Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Jessica Henthoff and Ari Maayan talked about Circus Harmony's trip to Puerto Rico from which they returned earlier this week.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Lions, tigers and … unicyclists, oh my! Circus performers are known for juggling many acts, but the St. Louis Arches can add humanitarian efforts to their repertoire as well.

Kevin and Danielle McCoy, seen here with their daughter, Elle, posed an artistic response to their own experiences with colorism. 7/20/18
Jeremy D. Goodwin | St. Louis Public Radio

Married couple Danielle and Kevin McCoy are used to being treated differently based on the color of their skin — not only because they are each African-American, but because her skin tone is lighter than his.

“Dani being fairer-skinned, wavier-textured hair,” Kevin McCoy said, “and me darker, more coarse, as we say nappier hair — I was not the ‘safe’ black person.”

He said people they encounter, both “in the black community and outside of the black community,” appear comfortable with Danielle but view him as “aggresive.”

This led them to create the work in “Color-ism,” an exhibition that opens at the Gallery at the Kranzberg Arts Center on Friday and remains on view through Sept. 3. Put simply, colorism is the preference for lighter-colored skin, even within communities of color.

Former Mayor Raymond Tucker (at right) and then-civic leader and bond issue chairman Sidney Maestre look out over an area of Mill Creek Valley slated for clearance in this photograph from 1956.
Missouri Historical Society

Lois Conley of St. Louis grew up in Mill Creek Valley, where everything was in walking distance, and neighbors kept a close eye on each others’ children.

“You felt safe; You felt protected. Everybody knew everybody,” Conley said.

But in the late 1950s, the area between Union Station and Saint Louis University was condemned in the name of urban renewal. Families moved away and lost touch.

Now St. Louis is a finalist in a national contest that would help fund a public art project documenting the destruction of Mill Creek.

Stephen Werner joined host Don Marsh to discuss the life of Daniel Lord.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Daniel Lord was a prominent American Catholic figure in the 20th century. He attended St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant before being ordained in 1923. A priest, writer, editor and speaker, Lord shared his message of faith through a variety of media. He even had his hand in movie and theater production, co-writing the controversial Motion Picture Production Code that studios adhered to from 1930 to 1968.

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair pose for a portrait at EyeSee Me.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

At a bookstore in University City, young people of color can crack open a book and see themselves as doctors, superheroes, historical figures and even princesses.

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair are the co-owners of the EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore. Jeffrey said he knew there was a need for the store long before they opened their doors in 2015. As they were homeschooling their children, Jeffrey said it was a challenge to find books and educational resources that were reflective of their children and their own experiences.

Left, Adelaide Lancaster, Georgie Herz and Aja La’Starr Owens discussed their efforts of dismantling prejudices starting at an early age through literature.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Studies indicate children are aware of gender stereotypes by age 3 and of many racial stereotypes by 4 or 5. Yet only a portion of the population is having conversations with their kids about these topics. Research also shows that white families are less likely to engage in this dialogue.

Jim DeFelice is the author of "West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The Pony Express is an enduring icon of the American West. It was a venture that used horseback riders to transport mail halfway across the continent from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California.

“This book had to be one of the ones that I had the most fun with,” explained Jim DeFelice, author of “West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express."

DeFelice, who was a guest Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air, said his research included following the old trail, much of which is publicly accessible by car or walking.

Jason Stokes, 10, reaches to make a move Friday, July 13, 2018, during a St. Louis Chess Club summer camp at Saint Louis University.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The giant chess piece outside the St. Louis Chess Club in the Central West End grew even bigger this spring to regain its title as world’s largest.

It’s a fitting play as the club celebrates its 10-year anniversary on Tuesday.

Volunteer Sam Roth, right, plays chess with a Biddle House shelter resident on July 9, 2018. The chess club began in 2016, the same year the shelter opened.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Terry Austin eyes his opponent across the chessboard, then deftly captures his knight.

A few moves later, opponent Ed Rataj admits defeat.

The two play in the communal living area at Biddle House, a shelter for people who are homless near downtown St. Louis. Austin is a resident. The Biddle House chess club began in 2016, the same year the shelter opened. Twice a week, shelter residents gather to play chess with volunteers from the community.

The lobby of the Stifel Theatre, shown in June 2011.
File photo | Provided | Tom Paule Photography

The Peabody Opera House has a new name.

For the next decade, the downtown St. Louis venue will be called Stifel Theatre.

Stifel Financial Corp. signed a 10-year agreement for naming rights at the 3,100-seat venue, which opened in 1934 as the Kiel Opera House.

