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

Too Much on My Plate
Courtesy of the artist

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Mary Sprague’s had a busy life. She gave birth to four children before finishing a master's degree, taught community college classes, made art, moved from California to St. Louis for her husband’s job, taught at Meramec, made more art, divorced, hosted legendary parties and made even more art.

Logo from 2013 exhibit at MoHist
Provided by the Missouri History Museum

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Assassinations. Activism. Love-ins. “Laugh In.” Bell bottoms. Bombs. The year 1968 was an explosion of world-changing events from the murders of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy to the ubiquity of the peace sign.

Lisa Melandri seated beneath a Trova print
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Outside the realm of postmodern art, you might expect the director of St. Louis’ Contemporary Art Museum to also appreciate an earlier-period artist or two. So Lisa Melandri’s fondness for Italian surrealist Giorgio De Chirico and American abstract expressionist Philip Guston is hardly surprising. But duck decoy heads and flea-market ship paintings?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: HeLa cells have been known to scientists since the 1950s. But the name Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells were the basis of groundbreaking research, only became widely recognized with the publication of Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” in 2010.

Solomon and Pat Thurman
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Pat Thurman closed the door on her career as executive vice president with MasterCard, she and her artist husband opened the door on another: art gallery ownership. Much more than a business, 10th Street Art Gallery, 419 N. 10th St., was also a calling in its focus on the work of African-America artists including co-owner Solomon Thurman.

Noah Kirby
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Metal sculptor Noah Kirby wants to make sure people know he worked “for” the late Bob Cassilly, not “with” him, as some claim. But just being in proximity to the creator of St. Louis’ City Museum was life-changing, giving Kirby a first-row seat to Cassilly’s genius, and generosity with space and materials.

Dominic Molon
Provided by CAM

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis’ Contemporary Art Museum's "mission is not to preserve, but to provoke," according to the website of its architect. Ten years after the museum began challenging assumptions about art with its building and exhibits, CAM will celebrate Brad Cloepfil’s design, beginning this Friday with site-specific installations paying tribute to its surface, scale, transparency and boundaries.

Elliot and Kristen Days, Justice, 3, and Zachary, 4
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Kristen Days’ 1-year-old son Justice stopped saying “mama” and “dada” and no longer waved goodbye, her pediatrician told her not to worry. So did her friends. “Boys are like that,” one said.

Adrienne Davis with a work by Sam Gilliam. It is acrylic on polypropylene on birch panels.
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - In her 20s, Adrienne Davis’ focus on race, gender and identity was well defined. Her research as a Yale Law School student and young law professor centered on critical race theory, or the ways in which racism is institutionalized in American society, a theme mirrored by her early art purchases.

“The pieces are very vivid, they have very, very sharp lines, there’s a kind of a definite-ness to them,” Davis said.

JoVonda Winters
JoVonda Winters

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: University City residents, shoppers and diners may soon see a small wall go up in The Loop. But it’s not designed to be a barrier -- it’s meant to be a bridge.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Last year’s Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts event around disparity on the two sides of Delmar Boulevard has produced plenty of discussion. On Sunday, the public gets a chance to help decide how to translate some of that talk into action, through competing proposals that range from farming to music-making to a wailing wall.

Posing for a Drink and Draw session at the Handlebar
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It seems to be the new favorite cocktail. Mix in one part drawing or craft-making and one part beer, wine or your favorite mixed drink, and presto: an evening of fun.

Local watering holes and restaurants, an art gallery, a nursery and even a grocery store are encouraging DUIs: drawing under the influence. These events range from bawdy to benign.

Ron Himes
Provided by Mr. Himes

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Much is unknown about the Black Rep’s future after losing its Grandel Theater home at the close of the troupe’s 36th year. But one thing’s for certain, according to Black Rep founder Ron Himes.

“We will have a 37th season,” Himes said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A businesswoman and a doctor, childhood friends, are torn apart by an imagined affair. There’s an L.A. party, a hit man, a bloody knife, an escape to Alabama, and finally, redemption. Sound like Shakespeare to you?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Growing up in Florissant, Josh Routh was the class clown. Little did he know he’d one day make a living at it.

Routh, 35, is now a professional clown but that’s just the first layer in his bag of tricks. He also juggles, performs magic, does acrobatics, walks on stilts, hypnotizes people, swallows swords and and eats and breathes fire.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Actor Ryan Foizey’s career plan is two years and two cities behind schedule but his dreams are right on time.

St. Louis was only supposed to be a starting point. The 25-year-old Cedar Rapids native planned to first relocate near family in the Gateway City, then move to Chicago, then Minneapolis, then Seattle, then who-knows-where, at the clip of one city a year. But Foizey ran into something unexpected in St. Louis: opportunity and support. Now his Theatre Lab idea could end up supporting numerous other theater artists.

Philip Slein, in light shirt, sits in front of a Hi-Fi-FoFum sign in his advertising room.
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Craigslist may not be a place you imagine art collectors trolling for new finds. But where else could you locate an eight-foot-tall Hi-Fi Fo-Fum sign?

And does that even count as art?

Alex Prakken
Provided by the Muny

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Alex Prakken was a youngster, his favorite Broadway tune was “Bigger Isn’t Better” from the musical “Barnum.” But now, bigger is awesome.

Josh Faught
Beacon archives | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: How about a big pile of rubber nachos, a really, really chewy chocolate chip cookie or a bouncy onion ring?

Fake fast foods are served up throughout Josh Faught’s upcoming exhibit, opening July 10 at the Contemporary Art Museum. But snacks are just a starting point in “Snacks, Supports, and Something to Rally Around.” 

Neil LaBute
Provided by Mr. LaBute | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It’s not Neil LaBute’s fault that men and women (and men and men and women and women) fight to the emotional death as they claw their way through dating, marriage and breakups.

The prolific playwright and screenwriter just writes it as he sees it, calling himself a realist.

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.

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