Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Provided by Phaedra Phestival. Photo by Wilson Webel.
Provided by Phaedra Phestival. Photo by Wilson Webel.

The Arts and Education Council has launched a new crowd-sourcing platform called stARTup-StL  aimed at uniting its existing donor base, new donors and arts projects in the metro area. 

Much like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, the fundraising tool will help organizations and individuals raise money. But fees are far less than those charged by larger services. The council will only collect credit card fees for processing donations. All other funds will stay in the St. Louis region.

Keyboardist and singer Ashley Underwood, on the right in red, was only 9 when he saw the Beatles in St. Louis. Pam Strasser, a third-grade teacher, was 14.
Nancy Fowler / St. Louis Public Radio. Ticket stubs provided by Steve Adams and Barbara Ward

In 1966, the civil rights movement was in full swing, protesters marched against the escalating war in Vietnam, and the Beatles were revolutionizing the U.S. music scene.

But for good Catholic girls like Pam Strasser, it was still a time of relative innocence. She and her friends used their babysitting money to buy their tickets when the Beatles came to St. Louis.

Alejandro Ramriez (the author) and Fabiano Caruano play on the giant chess board outside the World Chess Hall of Fame.
Courtesy of Lennart Oots | Chess Club and Scholastic Center

St. Louis has established itself, without a doubt, as the capital of chess in America. The most important series of tournaments annually, the Grand Chess Tour, has its only North American stop here for the Sinquefield Cup, and the club hosts such important events as the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship, which results in great talent migrating to St. Louis.

St. Louis-based writer Jacqui Germain shared her poetry on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“I think of St. Louis as a place in which people are right next to each other and trying not to see each other at the same time,” said writer and poet Jacqui Germain, who has made her home here since moving from Ohio in 2008 to attend Washington University.  Germain has stayed in the area and her changing relationship with St. Louis is an integral part of her work, as is her activism.

Miles Davis' childhood home is without siding. Workers are installing a new roof.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Inside the shell of a modest house in East St. Louis, there is nothing to let a visitor know that one of the nation’s most noted musicians once called it home.

The interior of the one-story structure is skeletal — all bare studs and dust. But when Lauren Parks and Jasper Gery Pearson are inside, they can see the space where a young Miles Davis got his start in life, years before creating the music that would make him one of the biggest names in jazz. They hope to turn the trumpeter’s childhood home into a museum and educational space that will inspire children.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for August 14, 2016 will be “The Career of Teddy Edwards.”  Tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards would have been better known had he lived in New York.  His 58-year playing career was mostly in the Los Angeles area.  He was a soloist with his own groups, the big bands of Gerald Wilson, Onzy Matthews and Joe Castro and worked in studios.  In addition to the above, he will be heard with his own quartet and tentette, Howard McGhee, Dexter Gordon, Helen Humes, Benny Carter, Frank Butler, the first Brown-Roach Inc.

Michael Brown Sr. stands at the back of the Ferguson Community Center's event space during the public comment portion of Tuesday's city council meeting.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Tuesday, Aug. 9, marked two years since the police shooting death of Michael Brown. What's changed over those two years? What hasn't? What feelings does the day bring up for you?

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh and Pastor F. Willis Johnson, of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, reflected on the day and listened to your thoughts, two years later, about policing, protest, Ferguson, St. Louis and how our nation has changed since the death of Michael Brown.

Roy Sorenson, Washington University philosophy professor, boggles our minds with riddles, puzzles and mind-bending tricks on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Washington University philosophy professor Roy Sorensen knows your true philosophical quandary: ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ We asked him to answer this question and share some of his trickiest puzzles, riddles and audio mysteries for our listeners to sort through on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“I’m an egg man myself,” Sorensen said. Not all of you agreed, however.

St. Louis' Catholic Archdiocese held a "Mass for Peace and Justice" on August 20, 2014, shortly after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The Archdiocese's Peace and Justice Commission is continuing its work with a lecture on "Black Lives Matter."
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis is hoping to help people unpack the meaning of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and recruit more members to its Racial Equity task force during an event Monday night.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for August 7, 2016 will be “The Career of Louis Hayes.”  Drummer Louis Hayes was born in Detroit in 1937 to a musical family and was leading a group in Detroit clubs by age 16.

