Arts & Culture

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

After three decades, Jill McGuire of St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission will leave her post as executive director on Friday, April 10.

McGuire co-founded RAC in 1985 to help fund and support the arts in St. Louis. Since then, the nonprofit has awarded $90 million to artists and institutions, according to McGuire.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

With the home opener one week away, Cardinals fans should be prepared for ramped-up security at Busch Stadium and allow extra time to walk through new metal detectors at all gates.

Unlike at the airport, fans won’t have to take off their shoes and belts. But they will have to put their keys, cell phones and metal objects on tables when they pass through the detectors, says Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operations.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited show for Sunday, April 5 will be “The Music of Joe Henderson-Part 2.”   Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson was comfortable playing with musicians whose styles ranged from hard bop to avant-garde.  In Part 2 of the music of Joe Henderson, we will hear him with Kenny Dorham, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Lee Konitz, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Bebop and Beyond, John Scofield, Freddie Hubbard and his own groups.

The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the musicians heard on this show.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

A new program at the International Institute of St. Louis is helping immigrant professionals build job skills and advance their careers.The Career Advancement for International Professionals encourages immigrants like Tairou Goura not to abandon their professional ambitions.

photo of David Robertson, Stephanie Berg and Jeanne Sinquefield
Courtesy of the St. Louis Symphony

How old do you have to be to compose music? A University of Missouri–Columbia program is proving that students of any age can do it.

The Creating Original Music Project, now in its 10th year, is a statewide composition festival that recognizes work from students, kindergarteners to high school seniors. This year, 70 students applied. Of the 18 winners, eight are from the St. Louis area.

It's a little early for baseball at Busch Stadium, but this weekend you can catch a game of beepball just outside the stadium.

Beepball is a version of softball, adapted for people who are blind or visually impaired. Along with some slight modifications of the rules, it features a beeping ball and two buzzing bases. Players wear blindfolds, except for the pitcher and catcher, who are actually on the same team, and two spotters.

I was in California at the Palm Springs Art Museum's branch in Palm Desert and saw an exhibition entitled, "A Grand Adventure: American Art of the West.

The exhibition included works by our own native son, Charles Russell, works by Remington, the Taos School of New Mexico, Albert Bierstadt and the list goes on.

When I think of St. Louis, I like to say that we're the last eastern city and how culturally rich we are and WE ARE, but after all we are the Gateway to the West. Our Arch is there to prove it. Of course, it is a magnificent piece in and of itself.

Evan Sult and Paige Brubeck of Sleepy Kitty will perform in Upstream Theater's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner.'
Sleepy Kitty

For its latest production, Upstream Theater has enlisted the help of local indie rock band Sleepy Kitty.

"Rime of the Ancient Mariner" has been adapted for the stage, and will include live music composed and performed by Sleepy Kitty. The play is based on a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about a fantastical sea voyage and a sailor's search for redemption.

It’s unlike anything the band has done before.

Darin Gray and Glenn Kotche of On Fillmore
Courtesy of the band

Intense friendship may not be the first thing that springs to mind when hearing the phrase “experimental music.” Yet according to founding member Darin Gray, shared personal connections motivate improvisational duo On Fillmore.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The expert Easter egg fillers at Canterbury Enterprises in Shrewsbury packed 5.5 million plastic eggs with candy and toys this year — a new record for the nonprofit sheltered workshop that employs about 100 people with disabilities.

Marathon runner Rae Mohnrmann and Go! St. Louis founder Nancy Lieberman talk about the upcoming Go! marathon with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 2, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

At next weekend’s Go! marathon, Rae Mohrmann will run in her 100th marathon.

Mohrmann, of Ferguson, started running competitively when she was a 30-year-old mother. “I needed another goal,” she told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. But Mohrmann didn’t run in a marathon until she was 49. She’s now a 67-year-old grandmother, and has run marathons in all 50 states.

Kimberly Norwood and her book
WUSTL and Amazon

While conversations about race have become more common since the shooting death of Michael Brown, some scholars are hoping to expand the dialogue to include colorism, discrimination based on degrees of skin tone.

National Blues Museum Director Dion Brown
Courtesy of The National Blues Museum

The National Blues Museum continues the march toward its late 2015 opening with the hiring of its first executive director, Dion Brown. Brown says the role carries an obligation to maintain the link between blues originators and contemporary music.

Commentators Jennifer Shahade and Yasser Seirawan host the 2015 U.S. Chess Championships, which kicked off Wednesday at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The 2015 U.S. Chess Championships feature the strongest player lineup of all-time.

'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' author Carol Swartout Klein talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 1, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

How do you talk to young children about Ferguson and what happened?

“Painting for Peace in Ferguson” tries to explain it through the story of artists and residents who created paintings on the boarded-up doors and windows of local businesses. Many businesses in Ferguson and on South Grand in St. Louis were boarded up in response to and to prevent thefts, vandalism and fires after a grand jury’s declined to indict former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Ferguson Public Library Director Scott Bonner talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 1, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

In the days after the August shooting death of Michael Brown, the city of Ferguson was in turmoil. Schools closed. Many businesses closed. But at the city’s public library, director Scott Bonner’s motto was to just say yes.

Actor LeVar Burton is bringing Reading Rainbow back for the digital age thanks to a Kickstarter campaign.
readingrainbow.com

To say actor LeVar Burton likes libraries would be an understatement. And it’s not just because he was the host of “Reading Rainbow” for 26 years.

“I love libraries. I think libraries are really underutilized national resources,” Burton told “St. Louis on the Air” producer Katie Cook on Tuesday. “Libraries ensure that all citizens in this country have access to the knowledge, the information. Libraries are sanctuaries. They’re like churches for me.”

Originally the Independent Brewing Company, this building was built in 1910. It falls within the planned stadium development, as do what may remain underground of the real St. Louis mounds and the Native American community that built them.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Plans for a new St. Louis football stadium seem to be moving ahead. Just last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the stretch of riverfront near the Edward Jones Dome a “perfect” location for the new sports venue.

But it is also the site of an ancient Native American city — and that is raising concerns.

 Tables await players upstairs at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Today the highest-rated U.S. Chess Championship opens here in St. Louis.  The event is held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis until the closing ceremony on April 13. 

Facts to know:

1.    Prize Money - $175,000 for U.S. Chess Championship, $75,000 for U.S. Women’s Championship

Maren Leonard | For St. Louis Public Radio

The door swings open to the production floor of Bissinger’s new candy factory on the St. Louis riverfront, and . . . oh, my . . .

CHOCOLATE.

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