Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Mary Edwards

Executive Talk Show Producer, St. Louis Symphony Producer

Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years, and is currently Executive Producer of  St. Louis Public Radio’s local talk/call-in show, “St. Louis on the Air," and producer of the live Saturday night broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012.

Ways to Connect

In the late 1980’s, British playwright Alan Bennett produced a series of monologues featuring the best actors in England for BBC Radio.  From the time director Lana Pepper heard Maggie Smith in “A Bed Among the Lentils” in the early 1990’s, she was fascinated by the project and searched out others in the series.  Now thirty years later, she is fulfilling a dream by staging three of them in a production for St. Louis Actors’ Studio, “Talking Heads.” She also hopes to some day stage the other nine Bennett monologues.

(via Flickr / Daniel P Davis)

Magdalene is a residential program which provides services to women who are involved in prostitution, trafficking and addiction.

The program was founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Christopher Buchanan / Insignia Films

When Twin Cities Public Television, tpt National Productions and Insignia Films wanted to produce a documentary series for PBS examining what the Constitution means in the 21st Century, they didn’t take the conventional route.  Instead of rounding up a number of experts who would talk on a studio set in front of book cases, they asked the host of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me to get on a red, white and blue Harley Davidson and travel across the country.

When anonymity is one of the major tenets of the best known addiction recovery organization, it seems incongruous that Greg Williams, a person in long-term recovery from drug abuse, is urging others like him to publicly disclose their status.  He believes that is the answer to counter the stigma that is still prevalent toward addiction and treatment for it.  He is so certain that he is right that he has devoted months of his life to “The Anonymous People,” a film documenting the many “game changers” as he calls them, people who are willing to be open about their success with recovery.


Rob Koenig is the St. Louis Beacon’s Washington D.C. correspondent.

Host Don Marsh talked with Koenig, as he visits St. Louis, about the current state of affairs of regional interest in Washington D.C.

They discussed the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would impact online sales tax, gun control, the ongoing conflict in Syria and other issues.

Follow St. Louis on the Air on Twitter - @STLonAir

(Courtesy: The Nine Network)

Journalist Stone Phillips grew up in Ballwin, Missouri and graduated from Parkway West High School.

Phillips spent 15 years at NBC News as a co-host of Dateline NBC and served as a substitute host for NBC Nightly News, Today and Meet the Press.  He now does reports on his own time at the website, Stone Phillips Reports.

Christian Steiner

Renowned soprano Christine Brewer sings in concert halls and opera houses all over the world.  Her recent travels have taken her to Australia, New Zealand, Dubay, and Great Britain as well as numerous cities in the United States.  But once a year, the Illinois native returns to her “home town” to perform with the St. Louis Symphony.

Two-time Tony award winner and Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz is the seventh of eleven children who grew up in St.

(Courtesy: Regional Arts Commission)

St. Louis native Michael Drummond is a fashion designer.  You may recognize him from his appearance a few years ago on the Lifetime television series Project Runway.

Drummond is the curator of a new exhibition at The Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission.  The exhibition, Dressed, features the work of four local residents, Bob Trump, Laura Kathleen, Marie McInerney and Deborah Pontious.  It’s meant to highlight the combination of fashion and art as well as the growth of St. Louis fashion.

(via Flickr/Reading Tom)

The St. Louis region is rich with architecturally significant and interesting structures and buildings.

There is a mix of traditional American, European and other foreign influences, side by side with a reflection of a more modern style.

The Gateway Arch often draws the most attention as the architectural focal point of St. Louis but many other structures such as the Wainwright Building, one of the world’s first skyscrapers built in 1892, and the Eads Bridge are significant.  Plus, many St. Louis’ neighborhoods are architecturally rich.

Field of students at a graduation
j.o.h.n. walker | Flickr

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is launching a collaborative initiative to increase the percentage of the area’s workforce which has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Thirty percent of adults in the St. Louis region have at least a bachelor’s degree, ranking it 14th among the nation’s metropolitan areas.  That’s just behind Los Angeles and ahead of Houston, according to U.S. Census estimates.  Meanwhile, decades of slow population growth place St. Louis as the 19th most populated region.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Now that it appears that Spring has arrived in the St. Louis region, the thoughts of many residents are turning to gardening.  Efforts thus far have been frustrating for many because of the varying temperatures and large amount of rain.  Many have delayed their Spring planting, and those who haven’t may find that the few warm days caused vegetables to flower prematurely and that the cold temperatures at night have harmed them.

Nadine Markova

Illness is an unfortunate part of the human condition.  At one time or another all of us come to know a friend or relative who is sick.

How should we react?  What should we do?  Should we visit? How long should the visit be?

Host Don Marsh talked with Letty Cottin Pogrebin about these issues and more.  Pogrebin is the author of How to be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick.  She says illness is friendship’s proving ground.

For the 34th year, the University of Missouri – St. Louis School of Professional and Continuing Studies presents a four-day festival highlighting the art of storytelling.  From May 1 – 4, six featured storytellers from across the nation join fifty storytellers from the St. Louis region to present more than one hundred events  in a host of locations including the Gateway Arch, the Missouri History Museum and numerous libraries, parks and bookstores in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties.

