Arts & Culture

On Chess: USA wins gold at Baku Chess Olympiad

Sep 14, 2016

Rio was not the only city to host an Olympics in 2016. Baku, capital of the oil-rich nation of Azerbaijan, just hosted the 42nd Chess Olympiad, over the last two weeks. The Olympiad featured more than 1,600 players from 180 countries. When the dust settled, the United States finished at the top, earning gold for the first time in 40 years.

'Miriam Makeba: Mama Africa the Musical' dancers and singers held a pop up performance at UMSL's Millennium Student Center Monday.
Provided by UMSL campus photographer August Jennewein

When Niyi Coker considers Africa’s contributions to modern music, he can’t help but think of Miriam Makeba, the acclaimed South African singer and activist who introduced international audiences to the continent’s sounds.

It’s impossible to separate Makeba’s art from her activism, said Coker, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In a life that was heroic and tragic, the singer suffered three decades of forced exile from her homeland for challenging its racist policies and injustice.

When Makeba died in 2008, she left an incredible legacy, said Coker, a native Nigerian who wrote “Miriam Makeba: Mama Africa the Musical.” Its first performance in the United States takes place Thursday at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

David Robertson and Marie-Hélène Bernard of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Symphony’s 137th season opens this Friday, September 16. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from the orchestra’s music director, David Robertson, and president/CEO, Marie-Hélène Bernard about the upcoming season. We also heard about what they’re looking forward to most and, yes, got the backstory on that Nelly collaboration.

You can also catch the symphony on St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday nights, starting at 8 p.m. You can find a schedule of the symphony broadcasts here.

Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Driven by proven talents and entertainers, LouFest aims to capture college students and older folks, too. It succeeds with a schedule that rolls out like tickertape, allowing attendees to easily flow from one concert to the next with no downtime in between. Hang around long enough and you’re bound to find music you like — and have a good time. 

The Pulitzer Prize medal.
The Pulitzer Prizes

This year, the Pulitzer Prize will celebrate its 100th anniversary. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed how the award and the journalism it is meant to highlight has changed over the years.

This year, America’s Heartland Remembers placed 7,021 flags on Art Hill to commemorate fallen military men and women killed in the war on terror since September 11, 2001. The display, taken down on Sept. 12, 2016, is called “Flags of Valor.”
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we lookrf back at the past decade and a half and consider what has changed for those impacted by the attacks.

St. Louis area Catholics and other residents pause to pray at the corner of Delmar Boulevard and Sarah Street in St. Louis, during the Crossing the Delmar Divide pilgrimage.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

About 250 St. Louis area Catholics and other residents symbolically walked across Delmar Boulevard, the street signifying the city’s racial and economic divides, as part of what they called a “pilgrimage” Saturday.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 11, 2016 will be “Remembering Bobby Hutcherson.”  Vibes and marimba player Bobby Hutcherson was born in Los Angeles, California in 1941 and was raised in the suburb of Pasadena.  His first recording was with Les McCann in 1960.  He worked with Curtis Amy and Gerald Wilson before moving to New York in 1963.  He recorded for Blue Note on many classic albums and was active until 2015, dying August 15 of this year from emphysema.  In addition to the aforementioned artists, Hutcherson will be heard with our own Grant Green, Abbey Lincoln, Andrew Hill with ou

Linda Kennedy and Alicia Like joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss "Miss Julie, Clarissa and John."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This week marks the opening of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company’s 40th anniversary season with the Midwest premiere of “Miss Julie, Clarissa & John,” a play by Mark Clayton Southers.

The Black Rep’s founder and producing director Ron Himes, actress Alicia Like and artistic associate Linda Kennedy joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday to discuss the production and the rest of the season. 

Provided by iLLPHONICS

Updated Sept. 7 with additional information about producing entities. Updated Sept. 9 with audio from St. Louis on the Air.

The seventh annual LouFest will bring hip-hop, rock, and jazz acts to Forest Park this weekend.

LouFest has grown steadily since its debut in 2010 and the last three years have seen a marked increase in attendance.


Provided by Washington University

Many in the United States likely view Iran as a closed society, one that has limited contact with the western world. But many in Iran would like to see more cultural exchanges.

Among them is Grammy-nominated Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh, who performs Sunday at Washington University. An avant-garde musician, Alizadeh is known improvising on the radif, a  traditional Persian musical instrument. He has toured the world extensively and taught music in Europe and the Middle East.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University is celebrating a decade at its permanent home with a first showing of works from its entire collection.

The museum will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the university with an event Friday that will highlight its paintings, sculpture and other art.  Founded in 1881, the museum’s had a long focus on European art. But in the last decade it has shifted attention to better spotlight political art.

Left to right: Nathan Maul, Sherard Curry and Anna Drehmer in Tesseract Theatre's "Am I Black Enough Yet?" by Clinton Johnston
Tesseract Theatre

The title of an upcoming play by St. Louis’ Tesseract Theatre is a loaded question: “Am I Black Enough Yet?”

It's a challenge that could cause discomfort but the play aims to make fun of the query with a playful approach. The first order of business is to proclaim that the entire audience is “black.” Those who were already black get to be “uber-black.”

GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Fabiano Caruana, and GM Wesely So.
Chris Bauer | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

As soon as the 2016 Sinquefield Cup ended, America’s top five players headed to Baku, Azerbijan, for the 42nd Chess Olympiad. The United States usually fields a formidable team, but this year is unprecedented, with three of the five teammates ranked in the top 10 in the world. Gone are the days when Russia, the perennial favorite for international competition, outranks other teams by a landslide. Team America, captained by International Master John Donaldson and coached by GM Alex Lenderman, is seeded second to Russia by just three rating points and is widely considered the favorite to take top honors.

