Arts & Culture

Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Jazz St. Louis and leading national institution Jazz at Lincoln Center are again joining forces to show area students how a treasured musical art continues to evolve.

The organizations will bring nationally recognized musicians into schools to give high school students an up-close view of jazz, a music rich in tradition that relies heavily on improvisation. Musicians also will speak on the role jazz musicians played during the music’s heyday a few generations ago and to the continuing importance of jazz in the 21st century.

The cold ramen bowl at Kounter Kulture, 3825 Watson Road.
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 August.

Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes, both managing editors at the magazine, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

The four restaurants they particularly suggest?

St. Louis Public Radio reporters and staffers are embarking on an initiative to hear about what matters to you. Join us Aug. 4 at Ferguson Public Library, our first stop, from 3-6 p.m.
Jay Morrison | Flickr | http://bit.ly/2au48SN

As a St. Louis news organization, we often hear that we’re not getting things right. We aren’t talking about the things that matter to you — and if we are, we’re missing important details, people, places and things. We want to do better. We need your help to start.

After all, our station’s motto is “News that Matters.” Maybe what we should be saying, too, is “news that matters to you.”

Treasure Shields Redmond, her mother Elsie Lee Shields, and her grandmother Mary Shields. Meridian, Mississippi 1995
Provided by Treasure Shields Redmond

A St. Louis-area poet is lending her voice to the small but growing movement of activists calling for protests that disrupt U.S. society to spur social and economic justice.

Treasure Shields Redmond is a professor at Southwestern Illinois College and author of a book on civil rights trailblazer Fannie Lou Hamer. She is calling for a St. Louis-area strike by black workers during the Labor Day weekend. She’s calling the event Strike for Black Lives in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Two child hands pass red and green string through a fence
Provided | Intersect Arts Center

Sarah Bernhardt was seeing a lot of conflict in her south St. Louis neighborhood — moving between day-to-day destinations, and between the kids in her after-school arts program.

Wanting to help foster understanding between young people and their communities, Bernhardt started the Resolve Youth Art Camp for Violence Prevention. It begins Monday at the Intersect Arts Center, 3630 Ohio Ave., where she is the director.

Berhardt and her team of instructors will teach 8- to 14-year-olds how to use dance, photography, and hip-hop to avoid violence in their daily lives.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 31, 2016 will be “Jazz Giants for July and August.”  Throughout its history, certain key musicians have heavily influenced the course of jazz. This month, the musicians will include Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Lester Young, Charlie Christian, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter, Bill Evans, Abbey Lincoln, Johnny Hodges, Hank Jones, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Haden, Lee Morgan Steve Lacy and Albert Ayler.  The music heard will span 76 years of jazz.

COCA's summer musical, "Memphis," is set in a 1950s Memphis underground rock n' roll bar.
Center of Creative Arts

For Duane Foster, the Center of Creative Arts’ (COCA) production of “Memphis” has several parallels to this time two years ago, when the non-profit arts organization produced the musical “Ragtime.”

For one, both musicals delve deeply into race relations and issues of diversity in the United States during previous time periods.

Kenrich Henderson gazes at a portrait of her daughter Jamyla Bolden. The painting is a gift from St. Louis artist Jane Martin and an organization called Faces Not Forgotten that produces portraits of children killed by gun violence.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Kendric Henderson was lying on the bed with her daughter Jamyla Bolden, doing homework, when bullets burst through the window of their Ferguson home. The gunshots killed the 9-year-old and wounded her mother.

Nearly a year later, the pain is still agonizing. But local artists are trying to help keep the good memories alive for Jamyla’s loved ones. They're also helping dozens of other families around the country.

One of Lola Ogbara's illustrations
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Much of contemporary media and arts production is dominated by straight, slender, white bodies. A new St. Louis exhibit aims to upset that dynamic and highlight work focused on marginalized body types.

"Bodies on Display" opened this month at Westminster Press on Cherokee Street. It features Krista Valdez's self-portraits, Kat Reynolds' photography, Anya Liao's drawings, and Lola Ogbara's illustrations. Their work examines how LGBT bodies and those of people of color reflect identity, how they are viewed in public spaces — and how those bodies can resist dominant cultural representations of the human form.

Elaine Viets

Eight years ago, mystery author Elaine Viets survived six strokes, a coma and brain surgery. Now, she’s drawing on that experience in a new, dark mystery called “Brain Storm,” which will be released on Aug. 2.

