Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

This file photo of the painting "Exasperation" by local artist Fabio Rodriguez depicts people in his home of the Domincan Republic desperate for essentials like food and water. It was cut from an art exhibition for being potentially disturbing.
Provided | Fabio Rodriguez

St. Louis-area artist Fabio Rodriguez was devastated when a very personal piece of his work was removed from an exhibition. But did that action rise to the level of censorship?

Zac Adcox, the general manager of Blood & Sand.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

For eight years, Sauce Magazine has put together its “Ones to Watch” list, highlighting up-and-coming talent in the St. Louis dining industry. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard about some of the chefs, brewers, general managers and bakers.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

Since the Rams went west (and south, if you count their record), who did St. Louis pay attention to in the NFL this season?

Wesley So is the current lead of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, pictured here at last year's London Chess Classic.
Saint Louis Chess Club and Spectrum Studios

Every year the first and longest elite tournament starts in January: Tata Steel!

The Wimbledon of Chess, as it is known, started Jan. 14 and ends Jan. 30. Traditionally held at the town of Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, this tournament attracts the best of the best. The event lasts for two weeks and 13 rounds, so physical fitness plays a crucial role in this prestigious tournament. 

What is the story behind Natural Bridge Road?
AA Roads

If you’ve ever wondered where in the world the “natural bridge” in Natural Bridge Road comes from, you’re not alone. The answer is tied to Missouri's abundance of caves and the underground world of St. Louis.

It’s a question Joe Light, vice president of the Meramec Valley Grotto and member of the Missouri Speleological Survey, gets asked all the time. Several Curious Louis questioners have wondered the same thing.

T.J. Muller, Kellie Everett and Kevin Belford joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the Sidney Street Shakers.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’re from St. Louis, you know that the region was the epicenter of the nation’s first pop music in the 1800s — ragtime. But St. Louis has contributed much more to the nation’s music legacy.

The Sidney Street Shakers, a local jazz group that solely plays St. Louis jazz of the 1920s, want to bring awareness to that legacy.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for January 22, 2017 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.”  The first hour of Jazz Unlimited will feature some compositions and lyrics of Alec Wilder played by pianists Clarence Profit, Marian McPartland, Keith Jarrett, Rene Rosnes, George Shearing and Bill Charlap and sung by Carline Ray and Meredith D’Ambrosio.  New music will be heard in the second hour and will feature new albums by our own Pat Joyce and Ptah Williams along with saxophonist Bruce Williams, the Mamu Trio from Belgium, Freddie Redd, John Moulder, Clay Gibberson, Jane Bunnett &a

Children hold anti-rascist signs while standing on the lawn at a Ferguson related protest.
Provided by Lucas Alvarado Farrar

A local filmmaker aims to bring international audiences an authentic take on the protests that occurred in Ferguson two years ago after then-officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown.

Director Damon Davis’ documentary “Whose Streets” takes an unflinching look at the Ferguson protests from the position of protesters and activists.  The film debuts today at the internationally recognized Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. 

Jenni Harpring shares her story at a Campfire immersive storytelling event in November 2016.
Jennifer Korman

Telling stories has been a part of human communities since time immemorial. Today, intentional groups are forming to preserve and enhance the art in St. Louis.

(Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio)

A so-called "ransomware attack" is causing problems at all St. Louis Public Library branches.

Library system spokeswoman Jen Hatton says one of the system's servers is being blocked by an outsider who is asking for money in exchange for returning control of the server back to the library. The amount of the ransom being demanded is not being released.  

Hatton says the FBI has been contacted and is investigating the attack. The library's own technology employees are also working on repairing the server.

Grand Master Wesley So who is a member of the Saint Louis Arch Bishops team
Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis | Lennart Ootes

With an exciting start to the season last Wednesday, The PRO Chess League will be the hot topic in chess for the next two months

In this piece, I would like to delve deeper into various aspects of the league, and its potential to revolutionize the game of chess.

Riverview Gardens High band director Harvey Lockhart leads a class through practice. (Jan. 17, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Music is vitally important to Riverview Gardens High School band director Harvey Lockhart. But his students' well-being ranks even higher.

