Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Winnie Caldwell and Sidney Keys III
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Sidney Keys III, 11, has had quite a month. On December 13, he and his mother, Winnie Caldwell, flew to California where he appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Two days later he was featured on CNN’s “Young Wonders” program in a segment that had been recorded weeks earlier. On December 17, he appeared on a live CNN special in New York City honoring CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2017.

As 2017 comes to an end, the team that brings you St. Louis on the Air decided to take a look at the top 20 most visited online stories of the year that came out of this program.

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh spoke with senior producer Alex Heuer about some of the stories and larger trends.

Carolyn Mueller and John Brown
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Did you know that Missouri was once a mecca for health conscious people, that there is a town in the state named Tightwad or there is still a law on the books that cattle can’t graze on airport runways? These and a plethora of other facts and histories can be found in the new book “Missouri Almanac 2018-2019.” Carolyn Mueller and John Brown, two of the book’s five authors, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to share highlights and the genesis of the book.

Michael Ferguson and Betsy Bowman starred in Bluff City Theater's 2017 presentation of The Glass Menagerie.
Joe Anderson

A small theater company in Hannibal is giving larger St. Louis troupes a run for their money in a regional awards competition.

The 4-year-old Bluff City Theater is nominated for 12 Broadway World regional awards for the 2017 season, including Best Theater Company. Larger, more established institutions like Stages St. Louis and The Rep typically dominate the annual contest. A public vote decides the winners.

Public Domain

Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church will hold a Mass on Jan. 1, to commemorate the arrival of one of the first Catholic bishops to the region — in what was then the Louisiana Territory.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Bishop Louis William Valentine DuBourg in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

Santa's Arrival, an illustration for Clement Clarke Moore's poem.
Public Domain

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we observed an annual holiday tradition by listening to host Don Marsh's poem, "The Day After Christmas."

He wrote the poem after hearing an off-handed comment from a young relative whose gifts didn't meet his expectations. The young boy had to learn an important Christmas lesson.

Sofi Seck (left) and Rosebell Komugisha (right) talk about their mission to help expand educational opportunities for women in sub-Saharan Africa.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Eight years ago, photographer Sofi Seck and teacher Rosebell Komugisha, met and became friends in St. Louis. This year, the two reconnected and, after a six-hour brunch, came up with Expedition Subsahara, a company that aims to empower women in Africa.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Christmas Eve, 2017 will be “The Winter Holiday Show.”  A number of traditions are celebrated each December in this country.  All of them have light from candles to light from the sun as an important part of the celebrations.  We will celebrate Chanukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa with appropriate music on Jazz Unlimited on Christmas Eve.  Helping us celebrate this joyous time will be Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Haden, Hank Jones, the Buck Clayton Big Band, Keith Jarrett, Art Pepper, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stanley Cowell, The Toshiko Akiyoshi

Paul's Market

It can seem daunting to find the ultimate gift that captures St. Louis’ charm and convinces your family to explore the region.

Whether you’re showing loved ones around the city or just bringing the Midwest back home, here are five ways to bring the food, pastimes and St. Louis pride to Christmas with you.

The trains are the stars of Dan Schmidt's annual Christmas display in Overland in December 2017
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Six-year-old Adam Messmer watched wide-eyed, as a model train pulled freight cars and tankers through a Christmas landscape that takes up every inch of Dan Schmidt’s front yard in Overland.

“There it is. There it is. There it is,’’ Adam called out, as the red and silver Santa Fe engine reappeared from a tunnel and chugged past a little church and a drive-in theater showing a video of “A Miracle on 34th Street.”

Adam has toy trains of his own, and this is one of his favorite Christmas displays, said Amie Messmer, his mother. They live nearby in Maryland Heights.

Pat Woods talks about her efforts to re-open the sit-down eatery in her College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this month, Fresno's Diner on E. Grand Boulevard suffered extensive damages when a pickup truck ran into the side of the building. Members of the community have started a campaign to help re-open the establishment.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with the local restaurant’s owner, Pat Woods, about her efforts to improve the College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.

Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi in the playoff round of the 2017 London Chess Classic
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

The last super tournament of 2017 ended with American grand master Fabiano Caruana edging out Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi in a tiebreak to claim victory at the London Chess Classic, ahead of World Champion Magnus Carlsen. This is a significant victory for Caruana, who struggled in tournaments at the beginning of the year.

Circus Flora executive director Larry Mabrey talked about the circus' upcoming changes.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ hometown circus is set to move prior to its upcoming season – but only a half block away. Previously, the circus took place on the lot next to Powell Hall. But last year, Circus Flora partnered with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation to help develop a permanent site for the circus.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the changes to Circus Flora, including the new location and its new season dates for 2018. Joining him for the discussion was Circus Flora executive director Larry Mabrey.

The central corridor illumination art project on these grain elevators was tested briefly on Dec. 12.
Provided | Raven Fox

Many St. Louisans pack the family into the car, drive around, and ooh and ah over lighting displays during the Christmas season.

They might want to do it again in February.

That’s when the next phase of a huge, colorful, illumination art project will be briefly visible in St. Louis’ central corridor — and for miles around. The “canvas” consists of a series of grain silos that sit less than 200 yards from the IKEA store between Sarah Street and Vandeventer Avenue.

Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

The owners of Reedy Press are fighting to recover from a Nov. 15 fire that gutted the warehouse containing all the publisher’s printed books.

An estimated 200,000 books burned, nearly all the unsold copies. The publisher is coordinating with dozens of authors to reprint the books.

“The misery of this — if you want to go that far — is having to do everything over again,” Co-owner and Publisher Josh Stevens said. “I’ve spent the last few weeks looking for a more permanent warehouse, buying warehouse equipment that I already bought once upon a time. I joke to people that it’s like groundhog day.”

SLIFF: 'Song Sung Blue'

Dec 17, 2017

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 12, 2008 - Documentary filmmaker Greg Kohs first saw the Milwaukee-based act "Lightning & Thunder" performing at a biker convention he was filming for Harley-Davidson, and though they never made it onscreen in that project, he was sufficiently impressed to choose them for his next subject. And who wouldn't be? Mark Sardina ("Lightning") and his wife Claire ("Thunder" - and yes, they really do call themselves by those names even at home) were long-time sensations on the state-fair-and-convention circuit.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 12, 2008 - Tim Liddy's "Stratagem" at the William Shearburn Gallery is the kind of thing only a painter of Liddy's caliber should ever take on.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December 17, 2017 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour (Ornette Coleman Compositions) + New Music.” Saxophonist, composer Ornette Coleman was one of the great writers of short melodies in all of jazz history.  Jazz Unlimited’s “Keys and Strings Hour” will present seven of these gems played by pianists Frank Kimbrough, Hampton Hawes, Bobo Stenson and Paul Bley.  Guitarists Pat Metheny and Jeanfrancois Prins and the Modern Jazz Quartet will also be heard.  The second and third hours of the show will have new music presented by our own Kent Miller, Paul Gaill

Sidney Keys III, the founder of Books N Bros.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this year, we spoke with 11-year-old Sidney Keys III and his mother Winnie Caldwell about Books N Bros, a book club Keys founded to encourage boys to read.

Dan Donovan

For much of the first half of the last century, Florence Foster Jenkins was a sensation. She was a tone-deaf socialite who featured herself as an opera singer.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about Max and Louie Productions' presentation of "Souvenir," a fantasia on the life of Florence Foster Jenkins.

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