Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Carmen and Isabel Garcia with a Clydesdale, on location in September 2017 at Grant's Farm for a promotional St. Louis Blues video.
Carmen Garcia

Updated Sept. 13, 2018 - Since we originally published this story, the mother-daughter duo of Carmen and Isabel Garcia have continued performing in musical theater separately and together.

In June they played a grandmother and granddaughter in Mustard Seed Theater’s “Luchadora”, a drama about Mexican wrestling.

On Chess: The Batumi Chess Olympiad

Sep 13, 2018
The 2018 U.S. Olympic team. Seated (left to right): Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So. Standing: Ray Robson, John Donaldson, Sam Shankland.
Dilip Vishwanat / World Chess Hall of Fame

The Georgian resort city of Batumi, located on the Black Sea near the Turkish border, will host the 43 Chess Olympiad. More than 1,600 players from 185 countries will compete in the bi-annual event, which is separate from the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The two-week-long tournament, running from Sept. 24 to Oct. 6, will see the United States' team attempt to defend the gold medals it won as the top finisher in 2016 in Azerbaijan, its first victory in 40 years. Perennial powerhouses Russia, China and Ukraine, along with newcomers Azerbaijan and India, are among the other top-ranked teams in an event that traces its history back to 1927.

The Avett Brothers at LouFest 2015
File photo | Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

When the organizers of LouFest canceled the event, the news came as a shock to many, though signs of the festival’s distress had been apparent. The festival’s promoter, Listen Live Entertainment, insisted that everything was fine until the moment it pulled the plug.

The announcement identified several causes including the loss of key sponsors, debt and expected rain. Organizers insisted the festival had been on target “until a bit of unfortunately timed media coverage caused many of our vendors and artists to demand up-front payment.”

Alongside the work of established artists and entertainers, artwork created through several outreach-oriented organizations - including these pieces by participants in Preferred Family Healthcare’s A.R.T.C. program – will be in the spotlight this weekend.
A.R.T.C.

Lorraine Reeb will be one of many individuals and organizations hawking their creative wares along St. Charles’ historic Main Street this weekend, and she’s excited about what her organization, Blank Canvas Studios, will have to offer passersby.

“Having a divergent way of interpreting the world makes really raw, uninhibited, amazing art,” she said on this Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

One of a handful of outreach-oriented nonprofits that will be showcasing work at the 24th Annual Mosaics Fine Arts Festival, Blank Canvas Studios provides an artistic outlet to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Reeb is the program director, and she joined host Don Marsh for a conversation alongside Lauren Zeiger, regional coordinator of Preferred Family Healthcare’s A.R.T.C. program.

DeRay Mckesson poses in the trademark blue vest that he first wore in the early days of the Ferguson protests.
Adam Mayer

An educator who quit his job to join the Ferguson protests, and then became a nationally known activist is coming back to St. Louis on Thursday.

DeRay Mckesson will appear at Union Avenue Christian Church to talk about his book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.”

From left, host Don Marsh interviews Sonia Sotomayor at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
August Jennewein | UMSL

From the Bronx in New York City to Yale Law School and now the nation’s capital, Sonia Sotomayor has made a name for herself despite the obstacles she’s encountered throughout her life.

“My life hasn’t been always easy, and yet I succeeded,” Sotomayor said in a conversation with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.

Growing up in poverty, learning English as a second language and being diagnosed with diabetes as a child, as well as grieving the death of her father when she was 9, are just a few of those obstacles.

Cameron Collins is the co-author of the third edition of "St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The history of the beer industry in St. Louis is a winding one that goes back generations. Brewers named Lemp, Anheuser, Busch and Griesedieck played an important role on the local and national beer scenes.

While Anheuser-Busch is now a multinational company that’s no longer locally owned, the legacy of the beer that has its roots in St. Louis remains strong.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for September 9, 2018 will be “The Music of Lee Morgan.”  Trumpeter Lee Morgan hit the big time in 1956 at age 18 with the Dizzy Gillespie big band and his first album as a leader.  His star burned brightly through his tenures with Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, John Coltrane and others until it was extinguished at age 33 when he was shot and killed in Slug’s Saloon by his wife.  In addition, we will hear Morgan with Jimmy Smith, Wynton Kelly, Hank Mobley, Elvin Jones, Jackie McLean, Dr.

Brian Cohen (at left), the founder of LouFest, and St. Louis Public Radio’s Holly Edgell discussed the cancelation of this weekend’s festival.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like so many St. Louisans this week, LouFest founder Brian Cohen was surprised and saddened to learn that the major St. Louis music festival set for this weekend had been canceled.

“It’s a sad day for sure, for a lot of people,” he told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I didn’t necessarily see it going down this way – it certainly was a shock to me, and we’ll just have to see if we can find some answers as to why it all happened this way.”

Cohen, who in 2016 sold his stake in the company that organizes the festival, didn’t speculate about possible financial mismanagement or poor decisions that may have led to this year’s issues. But he acknowledged that the music industry is a difficult one where it’s easy to run into trouble.

St. Louis has many beautiful and special art museums, but few people would list the Missouri Botanical Garden as one of them and yet what an art museum it is. The garden often referred to as Shaw's Garden has many dimensions. 

Founded in 1859, the Garden is the oldest botanical garden in continuous operation in the country and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is on 79 acres of beautiful and varied gardens.