Left, Lawerence Archer (Bjorn Johnson) watches as Jacqueline Archer (Rachel Ann) rehearses a piece on the violin during a scene in “Parallel Chords.”
Courtesy of Catherine Dudley-Rose

Shot and produced in St. Louis, “Parallel Chords” is a feature-length drama about the dissonance between two musicians – a father and his daughter.

“It’s loosely autobiographical,” Catherine Dudley-Rose said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “My father was a classical concert pianist … I did grow up performing with him regularly, and it’s a pretty unique bond when you’re practicing with your father from a young age every single night.” Her father’s recordings of piano parts are used throughout the film.

Africa

Jul 15, 2018
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 15, 2018 will be “Africa.”  Jazz and our American culture have roots in Africa.  We will explore the meaning of Africa and its musical heritage in America through music played and composed by American and some African jazz musicians.  The musicians are Fats Waller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Duke Ellington, Abdullah Ibrahim, the Chris McGregor Brotherhood of Breath, Dr.

Author Joe Johnston has several appearances in Jefferson County this weekend as part of the county's bicentennial celebration.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s well known that people eat different foods in different parts of the United States.

The culture and history of one of those areas – the American South – is explored in a new book by St. Louis native Joe Johnston. He’s the author of “Grits to Glory: How Southern Cookin’ Got So Good.”

Jerod Broadbooks (R), a college student from Wildwood, won a contest to perform with 30 Seconds to Mars.
Carrie Zukoski

By day Jerod Broadbooks is a student-athlete at Lindenwood University. He studies music education and is on the track team. On Monday night, however, Broadbooks, who is also a guitarist, got the chance of a lifetime to perform onstage at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater with the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars.

Broadbooks said the experience started when he heard an advertisement on 105.7 The Point while at his summer job as a lifeguard in Wildwood.

 The Rev. Dr. Samuel W. Hylton Jr.
The Hylton family

The Rev. Dr. Samuel W. Hylton Jr., who led Centennial Christian Church for more than three decades while spearheading social service programs, has died. He was 91.

In addition to envisioning and implementing numerous neighborhood programs, Hylton was the first convener of the St. Louis metropolitan Clergy Coalition, a group of spiritual leaders who actively address community concerns.

Awonder Liang and Akshita Gorti, with our executive director Tony Rich and founder Rex Sinquefield.
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

The U.S. Junior Championship is an invitational tournament featuring the highest ranked juniors in the country. It has always been an iconic component of American chess. Winning the championship has served as a stepping stone for many great players over the years, including Bobby Fischer, Yasser Seirawan and Hikaru Nakamura.

Showcasing the increasing strength of America’s juniors, the championship grows stronger every year. In just three years, the tournament has gone from having no grandmasters to featuring five (half the field)!

Felicia Shaw, new executive director of St. Louis' Regional Arts Commission, said she had a sense that this community would now "be open to change" after the events of Ferguson.
Nancy Fowler

The Regional Arts Commission will award $3.8 million in grants to 125 arts organizations in St. Louis, the organization announced Wednesday.

But a shift in the commission’s priorities means many established groups are now shut out. The commission, which receives a portion of the city’s occupancy tax on visitors to hotels and motels, will not fund 40 arts organizations that received RAC grants in 2017.

Justin Fisher’s documentary about the evolving recording industry screens at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A treasure trove of St. Louis-based filmmaking talent will be in the spotlight throughout the next two weekends as Cinema St. Louis’ annual Filmmakers Showcase gets underway on Friday.

One of the locally driven films set to screen Saturday is “Gateway Sound,” which was produced and directed by Justin Fisher, an audio engineer and educator. The documentary explores the state of the recording industry in St. Louis and beyond.

Fisher joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh Wednesday for a conversation about the project and how recording professionals are adapting in an age of music streaming, slumping record sales and easily accessible recording technology.

Tom Murray and Ed Reggi joined host Don Marsh to discuss the opening of “The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Opening the curtain on themes such as forbidden love and secret identities, Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,” opens Thursday in Grand Center.

This classic farcical comedy set in 1890s London follows the lives of two friends using the same alias, “Ernest,” for their clandestine activities. “At the core of this play, it’s really about who are we in public versus who are we in private,” Ed Reggi said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

The Torture Chamber Orchestra plays at Hammerstone's in Soulard. 2011
Nicole Hollway | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 26, 2011 - It's 10:45 p.m. and a four-piece jazz ensemble is playing at Hammerstone's, the music club at 9th and Russell in Soulard. It's a Wednesday night and the front room, with its big tables, booths and bar, is packed. The crowd sits and listens while the vocalist and his band work through their set of jazz standards, soul classics and soft rock.

After a few songs, the jazz ensemble takes a break and allows a different group of musicians to take the stage. No one knows this yet, but in 15 minutes the entire club will be empty.

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