Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

This photo went viral earlier this year and features five Collage Dance Collective ballerinas. From left to right: Brandye Lee, Daphne Lee, Kimberly Ho-Tsai, Nikki Taylor and Luisa Cardoso
Photo provided by Kevin Thomas | Credit: Andrew J. Breig

The 10th annual Spring to Dance Festival gets underway Friday night at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Featured among the 30 professional dance companies is Collage Dance Collective, a Memphis-based company.

Kevin Thomas, the company’s artistic director, explained to St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter on Friday that Collage Dance Collective is a contemporary ballet company.

A young boy carries a rose at a Vietnam Memorial Ceremony near Branson, Missouri at the College of the Ozarks. 2015
Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau | Flickr

Over this Memorial Day weekend, many people through the St. Louis area and around the nation will pause to honor military service members.

Some ceremonies are designed specifically to remember those who died in the line of duty, while others will celebrate all service members, past and present.

This gold mummy case is one of the replica artificats on display at a new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center.
Provided | Saint Louis Science Center

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Egyptologist Bob Brier joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss a new exhibit opening at the Saint Louis Science Center.

The exhibit puts guests in the shoes of archeologist Howard Carter when he discovers King Tutankhamun tomb and features recreations of many other artifacts.

“The Discovery of King Tut” opens May 27 and runs through January 7.

Yo-Yo the Narrator, performed by Cecil MacKinnon, is a mainstay at Circus Flora.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

After a nearly 150 year run, the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed its final show on Sunday in New York.

Here in St. Louis, circus performers were watching a live video stream of the event in a tent of their own.

“It was wonderfully heartfelt, some of the things the performers said, especially about the role of animals in people’s lives,” said Cecil MacKinnon, Circus Flora’s theater director, who joined St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter on Thursday.

Chess legend Gary Kasparov signed copies of his book at the Super Nationals Chess Tournaments in Nashville. May 2017
Karen Boyd

The biggest chess event of all time was held May 12-15 in Nashville. In total, 5,577 players vied for prizes in the three national events which are held together at the same site at the same time every four years. 

 

The event is a mix of four tournaments, the Nationals, the Elementary Chess Championships, the Middle School Chess Championships and the High School Chess Championships. These four competitions are normally held on different weekends and in different cities in the spring. However, every four years, they are held simultaneously at the same site.

In this May 24, 2017 photo, Robert Orth as Uncle John and Katharine Goeldner as Ma Joad tangle with each other in "The Grapes of Wrath."
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre St. Louis

St. Louisans can experience a musical makeover of the classic Depression-era tale of a poor Oklahoma family when Opera Theatre of St. Louis debuts a new rendition of “The Grapes of Wrath” on Saturday.

Drought and desperation drive the Joad family of tenant farmers off the plains to California for the promise of a better life. It’s a story of good intentions and bad outcomes that resonates today, said Katharine Goeldner, who sings the role of Ma Joad.

“All they were trying to do was feed their families,” Goeldner said.

Marcia and Tim Dorsey's fully rehabbed 1850s stone house in Carondelet. Marcia lived in this house when she was a girl, but after it left her family's hands, the home fell into disrepair. In 2014, the Dorseys began the process of rehabilitating it.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Just east of Broadway in the Patch neighborhood of Carondelet stands a small, rough-cut stone house. The structure, over 160 years old, is set to receive a 'Most Enhanced' building award from the Landmarks Association of St. Louis this Thursday evening.

Author Scott Turow is the author of the new novel, "Testimony."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In his latest novel, “Testimony,” author Scott Turow was able to combine two longtime interests: the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the Romani ethnic group.

“This was sort of a writers’ bucket list,” Turow said of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands.

The other interest, the Roma ethnic group intertwines with the ICC as Turow writes about the disappearance of an entire Roma refugee camp following the Bosnian War.

Maureen Kavanaugh recently released an updated version of Elizabeth McNulty’s popular book “St. Louis Then and Now,” which pairs archive and contemporary photographs that tell the story of St. Louis through its landmarks.

On Tuesday, Kavanaugh joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the updated book.

“Some of it is exactly the same,” Kavanaugh said of the book.

In most circumstances, the ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos are taken from the same angle, though Kavanaugh said that wasn’t possible in every instance because of new construction.

A mob stops a street car during the East St. Louis race riots, which started on July 2, 1917.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Libraries

The East St. Louis race riots have gone down in history as some of the worst examples of race relations in the St. Louis region. This Sunday, May 28, is the 100-year anniversary of the first, smaller riot. July 2 is the 100-year anniversary of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 1900s.