During the past five years, Lockhart has made musicians out of dozens of students, changing the way they see themselves and their futures.

For his efforts, The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis will honor Lockhart Monday night as art educator of the year, in a ceremony at the Chase Park Plaza.

The Prime Beauty supply store sign that was salvaged from rubble after Ferguson related protests turned chaotic has been turned into a sculpture.
Provided by Bryce Robinson

In 2014 Ferguson resident Bryce Robinson had the surreal experience of watching from a distance as his hometown became the center of national media coverage. When then-police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, the city erupted in protest.

Robinson, 29, was teaching at Notre Dame during the protests and civil unrest that occurred after the shooting. He was struck by the largely chaotic and disaster-focused narrative carried on livestreams and traditional news coverage.

He hopes to remind people of the thriving community that lived through troubled times with an exhibit at the Kranzberg Arts Center gallery.

Harvard professor Daniel D'Oca's students used an innovative approach to understand fair housing in Ferguson and the St. Louis metropolitan area.  (Jan. 18, 2017)
Daniel D'Oca

Daniel D’Oca, a professor in the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, recently turned his Fall 2016 Urban Planning and Design Studio into a case study in making accessible solutions for fair housing and urban segregation — in St. Louis.

He and a group of students studied the history of housing policy in the metropolitan area and how segregation contributed to the protests in Ferguson.

Construction of the terminal designed by Minoru Yamasaki began in 1953. This photo shows the wooden framework that workers constructed before pouring the concrete to make the thin-shell concrete structure.
Missouri History Museum

In 2020, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will celebrate its centennial.

Ahead of that time, we spoke with Daniel Rust, a former UMSL professor studying transportation and logistics, who recently published the book “The Aerial Crossroads of America: St. Louis’s Lambert Airport.” Rust currently is a researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

"The Way," by Alexander Liberman, seen in this file photo, is a made of steel oil tanks. While modern, it nods to many facets of ancient architecture.
Provided | Kevin J. Miyazaki

St. Louis sculpture fans can now have a hand in taking care of public art.

Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills is asking individuals and groups to help maintain and preserve its displays with a new adoption program. Adoptions start at $25 a year.

At the lower level, contributors get their names on Laumeier’s website and an on-site digital wall. For $50, they receive an adoption paper and a color photo of their sculpture. At the top level of $500, they get a private tour of the park with the park’s executive director. All donations are tax-deductible.

Jazz From London

Jan 15, 2017
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for January 15, 2017 will be “Jazz From London.”  Until 1950, American jazz groups were banned from working in England by the British Musicians Union.  Since then, visiting American and other expatriate jazz musicians and groups have performed regularly in Britain.  We will hear some of those recordings.  The artists heard on this show will be Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Don Byas, Fats Waller, Mary Lou Williams, the South African Chris McGregor and his Brotherhood of Breath, Jazz at the Philharmonic, Buddy Rich, Gene Harris, Chick

It's here! NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest for 2017 is now open for your entries. 

Submit a video of you, or your band, playing an original song behind a desk of your choosing. You could win a chance to play your own Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Detail from Winter Wolves concert poster designed by Lauren Gornik
Provided by Lauren Gornik

For many people, conservationists and heavy metal fans may not seem to have much in common. But for Simon Koch, they're a natural combination. 

That's why for the third year in a row Koch has organized a “Winter Wolves: a benefit for the Endangered Wolf Center.”

Lemon Gem owner Beth Styles.
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 January.

On Thursday, Catherine Klene and Meera Nagarajan, the magazine’s managing editor and art director, respectively, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know. 

Members of St. Louis' Improv Shop -- Tyler Crandall, Andrew Langerak, Erinne Haberl, Daniel Westheimer, Asia Thomas, Sue Koppel -- perform on stage in this file photo.
Provided | Improv Shop

We’ve all had that dream. You know, the one where you’re naked on stage and the audience is laughing.

For an improv performer, that’s no nightmare; that’s life. OK, they're wearing clothes but they're emotionally naked, working without a script, responding off the cuff to random cues from the audience and their co-performers.

