Arts & Culture

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

More and more people are trying to shed their heirloom pianos. While many of these instruments end up in the landfill, one St. Louis nonprofit is trying to give the instruments new life.

Fox Smith is one of eight storytellers who will talk about women's bodies at an event called "Picturing Women." In this photo, she's participating in a cosplay event, which involves dressing up, usually like an anime or video-game character.
Fox Smith

Images of the perfect female form are all around us, on social media, in movies and in advertisements for products from liquor to luxury cars. It’s hard not to feel inferior no matter what kind of body you have.

Fox Smith of Shrewsbury has complicated feelings about her appearance.

"Somewhere between loving and hating [my] body," Smith said.

Seven-year-old Phoenix Torno checks out his own reflection in the telescope's internal mirror, while his younger brother Bodhi tries to get in on the action.
Véronique LaCapra|St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Libraries throughout the St. Louis area will soon have more telescopes available for checkout.

The St. Louis Astronomical Society put 29 telescopes together over the weekend, bringing the total number of telescopes at area libraries to 88 by March 17.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 6, 2016 is “The Compositions of Richard Rodgers.”  Richard Rodgers was a composer who wrote over 900 compositions.  Music from his Broadway shows is used in jazz.  His music will be performed on this show by Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Bill Watrous, Roy Hargrove, Donald Byrd, Pepper Adams, Billie Holiday, the Great Jazz Trio, Gerry Mulligan, Nat Adderley, Sonny Clark, Miles Davis, Roger Kellaway, Red Mitchell. Gene Harris, John McLaughlin, Cassandra Wilson and Oliver Nelson.  This show is part of St.

J. Henry Fair

Sharon Isbin, a renowned classical guitarist, will come to St. Louis next week. Isbin has performed with over 170 orchestras around the world, often joins Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and has received multiple Grammy Awards.  

Although she started playing guitar when she was only nine years old in Italy and primarily grew up in Minneapolis, her return to St. Louis will be a bit of a homecoming.

Audio Agitation
Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s audio agitation is inspired by wanderlust, our health reporter's recent travels to Thailand, and the desire to get up and go. Sometimes the sun is up, the breeze is fine, and it doesn’t matter where you’re headed, you just need to be in motion. At that point it's time to take a walk or hop in the car or on a train. Many songs about travel also acknowledge the troubles that come with travel, because it's not always an easy ride.

Women and police on South Grand during a gathering to mourn VonDerrit Myers
Provided by Jarred Gastriech

Grand Center gallery Duet is pairing photographs by two photographers who documented the Ferguson Protests and the Bataclan shootings in Paris, as well as street life from the larger metro areas of both cities.  Both the gallerist and co-curator said the juxtaposition is intended to spark viewer’s awareness of the photographers’ unique perspectives in both circumstances.

"There are two things that go on with the photograph; the things that you know intellectually and culturally, and then the thing that makes a photograph special, that there’s something personal about it," said gallery owner and Lindenwood University Professor Daniel McGrath.

Grant's Farm bridge with sign thanking attendees for visiting
William K. Busch Brewing Company

Updated 1:00 p.m. March 4 with Zoo's offer withdrawn:

The St. Louis Zoo’s plan to buy Grant’s Farm from a Busch family trust has fallen through. In a statement the Zoo says it’s withdrawn its conditional offer of about $30 million citing a legal dispute among the six heirs of the late beer baron Gussie Busch. Four of the six siblings have wanted to release the land from the trust, but Billy Busch is fighting to keep it in the family.  Earlier this week, he unveiled a five-year plan to acquire and develop the family-attraction with a small theater, and brewery.  A St. Louis Circuit Court hearing regarding the sale is scheduled for March 28.

Original article March 2:

A prominent member of the Busch family is providing more details about his plans for Grant's Farm. Billy Busch is trying to acquire the St. Louis County attraction and has unveiled a five-year business plan that calls for a small theater, brewery and continued free admission.

Watching the videos for all of the St. Louis singers, songwriters, bands and musicians who submitted entries to NPR's Tiny Desk Contest 2016 was not heavy lifting.

Why would it be?

There were creative interpretations of what constitutes a "desk." But best of all, original songs across genres offered a feel for the wealth of local talent we have in our area.

Conrad Anker Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

American mountaineer Conrad Anker is a surprisingly laid-back guy for someone who led the three-person team to the first-ever summit of the formidable Shark's Fin of Meru Peak (also starring in the doc that won a prestigious Audience Award at Sundance last year). He was also the man who found the body of climber George Mallory on his first summit of Mt. Everest.

These baseball caps (Cardinals, Pirates, two Orioles, KC Royals and Detroit Tigers) spell out "spookd" in a piece by artist Ryan Doyle.
Ryan Doyle

Make no mistake. As a white man, artist Ryan Doyle does not try to "explain" racism to anyone.

Doyle’s work is a way to explore his own experiences and the racist environment we all live in. Take his recent work using baseball caps. It features molds of the caps’ home team letters, spelling out "spookd."

On Chess: Boy Scouts learn the merit of chess

Mar 3, 2016
Joshua Becher constructed his own giant chess set, in which each of the pieces are represented by different scouting ranks.
Provided by Joshua Becher

On Feb. 27, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis again hosted a Boy Scout chess merit badge workshop. Since launching the merit badge in 2011, the Chess Club has helped hundreds of scouts achieve their chess merit badge. It hosts a free five-hour weekend chess workshop, where certified instructors teach scouts chess topics, including the basics of the game, intermediate strategy and tactics, and even how to play in a chess tournament.

