Arts & Culture

Rick Dildine and the new Schlafly 1616
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Schalfly Beer and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis announced Tuesday their plan to release a beer this spring right before the festival’s launch in June.

Shakespeare fan Tom Schlafly hatched the idea after speaking with Shakespeare Fest Executive Director Rick Dildine. When Dildine told Schlafly that 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Schlafly’s response was immediate.

St. Louis County Library

A new local organization wants to get the conversation about race and racism started with a group you may not expect: young, white families in St. Louis. We Stories: Raising Big-Hearted Kids is using children’s literature to “create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis” with the aim of making St. Louis more inclusive.

'Secret St. Louis' author Dave Baugher walked us through the backstories of 10 local sights and their backstories
Google Maps

Updated 9:21 a.m., March 30 with clarification on No. 8 - As a St. Louisan, there are things we pass by all the time that are just plain weird. How many of us actually stop to ask why they are that way? That’s the reasoning behind St. Louis Public Radio’s Curious Louis project and also why local author Dave Baugher wrote a book investigating all the things he wanted to know the backstory of.

John Garghan | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1pMyvM2

Here at St. Louis on the Air, we love our pets, we really do. Yet sometimes, oh yes, sometimes, their behavior is absolutely confounding. Why do you hate the mailman so, Fido? Why won’t you go to the bathroom in the litter box, Jingles? Why won’t you let me hug my boyfriend, Buck? There are so many questions.

Luckily, Dr. Debra Horwitz, DVM, sees these kinds of issues all the time. A veterinary behaviorist with Veterinary Behavior Consultations, she assures us there are ways you can get to the bottom and help pets get over their peccadillos.

A rendering of Preston Jackson's winning design for the Freedom Suits Memorial
Preston Jackson | Provided

Updated to reflect the project's funding  plan - The Civil Courts building downtown is getting a new sculpture to honor more than 300 slaves and lawyers who sued for freedom in the early 1800s.

A steering committee of lawyers, artists, court officials, professors and city officials on Monday announced they had chosen sculptor Preston Jackson to create the Freedom Suits Memorial, which will be installed in the east plaza of the Civil Courts building.

Photos of the four pastors interviewed for this story.
Credit: provided and St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend a St. Louis-area church Sunday to celebrate Easter, filling more pews than normal in the process.

With regular church attendance on the decline nationwide, St. Louis priests and pastors say knowing more people will hear their Easter message gives added importance to the words they share.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 27 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.”  The late pianist Paul Bley will be remembered during the Keys and Strings Hour.  New music will be featured in the second and third hours.  It will include trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, Charles Lloyd, the young pianist Joey Alexander, Hendrik Muerkins, drummer Sherry Miracle and Five Play, the Stryker/Slagle band, Snarky Puppy, the Phil Woods Quintet, Bill Frisell, the Kansas City Generations Sextet, the Russian bassist Ark Ovrutsky and Three Story Sandbox.

Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Today we’d like to offer up six after-hours songs that would sit well in smoky bars, dance clubs or warehouses.  They’re a distinctly modern blend of traditional soul, rap and electronic music.  Notes slip and slide over minimal baselines and skittering drums.  Vocal melodies twist electronically. Blips and bleeps bubble up beneath piano chords. 

Commentary: Light plays an important role in art

Mar 25, 2016

The title of an exhibition of Tala Madani's work at the Contemporary Art Museum in St Louis (CAM) is "First Light.” Many of the paintings feature the presence of illumination, for example, from the beam of a car headlight or a flashlight; Madani's subjects interrogate both themselves and each other in search of larger truths. This notion of projection connects her work not only to cinema and its presentation of images through light, but also to art history and the tradition of chiaroscuro, or the contrast of light and dark.

Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis was home to the late, great jazz musician Clark Terry, who died in last year at the age of 94.