Cory Weaver

In the late 1990’s Eastman School of Music students Gavin Chuck and Alan Pierson saw the need for a top notch ensemble to perform their compositions and other contemporary music.  They set to work and formed the student ensemble Ossia.  One of their more notable concerts was one in 1999 that featured music by Steve Reich which the composer attended. After the concert, Reich expressed to the group his desire for an American new music ensemble that would be equivalent to England’s London Sinfonietta or Germany’s Ensemble Modern.

Carmen Troesser

St. Louis is home to many Thai restaurants but the cuisine of the Southeast Asian country of Thailand is diverse.

Roughly, there are four food regions in the country - northern, northeast, central (Bangkok) and southern, according to Phatcharin Wanna, the owner/chef of a new Thai restaurant in the Delmar Loop.

Lauer Architecture

A few years ago, St. Louis non-profit organization Beloved Streets of America conducted a study about streets throughout the country which bear the name of Martin Luther King Jr.

The study found the majority of MLK streets are unsafe and crime-ridden.  Many are “located in distressed neighborhoods, considered areas where predominately poor blacks live, and viewed as places where whites and non-blacks seldom travel,” according to the organization.

Stephen Cummings | Flickr

An abundance of prescription medication goes unused or is expired and is at risk of being abused.

This Saturday, April 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds the sixth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

(Courtesy: The Publishers, PublicAffairs)

Baseball and St. Louis go together like beer and brats, and the relationship between the city and sport began more than 130 years ago.

Chris Von der Ahe, a German grocer and beer-garden proprietor, risked his life savings in the 1880s, when he founded the franchise that would become today’s St. Louis Cardinals.

As author Edward Achorn describes in his newest book, Von der Ahe knew little about baseball but would become one of the most important and amusing figures in the game’s history.

US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

Dementia is the broad term which refers to diseases which result in a significant loss of cognitive ability.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the worst manifestations of dementia.

A symposium at Washington University in St. Louis this week aims to be a gathering place for people struggling to find balance and dignity among the chaos of dementia.

(Mike Matney)

Legal questions surround the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was captured on Friday.

What is the role of the public safety exception as it relates to Miranda rights? Were civil rights violated as a result of the lockdown?  Should Tsarnaev be tried as an enemy combatant as some Republican legislators have suggested?

The questions surrounding the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombing were discussed by a panel of legal experts, as part of our monthly legal roundtable discussion.

The panelists included:

Wikimedia Commons

Each Spring, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis stages a play by the Bard in an area of Forest Park just east of the St. Louis Art Museum.  This year, the production is Twelfth Night which will run nightly except Tuesdays from May 24 through June 16. But before rehearsals for the main event even begin, the organization is active with pre-season offerings.

Sandra Calvo

Cellist Bjorn Ranheim and violinist Shawn Weil are colleagues in the St. Louis Symphony.  Double bassist Syd Rodway and composer/keyboardist Adam Maness are members of the Erin Bode Group.  They got to know each other when Ranheim and Weil collaborated with the Erin Bode Group and also shared an interest in good food and fine beer. 

What builds your trust in the news media? On Friday's Behind the Headlines, we'll discuss with local newsmakers and a researcher who studies media trust.
Flickr |NS Newsflash

Each year, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism releases a report about the state of the news media.

The Center’s report for 2013 shows the newspaper industry is down significantly, specifically employment, which is down “30 percent since 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978.”

The report identifies six major trends:

Girls on the Run

In 1996, Molly Barker wanted to give girls the tools necessary to help them navigate through the challenges of adolescence and chart their course to healthy lives as adults.  She started with 13 girls in Charlotte, North Carolina using a curriculum in which the main tool was running.  The organization that resulted, Girls on the Run, now serves 120,000 girls a year in 170 branches all over the country.

Marion S. Trikosko via Wikimedia Commons

In 1996, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the same place where almost 50 years earlier, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech.  During her visit, Thatcher gave a speech that still has relevance today, especially in light of the continuing threat of nuclear weapons by North Korea.

Saint Louis Science Center

In 1961, a parent of one of Charles Schweighauser’s students told him that a planetarium was being built in Forest Park and suggested that he apply for the job of director.  He figured that he was too young, but applied anyway.  Much to his surprise, he was hired the day before his 25th birthday.  Almost two years later, on April 16, 1963, the James S. McDonnell Planetarium opened its doors giving St. Louisans a state-of-the art way to view the universe in its star chamber.  The space race between the U.S.

Bobby McFerrin is a multi-faceted vocalist.  A 10-time Grammy winner, he has blurred the lines between pop music and fine art and has inspired a generation of a cappella singers.  He is best known for his hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, which explores the limits of the human voice.  But while he is certainly pleased with the song’s success, he does not want to be defined by it.

Stephen Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University and senior fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.  In addition, he blogs for CNN’s Belief Blog and writes for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today  and The Washington Post.  He is also the author of several books.  His most recent one is The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide and Define A Nation.

From April 18th through 20th, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival will bring some of the greatest names in professional jazz to the stage as well as provide training opportunities for some 800 students.  In its tenth year, the festival has grown to be one of the most significant festivals in the Midwest.  Founded in 2004 by the University of Missouri – St. Louis and the Touhill Performing Arts Center, the festival last year added a partnership with Jazz St. Louis.