Courtesy, the Sheldon Art Gallery

A visitor finds it difficult to move along to the next picture when he’s looking at Radcliffe Bailey’s absorbing and  many-layered glittery print, “Tricky 3.” This large, complex and challenging picture at the Sheldon Art Galleries sets the tone for a new exhibition, “Printmaking in St. Louis Now.” In size,  scope, substance and intention, the show qualifies as a respectable blockbuster.

Multicolored peppers
mgstanton | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1QRJCip

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of March.

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

On their list? Olive & Oak, Boundary, The Muddled Pig Gastropub, and more.

Michael Uthoff, second from left, talks with students, along with Dance St. Louis’ Janet Brown. (Brown is in the middle on the right-hand side of the photo).
Dance St. Louis

Dance St. Louis is under new leadership as it winds down its 50th season, after executive and artistic director Michael Uthoff announced he's leaving after 10 years.

"I’m 72 and I figure I need some time to smell the roses," Uthoff said.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A native of St. Louis, Leon Burke III began music studies at age 12. By age 16 he was already conducting. Although he was also interested in science and math, he chose music as his field of study in college, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas. He also studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Operations manager Robbie Pratte pointed to an orange line on a utility post outside the landmark Bolduc House Museum in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., that is set to reopen on Tuesday.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 28, 2016 will be the fourth of a five-part series on “Jazz Families: Blood Relatives.”  There are an amazing number of jazz musicians who have blood relatives (mothers, fathers, siblings) who are also jazz musicians.  The musicians heard on this show include St.

Alen Kajtezovic (center) traveled to St. Louis to attend the conference with a group of young people from the Waterloo, Iowa Islamic center.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

While Donald Trump’s pathway to the Republican nomination for president continues to strengthen, some Muslim Americans in St. Louis for a conference on social justice say they’re more concerned about the people who support him.

The Islamic Society of North America hosted the conference in west St. Louis County Saturday, which was attended by about 400 people.

The Peace Train

This summer, a nationwide movement known as “The Peace Train,” will start its tour across the country in Ferguson. The program’s mission? Bringing together people from all backgrounds to sing about shared values and hopes for a better future.

The Peace Train 2016 Tour Across America is modeled off of a similar project in South Africa from 1993 that was documented in the film “When Voices Meet.”

(Mark Kitaoka, Courtesy: Opera Theatre of St. Louis)

Famed writer Salman Rushdie was born in 1947 in India. In 2005, he published a sweeping work about the beleaguered but beautiful territory of Kashmir, a place with ancestral ties. As of 2016, that novel is becoming an opera of the same name—to be premiered by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June.  

The opera’s composer, Jack Perla, and librettist, Rajiv Joseph, joined “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Potter to discuss the opera and how it came to be.

Audio Agitation
Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Two days ago NPR’s First Listen program premiered a new album by Heron Oblivion. The indie-psychedelic super group of sorts includes musicians from psych-folk group Espers and noise-rockers Comets on Fire. 

Rapper Bates performs, a microphone is in her hand and one of her arms is outstretched.
Provided | Kazia Steele

St. Louis area rapper Bates has no problem making her voice heard.

Famed choreographers Dianne McIntyre and Bebe Miller discussed their parts in Dance St. Louis' production of New Dance Horizons IV.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Dance St. Louis’ fourth installment of “New Dance Horizons” celebrates Black History Month. It will highlight the works of three nationally-renowned African-American choreographers inspired by those who came before them.

Miles Davis and Maya Angelou were two such artists with St. Louis ties that inspired choreographers Bebe Miller and Dianne McIntyre, respectively, as they created pieces that will be performed by St. Louis dancers this weekend.

OakleyOriginals | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1Qd8rzx

Prolific writer Howard Megdal, whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, USA Today, among others, just released his fourth book “The Cardinals Way: How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time.” In it, he details how the Cardinals franchise has been able to embrace both “moneyball” and tradition to become one of the most beloved and successful teams in the sport.

"Captain" Tim Woodson shows off his pirate ship at the Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat and Sportshow.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Tim Woodson developed a pretty unique skill: He creates pirate ships.

The St. Louis native has spent the last six years entertaining children at the Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat and Sportshow. He’s even been able to sell some of his creations to a few of the tens of thousands of people who venture to event at the America’s Center and Edward Jones Dome.

On Chess: Women and the power of the queen

Feb 25, 2016
Jean Hoffman views the exhibit: Ladies' Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Known by many as a game of war and kings, the chess world is often perceived as male-dominated. Today, less than 14 percent of the members of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) are female, and only one woman ranks in the top 100 chess players in the world. However — in spite of the underrepresentation of female players within today’s competitive chess world — women have played a central role in the development of the modern chess game.

Brian Cohen, LouFest Founder
Provided by Brian Cohen

Brian Cohen, one of the founders of the LouFest Music Festival, is leaving to start a new venture with the Cortex Innovation Community. The new enterprise will be aimed at showcasing various innovative projects from the city’s tech, science, art, and music communities.

Steph Perkins
Provided by PROMO

PROMO, Missouri's statewide advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, has named Steph Perkins, 31, as its new Executive Director.  

Perkins has been with the organization for seven years. The new Executive Director said he intends to pay attention to issues like discriminatory legislation and health care as well as day-to-day inequalities. 

St. Louis has an active Polish community. On Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air," we'll be talking about it.
Dan Markye | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1VCzpEo

You may have heard the oft-repeated statistic that “Chicago has the largest population of Polish people outside of Warsaw.” As WBEZ pointed out last year, that may not be entirely true. While St. Louis certainly does not have the same number of Poles as Chicago or New York, we do have an active Polish community.

Pages