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

Upstream Theater presents Antigone 2014
Peter Wochniak

The themes of Sophocles' "Antigone" are timeless. They're also timely, resonating with issues around a Ferguson police officer shooting and killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown this past August.

From the 2012 Opera on the Go program that worked with "Marriage of Figaro."
Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Many St. Louisans know about “The Pirates of Penzance” because of the 1983 movie version starring St. Louis native Kevin Kline or its more recent iterations on The Muny stage.

This month, Opera Theatre of St. Louis is using the Gilbert and Sullivan opera of the same name to introduce elementary, middle- and high-school students to a genre they may not be as familiar with.

Dragon mural in progress in the Grove
Provided by the artist

Fifteen years ago, the area of St. Louis now known as The Grove was a place many people avoided.

“It was ‘Roll up your window and drive really fast,’” muralist Grace McCammond remembered.

The mural takes shape on the Cotton Belt building.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

An abandoned building with broken windows may seem nothing more than an ugly blemish. But to a mural artist, it’s a beautiful opportunity, a waiting canvas.

Two St. Louis muralists are nearing completion of the first phase of their project to transform the vacant Cotton Belt Freight Depot into a kind of welcome sign for commuters heading into St. Louis on the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Lenard Hinds in Hands Up exhibit
Provided by Hands Up, Don't Shoot

An upcoming exhibit responding to the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer won’t be your typical art show.

The “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” exhibit will open Oct. 17 and 18 in more than a dozen galleries — and one entire city.

The Ferguson Public Library and the city of Ferguson as a whole are listed among the exhibition spaces. That’s because the burned-out QuikTrip and the monuments to Michael Brown can also be seen as living works of art, according to curator Freida Wheaton.

Bruno David
Provided by Bruno David

Bruno David Gallery in Grand Center will open a second location in St. Louis' Grove area, focusing on women artists.

The new spot, called Bruno David Projects, will be located at 1245 South Vandeventer Ave. Its first exhibit, which opens Oct. 30, will feature the work of local painter Cindy Tower.

Used with permission of Clementines

In 1978, the closet was the only safe place for most gay people in St. Louis. But after Clementines bar opened at 2001 Menard St., local gays found another, less lonely haven.

This week, Clementines announced that it’s closing.

When it opened, there was no such acronym as LGBT. In polite company, gays were referred to as homosexuals, and called much worse in private conversations and during all-too-common street harassment and violence. Sex between two men or two women was illegal in Missouri and many other states.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Roman leader Marcus Antonius of Rome and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt are perhaps history’s most famous lovers, a couple whose passion changed the course of history.

St. Louis Public Radio photos

Boise has one. So do Houston and Los Angeles, and even East St. Louis. But St. Louis is one of the few major cities that doesn’t have a poet laureate, an official poet to document its culture in verse.

Max and Daisy Cassilly both work at the museum their parents created.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

When your childhood’s spent roller blading, building forts and doing your homework among the rubble that would become St. Louis’ iconic City Museum, where else are you going to work when you grow up?

Max and Daisy Cassilly were in their early elementary-school years when their parents, Bob and Gail, began transforming the dilapidated 11-story former International Shoe building on Washington Avenue in 1995. The family practically lived there for two years.

Provided by Katie Borders

Until recently, you may have considered Weird Al Yankovic to be that fading parody singer who turned “Beat It” into “Eat It” before sliding into relative obscurity in the 1990s.

But Weird Al’s not only sustained a 35-year career, he was just showcased at the Emmy Awards. And there’s a grassroots movement to get him on stage at the Superbowl.

Chin, 1994, 'Home y Sew9'
Provided by Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Updated with Mel Chin discussing one of his works now at CAM.

Two exhibits debuting Friday night at St. Louis’ Contemporary Art Museum resonate with recent events in Ferguson.

The Mel Chin and Mark Flood openings were planned long before last month’s shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. But they inadvertently debut at an opportune time, according to CAM's executive director Lisa Melandri.

Piper Kerman
Sam Zalutsky

Will Piper get back with Larry? Will Alex return to Litchfield Prison? If she does, will Piper be able to resist her charming nemesis?

“Orange Is the New Black” author Piper Kerman answered one of these questions and hinted at another in an interview, prior to her upcoming St. Louis appearances at Lindenwood University next Tuesday, Sept. 9 and Maryville University next Wednesday and Thursday, co-sponsored by Left Bank Books.

 From left: Habitat For Humanity St. Louis CEO Kimberly McKinney, former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom and former Sen. Rita Days. Credit Durrie Bouscaren, St. Louis Public Radio
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

In the early 1990s, choreographer Bill T. Jones sought to illuminate the AIDS crisis using the language he knows best: dance. Now, the St. Louis-area dance community is seeking to respond with movement to issues unearthed by Michael Brown’s death.

Missouri Arts Council

How can we ensure that the arts thrive in Missouri during the next five decades? The Missouri Arts Council is embarking on a statewide tour to find out.

Salon 53 gallery owner Freida Wheaton's "Hands Up" response
De’Joneiro Jones

The artistic response to the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown at the hand of a Ferguson police officer is gaining momentum.

Freida Wheaton, founder of the Alliance of Black Art Galleries, issued a call to local artists today to channel their feelings into works of art. Responses to her “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Artists Respond” project will result in an exhibition, planned for this fall.

Outside the Justice Center in Clayton Wednesday morning.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Protesters took their demands for justice for teenager Michael Brown, shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, to the St. Louis County courthouse today. That’s where a grand jury is examining evidence against Darren Wilson, at the behest of County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

reds bbq 81914
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

The daily routine in the city of Ferguson has become one of turmoil and tear gas by night and cleanup and cooperation by day.

More than 50 people were arrested and two were shot as agitators clashed with authorities in Ferguson Monday night. Much of the action took place at the intersection of Canfield Road and West Florissant Avenue.

But just a few hours later, the sun rose over a very different scene at Canfield and West Florissant, where Red’s BBQ is located.

Justin Dear, ferguson 81814
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Following a night of turmoil and tear gas in which a half-dozen people were arrested and more businesses were vandalized, this morning was quiet in Ferguson.

Only a few cars traveled West Florissant Road near Ferguson Avenue as the night’s curfew was lifted at 5 a.m. Several were media vehicles, including a large CNN truck.

Big Muddy Blues Festival
Archive photo from the Big Muddy website

The Big Muddy Blues Festival has added an extra night on the front end of its schedule.

The festival, which had been set for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31, has now scheduled three local bands for Friday night, Aug. 29. Everett Dean will take the stage at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by Billy Peek at 8 and Marquise Knox at 10.

The Friday night performances lead up to a weekend of 24 more national, regional and local acts beginning at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday and playing until midnight.

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