Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Basketball players huddle for a prayer at the Monsanto Family YMCA.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

For Marcus Wilson, basketball is more than just a game — and he has the career to prove it. Before becoming the executive director of the Monsanto Family YMCA, Wilson learned that basketball could take him far in life and away from the rough neighborhood he came from.

Now he wants to make sure others have that same opportunity.

Every Saturday morning, Wilson opens the court of his YMCA off of Page Blvd., free of charge for anyone wanting to play basketball.

Sister An Mei, left, and Sister Mary Lea Hill wave to a group of high school students who recently visited the Pauline Books and Media store in Crestwood.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Daughters of St. Paul have operated Pauline Books and Media, a small bookstore adjoining their convent in Crestwood, since the 1980s. But these days, the Roman Catholic sisters are reaching people far beyond St. Louis with their posts and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

Using the hashtag #MediaNuns, they tweet friendly messages of inspiration:

“If you do nothing else today, remember that God loves you.”

MADCO, Saint Louis Ballet and The Big Muddy Dance Company all come together this weekend for “New Dance Horizons VI: Live at the Grandel” presented by Dance St. Louis.
Gerry Love

Several weeks’ worth of intensive collaboration will culminate this Saturday as three local dance companies present brand-new works during a performance that is really three shows in one.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed what makes the “New Dance Horizons VI: Live at the Grandel” event particularly unique. Joining the conversation were Brian Enos, artistic director of The Big Muddy Dance Company, and Terence Marling, artistic consultant for Dance St. Louis.

Madalyn Painter Talla started a Thanksgiving Day tradition with her family where she cooks biryani, a time intensive rice dish.
Madalyn Painter Talla | St. Louis Public Radio

India is one of the most populated and diverse countries – and some of its nuances are reflected in its cuisine.

Joining host Don Marsh to discuss the diverse flavors, styles and recipes of Indian cuisine was Sauce Magazine’s art director, Meera Nagarajan, and her mother Revathy Nagarajan. They focused on the food varieties in north and south India and dispelled common misconceptions about the cuisine. They stressed that curry is not only a spice, but rather a number of dishes, and that not all Indian food is spicy.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In Emeara Burns’ north St. Louis neighborhood, gun violence is a way of life.

Fabiano Caruana draped in an American Flag, March, 2018
Nick Dunaevsky

American chess fans everywhere are cheering in the streets, as countryman Fabiano Caruana overcame the game’s elite grandmasters to win the recently concluded Candidates Tournament in Berlin, Germany. He is now qualified to play world champion Magnus Carlsen for his title in November. It is the first time an American will compete for the crown in more than two decades. The last victory for the United States was in 1972, when Bobby Fischer won an epic match against the Russian Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Historical papers and religious items dated back to 1896 filled the time capsule found under the Our Lady of Good Counsel Chapel. Photo from March 28, 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

A hobby preservationist cracked open a time capsule from 1896 this morning to find a well-preserved collection of Catholic religious items and historic papers.

Jim Meiners found the copper box in the foundation of the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel, which was demolished with the Clemens House after the property caught fire last year.

“It would’ve been put there when the building was built, and we don’t know what’s in it,” he said before cutting into the lead seal on the box.

Good Service Is A Coin Toss For Those 'Dining While Black'

Mar 27, 2018

When many black diners go out to eat, it’s not uncommon for them to question if race plays a part in the service they receive.

Turns out, that’s not paranoia.

Zach Brewster is an assistant professor of sociology at Wayne State University in Michigan. He has conducted several national research studies on the experience of dining and restaurant discrimination. In his 2015 survey of approximately 1,000 waiters and waitresses across the country, 53 percent of the participants admitted to not giving black diners their best service.

“Souvenir,” the story of singer Florence Foster Jenkins, presented by Max & Louie Productions, won five Theater Circle awards including Outstanding Actress, Actor and Production of a Comedy.
Max & Louie Productions

St. Louis’ small theater companies were the big winners Monday night in the sixth annual Theater Circle awards.

Stray Dog Theatre took home six awards for the musical “Ragtime” and another for “A Doll’s House.” “Ragtime,” the story of African-American life in the early 20th Century, won in categories including Outstanding Actor, Actress and Production of a Musical.

Sisters Sadia (left) and Yusra (right) Ali talked about CAIR-MO’s annual art exhbit showcasing various local Muslim talent.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Sisters Sadia and Yusra Ali are Muslims who’ve grown up in Ballwin, Missouri, sharing a love and appreciation of fine arts. In their circles, such creative pursuit is fairly uncommon.

