Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Elena Araoz and Tom Ridgely joined host Don Marsh to talk about this year's Shakespeare Festival St. Louis production.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The tragedy of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet is a timeless tale and one of English playwright William Shakespeare’s most popular works.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is bringing the classic play back to Forest Park June 1 to 24.

Stilwell, Kansas, is an unlikely place to find a Muslim Quran reciter who has over a million followers each on both Instagram and Facebook.

But for now, that's where you can find Fatih Seferagic.

When Seferagic was just four years old, his family fled war-torn Bosnia. He eventually ended up in Houston, Texas, when he was 14 years old and that’s when he gained a following after putting his Quran recitations up on YouTube.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 20, 2018 will be “The Career of Buster Williams.”  The Penguin Guide called him, “one of the most important sidemen in jazz.”  Bassist Buster Williams has had a long career that started in 1960 and continues up to today.  He has played with Mary Lou Williams, Stanley Turrentine, the Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt Quintet, Albert Dailey, Abdullah Ibrahim, Herbie Hancock, Helen Merrill & Gil Evans, Bobby Hutcherson, the Jazz Crusaders, Sharon Freeman and French horns, the Great Jazz Trio, Sarah Vaughan, Sphere, the Mary Lou Williams Collective, Geri Allen, McCoy T

Gage Skidmore | Flickr

In the aftermath of the media frenzy following his appearance at the 2016 presidential debate at Washington University, Ken Bone, a.k.a the “red sweater guy,” has managed to have more than his so-called 15 minutes of fame.

As an undecided voter, Bone asked candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump a question about energy policy, but it was his appearance and red sweater that caught the nation’s attention.

Ronald Jones greets a client's son at his funeral home 2161 E Fair Ave. (May 16, 2018)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Growing up, there were three people in the community Ronald Jones says people respected: the preacher, the barkeeper and the undertaker.

 

After spending nearly every day in church as a child, Jones decided being a preacher wasn’t an option. Then there was the barkeeper, but Jones says he was turned off by the taste of rotgut whiskey.

Will DeWitt says his goal with this competition is to help "the next big sound" emerge from St. Louis.  5/18/18
Jeremy D. Goodwin

Does St. Louis have talent?

OK, it’s clear the answer to that is “yes.” But an upcoming competition offers a chance for local musicians who are trying to break into the music business to have their work heard by industry insiders and maybe even get that big break.

St. Louis Sound, a music competition modeled on TV shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice,” is headed for The Sheldon Concert Hall on June 7. Bands and solo artists are invited to submit one song for consideration, with 10 finalists taking the stage the night of the event to perform and receive critiques from a panel of judges.

Amy Sherald, "What’s precious inside of him does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence (All American)," 2017.  5/15/18
Amy Sherald and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald built a reputation in the art world for painting highly stylized portraits of what you might call ordinary people. But she became a household name in wider circles this year for her portrait of a rather extraordinary subject: the first African-American First Lady of the United States. 

 

An exhibition of Sherald’s work is at Contemporary Art Museum, where it remains on view through Aug. 19.

Lona Luo, originally from rural China, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh and Sauce Magazine’s Matt Sorrell for a conversation about the success of her restaurant, Lona’s Lil Eats.
Virginia Harold | Sauce Magazine

Two key ingredients make up Lona Luo’s philosophy at her popular Chinese eatery in St. Louis’ Fox Park neighborhood: great food and excellent service.

The Lona’s Lil Eats chef suspects that both had something to do with her being named a James Beard Award semifinalist earlier this year.

“That’s what they are looking for all the time, no matter what, no matter where,” Luo said of the recent recognition during a conversation this week on St. Louis on the Air.

SLIFF 2011: Day 7

May 14, 2018

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2011 - We Were Here, Directed by David Weissman, U.S. | 90 minutes, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17, Tivoli

In the early 1980s, AIDS transformed San Francisco's gay community from an lively oasis of acceptance to an ongoing death vigil.

St. Louis author Curtis Sittenfeld was a guest on St. Louis on the Air Monday. | May 14, 2018
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A few years ago as a guest on St. Louis on the Airauthor Benjamin Percy described Curtis Sittenfeld as “St. Louis’ literary warlord.”

Though she doesn’t proclaim command over the St. Louis region’s nearly 3 million residents or the authors who call it home, Sittenfeld’s residence here is a point of pride as is her authority over the English language in writing compelling stories. The bestselling author of five novels including “Prep,” “American Wife” and “Sisterland” has just released yet another book of fiction – and this one is a collection of short stories.

