Arts & Culture

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis  author John O’Leary wasn’t supposed to survive the burns that covered 100 percent of his body when he had an accident at age 9. No one thought he would walk, write with a pencil, or play a piano ever again. O’Leary, now 38, is not only able to do those things, he also found love, married and fathered four children.

The Isamu Noguchi ceiling, which had been hidden for years under a drop ceiling at the U-Haul building on Kingshighway, has finally emerged for all to see. Click through the slideshow to see more views of it.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A late autumn's promise has bloomed in the spring: a once-hidden architectural gem in St. Louis is open to the public at last.

U-Haul International Inc. has made good on its commitment to uncover and repair a sculptured ceiling created for the main lobby of its mid-20th century facility on South Kingshighway by the late American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi.

A jockey rides a horse back past the finish line after a race on opening day at Fairmount Park.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

There were 30 minutes until the first race of the day and the locker room at Fairmount Park Racetrack buzzed with activity. Jockeys flipped through race programs and flicked their whips through the air. Television sets perched on cluttered shelves flashed scenes of the track outside, where fans filled the stands for opening day of the Collinsville racetrack's 91st season.

As announcers counted down in anticipation, the jockeys helped each other tape up aching joints and teased each other playfully. Some said a quick prayer.

sirmichael | Flickr | http://bit.ly/21qhnIM

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of May.

Meera Nagarajan and Heather Hughes, the magazine’s art director and managing editor, respectively, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list? (Read the full post here)

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if a writer makes reference to Jane Austen in her works, she could likely incur what we’re calling “the wrath of the Janeites.” Or, at least, that’s some of what author Curtis Sittenfeld has experienced since the release of her novel “Eligible,” which is a modern retelling of Austen’s most famous book “Pride and Prejudice.”

Re-enactors walk quietly through the woods at Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles County.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As a production crew carried lights, cameras and generators into a thicket of pine trees at Busch Memorial Conservation Area on a recent morning, Jeremy Turner stood on the bed of his pickup and surveyed the small group of friends and acquaintances he'd recruited to join him on set.

UMSL students Qianling Ye, Charis Railey, Robbie Wade, John Hood, Lalitha Jilakara and Tony Marr perform with their classmates during the dress rehearsal for their spring concert.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend is the last time those studying dance at the University of Missouri-St. Louis will put on a performance.

After this semester both UMSL dance professor Ronderrick Mitchell and the students who want to make dance into a career will be gone.

Devin Lawson of south St. Louis County works to dry out the boilers in the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad Association's 12-inch gauge steam engines.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The volunteer crew at the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad Association in far west St. Louis County is back on track after it was almost derailed by severe floods along the Meramec River late last year.

The ridable miniature railroad in Glencoe opens for the season this Sunday, the first time it will run for the public since the flooding. 

Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Pop music often falls into the tropes of love, desire, and wanting things you can’t have or had and lost. In real life these feelings can lead to inertia, melancholia, and ennui.

So what happens when those sentiments are expressed through huge melodies and danceable beats? 

There’s a group of young St. Louis-born musicians who have toured the country and developed strong online fan bases, despite having released only handfuls of tracks.  Their songs are connected stylistically and thematically by this exploration of pairing propulsive beats with a sense of want.

Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis, speaks against SJR 39 during Wednesday's House Emerging Issues committee meeting.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed the defeat of SJR 39, the “religious shield” proposal, in Missouri and explored the experiences of local transgender people.

Joining the program:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time this week, when severe weather rolled through the St. Louis metropolitan area, neither Cindy Preszler nor Mike Roberts had a newsroom to check in with or viewers to inform about breaking weather alerts.

“Sitting home and watching it on TV was tough,” Preszler told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I wanted to be there.”

Weather is still top-of-mind for both meteorologists, who are also personal friends.

Ron Campbell's Blue Meanie reclines on the words "all you need is love" whith the Yellow Submarine in the background.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The Beatles seem to be invading St. Louis once again. This summer Paul McCartney will perform at Busch Stadium, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles's legendary performance at the old stadium. This weekend provides a chance to meet an artist who helped build the group's legacy, Ron Campbell.

“The Beatles fans, they spend their whole life remembering,” said Campbell, who also worked on popular kids cartoons. “Then there’s all the fans of the cartoons; the "Scooby-Doo" fans and all the childhood memories that they have.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, May 1, 2016 will be “The Career of Jimmy Cobb.”  Best known for his associations with Miles Davis and the Wynton Kelly Trio, drummer Jimmy Cobb is now 87 and still going strong.  He was born in Washington D.C.

Akshat Chandra vs. Fabiano Caruana
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The 2016 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship that concluded April 25 will not only go down in the history books as the strongest event but also as arguably the one with the most dramatic finale. Entering the final round, both tournaments had one clear leader as well as one or more players trailing by half point. The tournaments were reaching their crowning moment, the players’ nerves were at their peak, and the tension could be felt in the air.

Connor Wright seated on his trio of Stan Musial portraits at Ballpark Village. Wright used 5,980 Rubik's Cubes to make the piece.
Connor Wright | Provided

Baseball is a game of numbers: batting average , RBIs. ERA.

But Connor Wright had to come up with a different kind of number for a project honoring St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial: how many Rubik’s Cubes it would  take to create a 205-square-foot mural with a trio of images of the famous #6.

poetry
Rachel Knickerman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/24icZgD

April is National Poetry Month and before we flip the calendar page, St. Louis on the Air wants to celebrate two local organizations working to make sure that poetry continues on in the lives of young people.

Listen to the full interview and hear poetry from the young poets themselves:

UrbArts VerbQuake Poetry Slam

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The term ‘non-audition’ as it applies to choral endeavors may conjure up images of off-key singing and uncoordinated dance moves. That’s certainly not the case with CHARIS — The St. Louis Women’s Chorus, said the group's president, Sharon Spurlock.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A musical collaboration between the International Institute of St. Louis and the St. Louis Symphony will have the sounds of Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Bosnia, Congo and Cuba streaming from the gym at the institute come May 3.

The purpose of Music Without Boundaries is to make immigrants new to the area feel welcomed by connecting them to the sounds of their homeland.

For Maureen Byrne, the director of community programs at the St. Louis Symphony, the collaboration was a logical fit.

Billy Busch enters the court building to attend a hearing on the sale of Grant's Farm
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Five of six Busch siblings were in court Tuesday over the potential $26 million sale of Grant’s Farm from the Busch Family Trust.

Billy Busch has offered to buy Grant's Farm. His siblings, Gertrude Busch Valentine, Peter W. Busch, Andrew D. Busch, and Beatrice Busch von Gontard, have made a competing offer. Yet, in court the family sat on the same bench.

The Missouri Belting Company, considered one of the most endangered buildings in St. Louis by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.
Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1UcUB67

St. Louis is home to a vast array of architectural marvels. Whether you’re looking for art deco gems or modernist icons, you’ll find plenty of examples within city limits. But not all buildings are well preserved. What are the most endangered historical buildings in St. Louis? And what buildings are symbols of a preservation job well-done?

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