St. Louis on the Air | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan, Caitlin Lally and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

St. Louis on the Air is sponsored by University College at Washington University

Mark Sutherland and Thomas Richardson are two local Scots who were involved in organizing the upcoming St. Louis Scottish Games & Culture Festival.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The sound of bagpipes playing and the smell of haggis will fill the air in Chesterfield this weekend as the St. Louis Scottish Games & Culture Festival will convene for its 15th annual event.

Since the 1700s, Scots settled across the United States, and pockets of Scottish communities can be found in Missouri, such as the Ozarks. Thomas Richardson, communications director for the Scottish St. Andrew Society of Greater STL, estimates that around half a million people that claim Scottish heritage in their lineage reside in the state.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with two of them: Richardson and Mark Sutherland, a board member for the St. Louis Scottish Games. Both men have been involved in the organization of the event.

Paul Weiss, Deb Gaut and Dr. Ken Druck (not pictured) joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Monday.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Deb Gaut recently founded a business that aims to help people over the age of 50 pursue their dreams whether it’s a different job or exciting hobby.

The business, Boomalally, offers workshops, counseling and a digital magazine to help people with a transition later in life.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh and a panel of experts will consider some of the numerous local and national legal stories unfolding this week.

In addition to offering analysis of the latest developments surrounding President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller, they’ll take a look at several key lawsuits and legal battles taking place closer to home.

On the panel:

This interview will be on St. Louis on the Air at noon Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will talk with three St. Louis grocers who manage to make a living and develop customer loyalty in an industry dominated by bigger companies like Schnucks.

Joining the conversation will be Maddie Earnest, co-owner of Local Harvest Grocery in Tower Grove South; Chris Goodson, owner of Fields Foods in Lafayette Square; and Vincent Hromadka of Vincent’s Market, a family-owned store now in its 106th year of existence.

Julie Smith (left) and Marialice Curran (right) encourage adults to embrace social media and help children process what they are consuming.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

More parents and educators are pushing to involve children in media literacy discussions to encourage “humanizing the screen,” Marialice Curran, founder and executive director of the Digital Citizenship Institute, told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.

On Friday’s program, Curran joined Julie Smith, media and communications instructor at Webster University, to discuss how adults can use social media and online information to help children better connect to the world, develop authentic relationships and model acceptable behavior.

Actors Sean MacLaughlin (left) and Michelle Aravena (right) portray characters Juan Perón and Eva Perón.
Eric Woolsey

Eva Perón, also known as Evita, was a first lady of Argentina and radio host adored by the “common man,” later becoming a cultural icon in her country. Controversial for using her power and fame to champion women’s and workers’ rights, she often broke norms.

She was the first woman in Argentina's history, for example, to appear in public on the campaign trail with her husband.

She was so loved by many that her body mysteriously went missing for 17 years after her death. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ current musical production, “Evita,” portrays her life on stage.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the play with Steve Woolf, Augustin Family Artistic Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and actor Pepe Nufrio, who plays the Che character in “Evita." 

Carmen Connors' tiny-bus house is about 200-square-feet total.
Carmen Connors

While some may see the trend of minimalism as a new fad in the developed world, living simply with few possessions is a practice that dates back to ancient times. Various interpretations of the lifestyle exist. However, they all share a common theme: eliminate excess and add purpose to one’s life.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, local minimalist Amber Sebold defined a person who adopts the lifestyles as “somebody who is very careful about what they keep in their lives – the physical items, [and] basically everything has a purpose and a meaning and adds value to their life.”

Ken Nix is the founder and operational director of the St. Louis Regional Computer Crimes Education and Enforcement Group.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Since 2002, the St. Louis Regional Computer Crimes Education and Enforcement Group has cracked down on digital crimes including those of child exploitation and cyberbullying.

“We needed something to help law enforcement address any type of digital forensics immediately instead of having to wait six, seven, eight months,” Ken Nix said on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Neal Bascomb is the author of "The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War"
Caitlin Lally | St. Louis Public Radio

When considering the pivotal moments of World War I, the Great Escape of 1918 is likely not the first incident that comes to mind. Indeed, the history of this truly remarkable episode has largely gone unnoticed in the 100 years since it transpired.

Neal Bascomb’s latest book “The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War” attempts to shed light on this central event in world history. Bascomb joined host Don Marsh for a conversation about the new book on this Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

"St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh spoke with the former FBI director, who is pictured here during a 2016 event at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
FBI | Flickr

James Comey expressed both concern and hope about the state of U.S. institutions and the rule of law during a St. Louis Public Radio interview on Wednesday.

“I think we’re in two different places,” the former FBI director told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “We’re in a place where the president of the United States relentlessly attacks the rule of law and the institutions of justice, so that’s terrible. But the second place that we’re in is that Americans have awakened to the importance of the rule of law and the danger of its erosion, and that’s a very, very important sort of antibody response. And it’s a source for optimism.”

(L-R) Engin Blackstone, Christie Huck and Stella Erondu are leaders of St. Louis area charter schools. They joined St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh to talk about the success of their schools in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For students in underserved school districts, charter schools can prove to be an important educational option. Some charter schools fail, but others thrive.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with leaders of three St. Louis charter schools about how they have sought to achieve success and what charter schools have to offer local communities.

From left, Marie-Hélène Bernard and Erik Finley look forward to the season opener of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra this weekend.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra begins its 2018-19 season this weekend.