Commentary: Fashion has value as art

Aug 5, 2016

Even if you are not one to know much about high fashion--haute couture, you most likely have heard of Coco Channel, Oscar de la Renta or Pierre Cardin.

The St. Louis History Museum has a fabulous exhibition entitled, "Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night.” The exhibition includes dresses by all three of these designers and much more.

Fabulist bat is sucking the life out of a downed soldier
Provided by St. Louis Art Museum

Francisco de Goya’s “Disasters of War” is considered one of the most personal and influential print series in the Western canon. This will be the first time the complete series will be shown in St. Louis. Elizabeth Wyckoff, the art museum's curator of prints, drawings and photographs, says the work that was created more than 200 years ago remains relevant today.

Kelsey Proud started at St. Louis Public Radio in 2010, six years ago, as a temporary web producer. Over the years, she contributed to the station in many different ways, lastly, as our Digital Innovation Editor. This week marks Kelsey’s last with us, as she leaves St. Louis to take on the role of Managing Editor of Digital at Washington, D.C.’s WAMU 88.5.

Peace Through Pyramids participants at the JCC Maccabi Games, a Jewish Olympic-style event in St. Louis.
Jessica Hentoff | Circus Harmony

The night before the St. Louis-based Circus Harmony troupe left for Israel in 2014, the deadly conflict between Israel and Gaza broke out. Over 2,000 people in Gaza and Palestinians and Israelis were killed between July and August of that year in the conflict.

Metro Transit's Jessica Mefford-Miller and Reliance Bank's Allan Ivie IV unveil the Adopt-a-Stop signage. The bank is committed to cleaning the bus stop regularly for one year.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

MetroBus passengers may notice some cleaner bus stops around the St. Louis region in the coming months.

Metro Transit is launching an effort to keep its bus stops tidy by partnering with businesses, community groups, non-profits and even individuals in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County. 

Detail of Katherine Dunham in Choros, undated
Missouri History Museum | Provided

Before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, before Freedom Riders headed to segregated bus stations, before Martin Luther King Jr. led his first march, there was Katherine Dunham.

The dancer and choreographer stood up to discrimination as far back as 1944. She railed against a system in which hotels wouldn’t book her and theaters wouldn’t let her black and white fans sit together, according to Washington University professor Joanna Dee Das. Das has written a book about the legendary artist and activist who lived in East St. Louis off and on starting in the mid'60s. The book, “Katherine Dunham:  Dance and the African Diaspora,” is set for release early next year.

Levon Aronian, left, defending Sinquefield Cup Champion and Fabiano Caruana, defending 2016 U.S. Champion play in last year's Sinquefield Cup.
Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

As athletes from all over the world are headed to Rio for the summer Olympics, the best chess players in the world will gather in the chess capital of the U.S. to battle it out over 64 squares. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will once again host the Sinquefield Cup. This year, the tournament runs from Aug. 5-16 and has a prize fund of $300,000.

Chess Pieces
Adrian Askew | Flickr | http://bit.ly/2ad3M7e

The game of chess has a rich and somewhat elusive history. Where did it come from? Who invented it? Perhaps most intriguingly: What makes it so special? Why has it continued to exist when other games have not?

Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Jazz St. Louis and leading national institution Jazz at Lincoln Center are again joining forces to show area students how a treasured musical art continues to evolve.

The organizations will bring nationally recognized musicians into schools to give high school students an up-close view of jazz, a music rich in tradition that relies heavily on improvisation. Musicians also will speak on the role jazz musicians played during the music’s heyday a few generations ago and to the continuing importance of jazz in the 21st century.

The cold ramen bowl at Kounter Kulture, 3825 Watson Road.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

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 August.

Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes, both managing editors at the magazine, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

The four restaurants they particularly suggest?

St. Louis Public Radio reporters and staffers are embarking on an initiative to hear about what matters to you. Join us Aug. 4 at Ferguson Public Library, our first stop, from 3-6 p.m.
Jay Morrison | Flickr | http://bit.ly/2au48SN

As a St. Louis news organization, we often hear that we’re not getting things right. We aren’t talking about the things that matter to you — and if we are, we’re missing important details, people, places and things. We want to do better. We need your help to start.