There are dozens of specialty gardens within the Garden itself such as:

Garry Kasparov (left) talks with Maurice Ashley at the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz in 2017.
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

Last year, the legendary Garry Kasparov made headlines when he came out of a 12-year retirement to compete in the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz as part of the Grand Chess Tour. This year, he’s returning, yet again, to take part in a unique chess competition. From Sept. 11-14, the St. Louis Chess Club will host 10 of the world’s top players in the Champions Showdown.

Jess Dugan took this photograph of Caprice, 55, in Chicago in 2015.
Jess Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre

From the beginning, St. Louisans Jess Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre were in step.

They met in 2012 while country line dancing, a shared passion, and it wasn’t long before they discovered more complementary interests. As their romance deepened, they began collaborating on a photography project and book featuring portraits of older transgender subjects. After moving from Chicago to St. Louis in 2014, they continued traveling the country to meet with subjects.

They’re celebrating the August publication of "To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults." An exhibition of some of the portraits will open Thursday at projects+gallery, 4733 McPherson Ave.

Sauce recommends the the seared scallop dish on a bed of chopped summer squash, corn, tomato and lemon verbena from Bakers & Hale in Godfrey, Illinois.
Photo courtesy of Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with Sauce Magazine’s Heather Hughes and Matt Sorrell about new restaurants to try during the month of September.

On their list are these six restaurants:

The guitarist for St. Paul Minnesota band Hippo Campus bends to his Fender Telecaster and rocks out. The band brought their particular brand of dance rock to the main stage.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

LouFest isn’t happening. This is a huge blow to the thousands of fans who look forward to the music festival in Forest Park every year.

With the cancellation coming just a few days before the event, fans now have a gaping hole in their weekend plans. Here, in no particular order, are some other arts and entertainment doings that may help ease the pain of a lost LouFest.

Update: We're updating this list with new shows as we're scheduled. Check back for the latest bookings. 

In 2015, LouFest brought a record 50,000 people to Forest Park. 2018 will be a different story.
Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Sept. 5 at 5:30 p.m. — Music fans, vendors and service providers startled by the cancellation of this weekend’s LouFest in Forest Park are shifting from disappointment to worry as they try to figure out how to recoup the cost of tickets, fees and other expenses.

Festival organizers early Wednesday called off the ninth annual event, three days before it was set to begin. Last year the two-day festival was at full capacity, drawing 32,000 fans each day.

Jean-Michel Basquiat poses in front of some of his work in the apartment he and Alexis Adler shared.
Alexis Adler

When Alexis Adler lived with New York painter Jean-Michel Basquiat in an East Village apartment, she never knew what she might wake up to.

Where most people saw walls, floors and even refrigerators, the emerging master of social commentary saw canvas. Basquiat often painted throughout the night, the ideas in his head spilling out onto almost every surface in the run-down space.

St. Louisans will soon have a rare glimpse into the life and early work of Basquiat, a one-time New York street artist whose paintings eventually sold for more than $100 million. “Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979–1980” opens Friday at the Contemporary Art Musem and runs through Dec. 30. It displays the nascent creations of the artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican roots, who died in 1988 at 27, reportedly of a heroin overdose.

Kara Smith | St. Louis County

St. Louis County Library members will have a chance to get an up-close-and-personal look at volcanoes, under the ocean and even outer space.

The library district is now offering free virtual-reality programs starting this fall using high-tech headsets and the virtual-reality teaching tool Google Expeditions.

Kristen Sorth, the director of the St. Louis County Library District, said the program opens the mind to possibilities, especially for kids.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, September 2, 2018 will be “The Career of Phil Woods.”  Alto saxophonist Phil Woods’s 61-year performing career included 30 wins as best alto saxophone in the Down Beat Readers Polls.  He led his own quintet from 1972 to 2015 and played with the big bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Oliver Nelson, Thelonious Monk and Jay McShann.  He and Benny Carter were close friends.  In addition to those already mention, Woods will be heard with Gary Burton & Joe Morello, Gene Quill, Bill Mays, George Wallington, Jim McNeely, his European Rhythm Machine, the

Anne Bogel (at left) of the “What Should I Read Next” podcast and Holland Saltsman, owner of the Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves, both enjoy connecting good books to the right readers.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to reading, one person’s great book can be another person’s dull tome.

“As devoted readers know, reading is nothing if not personal … my favorite could bore you to tears, your favorite could put me to sleep,” Anne Bogel told host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Bogel, the person behind the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and the podcast What Should I Read Next, joined the talk show along with Holland Saltsman, owner of the Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves. Both women offered a variety of suggestions for choosing what to read next as well as some specific book recommendations to listeners.

Brit Daniels of Spoon played at LouFest. Sept. 9, 2017
File Photo | Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Update: Sept. 5, 3 a.m. — LouFest 2018 is cancelled. Organizers officially cancelled the festival early Wednesday morning in a letter citing money troubles and a rainy forecast. Listen Live Entertainment says the ticketing company Front Gate Tickets will be responsible for refunds “while we work to repay our debts.” Visit our website for more coverage as we continue to cover this breaking story.  

Original Story - A week before the annual LouFest music festival in Forest Park, some contractors who were booked to provide essential services have begun pulling out.

Some local firms scheduled to handle stage lighting, sound and additional musical instruments have informed the event’s producer, Listen Live Entertainment, that they will not participate. The firm scheduled to remove trash said it will not be available if it does not receive an overdue deposit. Some cite persistently delayed payments from the promoter.

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