Arts & Culture

Provided by World Chess Hall of Fame

On Dec. 12, 1941, less than a week after the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attempted to take Wake Island, strategically located in the Pacific, but were thwarted by U.S. forces. Twelve days later, they returned with force and Wake Island was surrendered to the Japanese on Dec. 24, 1941. The soldiers and civilians alike became prisoners of war (POW) and were shipped to Woo Sung, China.

Duhart Band
White-Klump Photography / Courtesy Duhart Band

Colleen Duhart has a 20-something story that many can commiserate with. When she returned to St. Louis from school at Southeastern Missouri State University in 2011, she found a full-time day job at local nonprofit Forest Releaf and moved from her parents’ house and out on her own. But something was missing.

A line snakes out of the exhibit "A Walk in 1875 St. Louis" at the Missouri History Museum last Father's Day.
Courtesy of The Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum continues to see drastically increased attendance compared with just a couple of years ago, a trend it attributes to a new exhibit strategy.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

William Stage, a former investigator for the Centers for Disease Control in St. Louis and longtime writer for the Riverfront Times, is back with a new novel, “Creatures on Display.” The book is a “gritty mystery set in the seedy underside of St. Louis.”

This is no typical comic noir, though. It takes a hard look at the fictional efforts of investigators who must confront the AIDS crisis during the 1980s. Investigating the AIDS crisis was something that Stage had to undertake through his work with the CDC.

David Bowie performing.
Hunter Desportes | Flickr Creative Commons

Tammy Merrett is a self-proclaimed “life-long Bowie fan.” After hearing the news that mega-entertainer David Bowie had died on Sunday, Merrett, of St. Louis, reflected on the times she saw him perform in St. Louis.

“I was at both shows,” Merrett wrote, responding through St. Louis Public Radio’s Public Insight Network. She was referring to Bowie’s performance in 1995 at what was then Riverport Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, and in 2004 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

Bowie died Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday. He had been treated for cancer over the last 18 months.

James Fernandez and Luis Agreo.

A Spanish author and filmmaker and NYU professor have come to St. Louis this week to do field work and discuss their book about Spanish immigration in the U.S. — particularly to St. Louis. Luis Agreo and Dr. James D. Fernandez travelled the world for nine years to understand the plight of Spanish immigrants across the globe.  It is called "Invisible Immigrants: Spaniards in the U.S. (1868-1945)."

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

You know Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley from their work as hosts of the “We Live Here” podcast that covers race and culture for St. Louis Public Radio. On Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” we recapped some of the most memorable moments of the podcast’s first season. We also looked ahead at what is to come and how Stanley is settling into St. Louis (she moved here from Florida in September).

"So far, St. Louis has been really good to me," Stanley said.

Gina Alvarez elaborates on her work with VSA Missouri and Living Arts
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The publication All the Art continues to try and fill voids they see in the St. Louis art scene. This weekend they tried to bridge the gap between art makers and organizations that show art. 

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for January 10, 2016 will be “The Career of Tony Williams.”  A child prodigy, drummer Tony Williams was born in Chicago in 1945 but was raised in Boston.  A student of Alan Dawson, Williams was playing professionally at age 13 with Sam Rivers and other advanced musicians.  At 17, he joined the Miles Davis Quintet and revolutionized the way rhythm sections have played since the mid-1960’s.  According to Drummer magazine, his playing suggested melody, counter-point, and harmony, which has been a revelation to most drummers since the 1960s.  He was one of the

Drive through any city in the world and you will find war memorials dedicated to battles or individual war heroes. Many of the sculptures are made by famous artists. War and the military have been themes in art through the ages.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Today’s Cityscape segment about the musical "Fun Home" included music from the score that featured piano. This got us asking: How are different St. Louis musicians using the piano? Are they hammering away at the keys behind Springsteen-esque rave-ups? Are they setting a bittersweet tone with simple melodies that grow and expand into orchestral pop arrangements?

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The team behind St. Louis on the Air has a New Year’s resolution and we would like you to be a part of it. As we begin 2016, St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape are combining to bring you arts and cultural coverage throughout the week, Monday-Friday. We want you to be a part of this change as we reimagine what the program can be in St. Louis—and beyond.

Fun Home's Facebook page

St. Louis has had a rough week for public perception, what with Stan Kroenke’s 29-page letter bashing the city as home to the St. Louis Rams. In another competitive realm however, those arguments aren’t remotely valid.

Robert Rohe, Sofar Sounds

Combining the nostalgic allure of a speakeasy, the surprise element of a pop-up restaurant and the reward of being “in the know,” a new-to-St. Louis group has emerged in the past year that brings those feelings to the concert-going experience. The name of the collective is Sofar Sounds and it has ties to a worldwide movement

“Everyone, you’ve gotta just trust me here,” said Chris DiGiacomo, one of the city leaders for Sofar Sounds’ St. Louis branch.

