Arts and Culture

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Ten years from now, you will hopefully see Fort Zumwalt West High School senior Audri Bartholomew accepting the crowning award in the much-lauded EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, for those in the know). You’ll also hopefully see Belleville East High School sophomore Abby Zaiz still tap dancing to her heart’s content.

St. Louis has an active Polish community. On Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air," we'll be talking about it.
Dan Markye | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1VCzpEo

You may have heard the oft-repeated statistic that “Chicago has the largest population of Polish people outside of Warsaw.” As WBEZ pointed out last year, that may not be entirely true. While St. Louis certainly does not have the same number of Poles as Chicago or New York, we do have an active Polish community.

Jessica Witte will launch a seed-art project, similar to this August 2015 one in Belleville, along the St. Louis riverfront June 3-5.
Jessica Witte

St. Louisans will get to participate in a massive art project on the riverfront this summer, thanks to a new public art grant.

The local Critical Mass for the Arts announced the winner of its first-ever public works endeavor today. The group awarded multimedia artist Jessica Witte $10,000 for her “Seed the Change” idea.

Grand Center vice president Michelle Stevens and National Endowment for the Arts chairman Jane Chu in the Public Media Commons on Olive Street.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is on the right track, according to the head of the nation’s largest grant-making organization for the arts.

Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, visited St. Louis Monday as part of a tour of NEA grant recipients. Her stops included the Grand Center Arts District,  which has received two “Our Town” awards totaling $125,000 to help with plans to make the area more walkable and attractive.

Dan Duncan, Steve Scorfina and Mike Mesey.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” several local musicians joined host Don Marsh to discuss a new recording of the famed Chuck Berry tune “Johnny B. Goode.” The recording will raise money to fund the completion of KSDK anchor Art Holliday’s documentary about Berry’s long-time pianist Johnnie Johnson, who many say the song is named in tribute of. The piano on the track was actually recorded by Johnson himself, before his death in 2005.

Jamie Heuer

We here at “Cityscape” know—making the perfect paper snowflake can yield some serious headaches. No, really, we do. For a recent holiday party, we were each in charge of making paper snowflakes. Amid cries of exasperation like ‘Crud! I cut the wrong edge!’ and ‘It doesn’t look like anything,’ we thought to call for help.

Courtesy Don Marsh

If you’re a Star Wars fanatic, your thrusters are probably already in hyperdrive in anticipation of the release of the next installment of the franchise, “The Force Awakens,” which opened Thursday night. It is hard to imagine the films without the entire subculture of cosplay, props, toys, videogames, books and action-figures that come with them.  But, alas, there did exist a time before wookies and droids and Han Solo. That’s where “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh comes in.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Cityscape,” we talked about the most influential, interesting and moving parts of St. Louis’ arts and culture scene in 2015. Themes of social justice, urban design, and the continued evolution of issues within the Zoo-Museum District were all part of the discussion.

Joining us were the folks who know it best: St. Louis Public Radio’s arts and culture reporters: Nancy Fowler, Willis Ryder Arnold and Robert Duffy.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of performers from the Hindu Temple of St. Louis joined Batya Abramson-Goldstein, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, on “Cityscape” this Friday as part of preparations for this Sunday’s fifth annual Arts and Faith interfaith concert at the Sheldon, which promotes peace and unity in the region and around the world.

We had the pleasure to hear (and mic up!) nine of the Hindu Temple Choir performers live on air. The choir usually performs at full capacity with 18 members. 

Agnes Wilcox
Prison Performing Arts / Agnes Wilcox

The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis announced today that the founder of a transformative theater program, a jazz duo and an UMSL associate professor are on the list of its 2016 awardees.

Katy Peace, right in striped top, at an earlier pickup event
Provided by Community Supported Art

Katy Peace, founder and lead organizer of Community Supported Art - Saint Louis, joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter along with artists Ruth Reese and Brandon Daniels to discuss the organization’s second season.

Community Supported Art provides aspiring artists with an opportunity and financial support to complete their projects. The CSA operates as a subscription service and helps artists sell their work.

James and Brea McAnally in the work in progress at the new Luminary Center for the Arts.
Nora Ibrahim | St. Louis Public Radio Intern

This fall the National Endowment for the Arts awarded nine St. Louis-based arts organizations a total of $250,000 in grants. But in the visual arts category, only The Luminary Arts Center on Cherokee Street got funding. Thanks to the new NEA grant the space will expand its international artist residency program. Brea McAnally runs the space with her husband, James. They say the award is a national spotlight for the space.

“Primarily we’re just grateful that the organization has been seen and validated on a national level,” said Brea McAnally.

The African Diaspora Council Inc. is holding its first annual Nelson Mandela celebration this weekend. The event marks Nelson Mandela's 96th birthday. 

The African Diaspora Council’s event includes a dinner, a cultural performance, a 6K run and a soccer tournament.  

The tournament, which is scheduled for Saturday evening, will feature four teams representing different countries.  The teams will consist of players of varying African descent and other local community members.

Brett Williams
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio intern

What kind of music goes with a video of sitting on the toilet naked while eating peanut butter out of a jar? That question — back in the late 1990s — ultimately led St. Louis artist Brett Williams to the sound sculptures he creates today.

While at the School of The Art Institute in Chicago, Williams launched what he calls the Brett Commercials, a video series that includes “Brett Lives Alone,” featuring his bathroom snacking against a whistling-clanking soundtrack.

The Pulitzer, photographer David Johnson

What is St. Louis doing to combat climate change? And how can art and design move those plans forward?

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts wants to publicize ongoing efforts and encourage new collaborations in its Marfa Dialogues competition. Winners will receive $2,500 and the opportunity to display their ideas in a public forum, which may take many forms, including exhibitions, readings, concerts and film screenings.

Table and Chairs
Duet Gallery

A table can connect families, foster discussion or encourage a game of cards. This weekend, a table in Grand Center also provides a canvas for artistic and cultural expression.

“Table” opened Thursday night at the new Duet art space, 3526 Washington Ave., with an evening of drinks and folk music. Friday night at 7, the custom wood design by Martin Goebel becomes the stage for a new media performance.

James McAnally
Provided by M. McAnally

The Luminary Center for the Arts credits numerous supporters, volunteers and long-range thinking for the purchase of its own building.

To be successful in the arts, a business head can be as important as a creative mind.

Wikipedia

A report released this afternoon by St. Louis city prosecutor Jennifer Joyce has cleared the Missouri History Museum of all allegations of criminal activity. But the report also scolded the museum for questionable behaviors.

Erin Williams

With signs in neon lights, fire hydrants that resemble anything but, and murals and metal sculptures abound, it’s a safe bet to say that The Grove neighborhood is one that thrives heavily on appearance. Much of its open and colorful aesthetic can be attributed to Grace McCammond, an artist who has been creating murals and adding color to fire hydrants and signal boxes in the neighborhood for the past nine years.

“If it holds still pretty much I’ll paint it,” she says.

Missouri's budget shortfall has been felt everywhere from schools to state agencies to social service programs. Arts groups across St. Louis haven't been spared, either. Many are adjusting to the new reality of decreasing financial support from the state at a time when resources remain tight.