After all, our station’s motto is “News that Matters.” Maybe what we should be saying, too, is “news that matters to you.”

Treasure Shields Redmond, her mother Elsie Lee Shields, and her grandmother Mary Shields. Meridian, Mississippi 1995
Provided by Treasure Shields Redmond

A St. Louis-area poet is lending her voice to the small but growing movement of activists calling for protests that disrupt U.S. society to spur social and economic justice.

Treasure Shields Redmond is a professor at Southwestern Illinois College and author of a book on civil rights trailblazer Fannie Lou Hamer. She is calling for a St. Louis-area strike by black workers during the Labor Day weekend. She’s calling the event Strike for Black Lives in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Two child hands pass red and green string through a fence
Provided | Intersect Arts Center

Sarah Bernhardt was seeing a lot of conflict in her south St. Louis neighborhood — moving between day-to-day destinations, and between the kids in her after-school arts program.

Wanting to help foster understanding between young people and their communities, Bernhardt started the Resolve Youth Art Camp for Violence Prevention. It begins Monday at the Intersect Arts Center, 3630 Ohio Ave., where she is the director.

Berhardt and her team of instructors will teach 8- to 14-year-olds how to use dance, photography, and hip-hop to avoid violence in their daily lives.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 31, 2016 will be “Jazz Giants for July and August.”  Throughout its history, certain key musicians have heavily influenced the course of jazz. This month, the musicians will include Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Lester Young, Charlie Christian, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter, Bill Evans, Abbey Lincoln, Johnny Hodges, Hank Jones, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Haden, Lee Morgan Steve Lacy and Albert Ayler.  The music heard will span 76 years of jazz.

COCA's summer musical, "Memphis," is set in a 1950s Memphis underground rock n' roll bar.
Center of Creative Arts

For Duane Foster, the Center of Creative Arts’ (COCA) production of “Memphis” has several parallels to this time two years ago, when the non-profit arts organization produced the musical “Ragtime.”

For one, both musicals delve deeply into race relations and issues of diversity in the United States during previous time periods.

Kenrich Henderson gazes at a portrait of her daughter Jamyla Bolden. The painting is a gift from St. Louis artist Jane Martin and an organization called Faces Not Forgotten that produces portraits of children killed by gun violence.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Kendric Henderson was lying on the bed with her daughter Jamyla Bolden, doing homework, when bullets burst through the window of their Ferguson home. The gunshots killed the 9-year-old and wounded her mother.

Nearly a year later, the pain is still agonizing. But local artists are trying to help keep the good memories alive for Jamyla’s loved ones. They're also helping dozens of other families around the country.

One of Lola Ogbara's illustrations
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Much of contemporary media and arts production is dominated by straight, slender, white bodies. A new St. Louis exhibit aims to upset that dynamic and highlight work focused on marginalized body types.

"Bodies on Display" opened this month at Westminster Press on Cherokee Street. It features Krista Valdez's self-portraits, Kat Reynolds' photography, Anya Liao's drawings, and Lola Ogbara's illustrations. Their work examines how LGBT bodies and those of people of color reflect identity, how they are viewed in public spaces — and how those bodies can resist dominant cultural representations of the human form.

Elaine Viets

Eight years ago, mystery author Elaine Viets survived six strokes, a coma and brain surgery. Now, she’s drawing on that experience in a new, dark mystery called “Brain Storm,” which will be released on Aug. 2.

Steve Woolf has worked in Cleveland, Cincinnati and New York as well as St. Louis. He's among the first to receive Webster University’s Declaration of Merit.
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

A local family has given the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis a sizeable 50th anniversary gift: $1 million.

The endowment from the Augustin family will support The Rep’s Steven Woolf in his artistic director position.

Joann Martin and Fay Zerbolio are two St. Louis-based miniaturists who run the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis in Bevo Mill.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to the world of St. Louis’ amateur miniaturists, you work with the supplies at hand.

“I once painted with the whiskers of a cat,” said Joann Martin, president of the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis.

While that’s a little out of the box as far as supplies go, it serves as a good example of just how tiny miniatures can be and how precise the artisanship is.

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