Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Dave Nadelberg, creator of "Mortified."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Would you ever share your embarrassing childhood writing and other artifacts on stage? How about on a podcast listened to by thousands each month? Or on a television show? Or in a book?

For some, it could be considered a worst nightmare. For others, it could be considered catharsis. For “Mortified” creator Dave Nadelberg, it is a little bit of both.

Still from an earlier iteration of Rewind depicts Klu Klux Klan robes in Kente cloth, camoflage, and other fabrics as an attempt to reclaim rascist iconography.
Provided by Ryan Stevenson

When Paul Rucker received a call inviting him to bring his work confronting racism and white supremacy in United States to a Ferguson gallery, he knew he had to make the trip.

Rucker, of Baltimore, is a Guggenheim Fellow and has shown the work throughout the country. But he saw the opportunity to show his work in Ferguson as a way to address the continuing presence of racism.

File Photo. Alderman Terry Kennedy says the delay in naming a St. Louis poet laureate could stretch into next year.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When members of the Board of Aldermen created St. Louis' poet laureate position, they intended to promote unity. Indeed, inaugural official poet Michael Castro was lauded for building bridges with his words.

But now the post has become a lightning rod for disagreement. 

At issue is whether the task force that recommended Castro's replacement complied with the ordinance that established the position. If not, city aldermen want to know if that invalidates the task force's choice of Jane Ellen Ibur as the city’s next poet laureate.

File: The Knuckles met and became friends before their musical collaboration began.
File photo | Provided | The Knuckles

Don’t put Rockwell Knuckles and Aloha Micheaux in a box.

He’s known as a rapper and she’s more of a pop singer, who made it to the finals in “American Idol” in 2005. But the St. Louis performers shun labels in their collaboration known as The Knuckles.

On Chess: Fashion and chess are a natural match

Jul 13, 2017
Five of the designers selected to participate in the Pinned! competition for the World Chess Hall of Fame. The project manager and author of this article, Rikki Byrd, is second from the left. July 2017
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

From New York Fashion Week to museum exhibits and global advertising campaigns, the intersection of fashion and chess has long been a source of inspiration.

Poster detail created for the event has the title of event.
Provided by Andrew Gibson

Music played an important role in the civil rights movement that helped transform the nation. Songs such as Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and “We Shall Not Be Moved” by Mavis Staples inspired black people to push for change — and moved the hearts of others.

A view of one of the renovations at the Florissant Valley branch of the St. Louis County Library.
Kara Hayes Smith | St. Louis County Library

St. Louis County Library has been going through some changes these past few years – closing and reopening renovated branches and experimenting with other new programs. To date, the system will have 17 renovated or replaced branches by year's end.

In 2018, a few more branches will be renovated and then St. Louis County Library headquarters will be updated. You can find a full list of completed and planned projects here.

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

If you took but one class with dance legend Katherine Dunham, it became immediately apparent that her approach was one that cultivated the dancer as a whole and made the Dunham Technique more of a “way of life.” Dunham, considered the “queen mother of black dance,” lived from 1909 to 2006, making her home and the center of her dance work in East St. Louis for much of her adult life. 

A pile of bricks sits in the left hand corner of the image while behind it rest pallets of brick and a building.
Michael Thomas / Pulitzer Arts Foundation

What would you do with $2,500 and three pallet loads of brick? Four St. Louis art groups and collaborators will soon have an answer in the next phase of a year-long public art project overseen by the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art.

The St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase kicks off this weekend at the Tivoli Theatre. We'll preview the selections on Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air.
Jim Choate | Flickr

The 17th annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase kicks off this weekend with 87 films made by local artists. It runs July 16-20 at the Tivoli Theatre in University City.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Chris Clark, the artistic director of Cinema St. Louis, which produces the showcase, joined host Don Marsh to give a preview of what films and filmmakers will be highlighted.

You can find a full rundown of the showcase on Cinema St. Louis’ website here.