Carmen Troesser, Sauce Magazine

Sometimes when you enter Pastaria in Clayton during prep hours you can hear singer Executive Chef Ashley Shelton, 28, belting out a tune or two. You may also receive a Kool-Aid refresher or piece of candy to “keep the flow going” and put a smile on the other cooks’ faces.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“As St. Louisans we totally don’t know our own city,” said Mike, a caller during Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air” program. He often comes across out-of-town visitors who are “agog” at the architecture they can find here…and that’s not even off the beaten path.

I Am EStL

Charmaine Savage spent years away from her hometown of East St. Louis as an officer in the U.S. Navy. After living away with her husband Lorenzo, also from East St. Louis, in places like Virginia, San Diego, Tennessee and even Iraq, she returned to the area after retiring following several battles with cancer.

Savage said that she and her husband, who she met at Lincoln High School, had always wanted to return. Over the years, she had continually heard bad publicity about her hometown. She knew she wanted to combat that.

Veselin Topalov plays in the 2015 Sinquefield Cup.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Once again, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis held the strongest tournament of the year, but this time there was a little extra! The Sinquefield Cup, which began at the end of August and ended a few days into September, was not only a great tournament but one of the events in the newly created Grand Chess Tour.

Dan Duncan, Steve Scorfina and Mike Mesey.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” several local musicians joined host Don Marsh to discuss a new recording of the famed Chuck Berry tune “Johnny B. Goode.” The recording will raise money to fund the completion of KSDK anchor Art Holliday’s documentary about Berry’s long-time pianist Johnnie Johnson, who many say the song is named in tribute of. The piano on the track was actually recorded by Johnson himself, before his death in 2005.

Wikimedia Commons

Downtown St. Louis has been characterized by myriad personae over the years. It’s a place where Native Americans arrived by canoe and built a grand mound city. It’s also a place that holds both great Victorian architecture and International Style skyscrapers.

Show Me Arts Academy kids rehearse a dance to Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" during the program's launch last year
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Nine months ago, Marty Casey launched Show Me Arts Academy in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. The program tries to reach kids in poor neighborhoods who may not respond well to sports, school or other activities.

“When we take that time out and we give that special attention, you literally see their whole attitude and their world just change,” said Casey.

The Goldenrod sits along an Illinois river bank.
Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Volunteers have worked countless hours salvaging artifacts from the century-old Goldenrod Showboat that was once a fixture on the St. Louis riverfront, says Jake Medford, vice president of the nonprofit Historic Riverboat Preservation Association that’s been working to restore the vessel.

Illustration by Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Something near and dear to the hearts of St. Louisans celebrated the big 5-0 this year. That would be the Gateway Arch. On Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” we talked about the anniversary as well as other anniversaries that were marked in the region this year.

Joining us was Mary Delach Leonard, St. Louis Public Radio’s work/life reporter who spearheaded coverage of the Arch anniversary as well as the other stories that made an impact on her this year.

Some stories of note: 

Archaeologists and crew members from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey work at an East St. Louis dig site.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

A year-old fracas in the St. Louis Society has left the city’s archaeology community fractured. 

“What we’ve seen over the past year is a fragmenting of what used to be a really robust group here in town into smaller communities who are allied around the issues that they’re concerned about,” said Douglas Boin, assistant professor at Saint Louis University.

Hits Of The 1960's

Jan 3, 2016
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 3, 2016 will be “Hits of the 1960’s.”  Since around 1955, jazz musicians rarely play the hit pop tunes of their time.  The reason is that many of these tunes do not have interesting melodies or chord progressions sufficiently challenging for these musicians to play them.  Some of them did and those will be the ones used by these musicians, some even into the 2000’s.  This music will be played by Duke Ellington, Grant Green, Debbie Lennon, Oscar Peterson & Milt Jackson, Fred Hersch, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Roberta Flack, Dexter Gordon, the World Saxophone Q

Photo courtesy Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Despite reduced park hours, the head of the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society says the year was brighter than expected at the Illinois state historic site, which is the largest prehistoric Indian site north of Mexico.

cello bridge
Turidoth | Wikipedia

Music therapists in Missouri who are fighting to institute statewide certification for the profession say that will improve access to patients and secure quality patient care.

Anne Keefe came to KMOX in 1976.
St. Louis Media Hsitory Foundation

Anne Keefe, whose smoky voice, inimitable style and consuming dedication to work made her one of the most important figures in television and radio for more than 50 years, has died. She was 90.

COURTESY OF SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE

Immediately after winning the National Spelling Bee Gokul Venkatachalam was thrust into the media spotlight. He appeared on morning talk shows and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He traveled from D.C. to New York, to Los Angeles, and back again before returning to Chesterfield. By Venkatahalam’s estimation he talked to roughly 70 news outlets.

Detail from the cover of Red Cross magazine

The American Red Cross and the World Chess Hall of Fame encourage chess fans to help save lives – and learn more about the impact of chess in World War II -- by donating blood at the Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4.

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