“We’re always looking for the most secure line of work, the most unique line of study, the most secure relationship,” Sadia Ali said of her community. “And art is a challenge for security.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for  March 25, 2018 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour Plus New Music.”  Jazz Unlimited is still not finished with the music of Bill Evans, so there will be more of it in the “Keys and Strings Hour,” played by Evans himself, Joe Pass and Toots Thielemans.  In addition, the last two hours of the show will feature new music, including a new CD by St.

A total of 293 objects discovered in the Mediterranean Sea comprise “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds,” an exhibition that runs from March 25 to Sept. 9.
Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

As an underwater archaeologist, Franck Goddio has explored many strange and fascinating things under the sea during the course of his career. But nothing quite compares to the moment he first came across the remains of an ancient city just off the coast of modern-day Egypt.

The president of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology described what that experience was like on this week’s St. Louis on the Air in conversation with host Don Marsh and Lisa Çakmak, associate curator of ancient art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Washington University faculty member Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo previewed the institution’s 13th annual African Film Festival, which is set for March 23 to 25.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend’s African Film Festival at Washington University comes on the heels of the wildly successful blockbuster “Black Panther” and is billed as a showcase of “the real Wakanda.”

Seven films comprise the 2018 iteration of the annual festival, which features filmmakers and stories depicting the rich diversity of the African continent.

On Chess: the old guard and the new

Mar 22, 2018
The winners of the 2018 Spring Classic tournament. Group A (left) winner, Jeffrey Xiong, and group B winner, Victor Mikhalevski.
Austin Fuller | Saint Louis Chess Club

The 2018 Spring Chess Classic has come to an end, and we had two thrilling tournaments – both newsworthy in their own way. When analyzed, both tournaments could not be more different.

People lined up outside the Fox Thatre last October to buy "Hamilton" tickets.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louisans who missed out on “Hamilton” tickets now have a chance to see the sold-out musical — for the cost of a box of popcorn.

On Monday, the Fox Theater announced a lottery in which 40 orchestra-level tickets for every performance will go for $10 each. The lottery begins April 1 for the April 3 opening night.

Lottery participants can enter only once for the chance to get two tickets.

Josephine Baker, who grew up in the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood and lived much of her adult life in France, is the focus of an episode of “The Nod.”
Jac. de Nijs | Dutch National Archives

Josephine Baker is remembered for being many different things over the course of her remarkable life – a burlesque performer, a film actress, an activist, even a war hero. Less well known is the St. Louis-born celebrity’s role as a mother to 12 ethnically diverse children she began adopting in the 1950s as her “rainbow tribe.”

Mayor Lyda Krewson answers questions alongside panelists David Dwight, of the Ferguson Commission, and State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. Oct. 11, 2017
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A new assessment of St. Louis residents finds that many people want the city to address racial, economic and social inequality.

The findings are a part of the preliminary resilience assessment released by Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office. The assessment received contributions from the 100 Resilient Cities initiative, a program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to strengthen cities around the world in areas of social, economic and environmental shortcomings.

City officials sought the input of over 1,300 people through meetings, surveys and workshops.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 18, 2018 is “The Music of Bill Evans.”  Writer Gene Lees described the life of pianist Bill Evans’ as a long slow suicide.  Evans’ piano playing influenced nearly all pianists from the mid-1950’s until today.  We will hear only a small fraction of his beautiful music on Jazz Unlimited, including music with overdubbed solo piano, the Tadd Dameron Big Band, the Joe Pass Quartet, Tony Bennett, Chick Corea & Hiromi, the Kronos Quartet, the Miles Davis Sextet, Shirley Horn, the Gunther Schuller Orchestra, George Russell, Cannonball Adderley, Oliver

Most Broadway actors relax on their Monday days off. But on Monday, April 16, "Hamilton" star Mandy Gonzalez will come to St. Louis to help raise awareness and funds for St. Louis’ december Magazine. She stars as Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway hit.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Gonzalez about her career and upcoming performance in St. Louis, as well as with Gianna Jacobsen, the publisher of december Magazine, a non-profit literary journal headquartered in St. Louis.

“The Pirates of Penzance” will drop anchor at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on Friday. As they do so, they’ll have Mark Hanna, the very model of a modern pirate expert, accompanying them on stage.

The University of California San Diego faculty member is in town to give pre-show talks throughout the weekend as a University of Missouri–St. Louis cast of singing seadogs, star-crossed lovers and mermaids perform the humorous Gilbert and Sullivan opera.

He also joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday for a conversation all about pirates – those that sailed the seas centuries ago and in more contemporary times.

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