Nancy Fowler

Arts and Culture Reporter

Nancy Fowler is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, with a particular delight in the stories of people working in that intersection.

She received a regional Emmy Award for news writing at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, and the Pride St. Louis' Felton T. Day Award for service to St. Louis' LGBT community. Her numerous fellowships include USC Annenberg’s NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater, and the Wake Forest University Addiction Studies Program for Journalists.

Email her: NFowler@STLPublicRadio.org

Follow her on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL

Our preview of the exhibits opening Friday at CAM includes video of artist Joyce Pensato doing what she loves most: playing with paint, and a look at the work of  Nicole Eisenman.

The title “I Killed Kenny” smacks of death in its reference to the recurring demise of the "South Park" icon. But the exhibit's more about Brooklyn artist Joyce Pensato bringing new life to animated characters ranging from Homer Simpson to Mickey Mouse.

photo of Damon Davis
Jo Vonda Winters

A project designed as a bridge across Delmar Boulevard begins construction this week and should be in place in early February. It's a contemporary concept with a low-tech twist: hand-delivered letters.

The “Wailing Wall,” envisioned by local musician and artist Damon Davis, was chosen last August from among other entries in a contest of ideas to address what’s known as the Delmar Divide. The term refers to income inequality north and south of Delmar Boulevard.

Vanity Projects

Using words like “play” and “permissiveness” in its promotional materials, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts wants to make sure St. Louisans know it's operating on a different frequency in the upcoming “Reset” program.

photo of Em Piro
Courtesy of Em Piro

If you or your group is seeking a spot in St. Louis' 2014 Fringe Festival of performing arts, you’d better have your fingers on the keyboard Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. sharp.

Last year, available slots for online submissions filled up in less than two seconds, according to Fringe founder Em Piro.

James McAnally
Provided by M. McAnally

The Luminary Center for the Arts credits numerous supporters, volunteers and long-range thinking for the purchase of its own building.

To be successful in the arts, a business head can be as important as a creative mind.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Update 1:05 p.m.

The Missouri History Museum has chosen a finalist to become its president. In a meeting this morning, the board of trustees and commissioners of the Zoo-Museum subdistrict approved a candidate recommended by a committee. The finalist's name has not been released.

The next step is contract negotiations. The talks will take place among the candidate, board chair John Roberts and commission chair Romondous Stover.

Our previous story:

EAC/Portfolio’s “Ebony Creations”

St. Louis-area art openings this Friday explore the beauty of nature, teapots and African-American works. “Ebony Creations” is a joint project of Portfolio Gallery and the Edwardsville Arts Center.

Courtesy of the Black Rep

The actual meeting never happened. But “The Meeting,” opening Wednesday, dramatizes the “what ifs” of a one-hour conversation between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

The Black Rep will stage its presentation of “The Meeting” through Jan. 26 in its 37th-season home at Harris-Stowe State University.

Scott Rackers

The Sheldon Art Galleries in Grand Center is asking for photographs documenting St. Louis, as the city celebrates 250 years.

The Arch, Busch Stadium and the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park are among the usual suspects when it comes to picturing St. Louis. But the same-old, same-old won’t cut it in a photography contest focused on the city at 250.

Courtesy of Poetry Scores

Poetry Scores, an organization translating poems into different media, is asking St. Louisans to picture themselves through the lines of a Greek psychoanalyst.

On the Metrolink, in bars and even at funerals, cell-phone photographers are capturing selfies -- self-portraits -- usually bound for Facebook, Instagram and other social media. But now, they now have a more poetic destination.

WikiCommons

Same-sex marriage in Illinois was the cherry on top of the cake of advancements for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the St. Louis area in 2013. But for those who oppose the marriage of two men or two women, it was more of a cherry bomb.

Regional Arts Commission

Whether they were on stage, leaning into the kiln or creatively advocating for justice, it was a banner year for many local artists.

The Regional Arts Commission this year began an unprecedented awarding of money
to St. Louis-area artists through its Artists Count program. Dozens of visual, performing and literary artists were given grants of between $500 and $3,000 for specific projects.

First Night 2013 poster
Courtesy First Night

Grand Center has a two-pronged approach for luring more revelers to its “First Night” New Year’s Eve party this year.

Organizers look to active entertainment to bring in the families and a wide spectrum of participants. And they hope a more mature late-night lineup will attract teenagers and adults without children.

Wikipedia

A report released this afternoon by St. Louis city prosecutor Jennifer Joyce has cleared the Missouri History Museum of all allegations of criminal activity. But the report also scolded the museum for questionable behaviors.

Provided by Perennial

A local program re-purposing broken chairs helps heal women with criminal convictions as they prepare to re-enter society.

The hit TV series “Orange Is the New Black” explores the lives of women behind bars. But even after their release, orange remains an important color to some of St. Louis' former female inmates. So do purple, green and the entire rainbow.

photo of John Roberts
Provided by Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum could name a new president early next month after narrowing the field of Bob Archibald's possible successors to two candidates.

In a Monday meeting of the board of trustees, board chairman John Roberts announced that the museum plans to bring each candidate to St. Louis just after the new year. The week of Jan. 6 is under consideration if the prospects are available. No further information about the candidates was revealed.

slso image for a gospel messiah
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Only 11 more shlepping days ‘til Christmas. But if you need to take a break from the season’s ritualistic mass consumption, upcoming local holiday arts offerings range from ho ho ho to Handel.