Steve Woolf has worked in Cleveland, Cincinnati and New York as well as St. Louis. He's among the first to receive Webster University’s Declaration of Merit.
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

A local family has given the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis a sizeable 50th anniversary gift: $1 million.

The endowment from the Augustin family will support The Rep’s Steven Woolf in his artistic director position.

Joann Martin and Fay Zerbolio are two St. Louis-based miniaturists who run the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis in Bevo Mill.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to the world of St. Louis’ amateur miniaturists, you work with the supplies at hand.

“I once painted with the whiskers of a cat,” said Joann Martin, president of the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis.

While that’s a little out of the box as far as supplies go, it serves as a good example of just how tiny miniatures can be and how precise the artisanship is.

Michaella Thornton and Tina Casagrand discussed "The New Territory" magazine on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Likely every single person in St. Louis has either heard someone refer to the Midwest as “fly-over” country — or maybe they’ve even used the term themselves. At best, the Midwest is viewed as behind-the-times. At worst, people ignore it entirely. A new Missouri-based publication, aptly-named The New Territory, is trying to change that.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for July 24, 2016 will be “Mel Lewis and Big Bands.”  Tonight’s show is an all big band presentation of the great drummer Mel Lewis in his element.  Lewis was born in Buffalo in 1929 to immigrant parents.  He came to the West Coast with Stan Kenton in 1957 and stayed until 1963, when he moved to New York.  His drumming style was supportive of a band, rather than pushing it.  In 1965, Lewis and Thad Jones founded the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, one of the greatest big bands in jazz history.  The band played Monday nights at the Village Vanguard and toured all over

Courtesy Madison County Fair Association

Organizers of the Madison County Fair say the 120-year-old event will go on as usual this week, despite the ongoing lack of funding from the state of Illinois.

This is the second year for the state's budget impasse, which has held up funds earmarked for county fairs. Organizers from across the state have scrambled to make do, said Wayne Steiner, president of the Madison County Fair Association.

Jim Schroeder checks the grill outside the dome where the St. Louis Rams used to play. He tailgated with family and friends Saturday, July 23, 2016 before going to an exhibition game played by members of the 1999 championship team.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Rams fans had a chance to relive some memories from the team’s glory days Saturday.

Former Rams players, including members of the 1999 Super Bowl championship team, played a game of flag football in the Dome at America’s Center. It’s likely one of the last times Rams players, past or present, step foot on the Dome’s turf now that Stan Kroenke has moved his team to Los Angeles.

St. Louis vocalist Erin Bode recently released her seventh album "Here and Now."
Erin Bode Group

In her recently-released seventh album “Here and Now,” St. Louis vocalist Erin Bode decided to try to something a little different.

“We’ve been getting requests for a few years now to do another record of standards, which goes back to the first album that I made,” she explained to St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.

For “Here and Now,” Bode’s group recorded songs originally written by artists such as Frank Loesser, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin.

Clockwise from bottom, Gerard Craft, Dave Bailey, Kevin Nashan, Nick Luedde
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

What makes us choose favorite restaurants?

On the latest edition of Sound Bites, Sauce Magazine’s art director Meera Nagarajan explained that diners look for consistency. In other words, we want to know that when we go to a restaurant, we’re going to have a positive, delicious experience.

In Sauce Magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Poll, St. Louisans identified the top four restaurateurs in the area:

The interior of 4562 Enright Ave. as it's being reconstructed inside the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Anyone who has been through some of St. Louis’ oldest areas, particularly in mostly black neighborhoods, is likely to have been struck by the number of uninhabited spaces.

The architects from the German firm raumlaborberlin certainly were. When they received a commission to examine the urban landscape of St. Louis, they developed a project that would draw attention to all that unused space.

With that in mind, the company dismantled the interior of a home in the Lewis Place neighborhood and is remaking it inside the Pulitzer Arts Foundation building in Grand Center. The foundation will open its exhibit on the interior of the house at 4562 Enright Ave. on July 29.

Treasure Shields Redmond and her book, “Chop: A Collection of Kwansabas for Fannie Lou Hamer"
Kim Love / Shields Redmond headshot

As a child in Meridian, Miss., Treasure Shields Redmond donned special shoes nearly every Sunday — a black patent leather pair that skipped after her mother as they walked to the Baptist church.

By high school, she’d traded her Mary Janes for Nikes, and hymns like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” for Public Enemy's “Party for Your Right to Fight.”