Related: St. Louis History in Black and White: East St. Louis Race Riot

Tae Kim, manager of Oriental Spoon in Edwardsville, and Victor Jang, co-owner of Wudon BBQ Korean Restaurant in Creve Coeur discussed the world of Korean cuisine with St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’re cued into the St. Louis foodie scene at all, you’ve probably heard of David Choi’s Korean fusion favorite Seoul Taco. But have you tried one of the many strictly Korean restaurants in town?

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 21, 2017 will be  “The Music if Bill Evans.”  Pianist Bill Evans is arguably the most influential pianist in jazz since the early 1960’s.  His elegant, impressionistic pianism and compositions will be celebrated by hearing recordings of him with his own groups, with others and by other instrumentalists and vocalists playing and singing his music.  The featured musicians, in addition to Evans, will include vocalists Johnny Hartman, Tony Bennett, Janice Borla, Karrin Allyson and Judy Niemack along with instrumentalists Tadd Dameron, Joe Pass, the Miles Davis se

The Goldenrod Showboat took on about 7 feet of water when the Illinois River flooded near Kampsville, Illinois, in early May 2017.
Historic Riverboat Preservation Association

Illinois River floodwater has drained from the hull of the Goldenrod Showboat, along with any lingering optimism that the century-old vessel can be saved, according to the preservation group that owns it.

“There’s no glimmer of hope,’’ said Jacob Medford, vice president of the nonprofit Historic Riverboat Preservation Association. “We’ve tried our best with the Goldenrod, but not everything works out exactly how you want it. But we gave it our all.”

St. Louis-based vocalist Brian Owens joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday to discuss recent and upcoming projects.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, vocalist Brian Owens joined host Don Marsh to discuss his upcoming Johnny Cash tribute concert at the St. Louis Symphony. We  also heard a selection from his recently-released album “Soul of Ferguson” and one from his forthcoming album "Soul of Cash."

A young woman stands before Edo Rosenblith's painting which is three black and white triangle panels linked to form a large triangle.
Provided by Daniel Burnett

Most people probably don’t think artists develop their exhibits by meeting for coffee, walking through the park, and talking. But that’s exactly how the Daniel Burnett-curated show, “Anchors,” came together. Burnett said his initial approach wasn’t about finding the biggest names in St. Louis, but finding out how artists might fit together to represent the visual art community.

Pokey LaFarge joined St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter to discuss his new album, "Manic Revelations."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This week marks the release of St. Louis-based singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge’s seventh album “Manic Revelations,” which has a decidedly different feel and hits close to home.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, LaFarge shared with contributor Steve Potter some of the inspirations for three of the songs on the album and the meaning of the title.

On Chess: Are chess books dying?

May 18, 2017
Chess books
Chess Club and Scholastic Center

I must confess. I have a very difficult time answering the classic question: “What’s your favorite chess book?” Heck, I don’t know if I can even name the last chess book that I’ve read to completion. As an international master and chess coach, the inability to answer such a simple question could raise some eyebrows.

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air, we'll discuss spring and summer gardening tips and tricks.
Victor Camilo | Flickr

Ah, finally, beautiful Missouri spring weather. Should last about five days, right? Let's use that time to get up to snuff on best gardening practices for the spring and summer.

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air, experts from the Missouri Botanical Garden joined the program to answer listener questions and discuss successful techniques for home gardening. Jennifer Smock, the supervisor of the Kemper Center for Home Gardening, and Glenn Kopp, the garden's horticultural information manager joined the program.

Stuart Keating, owner of Earthbound Beer, prepares to take St. Louis Public Radio producer Collin Mueller on a tour of the brewery's soon-to-be new digs inside the old Cherokee Brewing Company on Cherokee St.
Collin Mueller | St. Louis Public Radio

Earthbound Beer is a local micro-brewery that got its start two and a half years ago. Currently, the business is located in a cozy little 1000-square-foot shotgun-style building on Cherokee Street, right across from The Luminary.

As the brewery continues to experiment with unique beer ingredients and attempts to distribute them, Earthbound found itself with a new need for space. Conveniently enough, the solution to that problem is located right down the street.

A still from student film "Grieve" depicts a solemn young black man's face against a brick wall.
Provided by Washington University

As Washington University student Sagar Brahmbhatt went through training in the school’s Uncle Joe’s Peer Counseling program, he was struck by the value of a fundamental emotion: grief.  Brahmbhatt learned that internalizing emotional pain without an outlet can be harmful and that grieving is healthy. 

