Arts & Culture

A mural sits along a garden wall on Wells Avenue, behind the old J.C. Penney building on Martin Luther King Drive.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the third of a three-part series on the past, present and future of Martin Luther King Drive.

The day we showed up at Dorothy’s TV, Furniture & Appliance, the weather outside was like Florida, and Dorothy Davis’ brother sent us inside to meet his sister, who juggled taking care of business and talking to us and answering the phone. We came to talk about crime on her street, Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, and about why she’s chosen to stick it out there.

The Wellston Loop structure, most recently a burger joint, is where city trolleys would turn around to head back east toward downtown St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the second of a three-part report on the past, present and future of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

Shavette Wayne-Jones was in her office early the first working day after the long New Year’s weekend.  A caller suspects that is not unusual for her.

Wayne-Jones is executive director of the Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Association, a community improvement organization whose work encompasses three north side neighborhoods, including the western stretch of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive where it runs into the city of Wellston.

She was reared in north St. Louis and at times she resembles a mother mockingbird, so fierce is she in her defense of her home turf. She regards the questions about the death of her neighborhoods as risible as well as wrong. She envisions the world on and around Dr. Martin Luther King Drive with a sense of possibility, a belief things will go right.

Santiago Bianco
Santiago Bianco

A group of primarily young St. Louis residents have launched a campaign to turn a crowd-sourced photo book about Ferguson-related protests and events into a free educational package for students in area schools.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 17 will be “The Career of John Hicks.”  Born in Atlanta, pianist John Hicks came to St. Louis at the age of 14.  Hicks went to high school with Lester Bowie and Oliver Lake.  He went to Lincoln University and the Berklee School of Music.  Hicks made his first recordings with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.  He soon became an in-demand pianist, playing with Betty Carter and David Murray in addition to leading his own groups.  This show will feature him with, in addition, Joe Lovano, Jay McShann, Booker Ervin, Nick Brignola, Ray Anderson, St.

Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

After our bout with melody circa last Audio Agitation we’re going to let things get a little weird. There’s a specific strain of St. Louis rock that seems to draws inspiration from anywhere they can get it.  The music can turn from melodic to aggressive or ambient in one bar.  The vocals may be volatile.  Electronics, distortion, and a heavy bassline are all tossed together in a send up of that old rock ‘n roll fury.  Here’s some of the kickers.

Press Image courtesy of Kimberley French, 20th Century Fox

If you haven’t seen the “The Revenant,” just nominated on Thursday for 12 Oscars, you’ve probably heard about the mythologized performance of Best Actor-hungry Leonardo DiCaprio who went to great lengths to make his performance as the wild and ferocious frontiersman Hugh Glass believable.

Tavis Smiley 2014
Provided

This segment will be rebroadcast on Monday, January 18, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It was originally aired on February 5, 2015. You can also listen live.

There’s a disconnect between Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations today, and attitudes toward the man before he was killed in 1968, author Tavis Smiley says.

Deborah O'Grady / St. Louis Symphony

This weekend’s performance of French composer Olivier Messiaen’s “From the Canyons to the Stars” by the Saint Louis Symphony aims to take the listener from the orchestra pit to the passages and hollows of Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and Cedar Brake, Utah. These are the same places that Messiaen went in 1972 to find inspiration for the piece in 12 movements. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, as seen from atop the old  J.C. Penney building between Hamilton and Hodiamont Avenues.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the first of three reports looking at the history, present and future of Martin Luther King Drive.

Today is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had he lived, he’d be 87 years old. About four years after the shooting death of King in Memphis in 1968, two contiguous north St. Louis streets were renamed in his honor and his memory.

This renaming followed a by-then well-established practice in the United States — one that eventually spread abroad. St. Louis wasn’t the first or the last to join this tradition. The first street named for King was South Park Way in Chicago; that memorial was initiated about four months after his death.

