Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

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.

Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

 

During a two-month long residency in Iceland, artist Addoley Dzegede scoured the country’s beaches, fields and turf homes for natural detritus. Dzegede found bones and wood that she sculpted in clay. She wove nets with seaweed she picked up and covered a bullet-riddled buoy with copper leaf.

These are the elements from Dzegede’s first solo show at Fort Gondo on Cherokee Street. The exhibit will also be the venue’s last exhibit; Fort Gondo is closing Jan. 7. It’s a bittersweet moment for her. The artist’s work is as unconventional as the building where it’s shown, and she’s not sure another gallery would have provided the freedom to exhibit her work.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, January 1, 2017 will be “New Year’s Eve and Its Aftermath.”  New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration around the world and intoxicants are used very liberally.  New Year’s Day finds more of the population than usual suffering the effects of over-indulgence.  Music appropriate to this thought will be presented by the following artists: Billie Holiday, Woody Herman, Johnny Hodges, Erroll Garner, Joe Henderson & the Wynton Kelly Trio, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, “Groove” Holmes & Gene Ammons, Gene Harris, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Dinah W

These are the undated logos for The Rep, the Black Rep, Stages and New Jewish theater companies.
Provided

A half-dozen St. Louis theater companies toasted to longevity in 2016.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis turned 50 years old and the St. Louis Black Repertory Company observed its 40th anniversary. Stages St. Louis marked 30 years and New Jewish Theatre Company celebrated 20.

Mustard Seed Theatre logged 10 years and St. Lou Fringe festival of performing arts commemorated five.

Dionne Ferguson, Ni-Ammun Onyemachi, and Njoki Redding joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss Kwanzaa.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s celebration of Kwanzaa marks 50  years after the first celebration was observed, from Dec. 26, 1966 to Jan. 1, 1967.

The first specifically African-American/Pan-African holiday of its kind, Maulana Karenga established the holiday to help African-Americans and people of African descent across the world celebrate, connect and learn about African cultural heritage.

Jim Merkel is the author of "Colorful Characters of St. Louis."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a colorful past filled with interesting characters, so it makes sense that local author Jim Merkel would turn his next literary sights on the people that made St. Louis what it is today.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Merkel discussed his book, “Colorful Characters of St. Louis” with host Don Marsh.

Benton Park resident Alexis Forman didn't know what a flounder house was before she bought her rehabbed home four years ago.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

This is a re-posting of an article that originally published in Sept. 2016. It's part of a year-end celebration of some of our most popular work. 

Alexis Forman’s rehabbed Benton Park home has everything a typical house has: a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms.

But every now and then, she’ll find strangers out on the street, staring up at the exterior of her brick house — and its dramatically sloping roof.

Lennart Ootes | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

“This game will be over in two moves.”

“…and how long will that take?”

“It could be 20 seconds. It could be two hours.”

Let’s get one thing clear – 20 seconds is a lifetime when it comes to live television. It’s the real world equivalent of deciding what to wear on a first date, or which of 50 toppings to smother on your froyo. These things take time.

Nancy Fowler and Willis Ryder Arnold discussed the top arts stories in 2016 in the St. Louis region.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the year in arts and culture news in the region — from the controversy at the Contemporary Art Museum to multiple theater anniversaries — with the reporters who know the subject best.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler both report on arts and culture stories for the station. They joined the program to share the stories they thought shaped the region this year.

St. Louis Public Radio answered 42 of your Curious Louis questions this year and published 24 stories online and on the radio with answers.
Curious Louis

In late 2015, St. Louis Public Radio started a community engagement/storytelling project with the help of a web application called Hearken which connected St. Louisans with questions about the city with reporters ready to report on the answers. We called it Curious Louis.

American Wrestlers, photographed in August 2016 by Jess Luther.
Jess Luther | I Went To A Show

When St. Louis Public Radio Business Operations Specialist Jess Luther founded the live, local music blog I Went to a Show in 2010, she had three goals: get St. Louis fans to come to local shows, have them buy tickets and buy merchandise.

She wanted to help foster a community of live music lovers in a city she knows and loves.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December 25, 2016 will be “Meditations on Peace and Quiet.”  This year has been loud, stressful and certainly not peaceable.  Some people are even seeking counseling after what we as a nation have been through.  This time of year is for family and friends coming together to celebrate the several traditions of the season and hopefully to heal our selves.   The meditations will be played by Stanley Cowell, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Haden & Hank Jones, Art Pepper, James P.

The Dev Diary movie poster features three smiling Coster brothers rendered in pinks and yellows.
Provided by James Reichmuth

In late 2015, St. Louis filmmakers James Reichmuth and Alessio Summerfield were looking for subjects to include in a documentary film about locally produced video games. They found an ideal source in Butterscotch Shennanigans, a game development studio, that “was putting out a huge game at the time” and “going through some personal turmoil.”

Sophie Malik, Roberta Gutwein and Anna Crosslin joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the sixth annual Jewish and Muslim Christmas Day of Community Service.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Each year for the past six years, people of Jewish and Muslim faiths have joined together on Christmas for a day of community service

Last year, more than 500 people, including Christians and Buddhists, volunteered on the day. This year, more than 800 people are expected to volunteer.

