Singer (right) on "St. Louis on the Air."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday, students, faculty, and staff members of Washington University in St. Louis crossed campus for the first day of classes. They are a lucky bunch: Wash U. is one of the region’s—and the country’s—premiere universities, highly-ranked nationwide in areas from academic programs to student life to campus food options.

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