“It’s an exciting time,” Marie-Hélène Bernard said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air in advance of the SLSO’s 139th season that features music director designate Stéphane Denève.

While Devène does not officially start as music director until the 2019-20 season, he will conduct four concerts, and Bernard explained his role this year with an analogy.

Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram is making a return trip through U.S. towns named Lebanon.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Fadi BouKaram is a Lebanese photographer who in late 2016 embarked on U.S. road trip to visit communities named Lebanon. There are more than 40 such towns and cities in the country that share the name of his homeland, a country in the Middle East that’s a bit smaller than Connecticut.

BouKaram is making a return trip to many of the communities he visited more than a year ago with stops planned in Lebanon, Illinois and Lebanon, Missouri.

Fiction writer Michael Nye (at left), Left Bank Books co-owner Kris Kleindienst (center) and Kathleen Finneran, a senior writer in residence at Washington University, are among those involved in this weekend’s festival.
Erica Ott & St. Louis Public Radio

Kris Kleindienst need only glance out toward the entrance to her bookstore at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues for some solid reminders of St. Louis’ literary legacy. The busts of four canonical writers adorn the intersection – T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin and William Burroughs, all of whom spent formative years in the city.

But Kleindienst is just as enthusiastic about St. Louis’ contemporary writing community as she is about the region’s historical claims to writerly fame.

“We’re a great literary town, and that – in my 44 years of bookselling – has really just become clearer and clearer to me,” the Left Bank Books co-owner said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air during a discussion ahead of Bookfest St. Louis.

Kim Gardner began serving as the city’s top prosecutor in January 2017.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Updated at 2:46 p.m. Saturday with clarification — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim  Gardner has been on the job for a little over a year and a half now, and her office has been the subject of some controversy and criticism over the course of that relatively short time period.

Earlier this week, Gardner was the focus of an in-depth piece in the Riverfront Times. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, she joined host Don Marsh for a conversation in light of the recent news coverage, and Marsh started by asking the prosecutor what she thought about the recent description of her office as a “chaotic” one.

“In any transition period when you are a new elected official, taking over an office can be difficult, and transition is difficult and hard for people,” Gardner responded. “So, of course, as [with] any prior prosecutor, there’s going to be transition. People will leave. And some people may say it’s chaos, but I say that’s change.”

Felicia Shaw is the executive director of the Regional Arts Commission.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The Regional Arts Commission is trumpeting what it claims is the first comprehensive regional planning effort of its kind in St. Louis.

Among other things, the 90-page report calls for more arts education and collaborations among groups that have previously not worked together.

The focus of the report is “how can the arts play a larger role in making St. Louis a better place to live,” explained Felicia Shaw, executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC).

Shaw was St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh’s guest on Friday.

The St. Louis-based literary magazine’s latest issue, which runs about 200 pages and includes some focus on immigration, features cover art by Tran Nguyen.
Boulevard

For nearly 35 years now, Boulevard magazine has been publishing works of fiction, poetry and nonfiction by both luminaries and emerging writers. Its hot-off-the-press 100th issue continues that tradition, offering readers a vibrant mix of contemporary literature penned by a wide range of writers.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the St. Louis-based literary magazine’s evolution and legacy since its founding in 1984.

Joining him for the discussion were the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jessica Rogen, as well as celebrated writers Joyce Carol Oates and Carl Phillips.

In the wake of Ferguson unrest, longtime St. Louisan Henry Biggs felt a pull to do something about the issues facing the St. Louis region.  He chose to swim.
Swimming to Ferguson

University City resident Henry Biggs remembers hearing “a lot of talk” about bridging St. Louis’ racial divides and disparities in the months that followed Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson four years ago.

“But I didn’t really see many people saying, ‘OK, well, what’s the thing that I could do?’” Biggs recalled this week on St. Louis on the Air.

For Biggs – a longtime St. Louisan, scholar and athlete – that one thing ended up involving a whole lot of swimming. He decided to swim the entire 28 miles of water surrounding Manhattan in New York City, and he asked people to pledge a dollar per mile to support “things that would make the Ferguson area better.”

Alongside the work of established artists and entertainers, artwork created through several outreach-oriented organizations - including these pieces by participants in Preferred Family Healthcare’s A.R.T.C. program – will be in the spotlight this weekend.
A.R.T.C.

Lorraine Reeb will be one of many individuals and organizations hawking their creative wares along St. Charles’ historic Main Street this weekend, and she’s excited about what her organization, Blank Canvas Studios, will have to offer passersby.

“Having a divergent way of interpreting the world makes really raw, uninhibited, amazing art,” she said on this Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

One of a handful of outreach-oriented nonprofits that will be showcasing work at the 24th Annual Mosaics Fine Arts Festival, Blank Canvas Studios provides an artistic outlet to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Reeb is the program director, and she joined host Don Marsh for a conversation alongside Lauren Zeiger, regional coordinator of Preferred Family Healthcare’s A.R.T.C. program.

DeRay Mckesson poses in the trademark blue vest that he first wore in the early days of the Ferguson protests.
Adam Mayer

An educator who quit his job to join the Ferguson protests, and then became a nationally known activist is coming back to St. Louis on Thursday.

DeRay Mckesson will appear at Union Avenue Christian Church to talk about his book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.”

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