Arts & Culture

Composer Francis Pott and Phillip Barnes, aristic director, Saint Louis Chamber Chorus.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Love is not all sunshine and roses, especially when it comes to Valentine’s Day. That is something Saint Louis Chamber Chorus artistic director Phillip Barnes was very aware of when booking this year’s concert to be held on Feb. 14 at Second Presbyterian Church.

Principal dancer Makensieie Howe in Saint Louis Ballet's "In It For Love."
Saint Louis Ballet

This Valentine’s Day, Saint Louis Ballet is “In it for the Love” with contemporary flair and a world premiere of a piece set to Beatles music.

St. Louis area native and principal dancer Makensie Howe joined “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Potter to discuss the world premiere and the company. 

Choreographer and former New York City principal dancer Christopher d’Amboise is the mastermind behind the Beatles-themed piece entitled “Bedtime Stories,” which also features fun sleep-themed costumes.

Bundesarchiv Bild | Wikimedia Commons

Lithuanian-American young adult author Ruta Sepetys has known her whole life of the trials faced by refugees fleeing war. Her father fled from Lithuania when the Soviets occupied the country following World War II and spent nine years in refugee camps before he was able to come to the United States.

Vita Kryvoruchko is the resident grandmaster for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
Nicole Halpin | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis hosted the 8th Annual Metro St. Louis Tournament on Feb. 6. I was very glad to participate in the event, which was the first time I played in the Chess Club. Every section played in different rooms, which was good because it was quiet and comfortable. The Master’s section had eight strong players: two grandmasters, three international masters and myself, a woman grandmaster.

Volunteers got a chance to enjoy drinks and snacks and socialize while volunteering at Operation Food Search's December Rap N Pack event.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Not all of the food at Operation Food Search one evening last December was going to needy families.

Rather, some were appetizers to be paired with wine and beer and enjoyed by the volunteers at the University City-based food bank, as part of its "Rap N Pack" event that mixes socializing with volunteering.

Poet and spoken word artist Cheeraz Gormon has felt great pain.

She grew up in the north St. Louis neighborhood of College Hill and remembers what it was like to hear the first gun shots ring out in her neighborhood in the late 1980s and the gang wars that erupted thereafter. She remembers when her brother, six weeks home from Kuwait, was murdered in Olivette. She remembers, most recently, when her baby brother was murdered on August 13, 2013, defending a woman who was the victim of domestic abuse. She most certainly remembers years of systemic racism she faced as an executive in the advertising industry and daily life as a black woman and activist.

But Gormon has also approached this pain with great love: a fuel for her poetry and spoken word performances that are capturing the hearts and minds of people around St. Louis.

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.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has so many Americana acts that choosing three to highlight is almost a joke. There are perennial  favorites like Pokey LaFarge and the Bottle Rockets.  There are the alt-country "grandfathers" Uncle Tupelo.  But here are a couple of St. Louis Public Radio’s current favorites. Thanks to  Tim Lloyd, one of the hosts for We Live Here, for pointing Audio Agitation in the right direction.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 7 will be the first of a five-part series on “Jazz Families: Blood Relatives.”  There are an amazing number of jazz musicians who have blood relatives (mothers, fathers, siblings) who are also jazz musicians.  This show will feature music by the Dodds brothers, the Buckner brothers, the DeParis brothers, the Goodman brothers, Albert Ammons and his son Gene, Cannonball and Nat Adderley and Nat’s son Nat Adderley, Jr., the Clayton family, the Candoli brothers, the Brecker brothers, the Cole brothers, the Barron brothers, the Bryant brothers, Kenny Drew and

Who hasn't enjoyed a comic strip in the newspaper or a comic book or a cartoon in the New Yorker at one time or another? 

What a treat it was to enter the Ojai Valley Museum in Ojai, California and see an exhibition titled "Sergio's Cartoon Collection.” 

Julia Flood, the artistic director of Metro Theater Company, and Trigney Morgan, who plays Cassius Clay in “And In This Corner…Cassius Clay.”
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Picture this moment: A Louisville mother and her two sons are huddled in a hug after hearing the news about the murder of Emmett Till. There are tough questions about why and no clear answers to be had.

The official "Puppy Bowl" portrait of Ellie aka Puddin' Pop. You can see her play fpr Team Ruff at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Stray Rescue

There’s a doggone good reason to watch TV on Super Bowl Sunday, even if you’re not a football fan — or still bitter about the Rams.

St. Louis may not have a home team anymore, but we do have a dog in this fight -- an actual dog, from Wentzville, who’ll take the field in the Animal Planet channel’s annual “Puppy Bowl” on Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy of Butterscotch Shenanigans

Sam Coster had an unusual inspiration for his hit computer game – his fight against cancer.

“The game is designed specifically to deliver a feeling of awe and wonder and immersion so it’s literally designed to be the place that I wanted and needed to go during cancer treatment,” Sam said.

Photograph of Nona Gaprindashvili in Gisela Gresser’s Photo Album from the 1961 Vrnjačka Banja, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia), Women’s Candidates Tournament, c. 1961. John G. White Collection at the Cleveland Public Library.
Michael DeFilippo | World Chess Hall of Fame

Georgia has always held a special place in the chess world. Its women have been especially strong, having once held the Women’s World Chess Champion title for just under 30 consecutive years.

The first pioneer and a phenomenal success of women’s chess in Georgia was Nona Gaprindashvili, who in 1962 became the Women’s World Chess Champion at the age of 21.

Storyteller Bobby Norfolk's 'Take the A Train' opens Jan. 10, 2015.
Courtesy of Bobby Norfolk

To Bobby Norfolk, three-time Emmy Award-winning television host, standup comedian, living history park ranger with the National Park Service and storyteller on the national scene, storytelling is no laughing matter.

“It is missionary work,” Norfolk told Steve Potter on Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air.” If you go into storytelling, it is a serious, serious endeavor.”

Adam Kloppe, a public historian with the Missouri History Museum joined Don Marsh to discuss the museum’s new exhibit "Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America," and the St. Louis connections to that world.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The NSA, Edward Snowden, homeland security, terrorism … none of these terms are far from any American’s mind these days. But they are founded in historic events that have emerged through the United States history.

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” Adam Kloppe, a public historian with the Missouri History Museum joined Don Marsh to discuss the museum’s new exhibit "Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America," and the St. Louis connections to that world. The exhibit comes to St. Louis from the International Spy Museum, located in Washington D.C.

Five things to know for Saturday’s Mardi Gras parade

Feb 3, 2016
Mardi Gras 2012
Provided by Clementines

The 37th Annual Bud Light Grand Parade in Soulard is just around the corner. The Mardi Gras celebration will take off from Busch Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday, winding its way to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The parade route is 1.6 miles long, and normally takes around two hours to complete.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

James Beard Award-winning chef Gerard Craft is known for some of St. Louis’ most beloved restaurants which produce cutting-edge and taste-bud-tingling food. So when restaurateurs heard his newest venture was going fast-casual, they did a double-take.

Despite the initial shock, the restaurant has opened to lines out the door:

Drone warfare has spread from the battlefields to TV and movie thrillers. And now it’s spread to the fine art world. The Kemper Art Museum at Washington University is hosting one of the first museum shows critically examining drones. Yet, say the show’s curators, the art isn’t bogged down in political rhetoric. It's visually engaging and firmly grounded in contemporary art.

Michelle Volansky

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 February.

Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes, both managing editors at the magazine, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

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