Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

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

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Novak’s lesbian bar opened in 1996, same-sex sex was illegal, marriage equality was unheard of and I was a suburban stay-at-home mom, married to a man.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Parents, can you even imagine being accused of kidnapping your own children? It happened to Shari LeKane-Yentumi of University City.

The reason was race. She’s white, her husband's black. Their three children are both; and in our society, "both" often reads: black.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Adam Rosen was growing up in St. Louis, he spent a lot of time in support groups. Not for Asperger’s but as a gay teenager. The Asperger’s identity came much later, providing clarity about his other difference: an obsession with composing music.

don't use bigger than 300 Mike Isaacson of the muny
Provided by the Muny | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As the Muny turns 95, it’s never been cooler. Literally.

Monday’s "Spamalot" opening debuts a new fan system designed to provide a more comfortable experience with no accompanying noise. Efforts are also underway to make the overall St. Louis institution cooler, as in more hip. As part of that, this season offers three more Muny premieres in addition to "Spamalot."

Andrea and Laurie Dent
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Tossing a high school graduation cap into the air typically signals the launch of a bigger life. But for many young adults with autism, summer after senior year is when the world begins to narrow.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: An empty Grand Center lot is one step closer to becoming a center for community engagement. And before the process is over, the public will contribute to discussion about choosing from among those vying to transform the space.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It was a dark and stormy night. Not in Forest Park -- puffy pink clouds and low 70s made this a perfect evening. But on the “Twelfth Night” stage. 

A ship capsizes. Twins Viola and Sebastian lose each other, each believing the other dies. After violent waters pull Viola to the shores of Illyria, she pretends to be a man, takes the name “Cesario” and enters into the employ of Duke Orsino.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: How do you write a riveting play about laundry and sleep? If you’re Elizabeth Birkenmeier, you fold in strangers, secrets and a gun, or at least the possibility of a gun.

“There’s a Gun in My Goodbye Bag” opens Friday, June 14, not in a theater but at Classic Coin Laundry in University City. St. Louis’ OnSite Theatre company performs all its work in real-life settings, which have included a bowling alley, a youth hostel and a building reportedly inhabited by ghosts.

Dogs at Pride Fest events before 2013
Cindy Betz | For the St. Louis Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Last week the Pride St. Louis board of directors made what may have been its most controversial policy decision to date: No pets, except for service animals, at the June 29-30 event. The familiar site of dogs sporting rainbow bandanas will be missing from this summer’s St. Louis PrideFest.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: By the time Marsha Mason starred in “The Goodbye Girl,”more than a decade had passed since she’d bid farewell to St. Louis. On June 9, Mason makes a rare trip home to help out a pal from her days at Webster University.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Like many artists, dancer Antonio Douthit hears a different drummer. But the drumbeat that changed his life at 16 wasn’t in his head. It wafted from a window on Washington Avenue.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Does the fact that it’s season 13 bode well for for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ “Twelfth Night?”

We’ll know more after the play opens May 24 in Forest Park, but it’s already clear this year’s production is a lucky one for a local orchestra ensemble. Shakespeare Festival chose the oddly named “The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra” to compose original music for the Shakespeare classic.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As industrial artist Donald Judd neared 60, his work took a new spin -- along the color wheel.

A seminal figure in contemporary art, the Excelsior, Mo., native often paired two colors. But from 1984 through 1992, two years before he died, Judd explored the rainbow. In a first-ever exhibit, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts will display two dozen objects and 30 collages and drawings from this period, in “The Multicolored Works,” opening May 10.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Carol North of Metro Theater Company is a storyteller. Ask her a question and it’s not uncommon for her to answer with a narrative, sometimes going back a couple of decades and across a half-dozen states.

Stories are integral to the mission of Metro Theater, which has woven magical, meaningful tales for children under North’s direction for 33 years. This year, as Metro celebrates its 40th anniversary, North, 66, is marking her last year with the company. Her husband, Metro resident artist Nick Kryah, is also departing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Because St. Louis designer Michael Drummond got “Dressed” up and running, lovers of fashion and art definitely have someplace to go.

“Dressed” is an exhibit opening May 3 at St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission. It features a small band of particularly tenacious local designers and artists whose work was curated by Drummond.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Growing up in a South St. Louis family of 11 kids, two-time Tony Award-winner Norbert Leo Butz remembers his little sister Teresa rocking out to “Proud Mary.” Four years after her death, Butz keeps her memory rolling in the river city by performing the classic 1970s hit and other songs in her honor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts’ founder and a Washington University professor have been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Pulitzer founder and chairman, and Elliot Lawrence Elson,  professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics in the university's School of Medicine, are among 198 new members of the Academy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Boston Marathon bombing tragedy has St. Louis police brainstorming ways to make local events more secure.

Monday’s fatal bombing infused urgency into a Wednesday meeting of the city police department’s command staff about upcoming events in St. Louis, according to Police Chief Sam Dotson. These include the Sat., June 15 Komen Race for the Cure. Last year, more than 50,000 pink-clad participants joined the annual 5K event to fight breast cancer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Mensa organization isn’t technically a matchmaking operation. But it’s not unusual for members to meet their mates through this high-IQ group. When the offspring of these brainy unions come of age, Mensa also offers family fun.

