Arts & Culture

Chess classes have been shown to have educational benefits.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The rhetoric has floated around for decades.

 “It develops your memory, improves your test scores — chess is good for your brains!” They always say. “It boosts your math! And it helps your science! Chock full of cognitive benefits, indeed!

The Missouri History Museum is collecting postcards for a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years, for St. Louis' 300th anniversary.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ 250th anniversary celebration is wrapping up, and the city starts its 251st year this weekend.

While the 250th anniversary may have lacked the over-the-top pomp and circumstance of previous anniversaries, Cakeway to the West was a hit. Two hundred fifty-six cake sculptures, each 4 feet tall, were decorated by artists and scattered throughout the St. Louis region.

Marie-Hélène Bernard of St. Louis Symphony
Courtesy of St. Louis Symphony

Marie-Helene Bernard is joining the St. Louis Symphony as its president and CEO.

"I am honored to join the St. Louis Symphony and to support this great American treasure,” said Bernard in a news release this morning.

Photograph courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / St. Louis District

Two years after the Great Flood of 1927 devastated the lower Mississippi River Valley, blues singers Kansas Joe McCoy and Lizzie “Memphis Minnie” Douglas shared the pain in their classic “When The Levee Breaks:”

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break

And the water gonna come in, have no place to stay ...

Michael "Sonny" Trimble directs the archives and artifacts collection of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

These days, Marine veteran Ryan Schatz works a quiet job, painstakingly photographing Native American arrowheads and shards of ceramic pottery unearthed decades ago during construction projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Dennis C.. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C.. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 8 will be  “Jazz Musicians With Long Performance Careers-Part 2.”  While many jazz fans think that jazz musicians die young, data shows that this is not the case.  The month of February will be devoted to the music of over 200 major jazz artists who have performing careers of fifty years and longer.  Some of the 78 musicians heard in various combinations on tonight’s show are Ernestine Anderson, Benny Goodman, Mary Lou Williams, Abdullah Ibrahim, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald.

Image by Don McKenna
Courtesy of the International Photography Hall of Fame

A new exhibit at the International Photography Hall of Fame bridges the gap between personal perspective and the unfeeling materials of stone, brick and steel. According to Executive Director John Nagel, 72, this focus can be found in the exhibit’s unfamiliar images of a well-known city.

“This is not the greatest hits of St. Louis architecture,” he said.

David Robertson conducting at Powell Hall
Dan Dreyfus / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Symphony was onstage Sunday afternoon when their Grammy win for Best Orchestral Performance was announced. Adam Crane, vice president for external affairs, and Erika Ebsworth-Goold, the symphony's publicist, told the performers about the win backstage.

“This is the equivalent to a World Series win for the orchestra," she said.

About eight years ago, I visited Marfa, Texas, a West Texas city known as a cultural center for contemporary artists and artisans. In 1971, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa from New York City. He bought two large airplane hangars and some smaller buildings and began to permanently install his art and the story goes on. Later he acquired with the help of the Dia Art Foundation in New York, the decommissioned Fort D.A. Russell, and began transforming the fort's buildings into art space in which he invited other contemporary artists to show their works.

Via St. Louis Symphony | Dan Dreyfus

We continue our live broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony's 2014-2015 season this weekend, and you can be right there with us from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7. 

On select Saturday evenings, St. Louis Public Radio broadcasts the Symphony's performance over the air, bringing you a live classical music experience wherever you are. 

Here's what's planned for you this weekend:

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