“Once you do accept grief, although you do feel sad, you’re more at peace with it” he said.  “And eventually, once you go through the grieving process, you may get better.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for May 14 will be “The Compositions of Carla Bley.” Composer, arranger and bandleader Carla Bley continues to work at age 81.  Her first compositions were recorded by the George Russell sextet.  These elegiac, sometimes sardonic and witty compositions will be played by George Russell, her own groups and big bands, Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, John McLaughlin, Art Farmer & Jim Hall, Paul Bley, Orrin Evans and Tony Williams’ Lifetime.

The floating McDonald's was a fixture on the St. Louis riverfront for 20 years but closed in 2000.
(Courtesy of Cameron Collins)

Do you pine for the swinging orange chairs and plush booths of The Parkmoor? Do you miss the thrill of the Coral Court Motel on Watson? Do you wish you could visit the orange soda-guzzling Phil the Gorilla, the king of the St. Louis Zoo?

You’re not alone in that pang you feel when you think back on the bygone St. Louis institutions of yesteryear. Cameron Collins, the author of the popular local Distilled History blog, has felt the nostalgia too.

St. Louis Poet Laureate Michael Castro delivers a poem before the ceremonial swearing-in of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with information from the Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed's office — The St. Louis poet laureate position is vacant following the resignation of Michael Castro over the city's failure to pick his successor.

Castro, the city's first poet laureate, stepped down Thursday, noting that it was unfair for him to remain in the position when another poet had been named to succeed him.  In December, a committee recommended Jane Ellen Ibur take up the mantle.

But that choice was met with pushback by some members of the public, and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed has not moved forward on the recommendation.

Sarah Sims, of the Missouri History Museum, and Nicole Ivy, of the American Alliance of Museums discussed how museums are changing to reflect diversity and inclusion on Thursday's St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Before Sarah Sims, the director of K-12 education programs at the Missouri History Museum, began her current job, she used to work in education. She remembers vividly a trip when she took her students to a local museum in which one student came up to her during the visit and told her how special the trip was. When she asked why, the student said “this is a mansion and this is the only time I get to come here.”

Craig Mitchell Smith adjusts a glass flower on one of his larger pieces inside the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden. (May 8, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Botanical Garden has been growing something new this week that doesn’t require water or fertilizer.

A display opening Saturday will fill the garden’s Climatron with glass sculpture. ‘Garden of Glass’ consists of 30 designs featuring flowers, butterflies and free-form pieces by artist Craig Mitchell Smith.

Spring Chess Classic player Yaroslav Zherebukh, recently competed in the U.S. Championship and attends Saint Louis University. Zherebukh be joining two other Americans in the top group in the quarterly strong tournament next week. May 10, 2017
Saint Louis Chess Club | Austin Fuller

Whether it's chess, math, art or science, talent is not something that America lacks. The creative abilities of the top young people in these areas are astonishing, and the push to turn this raw talent to become elite in their respective fields is where the real fight is.

Bassist Andrea Morse, drummer Vijay Roy and guitarist Dave Anderson debut improvisational music at the new performance series, The Lab
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Dave Anderson’s small basement workshop in south St. Louis is a way station for instruments used by some of the city's best guitarists. Over years, he’s developed the trust of dozens of top-notch players, tuning and rebuilding their instruments. Some play clubs around the city, some tour and some are relatively unknown, content to just do their thing.

Archbishop Robert Carlson, Brother Emile of the Taizé Community and Rev. Starsky Wilson joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss an upcoming pilgrimage in St. Louis over Memorial Day weekend.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Several years ago, the archbishop of St. Louis, Robert Carlson, had a discussion with a group of black pastors about an idea for people of different races, ethnicities and backgrounds to come together and talk to each other. Unfortunately, that effort failed.

And then, events unfolded in Ferguson. After the police shooting death of Michael Brown and the protests that followed, Carlson said, “I knew in my heart that we needed to get people to sit down and talk to each other, to understand and to know one another.”

Saint Louis FC celebrates during a winning game against Ottawa Fury FC on April 1.
Mark Guthrel Photography

Earlier this spring, voters in the city of St. Louis voted against public funding for a soccer stadium that would bring a Major League Soccer team to the region. While the future of MLS here is unclear, that doesn’t mean the fervor for soccer in the area has died down.

Enter: Saint Louis FC, the area’s only professional outdoor soccer team. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the future of soccer in the region and the team, which recently started its third season, with General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh.

Laura Callanan is a founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab, an impact investing team taht seeks to connect artists, social entrepreneurs and funding schemes.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’ve spent any time around the startup space, you know that connecting entrepreneurs with funding is an essential part of the mix for a new company to be successful. You’ll also know that “creativity” is a buzzword entrepreneurs love to throw around.

But what about the initial creatives: artists? Laura Callanan is the founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab, an impact investing and business development team that seeks to connect artists with social entrepreneurs and funding mechanisms.  

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