Five-year-old Honore Locker colors alongside Maxi Glamour after Drag Queen Story Hour at St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of drag queens in bejeweled ball gowns and stiletto heels brought unexpected glamour to storytime on Mother's Day weekend.

A rambunctious crowd packed into the auditorium of the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch on Saturday afternoon for Drag Queen Story Hour. The event, which aims to celebrate diversity and inclusion, drew more than 100 young children and their families.

Preview: Symphony offers Purcell, Berio, Bruckner

May 13, 2018

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov 17, 2011 - This weekend's St. Louis Symphony concerts come to the audience at Powell Hall much in the way three teens arrive for their first day of school: One approaches with slow, luxurious, ever-graceful steps, sporting classic attire born of privilege; but her stained checks and deep sorrowful eyes betray her confidence and offer a window into a world wrought with passion, rebellion and angst.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 13, 2018 will be “The Career of Billy Higgins.”  A drummer who played for musicians with widely divergent styles, an always smiling Billy Higgins lifted the bandstand for musicians as diverse as Stan Getz and Cal Tjader, Paul Horn, Thelonious Monk, Teddy Edwards, Milt Jackson, Lee Morgan, Pat Metheny, Abbey Lincoln, John Coltrane, Geoff Keezer, David Murray, Pat Martino, Junko Onishi, Bertha Hope, Ornette Coleman, Bobby Hutcherson, Mal Waldron, Charles Lloyd, Clifford Jordan, and Sun Ra during his 44-year performing career.

River Styx editor Jason Lee Brown (at left) and writer Adrian Todd Zuniga discussed the magazine’s 2018 Literary Feast on Friday’s show
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

River Styx, St. Louis’ oldest literary magazine, will release its 100th issue this summer. And while that’s a big milestone on its own, the 43-year-old organization has lots to celebrate even beyond the long existence of the biannual publication itself.

That’s according to River Styx’s new editor, Jason Lee Brown, who took the reins back in November.

Camp creator Michael Ford with a camper in May 2017.
The HipHop Architecture Camp

About 2 percent of architects in the U.S. are African-American. That’s a statistic Michael Ford wants to change by inspiring young people to think of new ways to solve urban development problems that segregate and marginalize low-income communities.

Ford wants to achieve this goal using  hip-hop music and culture. He created The Hip-Hop Architecture Camp in 2017.

Proceeds from Denise Thimes’ performance this Sunday at UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center will help to support the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Much like Mother’s Day itself, Denise Thimes’ benefit concert that takes place during the annual celebration of moms has grown into a recurring and anticipated event.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with the jazz great about this year’s iteration, which is set for Sunday evening at the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Touhill Performing Arts Center.

It will benefit the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Thimes founded and named the foundation in remembrance of her mother, who died of the disease in 1997.

Students of Hawthorn Leadership School work with tutors from YourWordsSTL to express themselves through writing.
YourWordsSTL

Shortly after Anna Guzon of St. Louis graduated from medical school, she realized she wanted to practice a different kind of medicine: helping young people heal by writing about their lives.

That’s the aim of YourWords STL, the organization she cofounded to help marginalized youth.

On Chess: Chess in St. Louis – A never-ending story

May 10, 2018
Var Akobian, one of the highest-rated players competing in the Summer Chess Classic Group A.
Saint Louis Chess Club

It is no longer news that St. Louis is the capital of chess in the United States, yet it continues its reputation for bringing the finest chess players to compete in elite events throughout the year. 2018 marks the Saint Louis Chess Club’s 10th anniversary and 10th straight year hosting the U.S. Championships in St. Louis. After an exciting U.S. Championship cycle, where the top twelve male and top twelve female chess players competed for the crown of national champion, the staff of the Chess Club is continuing their inspiring journey, bringing another exciting event to St. Louis.

(L-R) Helene Meyer, Collins Lewis and Dianne Morris talk about how theater helps address mental health stigmas.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Slaying Dragons theatrical troupe uses dramas to remove the stigma of mental and emotional illness. Aiming to “give mental health a stage,” the local group puts on productions with the purpose of helping audiences better understand mental health issues.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about Slaying Dragons’ upcoming production, "My River, My Valley," with Helene Meyer, actress and artistic director of Slaying Dragons, actress Dianne Morris and Collins Lewis, board member of Slaying Dragons and associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Washington University.

Fireworks, fourth of july, reflected, horizontal, arch
File Photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Fourth of July concerts and fireworks will return to the Gateway Arch for the first time in four years.

Fair St. Louis announced Tuesday that the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, pop artist Jason Derulo and country singer-songwriter Martina McBride will headline the three-day event. The artists will play on a main stage under the legs of the Arch.

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