Contemporary trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling was one of the many jazz musicians, from Miles Davis to Quincy Jones, who was influenced by Terry. Stripling, who spent part of his childhood in St. Louis, has returned to the city to pay tribute to Clark Terry at Jazz at the Bistro.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

"Why does the Civil War still hold sway over St. Louis and Missouri?”

That was the intriguing — and very large — question that Steve Flick submitted to Curious Louis. “We just can't seem to be able to get beyond the Reconstruction Era in this state,” said Flick, a lifelong St. Louisan.

A still from William Morris' "Immediacy of Distance" shows, left to right, his grandmother Goldie Butler, cousin Dana Fox and aunt Lizzie Fox.
William Morris

A new experimental documentary provides a snapshot of what it was like to grow up in north St. Louis in the 1970s.

The project began when artist William Morris discovered in the basement of his family home 30 rolls of Super 8 movies, shot by his mother, Annie Morris. He paired them with original and existing music as well as audio interviews of her talking about growing up in a Mississippi sharecropping family in the 1930s and 40s.

Sadik Kukic, far left, Benjamin Moore, Akif Cogo and Patrick McCarthy listen to a live stream of Radovan Karadzic's verdict while gathered at the Bosnian Chamber of Commerce on Gravois Avenue.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The European war crimes trial that’s been called “the largest since Nuremburg” ended Thursday, bringing uneasy relief to the St. Louis Bosnian community. Former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic was convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity and one count of genocide, but many of the region's Bosnians still felt underwhelmed by the decision.

"A guilty verdict on any count is better than no guilty verdict. And that’s against the backdrop of realizing that the mere existence of a crime tribunal is a failure,” said Dina Strikovic. “It’s a failure to act. It’s a failure to prevent."

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A few years ago, the New Yorker bravely posed the question “Can crowdfunding replace artists’ day jobs?” While that answer still remains to be seen, crowdfunding is becoming a viable source for artists wishing to pursue passion projects.

William J. Clinton Presidential Library

This year’s Sundance Film Festival premiered a documentary about someone St. Louisans know and love: the incomparable Maya Angelou. The film is titled “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” and will have its St. Louis premiere on Thursday, March 24 at the Missouri History Museum, as part of Washington University Libraries Film & Media Archive’s Henry Hampton Film Series.  It is the first documentary to be made about Angelou’s life.

Ida Goodwin Woolfolk: Educator, civic leader led by example

Mar 24, 2016
Ida Goodwin Woolfolk
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Ida Goodwin Woolfolk – regarded by many as a treasure, one of the region’s most resplendent gems – died at home Wednesday.  Her death was announced by her daughter, Sarah Woolfolk Edwards, on Facebook. She was 72 years old.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but recently she had experienced congestive heart issues, said her friend, Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Samples of work form (left to right) John Hendrix, Fox Smith, Vidhya Nagarajan
Provided by the artists

Illustrators are storytellers who synthesize thousands of words into just a few images, or even a single frame. We recently invited three prominent local illustrators to tell stories about drawing for a living, in the first live recording of our Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast.

Musem-goers view  Andrea Stanislav's "Convergence Infinité" at the St. Louis Art Museum
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Have you ever wondered what St. Louis looks from the perspective of a hawk or eagle?

The St. Louis Art Museum will offer you a chance to find out, starting this weekend. Artist Andrea Stansislav’s new exhibit "Convergence Infinité" focuses on video captured by flying a drone equipped with a camera over the city.

Yasser Seirawan
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is launching a new online show, Today in Chess.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, explained the concept of the new series: “Here in Saint Louis, the chess capital of the United States, we take pride in coming up with innovative ways of raising awareness throughout the chess world. With the Moscow Candidates Tournament in full swing, we felt the time was right to create an entire new type of program that would give thoughtful insights on the most topical events that most chess fans are following.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Wake up and smell the hops! The craft beer scene in St. Louis is brewing, with 10 new craft breweries opening in the past year alone, says Catherine Klene, managing editor of Sauce Magazine.