On Chess: What to look forward to in 2017

Jan 11, 2017
Wesley So with the Grand Chess Tour 2016 trophy
Leonard Ootes | St. Louis Chess Club

Last year was a historic one year for chess. Magnus Carlsen defended his World Championship title in a tense showdown against Russian challenger, Sergey Karjakin. The USA won its first Olympiad Gold medal in 40 years. Fabiano Caruana and Nazi Paikidze each won their very first U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship respectively. While it's hard to say what 2017 will bring, there are many exciting and prestigious events to look forward to. Mark your calendars now for some of the most highly anticipated events of the year.

"Lines in the Dust" is playing at The Black Rep from January 11 - 29 . Its themes revolve around inequity in education.
The Black Rep

On Jan. 14, 1963, Alabama Gov. George Wallace made one of the most indelible speeches in the fight against racial equality ever to be made in the United States.

“In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw a line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever,” Wallace, a Democrat, said at his inauguration.

"Verdict of the People" edited to include the phrase "Don't sent me to Washington" for use on the Change.org Petition
Provided by Ilene Berman

When the St. Louis Art Museum announced that George Caleb Bingham’s “Verdict of the People” would be sent to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, local artist Ilene Berman took to Facebook to express her displeasure. She had plenty of company.

Two bakers pause for a photo with some of Bridge Bread's signature cinnamon rolls on October 25, 2016.
Bridge Bread

The goal of Bridge Bread is not to eradicate homelessness in St. Louis. Instead, it aims to impact the lives of a small number of men and women who are homeless by providing them with stable, permanent employment and assistance in accessing the services necessary to end the cycle of poverty.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for SUnday, January 8, 2017 will be “With Mallets Aforethought.”  Mallet instruments can be used in jazz for melody, harmony or percussion.  They also add a cooler sensibility to a performance.  We will present 24 mallet players in various ensembles ranging from trios to big bands and with vocalists.  These mallet players are:  Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, Marjorie Hyams, Terry Gibbs, Hagood Hardy, David Friedman, Roy Ayers, Warren Chaisson, Gary Burton, Emil Richards, Victor Feldman, Joe Locke, Bobby Hutcherson, Stefon Harris, Peter Schlamb, Steve Nelson, Bryan Carrot

When thinking of going to a museum to view art masterpieces and other high quality visual works of art, one might think of the St. Louis Art Museum or even the Missouri History Museum.

We often forget the free and open to the public university museums of art. There are two or even three of these museums not to be missed.

Bosnians gathered near the Sebilj Fountain
File photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Affton High School teacher Brian Jennings will never forget watching former student Dino Svraka record an oral history contribution for the Bosnia Memory Project a couple of years ago. He’s still struck by how Svraka, a Bosnian American, captivated his students.

“That justified everything I’ve ever tried to do as a teacher,” Jennings said.

Jennings teaches a class on Bosnian American history in partnership with the Bosnia Memory Project at Fontebonne University. He began the collaboration about five years ago after meeting the organization’s executive director, Ben Moore.

On Chess: St. Louis dominates at the Pan-Americans

Jan 4, 2017
The SLU team consists of, from left, Cemil Can Ali Marandi, Yaroslav Zherebukh, Dariusz Swiercz, Francesco Rambaldi and Nozima Aripova.
Provided by Alejandro Ramirez

Collegiate chess is a phenomenon that has boomed in just the past couple of decades. Even though there have been important collegiate tournaments around the country for almost a century, only recently have colleges taken a keen interest in attracting brilliant minds through chess and offering considerable scholarships to reel in these players.

A traveling museum in St. Louis highlights the achievements of black inventors. From left, across: Granville T. Woods, Lonnie Johnson, Sarah Boone, George Washington Carver, Bessie Blount, Elijah McCoy, Madam CJ Walker, Marjorie Joyner, Philip Emeagwali.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1996, Loretta Ford founded the Museum of Black Inventors with the idea of highlighting the achievements of often unsung African Americans who contributed greatly to the fields of science, household goods, engineering and technology.

Housed for a while in the Central West End, the organization eventually outgrew its location and in 1998 the museum reemerged as a traveling museum and now visits schools, workplaces, and community organizations across the Midwest.

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