In the past, the effort has focused on forging ties between the two communities in the aid of a variety of different services and non-profits in the St. Louis area. 

Participants in Las Posadas procession, which tells the story of Joseph and Mary as they sought shelter before the birth of Christ, walk the Anza Trail in Martinez, Calif., this Dec. 6, 2014, photo.
Anza Trail NPS

In churches and neighborhoods across St. Louis, many Latino parishioners gather before Christmas for Las Posadas, a 500-year-old practice that retells the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, where they sought shelter before Christ was born. For many, the celebrations that take place from Dec. 12 to Three Kings Day on Jan. 6 help keep religious, family and cultural traditions. Gustavo Valdez, a St. Louis resident, has celebrated them since he was a 9-year-old boy in Monterrey, Mexico.

It's that time of year: St. Louis on the Air plays your favorite Christmas poems, read by our staff.
Tim Parkinson | Flickr

As you dash about checking off the last of Christmas lists, begin to set the trimmings of a holiday feast, or finish up that last day of work before the holiday, spend some time with the annual St. Louis on the Air Christmas special, which aired on Dec. 23.

We’re celebrating the holiday with two favorite holiday poems, one old and one more recent:

First, a St. Louis Public Radio staff recording of “A Visit from St. Nicholas

From Radar Home by Amy Reidel, an illustration by Fox Smith and a file photo of poet Treasure Shields Redmond
Provided and file photos

The art of activism weaved its way more deeply into the St. Louis arts scene in 2016.

In this year’s Cut & Paste arts and culture podcasts, we brought you conversations with performers, poets and visual video artists, inspired personal experiences and cultural issues.

Wesley So holding chess trophies
Saint Louis Chess Club | Spectrum Studios

After the conclusion of the London Chess Classic, the last event on the 2016 Grand Chess Tour, there is one name that is front and center in people’s minds: Wesley So. Not only did the American win the London Chess Classic, but he also secured his win of the entire tour with one round to spare.  In addition, he became the 12th person in history to cross the highly coveted 2800 rating mark, climbed to the fourth spot in the world rankings and secured his position as the second highest rated player in the U.S. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just moved to St. Louis, you’ve probably noticed the, erm, particularities of the way St. Louisans speak. From the “ar” pronunciation that creeps into words like “forty” (fahr-ty) and “wash” (warsh) to the Nelly-esque “here” (hurr) to area-specific vocabulary like “hoosier” or “catty corner,” there is something different going on here.

From left, Nick Blue, Gerard Craft and Chris Kelling at Sardella, one of Sauce Magazine's 'best new restaurants' of 2016.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

In the Sauce Magazine office, there is a meticulously edited running spreadsheet. On it are the names, dates, and addresses for each of the over 100 restaurants that opened in St. Louis in 2016.

Betsey Bruce is retiring after a 46 year career in journalism, reporting at several outlets in St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Newscaster Betsey Bruce is believed to be the first woman in St. Louis assigned to daily hard news reporting on television. She’s been a professional journalist for 46 years. Last Friday, she began her retirement.

“I haven’t slept in yet,” Bruce told St. Louis on the Air host and former colleague Don Marsh. “I’ve been warned I should not make any real commitments for the first six months.”

Although she ended her career at KTVI (Channel 2), she started her career at KMOV (Channel 4) in 1970. In 2008, she was elected to the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

Dennis Sparger and  Melissa Payton of the Bach Society.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Bach Society of St. Louis will celebrate with its annual Christmas Candlelight Concert on Thursday night at Powell Hall.

Ahead of the concert, Music Director A. Dennis Sparger and Executive Director Melissa Payton joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the organization and the concert.

Brandon Shea / Flickr

JOIN ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO FOR SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING TONIGHT THROUGH NEW YEAR'S DAY!

The Holiday Program Schedule for St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU

Festivo Alt.Latino, Tuesday, 12/20/2016 at 8 p.m.

David Robertson conducts a performance at Powell Hall in this file photo.
Dan Dreyfus

The St. Louis Symphony has extended the contract of Music Director David Robertson through the 2018-19 season. It will be his final season in St. Louis. Robertson began his tenure as music director in 2005.

“I want to express my profound gratitude and deep affection to the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony,” Robertson said. “I feel blessed for every note we have shared in our many years together and will share over the coming years.  Our collaboration is a continual joy for me.”

Sophia Rose Kinninger, Petra Swidler and Fran Hamilton.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, a nationwide non-profit based in St. Louis, encourages schoolchildren to collect and retell the stories of family members through the written word. Twelve years old, the organization recently released its 11th volume of those stories and is now accepting stories for its 12th volume.

"Home For Christmas" by The 442s and Peter Martin
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

In just more than four years, The 442s have become known for their unique sound that blends elements of classical, jazz and folk music, as well as other genres.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Please join me tonight on Jazz Unlimited from 9 pm to midnight on St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 KWMU for “The Keys and String Hour + New Music.”  the Keys and Strings Hour will present music with cellos as front-line solo instruments with Roger Kellaway, Red Mitchell, Dave Brubeck, Tal Farlow, Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington.  New music for December will feature four items from the just released historically important Savory Collection with music from Count Basie, Herschel Evans and Coleman Hawkins.

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