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.

Follow her on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL

Ways To Connect

Human Rights Campaign / HRC logo

Missouri has a long way to go to achieve equality for LGBT residents, according to a national advocacy organization.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a report today showing Missouri is among 29 states lacking basic equality standards. The organization gives Missouri particularly low marks in two areas:

Steph James
Jess Dugan

Until her late 50s, Steph James of Maryland Heights lived a life that, from all appearances, looked like the American dream.

Jess Dugan, left, and Vanessa Fabbre
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

When the TV show “Transparent” won two Golden Globe Awards a week ago Sunday, many transgender people felt validated, and a little less invisible.

Antonio Douthit-Boyd
Jacob Blickenstaff Photography

For dancer Antonio Douthit-Boyd, the time has come to return the favor.

At 16, the beat of a drum lured him off the street and into a Washington Avenue dance class, where he was soon taken in as a disadvantaged prodigy. It changed his life.

Now, he and his dancer husband, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, are coming home to instruct and nurture a new generation.

“I hope that Kirven and I can do for other students what they did for me,” Antonio Douthit-Boyd said.

Bridge-Spouted Whistling Vessel, Inca, Peru, 1400-1500 CE, 8 x 7.5 x 3 inches, Collection of the Sheldon Art Galleries, Hartenberger World Music Collection
Provided By the Sheldon Art Galleries

The Sheldon Art Galleries in Grand Center is the new owner of a collection of musical instruments worth more than $2 million.

Local university music professor Aurelia Hartenberger spent more than 40 years accumulating 2,500 instruments from nearly every continent. Some are contemporary, others date back 3,000 years.

Reena Hajat Carroll, executive director of the Diversity Awareness Partnership, says the number of diversity training requests have "been crazy."
Provided by the Diversity Awareness Partnership

Many older Americans were introduced to their first interracial couple in 1967 by the Sidney Poitier classic featuring what was then a shocking pairing, on-screen or off. 

But today, especially when even same-sex interracial couples can marry in St. Louis, we don’t care who’s coming to dinner — right?

Two looks of Raja
Provided by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

As our city rocked from the upheavals of 2014, a series of quieter changes was taking place in the St. Louis art world.

Several arts organizations debuted, others expanded and a few folded. Some relocated and others featured uncharacteristic fare to appeal to wider audiences. Here’s a look at eight of this year’s evolutions in the local arts scene.

The Arches of Circus Harmony
Jessica Hentoff

St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission announced its very first Social Impact Fund grants today, with nearly one-third of the 28 winning projects related to Ferguson.

One of the winners is Circus Harmony, an organization that promotes social change though circus arts. The group will use its $2,200 grant to bring kids from Ferguson into the tent.

at the post office s. grand 11.26
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Since 1966, The Arch has represented St. Louis as the Gateway to the West. But it also has other connotations, especially now.

Michael Castro
Ros Crenshaw

Updated to include Michael Castro's poetry and interview audio, and reaction from poet Shirley Bradford LeFlore.

Except for dotting the “i’s” and crossing a “t” or two, St. Louis has its first official poet.

Ready for a purr-fect night
Provided by Tenth Life

If your idea of a purr-fect evening (sorry, it was just too tempting) involves sipping steaming beverages and stroking cats, Thursday night is your cup of tea. Or coffee. Or hot chocolate.

Marty Stanberry
Provided by HotCity

When singer Kenny Rogers croons that you’ve got to “know when to fold 'em,” it strikes a chord with the artistic director of St. Louis’ HotCity Theatre, Marty Stanberry.

Stanberry will close the company after the run of its Dec. 5-20 play, called “Reality.” Reality is also something Stanberry’s struggled with during his 17 years on the local theater scene.

“I’m at the point where the daily battles of running a theater company have just outweighed the fun,” Stanberry said.

Eugenia Alexander, left, and Edna Patterson-Petty
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting, the saying goes. And in the case of East St. Louis’ Edna Patterson-Petty and her granddaughter Eugenia Alexander, the frosting is artistically done.

Patterson-Petty is a fiber artist and art therapist. Alexander grew up enamored by her grandmother’s work, which includes an art quilt made for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

A Moment's Pleasure by Mickalene Thomas
Provided by the 1-70 Sign Show

Mickalene Thomas is an artist who examines what it means to be a black woman. So what does her work suggest when juxtaposed with an ad for a strip club? How about when it’s displayed just off West Florissant Avenue, a few miles down the road from Ferguson?

wakeuppune.org

Before sunrise on Monday morning Dec. 1, Art Hill in Forest Park will glow with a special message for World AIDS Day.

A group called AIDS on Art Hill plans to work all night setting out and lighting 13,000 candles in bags to spell out the word “AIDS.” Aaron Laxton came up with the idea. He said the effort is designed to draw attention to a disease for which there is still no cure.

“It will be a huge spectacle,” Laxton said.

(l to r) Michael Brown, Sr. (second from left, in T-shirt), Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump (at podium)
Nancy Fowler

Attorneys for Michael Brown’s parents say they’re focusing on their next steps, after a grand jury did not indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing their son.

(Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio)

Smoke filled the air on more than one corner in the city of Ferguson Tuesday morning, following a night of turmoil.

The unrest followed a grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Brown's parents, St. Louis officials and even President Barack Obama called on demonstrators to protest peacefully and many did.

But still-smoldering buildings bear witness to the anger that erupted into destruction. About one dozen businesses were reportedly burned.

Circa 1959, Ice Hockey, 2008, 34.5x18x2 inches, oil, enamel on steel
Provided by Tim Liddy

Fontbonne professor Tim Liddy is one of 102 artists displayed in a national exhibition at the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Ark. But Liddy was never going to be an artist. Looking forward to a career on the ice, he was planning to play games, not paint them.

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation gave a tour of ongoing renovations Nov. 19.
Carly Ann Hilo | Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Although the Pulitzer Arts Foundation has been closed since August, a swarm of activity has been taking place inside the Grand Center institution.

Construction crews are renovating the Pulitzer’s basement area to create two new galleries. When they’re done in May 2015, the Foundation will have one-third more exhibition space, totaling 104,000 square feet. The work is being done in cooperation with a representative of the original architect, Tadao Ando.

Lori Fowler finds the wasp spray falls short of its claim to shoot 27 feet.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Much of the St. Louis area is on edge as it waits for the grand jury decision in the case of Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson. Listen into conversations and it won't be long until someone speculates about what will happen.

Local schools, particularly those in north St. Louis County, have been preparing for weeks for a decision concerning the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Business owners and residents are also getting ready for any problems while hoping nothing bad happens.

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