Courtesy Contemporary Art Museum

A plastic bottle inflates and deflates, as if breathing. A thick piece of wood snaps in half after it is struck by an arm-like piston. A bone is crunched between metallic jaws.

These are the sounds and sights of artwork presented as part of Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’ spring exhibitions, all of which ask viewers to reconsider human form.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Fargesn Media Project is a collaboration between Jewish and black activists who are looking to catalog the voices of those who participated in protests in Ferguson and throughout the St. Louis region, starting in August 2014. It was inspired by Rabbi Michael Rothbaum's Rosh Hashanah sermon, Ferguson/Fargesn.

Provided by World Chess Hall of Fame

On Dec. 12, 1941, less than a week after the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attempted to take Wake Island, strategically located in the Pacific, but were thwarted by U.S. forces. Twelve days later, they returned with force and Wake Island was surrendered to the Japanese on Dec. 24, 1941. The soldiers and civilians alike became prisoners of war (POW) and were shipped to Woo Sung, China.

Duhart Band
White-Klump Photography / Courtesy Duhart Band

Colleen Duhart has a 20-something story that many can commiserate with. When she returned to St. Louis from school at Southeastern Missouri State University in 2011, she found a full-time day job at local nonprofit Forest Releaf and moved from her parents’ house and out on her own. But something was missing.

A line snakes out of the exhibit "A Walk in 1875 St. Louis" at the Missouri History Museum last Father's Day.
Courtesy of The Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum continues to see drastically increased attendance compared with just a couple of years ago, a trend it attributes to a new exhibit strategy.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

William Stage, a former investigator for the Centers for Disease Control in St. Louis and longtime writer for the Riverfront Times, is back with a new novel, “Creatures on Display.” The book is a “gritty mystery set in the seedy underside of St. Louis.”

This is no typical comic noir, though. It takes a hard look at the fictional efforts of investigators who must confront the AIDS crisis during the 1980s. Investigating the AIDS crisis was something that Stage had to undertake through his work with the CDC.

David Bowie performing.
Hunter Desportes | Flickr Creative Commons

Tammy Merrett is a self-proclaimed “life-long Bowie fan.” After hearing the news that mega-entertainer David Bowie had died on Sunday, Merrett, of St. Louis, reflected on the times she saw him perform in St. Louis.

“I was at both shows,” Merrett wrote, responding through St. Louis Public Radio’s Public Insight Network. She was referring to Bowie’s performance in 1995 at what was then Riverport Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, and in 2004 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

Bowie died Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday. He had been treated for cancer over the last 18 months.

James Fernandez and Luis Agreo.

A Spanish author and filmmaker and NYU professor have come to St. Louis this week to do field work and discuss their book about Spanish immigration in the U.S. — particularly to St. Louis. Luis Agreo and Dr. James D. Fernandez travelled the world for nine years to understand the plight of Spanish immigrants across the globe.  It is called "Invisible Immigrants: Spaniards in the U.S. (1868-1945)."

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

You know Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley from their work as hosts of the “We Live Here” podcast that covers race and culture for St. Louis Public Radio. On Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” we recapped some of the most memorable moments of the podcast’s first season. We also looked ahead at what is to come and how Stanley is settling into St. Louis (she moved here from Florida in September).

"So far, St. Louis has been really good to me," Stanley said.

Gina Alvarez elaborates on her work with VSA Missouri and Living Arts
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The publication All the Art continues to try and fill voids they see in the St. Louis art scene. This weekend they tried to bridge the gap between art makers and organizations that show art. 

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for January 10, 2016 will be “The Career of Tony Williams.”  A child prodigy, drummer Tony Williams was born in Chicago in 1945 but was raised in Boston.  A student of Alan Dawson, Williams was playing professionally at age 13 with Sam Rivers and other advanced musicians.  At 17, he joined the Miles Davis Quintet and revolutionized the way rhythm sections have played since the mid-1960’s.  According to Drummer magazine, his playing suggested melody, counter-point, and harmony, which has been a revelation to most drummers since the 1960s.  He was one of the

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