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

David Johnson | PXSTL

 Think of it as your very own performance and gathering space. A former vacant lot, across the street from the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis’ Grand Center, is booked for more than a dozen events through October. But in between, bring your guitar and your friends for a sing-a-long under its floating canopies. Or relocate your book club there for the summer.

“We want people to just respond to the space in ways we haven’t even imaged yet — and neither have they,” Pulitzer executive Kristina Van Dyke told St. Louis Public Radio.

statue outside soldiers memorial
St. Louis Beacon file photo

The Missouri History Museum is one step closer to working with the historical collection of Soldiers Memorial Military Museum.

Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Free admission to St. Louis’ cultural institutions for non-residents could be a thing of the past if talk by the Zoo-Museum District board members turns to action.

On Wednesday night, the board discussed the possibility of charging admission to the Zoo, Art Museum, Science Center and other attractions in response to a report by St. Louis City Alderman Joe Roddy.

Admission would remain free for people who live in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Zoe Vonder Haar and Jacqueline Petroccia as Louise Seger and Patsy Cline in Stages' presentation of “Always…Patsy Cline.”
Peter Wochniak | Pro Photo STL

From the minute Patsy Cline’s biggest fan demands “How y’all doin’?” you just know it’s just a matter of time before she’s side-by-side with the singer, doing the swim to “Stupid Cupid.” Watch out, front row and bald-headed men, the spotlight's headed your way too.

Photos provided by the Sheldon Art Galleries

The St. Louis area is crawling with photographic opportunities. Local professional Ryan Archer took advantage of one of them to win Best in Show in the Sheldon’s “The City at 250” photo contest.

Archer’s “City Museum Climbers,” entered in the “Events and People” category, garnered him $1,000 and a place in “The City at 250” exhibit, opening June 6. The competition was a collaborative effort of The Sheldon and the St. Louis Beacon, now St. Louis Public Radio. The Beacon merged in December with St. Louis Public Radio and is no longer a separate entity.

Images from zoo museum district entities
File photos and Wikipedia

The very existence of St. Louis’ Zoo-Museum District could be at stake in a debate over its ethics code, according to a national expert on tax funding and cultural districts.

Ellyxandria Ferguson

Updated Friday, April 25, 2014 to include audio from Cityscape.

Growing up in north St. Louis, Antonio Douthit dreamed of dancing with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The story of his rise from homeless kid to COCA prodigy to Ailey dancer is legend in the St. Louis arts world.

Images from zoo museum district entities
File photos and Wikipedia

New Zoo-Museum District board member Pat Whitaker resigned this afternoon following allegations of ethics violations.

Whitaker is chairman of St. Louis’ Arcturis design firm, which recently won a contract with the St. Louis Science Center. The Science Center is a subdistrict of the ZMD and receives about $10 million each year in tax dollars from the district. She had resigned as an employee of Arcturis, but still owns 37 percent of its stock.

Jessica Hentoff

Ari Maayan flies through the air with the greatest of ease, a daring young man on the flying trapeze — in the parking lot of St. Louis’ Union Station.

Maayan, 14, is the chief unicyclist with Circus Harmony, an organization with the goal of teaching kids circus skills and life lessons. He’s been with Circus for three years but on Wednesday, he enjoyed his first trapeze swing, complete with a back flip into the net below.

“It was really cool, it’s really like flying,” Maayan said.

Safety First

Kelsey Proud

Originally published Monday, April 14. Updated Friday, April 18 after Cityscape to include audio from the show and the Name the Dog quiz.

Does your dog enjoy the spotlight? Can he or she endure a few flying monkeys and a simulated tornado?

Congratulations – you may be the proud pet parent of not only a special pup but the next Toto, too. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is seeking a dog to play Dorothy’s canine sidekick in its summer production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The Pulitzer, photographer David Johnson

What is St. Louis doing to combat climate change? And how can art and design move those plans forward?

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts wants to publicize ongoing efforts and encourage new collaborations in its Marfa Dialogues competition. Winners will receive $2,500 and the opportunity to display their ideas in a public forum, which may take many forms, including exhibitions, readings, concerts and film screenings.

Aaron Williams

When St. Louis attorney recruiter Aaron Williams became interested in croquet 30 years ago, it was about partying, not poetry. Getting some friends together to play croquet in Forest Park was just “something to do.”

“It was an opportunity for everyone to wear white and bring a bottle of champagne,” Williams quipped.

Kalise Harris
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio Intern

A South City Prep student who wrote about her best friend’s death set a high bar in the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation contest, created by St. Louis attorney Aaron Williams. But this year’s school winner seems ready to carry the mantle.

On Wednesday, 83 seventh-graders will perform an exercise in courage: reading their original poems at the Missouri History Museum in front of an audience. It’s the final event of the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation, called “Poetry on Their Own Terms.”

Mustard Seed Theatre

“Falling” was supposed to play for two weeks. But Deanna Jent’s little drama-that-could was extended again and again in fall 2011 and then chugged ahead to Off-Broadway a year later for a three-month run. It also made its way to Los Angeles and is heading to Brazil next year.

Disney Publishing Worldwide

Washington, D.C. author Ron Suskind and his wife Cornelia Kennedy were devastated when 2-year-old Owen stopped talking and began walking with a drunken gait.

When, how did their son’s regression begin? “It’s like reviewing clues to a kidnapping,” Suskind writes in “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism.”

The Fabulous Fox

Ever dreamed of appearing onstage at St. Louis’ Fox Theatre, basking in the lights, beaming at the audience – even once?

Thank you, Fox and the musical “Once” for helping me cross that off my bucket list. Through April 20, you, too, can stand in the very space where giants – including Nat “King” Cole, Mae West and Elizabeth Taylor – have planted their feet since 1929.

Provided by Fair St. Louis

Fair St. Louis gave the area “something to talk about” today with an announcement that Bonnie Raitt is among the top acts for this year’s Fair St. Louis. The Fray and The Band Perry round out the list of headliners for this year’s annual Fourth of July festival.

The Band Perry will play Thursday, July 3 at event, which moves to Forest Park this summer because of construction at the Arch Grounds.

scene from the play of oddly costumed actors
Provided by Metro Theatre

Can girls have short hair that isn’t a hairstyle? Can boys try on tutus? In ways both overt and subtle, society often says they can’t, or at least, they shouldn’t.

Wesley Middleton
Provided by Metro Theatre

As Metro Theater’s “Unsorted” debuts for public audiences this weekend, the playwright reflects on the personal difficulties that contributed to her exploration of gender.

When Wesley Middleton was growing up in Macon, Ga., she was shocked to learn that boys and girls had to play by different rules. She chafed under the pink-or-blue scenario.

“I always felt more like a person than a girl,” Middleton told St. Louis Public Radio.

Wikipedia

Beginning this fall, St. Louisans will be able to see the actual document that made what is now Missouri part of the United States.

In 1803, the United States bought more 828,000 square miles of land from France for $15 million – roughly four cents an acre – in a deal known as the Louisiana Purchase.

The parcel immediately doubled the size of the country and eventually became part or all of 14 states from Louisiana to Montana, including Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas.

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