Benton Park resident Alexis Forman didn't know what a flounder house was before she bought her rehabbed home four years ago.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Alexis Forman’s rehabbed Benton Park home has everything a typical house has: a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms.

But every now and then, she’ll find strangers out on the street, staring up at the exterior of her brick house — and its dramatically sloping roof.

The 2016 St. Louis Surge women's professional basketball team.
St. Louis Surge

Earlier this summer, the St. Louis Surge women’s professional basketball team took home a national championship in the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League. There are 34 teams from across the United States that compete in the league.

Khalia Collier, the owner and general manager of the St. Louis Surge, said that the team has earned “quite the fan base.” She started the team five years ago.

Humorist and former journalist Dave Barry is a native of New York, which might have some people raising eyebrows at the title of his new book: “Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland.

Homeland?

“I’ve been here for 30 years now, which in Florida terms, makes me a Floridian,” Barry told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “This is a state where most people are from somewhere else. … I can’t imagine living anywhere else at this point.”

A preview of the historical timeline you will find at "St. Louis History in Black and White."
Zack Stovall, Katelyn Mae Petrin

St. Louis’ racial history is a big part of what the community is today. For many years, St. Louis Public Radio has hosted an online history that highlights some of the big historical events that St. Louisans, and those who take an interest in St. Louis from the outside, should know about to understand how the city functions today.

Humberto Howard | Criteria Entertainment

The St. Louis Ballpark Village is usually a venue for throwing back a few cold ones and watching the Cardinals game. But today the venue will give locals a taste of Los Angeles. La Santa Cecilia, a modern band that fuses Mexican roots music and Pan-American sounds, from cumbia to soul, is the headliner for the En Vivo Latino Music Festival.

I recently saw an inspiring documentary film title “Carvalho’s Journey” here in St. Louis at the Jewish Film Festival.

In 1853, travelling with explorer John Fremont’s Fifth Westward Expedition, Carvalho became one of the first photographers to document the sweeping vistas and treacherous terrain of the far American West.

Carvalho, a Sephardic Jew, was a painter and had no experience in this rugged outdoor life.  He probably would not have survived without the help of 14 Delaware and Wyandot guides and several topographers.

Poet Alison Rollins
Provided by Alison Rollins

“I realized fairly recently that I have to write. I am a poet and I claim that and it is a necessity. The same way I breathe, the same way I blink, it must be done.” Alison Rollins.

St. Louis poet Alison Rollins has won a prestigious 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship for young poets. 

Trenda Davis is a member of the Independence Center's clubhouse.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

At the clubhouse, there are no clients or patients – only members. In an alternative to traditional models of social work, people with mental illnesses come to the Independence Center’s clubhouse to participate in a program structured around the idea of a “work-ordered day.”

Trenda Davis is an Independence Center member who said she found stability and support when she joined the clubhouse after losing her job two years ago.

Dennis C. Ows;ey / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited will feature “John Coltrane in His Own Words and Music,” on Sunday. Jazz Unlimited airs from 9 p.m. to midnight, on St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 FM.

Kelvin Urday, center, rehearses "21 Chump Street" with, from left to right, Kevin Corpuz, Omega Jones and Phil Leveling.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis theater company opens a show by playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda tonight. No, it’s not the blockbuster “Hamilton,” although of course that’s what Miranda is known for.

R-S Theatrics is staging “21 Chump Street,” an earlier, shorter musical, as part of trio of one-acts named “Love? Actually … .” It definitely has those Miranda hallmarks: hip-hop, social issues and moral questions, in its telling of a real-life story of love, deception and a drug sting in a Palm Beach, Fla. high school.

Local retired telephone employees banded together to create the Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum, which opened earlier this year. Here's one of the exhibits inside.
Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum

Sometimes it is best to learn your history from someone close to the history itself. That’s certainly the case with the Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum, which was created and is run by retired telephone workers, many from the St. Louis branch of Southwestern Bell (AT&T).

The museum opened earlier this year, in May, after 13 years of careful planning and collection by a group of locals operating under the umbrella of the Telecom Pioneers, a non-profit telephone company employee service organization.

Thomas Harvey, of Arch City Defenders, said Ferguson city prosecutors were trying to send a "chilling" message to people who would come there to protest.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Are protests effective agents of social change? What actions are justified during a protest? How does the language used to describe protests impact people’s perceptions of certain events?

Throughout history, individuals have joined together in groups of various sizes to protest against powerful authority figures or perceived injustices.

On Chess: Bringing the game to the classroom

Sep 1, 2016
Students at Walnut Grove Elementary School provided a rapt audience for the unveiling of a new chess program.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis | File photo

In addition to a place for enjoying chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is an educational institution doing work both inside the club and in the community. It is now gearing up for a record year of providing high-quality chess programming to St. Louis area schools.

This academic year will be a watershed, not only because of the unprecedented scope of the program’s reach, but also because chess instruction will be an in-curricular offering in nearly 10 schools in the St. Louis Public School District.

A previous exhibition by artist Joan Hall at Bruno David Gallery
Bruno David Gallery

Bruno David Gallery in Grand Center has closed its doors.

Bruno David said his namesake art gallery shut down because of structural concerns recently discovered in its Washington Boulevard building. The issues came to light during an engineering survey.

All upcoming exhibitions are canceled while David looks for a new location.

"The Jarmo" from Nathaniel Reed Bakery in Kirkwood.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants in September.

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

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs in Lucerne, Switzerland, 2012
Provided by Dilip Vishwanat and the St. Louis Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony will be launching its third tour in almost two decades in Europe this February.

The Symphony will perform Feb. 8-11 in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Oviedo and Valencia. The musicians will present works by composers John Adams, Antonin Dvorak, Aaron Copland, and others.

St. Louis residents will have a chance to hear those works in January before the group leaves for Spain.

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