Laura DeWeese of Sunset Hills met her husband through the St. Louis area Mensa in 1991. The couple and their two children, including a 10-year-old son who also belongs to Mensa, will spend this weekend with hundreds of other Mensa members at the national Mind Games event in St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If you want to get kids’ attention when it comes to bullying -- or anything at all -- it helps to understand the lingo.

Seventeen-year-old Dasia Vence, who plays popular, mean girl Gwyneth in “Winning Juliet,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ upcoming educational play about cyber-bullying, has the 4-1-1 on popular terminology.

“Sneak-dissing,” Vence begins. “Like if you got a new haircut and I put on Twitter, ‘That haircut is gross,’ then you know it’s about you but I didn’t say that.

Source: Cyber Bullying Research Center, National Institute of Child Health, Autism Speaks, Gay and Lesbian Education Network

Brittany Jordan was a sophomore at Fort Zumwalt West High School when she was blindsided by bullies.

Browsing online, Jordan stumbled upon a MySpace page dedicated to her humiliation. The posts called her “fat,” “slut” and “skank.” “The world would be better off without you,” another read. She was horrified to see her face pasted above naked bodies. Then she saw something that hurt even more.

“Some of my friends were ‘friends’ with that page and they were ‘liking’ the pictures,” Jordan says.

Lum's “The Space Between Scott and Plessy”
Provided by Laumeier Sculpture Park

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The French connection between St. Louis and New Orleans is evident in street names and Mardi Gras celebrations. But the physical tie between the two cities is the Mighty Mississippi.

Laumeier Sculpture Park explores the shared waterway in “The River Between Us,” an indoor and outdoor exhibit opening this Saturday. At a time when the Mississippi River is in the news for efforts to bolster commerce, ecology and transport, and for its power to devastate a community like Pinhook, Mo., Laumeier is examining the the river’s role in U.S. history and how it connects the two cities and their residents.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You might not think someone the size of “The Blind Side” character Michael Oher would have a problem with bullying. But Quinton Aaron, who played Michael to Sandra Bullock’s Leigh Anne Tuohy in the 2009 Academy Award-winning film based on a true story, was once afraid to walk home from school.

Now 28, Aaron is telling his story with the launch of the Quinton Aaron Foundation’s 31-city Anti-Bullying Tour. On Sunday, April 7, the tour stops in St. Louis for a bowling event at AMF Dick Weber Lanes in Florissant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When you enjoy a dance presentation, you expect to be moved, emotionally. But in an upcoming Leverage Dance Theater performance, the audience actually travels with the modern dance concert to three separate locations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Money is the subject of many a popular song: It “Makes the World Go ‘Round” in “Cabaret.” Dire Straits laments “Money for Nothing.” Money "is a hit,” according to Pink Floyd.

Money will also be explored in literature, film and theater in the April 4-6 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival. “Money, Money! Need, Greed and Generosity” is sponsored by Cinema St. Louis and a dozen other organizations. The 2013 event is St. Louis’ second annual festival. It’s the brainchild of Washington University English professor Gerald Early, who was inspired by the Chicago Humanities Festival.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Winter weather has stretched this year’s chili-eating season into spring. But even after temperatures warm up, chili will continue as a good choice for philanthropists, and those struggling to find enough to eat.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Forbidden love often finds itself on stage. In “Conviction,” an upcoming New Jewish Theatre presentation about a real-life, ill-fated romance, the stakes are particularly high.

“Conviction” is a story-within-a-story, set during the Spanish Inquisition, a period in which Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism. It centers on the true tale of a Spanish Jew turned Catholic priest who surreptitiously married and raised a family with a Jewish woman. After Father Andres Gonzales confessed his double life to a priest, he was burned alive.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Kaitlin Niewoehner tumbled through childhood as a promising gymnast in Columbia, Mo. Competitions often brought her to St. Louis, where her family of five enjoyed going to the Zoo, the Arch and Cardinals games.

But in Niewoehner’s early teens, gymnastics’ toll on her body and her dad’s job transfer to the 49th state changed the rhythm of her life: Hello 14, hello Alaska, hello dance lessons.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (IPHF) collection has arrived in St. Louis, after carefully traveling 500 miles in five moving trucks, toward the goal of an August opening.

If the experience were tallied up in a MasterCard commercial, it might sound like this: Transporting 30,000 images and 6,000 cameras from Oklahoma City: $25,000. Having them on display year-round in Grand Center: Priceless.

St. Louisans and other visitors can visit roomfuls of transformative photographs at the new IPHF in Grand Center, including Edward Steichen’s “Garbo,” Margaret Bourke-White’s “Fort Peck Dam” and Dorothea Lange's “Migrant Mother.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Brooks Brantly, a Belleville native who plays a veterinary officer in 'War Horse' at the Fox Theater, helps students from Grand Center Arts Academy meet Joey. 

As a Belleville East High School student, Brooks Brantly was into martial arts, not musicals. But as a freshman at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, he signed up for an acting course. It turned into a passion, the pursuit of an advanced degree, then a career.

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