“Too Hot to Handel: A Gospel Messiah,” presented by the St. Louis Symphony: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, Powell Hall, 718 North Grand Blvd., 63103. $30-$65.

Provided by Kathryn Bentley

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) today handed local artists Kathryn Bentley, Arny Nadler and eight others $20,000 each to make their dreams a reality.

Bentley, a theater artist, and Nadler, a sculptor, are among the first group of 10 visual, performing and literary artists to become RAC Artist Fellows. Their names (see full list below) were announced in a morning news conference at RAC's offices. (Note: An earlier version of the article said the offices were in University City. They are in St. Louis.)

Jen Killion turned IKEA spice racks into book shelves for her daughter.
Provided by Jen Killion

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Driving the 15 or so miles to St. Louis' newly planned IKEA from her home in Kirkwood will be a breeze for Stephanie Kessler. The first time she shopped the iconic retailer in 2006, it required a 4,500-mile plane ride.

Kessler, 28, didn’t actually fly to Sweden just to experience IKEA but to visit friends. Still, after that trip she was hooked, and has since ventured to a variety of IKEAs around the country including the one in Schaumburg, Ill.

Keep Calm and Carry On: The jury in the Einstein vs. Jesus: The Right to Free Thought trial is shown returning from lunch. These Nine Angry Felines are preparing to find against science on ALL counts. (Artist's writing)
Work of Jay Thompson

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Artist Jay Thompson and his granddaughter Jessica literally herd cats. And yes, it’s a two-person job.

When they visit an animal shelter, Thompson woos readily approachable felines while Jessica, 10, wrangles more prospects. But their goal is not to adopt or just play with these cats but to immortalize them in Thompson’s Cat Works photography.

Reggie Moore
Provided by the family

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Reggie Moore’s love of the circus took him into the ring, on the road and into the hearts of local circus performers and those around the world. Now, the 21-year-old man known as the “gentle giant” of St. Louis’ Circus Harmony, is being mourned by the wider circus community and his family, following his Friday night death in a local car accident.

After joining Circus Harmony as a teenager, the six-foot-five, 250-pound Moore quickly became known as a hard worker with a big heart, according to the organization’s artistic and executive director Jessica Hentoff.

Chinyere Oteh
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Are you a plumber who could use a massage? A masseuse in need of a hair cut? A hair stylist with a taste for pumpkin pie?

The local Cowry Collective Timebank (CCTB) connects people with a wide variety of skills. One hour of services rendered equals an hour of services received. All areas of expertise are equal -- 60 minutes of legal work has the same value as 60 minutes of love-letter composition (Oh, that Cyrano were an attorney!).

Anyta Wilson works with students at the St. Louis Art Museum.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - “When you look at me, what do you see?” Anti-Defamation League program training facilitator Anyta Wilson asked a group of mostly white sixth-graders at the St. Louis Art Museum this past Tuesday.

“Girl.” “Long hair.” “Dreads.”

Accurate, yes, but Wilson pressed on: “What color am I?”

“Brown,” several replied, as Wilson nodded.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - From lust to anger, the color red evokes a hotbed of emotions. Its vibrancy also figures prominently in popular cultural, with movies such as “The Woman in Red” and songs including “99 Red Balloons.” Now red is the subject of an art exhibit in the Teaching Gallery of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on the Washington University campus.

Kristina Van Dyke has old and new in her Lafayette Square carriage house.
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Art and science often seem to exist on opposite ends of a spectrum bookended by the likes of Georgia O’Keeffe and George Washington Carver. But for Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts director Kristina Van Dyke, the two worlds collide in an art collection inspired by archeology, geology and even radiology.

Cindy Shuford and her daughter
Provided by the family

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Cindy Shuford of Washington, Ill., was at church Sunday when word came that a tornado was fast approaching. Taking cover in one of the building’s windowless rooms, Shuford first thought of her 22-year-old daughter, working the deli counter at Kroger.

“I just kept thinking of her, and I wanted to see her face,” Shuford said, in a telephone interview.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Gov. Jay Nixon announced this afternoon that legally married same-sex couples living in Missouri can file joint returns on their state income taxes.

The executive order allows the Missouri Department of Revenue to accept joint returns from same-sex couples who also file jointly for their federal taxes.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - The approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois Tuesday has some gay couples in Missouri already planning a June wedding across the river. But don’t book that venue just yet. Legal minds and advocacy groups are debating whether Missouri couples will be allowed to tie the knot next door.

Todd Sivia
Provided by Mr. Sivia

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - When Alton Tea Party co-organizer Rhonda Linders heard about 
Tuesday’s approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois, her first thoughts were about its religious implications.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman; that’s what it says in the Bible,” Linders said.

Provided by Colin Murphy (left) and Kurt Ross

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Gay and lesbian couples in Illinois are celebrating after the General Assembly gave final approval Tuesday to same-sex marriage. But next door in Missouri, a constitutional amendment banning such marriages remains firmly in place.

When O'Fallon, Ill., resident Colin Murphy first got the news that state lawmakers had approved same-sex marriage, he texted his husband: “We’re legally married.”

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