The daughter of East St. Louis Poet Laureate Eugene Redmond is now a poet and performing artist, and an English professor at Southwestern Illinois College.  In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Shields Redmond about using language and song as tools for social justice and illuminating women’s lives.

Tony Rich, the executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, with junior champion Jeffrey Xiong.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Due to the continuous effort of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the U.S. Junior Closed Championship has grown to be one of the strongest and most prominent junior tournaments in the world. The 2016 edition brought together 10 of the most talented players in the country, with a median rating close to 2550 USCF and an average age of only 16.

Kelly Moffitt, Wikimedia Commons

Everybody has that one song — that one song that immediately takes you back to a time, a place, a friend, a poignant memory. Now, try to imagine your life as told by a whole series of such important songs. That’s exactly what St. Louisan Dave Holmes, the runner-up in MTV’s inaugural “Wanna Be a VJ” contest in 1998, has done.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Wanda Trotter, 68, thought about her childhood as she watched a play at the Missouri History Museum depicting the experiences of African-Americans traveling Route 66 before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination in public accommodations.

“I remember my parents packing our lunches and telling us that certain places you could not go to eat, or to use the bathroom facilities,’’ said Trotter. Her  family drove the famous highway from St. Louis to San Diego, Calif., in the early 1960s to visit her brother who was in the Navy.

Jacquelyne Craig founded a company called Blaq Séance, which produces locally-sourced fashion shows and arts events.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Jacquelyne Craig’s company, Blaq Séance, is known for producing fashion shows that feature up-and-coming St. Louis designers. She is also the organizer of First Friday Art Walks in North St. Louis.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Craig joined host Don Marsh to discuss her role in St. Louis’ fashion and arts community.

"I see life through art," Craig said. "I see everything through art. I think it can relate to anything, even radio."

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There are some 1 million Catholics in the United States who observe Catholicism in a way that is not formally connected to the pope in Rome. They practice in around 200 denominations, such as Ecumenical, Antiochian or Evangelical Catholics.

While these Catholic churches do not answer to the pope in Rome, they do practice apostolic succession, seven sacraments and devotion to saints.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited July 17, 2016 for “Joe Mancuso and Dave Black Interview + New Music.”  St.

Jun Bae, a graduate of Washington University and rising documentary filmmaker, made a documentary about Washington University professor Bob Hansmen's bus tours of St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St.Louis Public Radio

When Jun Bae, originally from Tokyo, Japan, first came to Washington University, he didn’t come to make documentaries. And then the protests in Ferguson following the police-shooting death of Michael Brown happened. Because of that, Bae, now a graduate of the university, entered into the world of photojournalism.

What he saw? “A divided city,” Bae told St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter. Bae said he sees this division in schools and resources that are divided unequally, but most blatantly in the look of the city itself.

Marilyn Maye is one of the featured performances of the St. Louis Cabaret Festival.
Marilyn Maye

Next week, St. Louis will play host to some stars from the national cabaret scene as the annual St. Louis Cabaret Festival returns to the area alongside the St. Louis Cabaret Conference.

Marilyn Maye, born 1928 with a voice of husky perfection, holds the singers’ record for performing 76 times on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. She is one of the featured performances of the festival.

illustration of the St. Louis Swap Meet
Provided by St. Louis Swap Meet

The St. Louis Swap Meet is having a grand opening of its riverfront location below the Gateway Arch this weekend. The new monthly event is a partnership of the St Louis Swap Meet and Great Rivers Greenway

The vendors' fair will continue to meet every first and last Sunday of the month on Cherokee Street, where it started last year. It will be on the riverfront the third Saturday and Sunday through October.

A scene from "Menudo Pops," a spoofy  commercial for popsicles created from a traditional Mexican dish that's made from the stomachs of animals.
Mike Snodderley

This month, St. Louisans can experience something they’ve likely never seen or heard before: 90 minutes of local theater focused on Latino themes and characters.

Theatre Nuevo is staging a series of one-act plays in English, Spanish and a sprinkling of Spanglish, from the touching tale of a struggling family restaurant to a new take on “Little Red Riding Hood.”

The presentation is the brainchild of Anna Skidis Vargas, a local theater professional who wants to honor her heritage. Skidis Vargas, who's from Southern Illinois, has Mexican-American roots. She said the project gives all Latinos a chance for visibility.

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