Willis Ryder Arnold

Arts and Culture Reporter

Willis Ryder Arnold is an arts and culture reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. He has contributed to NPR affiliates, community stations, and nationally distributed radio programs, as well as Aljazeera America, The New York Times blogs, La Journal de la Photographie, and LIT Magazine. He is a graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalist’s award for Radio In-Depth Reporting.


1:21 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Independent Label Delmar Records Launches In St. Louis

Sebastian “Tech Supreme” Lee, co-founder of Delmar Records and music producer
Credit Amy Harris/Courtesy of Delmar Records

Delmar Records is working to bring the national spotlight to a group of St. Louis musicians.

Cofounder and music producer Sebastian “Tech Supreme” Lee said the label’s roster features St. Louis musicians with strong careers who are looking expand their audience.  

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Craft Beer
8:10 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Local Breweries Build Drinkers' Knowledge At St. Louis Science Center

Urban Chestnut Brewmaster and co-founder Florian Kuplent, 40.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

You might think most brewers start making beer because of the taste, and while that’s true, two local brewers were equally charmed by the science behind making beer. Urban Chestnut co-founder and Brewmaster Florian Kuplent said scientific analysis makes a better beer.

“We do a lot of chemical analysis, we analyze the bitterness, we look at yeast cell count, we look at PH (so, acidity of the beer) we look at how much alcohol is in the beer, how much sugar, kind of a portfolio of standard tests we do for every batch,” said Kuplent.

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Cut & Paste
9:11 am
Thu January 29, 2015

‘Cut & Paste’: New Arts Podcast Kicks Off With STL Legend Leslie Laskey

From Left, Frank Schwaiger, Nancy Fowler, Willis Ryder Arnold, Bruno David and Leslie Laskey
Credit Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

This week, St. Louis Public Radio debuts its first arts podcast,"Cut & Paste."

We invite local visual and performing artists to tell stories. Who inspires them? What are their successes? Where have they stumbled along the way? Sometimes, in the conversation, it's us doing the stumbling! But we always have fun. We hope you will, too.

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The Texas Room
11:14 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Album Breaks Down Barriers In Language And Musical Tradition

Part of Adria and Her Treasures record "Unde Dragoste (Where Love)?" for The Texas Room
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

Local music producer and sound engineer Louis Wall thinks challenging area international and local musicians to produce a collaborative album will help push artists beyond their social boundaries. 

“I kind of like that element of putting people out in their own place - if you stick with someone else’s culture then you might realize ‘I’ve got one too and I need to discover what that is and where I come from,’” said Wall.

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Kemper Art Museum
9:05 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Durant Exhibit Challenges History Of Westward Expansion

Durant's “Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington, D.C.,” 2005 challenges accepted history of U.S. Western Expansion.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The Kemper Museum is hoping an exhibit of sculptures calling for more monuments dedicated to Native Americans at The National Mall in Washington, D.C., will build community engagement over the issue of Native American representation in American culture.

“We really hope to begin a dialogue, taking this work as a point of departure, with the Native American community,” said Kemper director Sabine Eckman.

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Indie Rock
9:04 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Bo And The Locomotive Release Album Three Years In the Making

Bo Bulawsky performs an acoustic rendition of Pistol in the St. Louis Public Radio studios.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio


Local band Bo and the Locomotive is releasing its first album in three years titled It's All Down Here From Here. During that time, the group evolved from a bedroom recording project to full band, lost members, replaced them, and was locked out of their own record. 

“It's not what we were expecting to happen when we started recording it over two years ago, but now that it's all pressed on vinyl and in our hands, there is a big sense of accomplishment,” said Bulawsky.

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Full Year Preview
5:03 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

St. Louis Art Museum Highlights Local And National Connections In 2015

George Caleb Bingham, American, 1811–1879; Jolly Flatboatmen in Port, 1857, oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 69 5/8 inches, St. Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase
Credit Provided by the St. Louis Art Museum

At a press briefing this morning, Director Brent Benjamin stressed the museum’s dedication to providing exhibits that highlight St. Louis’ influence on national and international arts. The shows for 2015 draw from Missouri-based collectors, artists and designers.

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Outsider Art
10:47 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Missouri Folk Artist Tackles Free Speech And Religion

Chief Curator Jeffrey Uslip explains the personal narrative of artist Jesse Howard
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

At a time when religion and free speech often seem at odds, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is hosting a show that unites these principles. According to Chief Curator Jeffrey Uslip artist Jesse Clyde Howard’s work is one gigantic expression of religion as an act of free speech.

“This work is honest, it is absolutely precise, it is unmediated, there’s no pulling punches,” said Uslip. “This is who Jesse was. He was a staunch believer in free speech and the first amendment.”

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Local Music
4:52 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

'Art of Live' Music Festival Combats Cold Slow Month

Credit Event logo

Organizers designed The Art of Live Festival to help musicians, fans, concert promoters and venue owners weather St. Louis’ sparest month in live music.

“January is notoriously the worst touring month of the year for music venues and touring bands so we were looking for a way to drive traffic to St. Louis,” said Brian McCormac, 28, lead organizer and manager and talent buyer at Old Rock House.

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Selling the Past
4:41 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

St. Louis Archaeological Group In Antiquities Sale Controversy Defies National Organization

Credit AIA website

Updated after the St. Louis Society vote -- In what one member called a “hotly divided” decision, the Archeological Institute of America - St. Louis Society narrowly voted Tuesday night to retain its board, even though that could allow the national organization to revoke the chapter’s charter.

The controversy stems from the local group’s sale of items it had owned for decades.

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