Virtual reality is here to stay.St. Louis on the Air discussed the technology trend on Monday's program. Host Don Marsh tried a VR headset on firsthand.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

From the outskirts of Shanghai to the Wisconsin Dells, companies are creating entire arenas for the worlds of virtual reality. St. Louis is no different with a score of virtual reality (VR) companies cropping up to capitalize on the futuristic technology trend that allows you to experience another world through a headset and gaming technology.

In general, many women have broken the glass ceiling and occupy very prestigious positions not only in our city, but throughout the country and the world. We finally have a female mayor in St. Louis.

Women are finally being given their due in the arts as well. Just looking at the visual arts, the museums I have frequented recently have featured women.

A conceptualization of what the future of men's fashion will look like, part of the "Reigning Men" exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum.
Saint Louis Art Museum

Created by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear,” is showing in St. Louis – the second and only other planned stop in the U.S., aside from L.A.

The exhibition examines the kind of men who wore certain clothing as well as the clothing itself and the culture in which it was worn.

It’s thematically organized into five galleries beginning with “Revolution/Evolution.” A big part of that gallery focuses on the French Revolution.

Hannah Hoffmeister published her first book at age 13. Lew Trigg published his first after retirement. What can we learn from their two publishing tales?
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

We hear from a lot of authors on St. Louis on the Air and many of them have unique stories of how they first got published. On Thursday, we heard from two more local authors, each of whom comes from a different publishing perspective than the norm. One was published as early as age 13. The other started writing after retirement.

What are the best children's and young adult books to read this summer? St. Louis on the Air's panel of booksellers and librarians discussed on Thursday.
Micro Kool | Flickr

Earlier this summer, we gave you a list of 20+ best summer reads for adults. We know it is about that time: this week, we convened a panel to discuss the best summer reads for children and young adults too.

Akshat Chandra, a St. Louis resident and former winner of the U.S. Junior Championship, is hoping to regain his title in this year's contest.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center

One of the most contested tournaments, The U.S. Junior Championships, begins this week.  The event will take place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis from July 8-18. The winners of both the junior and girls section will automatically qualify for the 2018 U.S. Championships.

Confetti hangs in an open window reminiscent of a snowglobe in Bunny Burson's sculpture
Bruno David Gallery

Early on election night last November, artist Bunny Burson looked to New York City’s Javits Center ceiling, expecting confetti to fall to celebrate Hillary Clinton becoming the nation's first woman president. But the confetti never fell.

Crushed by Clinton’s loss to President Donald Trump, Burson began an almost two-week journey to track down the confetti, which she thought would make great material for artwork.

Jimmy Buffett comes to St. Louis this week for a concert. We spoke with an author who has catalogued Buffett's life and rise to stardom.
Alex Howzit | Flickr

Tropical icon Jimmy Buffett was not always the brand he's seen as today. How did he rise to fame and influence?

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, acclaimed music critic and author Ryan White joined host Don Marsh for the entire hour to discuss his book “Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All The Way” ahead of Buffett’s concert in St. Louis this week.

The book explores Buffett’s laid-back attitude, iconic tropical rock music and transition into big-time business. 

Ken Haller shares his story at The Story Collider podcast event on May 2, 2017.
Sleet Photography | St. Louis Storytelling Festival

On May 2, St. Louis Public Radio hosted The Story Collider, a national podcast and live storytelling group, for an evening of personal stories about science told on stage under the theme of "Eclipse." The event was sponsored by the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Ken Haller, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Childrens Medical Center and professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, shared a personal story from his first years as a doctor in New York City during the rise of the AIDS crisis.

Drummers lead participants through East St. Louis to remember the 1917 race riot on July 2, 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 100 people marked the 100th anniversary of a deadly race riot in East St. Louis Sunday by crossing the Eads Bridge into St. Louis.

About 6,000 African-Americans fled the violence by the same route on July 3, 1917, when mobs of white men, and some women, attacked black people following months of tension over jobs.