If you look back at the past two to three years, at least twice that many have opened, she said. The St. Louis Brewers Guild, which exists to educate people about brewing and promote the St. Louis beer scene, has about 40 breweries in its membership.

“There’s been a huge craft beer movement in the past decade or so,” Klene said.

Each of these 2015 shows won two or more St. Louis Theater Circle Awards.
Stages St. Louis, St. Louis Actors' Studio, Opera Theatre St. Louis

The Repertory Theater of St. Louis and Stages St. Louis were the top winners among two dozen companies in Monday night’s fourth Theater Circle Awards. Each of the troupes had five wins. Four of Stages’ awards were for the musical “Anything Goes.”

Applying for a passport or renewing one can be done in person or by mail, but will take weeks longer than it used to.
Stowe Boyd | Flickr

Getting a new or renewed passport in the next several months will take longer than usual, as the U.S. State Department's Passport Services expects it will soon get a glut of applications.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Talk to the director and producer of the giant screen film “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” for more than 20 seconds and you’ll realize: this guy digs airplanes. Brian Terwilliger, whose cinematic resume has been built on documenting the power of flight, said that he wanted to make audiences feel the same awe with his most recent feature, now playing at the Saint Louis Science Center.

Artists First executive director Sheila Suderwalla helps Vietnam veteran Mike David with a charcoal project.
Artists First

Mike David came home from Vietnam in the early 1970s with two Purple Hearts and a feeling of doom after spending a year in combat on a squad known as a “killer team.”

“All six of us were in constant fear for our lives, every moment of the day,” he said.

It took David a decade to start dealing with his PTSD with the help of friends and meditation. He wishes he’d had more creative opportunities to heal, like a new program offered by a Maplewood organization called Artists First.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 20, 2016 is “The Music of Sonny Rollins.”  Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins is one of the greatest living improvisers in jazz.  Over his sixty plus year career, he has taken part in many recordings as both a leader and sideman.  He has also composed well-known jazz standards that remain challenging today.  We will him with his own groups, Bud Powell, Brown/Roach Inc. Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.  His compositions will be played by St. Louisan Grant Green with Sonny Clark, J.J.

Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The spring season of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival has returned, featuring 12 artists and 22 performances over the course of nine weekends. Two performers with a long, friendly history on the New York cabaret scene joined “St. Louis on the Air” contributor Steve Potter to discuss their performances this weekend.

Marissa Mulder, a cabaret singer, will perform a tribute to Marilyn Monroe in a variety of styles. She said she drew inspiration to do so from a photograph.

“There was just something about her eyes in the photograph that registered with me,” Mulder said.

Michael B. | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1MbTzFk

Morgan Hagedorn asked a question of Curious Louis that we’ve heard echoed at least 1000 times in 1000 different situations all over St. Louis.

Why are St. Louisans so fixated on where other people went to high school?

Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been one week since St. Louis Public Radio held its first Tiny Desk Concert with Mt. Thelonious.  We’re still reeling from all the good times!

We were so pleased with number of entries and the variety of sounds submitted by St. Louis that we decided to take a deeper dive into the submissions. TDC entries could only showcase one song but there’s so much more out there. So here’s an offering of surprises we found while “crate-digging” through the catalogs of the entrants.

Drew Heitzler's Gravity's Rainbow
Provided by Amy Granat

Drew Heitzler’s latest work examines the intersection between St. Louis, Los Angeles, and a book that momentarily broke the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

Heitzler's show is the current exhibit at Parapet/RealHumans, a gallery space in the Fox Park neighborhood. It draws attention to a moment in 1974 when the Pulitzer Prize for fiction wasn’t awarded. 

A look inside the Old Cathedral's renovation
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

The oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River is fully open to visitors once again.

The Basilica of St. Louis, better known as the Old Cathedral, never shut down during a multi-million dollar renovation that restored the church to its 1870s glory.

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