Freedom

Jul 2, 2017
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 9, 2017 will be “Freedom.”  July Fourth brings to my mind Billy Strayhorn’s Four Freedoms that I try to live by: freedom from hate, freedom from self pity, freedom from fear of doing something that would benefit someone else more than it would me and freedom from the pride that could make me feel that I was better than others.  All of the selections on this show will have the word “Freedom” in the title.  We will play music from Duke Ellington, the Jazz Crusaders, Grant Green, Max Roach, Eddie Harris, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Lennie Tristano, Lion

Christine Brewer and David Walton in Union Avenue Opera's "Albert Herring."
Union Avenue Opera

Union Avenue Opera’s 23rd season kicks off next week Friday and runs through August. This year, the company is introducing nothing but firsts. Each of its three productions is a premiere for the company.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, contributor Steve Potter sat down with three people associated with this year’s productions to hear about what to expect.

File photo: Under the leadership of Rick Dildine, attendance at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has grown by 55 percent and contributed revenue has increased 38 percent.
Provided | Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

The executive and artistic director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is resigning to take another job.

Rick Dildine will become artistic director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Aug. 1.

Dildine, who joined the St. Louis organization in 2009, resigned once before, in 2014. He took a similar position in Lennox, Massachusetts and returned one year later.

Kevin Killeen discussed his most recent humorous novel "Most Improved Sophomore" on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

KMOX radio reporter Kevin Killeen knows a thing or two about growing up Catholic in St. Louis in the 1970s. It’s apparently a subject a lot of you know about is well, as we heard from a plethora of listeners about their experiences in and out of school during that time period.

These reflections were spurred by a conversation with Killeen about his latest humorous novel, “Most Improved Sophomore.”

Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler discussed their revamped arts and culture podcast, Cut & Paste.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday, St. Louis Public Radio's Cut & Paste podcast relaunched with a redefined focus: the human-centered arts stories of St. Louis. The hosts of the podcast, Nancy Fowler and Willis Ryder Arnold, joined St. Louis on the Air on Thursday to discuss how they've re-conceptualized the podcast. 

An artist or advocate stands before a wall of sticky notes at RAC in 2014 artists and advocates gathered at RAC to discuss the roll of the artist in social justice movements following the shooting death of Michael Brown Jr.
File Photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

People in the St. Louis region will soon have a chance to let arts advocates and funders know how to better connect with the public.

Last week, the Regional Arts Commission, or RAC, launched an initiative to bridge the gap between area residents and the arts community. 

“It’s really more about just being more aligned with what is relevant for the community today and not just based on the way we did business more than 30 years ago,” RAC Executive Director Felicia Shaw said.

Nika Marble is an artist, musician and head bartender at Elaia and Olio. (June 23, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Nika Marble’s artistic toolbox holds an eclectic mix: A shot of tonic, a staccato note and a sharp pair of scissors.

Each tool is in service of one of her artistic endeavors: music, mixology and collage making. But as she dons one hat after another, how does Marble define herself? In this reboot of our Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Marble about an identity crisis that plagues many creative people.

“Am I am I an artist who waits tables? Or am I a waiter who occasionally makes art?” Marble said. “This is a thing that has worried myself and a lot of my friends in their lives.”

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (left) studies World Champion Magnus Carlsen move in the playoff in Paris. June 2017
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

The first leg of the third annual Grand Chess Tour took place from June 21-25 in Paris. As it did last year, the tour kicked off with a rapid and blitz event. Five grueling days and 29 games later, World Champion Magnus Carlsen emerged as the winner. He collected 12 tour points and $31,250 for his efforts.

At the first glance, the favorite competitor of the event coming in first place doesn’t seem exciting or interesting, but the final standings don’t tell the whole story. 

Author Candice Millard's book "Hero of the Empire" looks into Winston Churchill's exploits during the Boer War.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed “Hero of the Empire,” a book by New York Times-bestselling author Candice Millard about Winston Churchill’s experiences in early adulthood as a reporter during the Boer War.

Nate Larson's photography and oral history project "Centroid Towns" documents life at towns that were, at one point, designated the mean center of U.S. population.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“The Centroid” refers to the point of the United States’ mean center of population. Baltimore-based photographer Nate Larson has taken this construction and run with it, documenting life in the “Centroid Towns,” which have been calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau since 1790. Here's how that's done.

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