Arts & Culture

How should you handle potentially divisive conversations at the Thanksgiving dinner table? https://www.flickr.com/photos/kasilof/11692803775/in/photolist-iPfFc6-5JGFXS-7iBRKu-5FUxrh-qkjkNx-qByHBx-5FQhBX-6Ts5w-5FQdin-qkjkf8-u16R8-49Z9XY-t9JaW-49kPWh-5FUvn3
Robert & Pat Rogers | Flickr

Meditation. Listen and ask questions. A “no politics” rule. Not attending. “I don’t know what I’ll do.” These are all answers St. Louisans gave when asked “how are you planning to handle political differences at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year?”

International Institute staff and volunteers serve a Thanksgiving meal to new refugees and immigrants to the St. Louis area on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.
Hannah Westerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 23 with corrected numbers – Thanksgiving came a little early for hundreds of refugees and immigrants who gathered for a meal with all the trimmings Tuesday afternoon at the International Institute in St. Louis.

The Institute, which serves as the region’s “Welcoming Center for New Americans,” said it has served more than 1,000 new refugees in the last year, from countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Iraq.

“We’re pleased that it’s an all-American holiday that has meaning all around the world,” said President and CEO Anna Crosslin.

Provided by CAM

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis hopes its upcoming exhibit will help regain some of the public trust lost after the Kelley Walker exhibit spawned controversy this fall.

The new exhibit will feature four artists: photographer Deanna Lawson, visual artist Louis Cameron, figurative painter Nicola Tyson and muralist Katherine Bernhardt.

Although CAM planned the latest exhibits before the Walker exhibit opened, administrators want the show, which opens in January, to address some of the concerns people in St. Louis had about Walker's displays.

Visitors and area artists expressed outrage that CAM gave wall space to a white artist who they criticized for defacing images of black people — from civil-rights era photographs to an enlarged image of the rapper Trina on the cover of the culture magazine King.

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released a new album titled "Gone With the Trends."
Provided by iLLPHONICS

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released “Gone With the Trends,” its first album on a new label called The Record Machine. Just a month ago, the group released a music video for one of the album’s flagship songs “96to99.” The hip-hop-funk-rock fusion band has been a staple on the St. Louis music scene since 2006.

The Rev. Brian Fallon urges high schoolers from around the St. Louis area to keep and open mind during the Come and See retreat weekend at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury on Nov. 18.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Even though he's only 16 years old, Matthew Mora of Oakville is pondering a pretty mature question: whether he should go into the seminary and, possibly, become a Catholic priest. 

To help him consider this decision, he is attending the fall "Come and See" retreat this weekend at the St. Louis Archdiocese's Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury along with more than 40 other young men from the St. Louis area. 

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for Sunday, November 20, 2016 is “The Career of Matt Wilson.”  Drummer Matt Wilson, who hails from Knoxville, Illinois, is one of the great drummers in today’s jazz.  In addition, his persona is one of sly humor, which shows up in the titles of his compositions and stage manner.  We will hear him with his Arts & Crafts, his Big Happy Family group, Deena DeRose, Dawn Clement, the Palmetto All-Stars, the Either/Orchestra, Marty Ehrlich, Karrin Allyson, Denny Zeitlin, the Herbie Nichols Project, Bob Stewart, Dewey Redman, John Medeski and the Liberation music orche

Grisha Goryachev hails from St. Petersburg, Russia. He's a flamenco guitar virtuoso who draws inspiration from his classical guitar roots.
Motohiro Asano

Acclaimed flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev, performing this weekend in St. Louis, hails from St. Petersburg, Russia. In fact, he comes from a long line of guitar teachers: both his father and grandfather taught guitar lessons and passed their art down to Goryachev.

Provided by the arts organization US Department of Arts and Culture

Arts leaders from around the country will gather in St. Louis this weekend to discuss new strategies for better integrating arts and social justice practices.

The Regional Arts Commission is working with a private arts organization that calls itself U.S. Department of Arts and Culture to produce the event titled Culture/Shift, which aims to help artists help promote arts and culture as a human right.

“It’s there in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Yet that right is only as real as we make it," said Adam Horowitz, chief instigator of the arts and culture group. "It’s only as real as the resources we put to it and the way that we stand for it.”

The touring cast of "Fun Home." The musical won 5 Tony Awards in 2015.
Fun Home Musical

The five-time Tony Award-winning musical "Fun Home," opened this week at the Fox Theatre — a special homecoming for the musical, which was produced by Fox Theatricals, based in St. Louis.

Father-daughter beatboxers Nicole Paris and Ed Cage have fun posing for this photo on November 5, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Millions have marveled at the beatboxing contests between father-daughter duo Ed Cage and Nicole Paris. They’ve battled it out in numerous YouTube videos and TV appearances including “The Late Late Show” and “Steve Harvey Show.”

But did you know they live in St. Louis? And that their beatboxing (percussion sounds produced mainly by mouth)  is more often collaborative than competitive?

Viswanathan Anand captured the Champions Showdown crown in St. Louis.
Spectrum Studios | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The most exciting event in November so far has been the Champions Showdown, the four-player exhibition round robin that finished Monday at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Fabiano Caruana started as the favorite but failed to meet expectations and ended up having to settle for third place and the prize of $30,000.

In 2015, 12 million coloring books for adults were sold, according to Nielsen Bookscan. That’s a huge jump from 2014, when only 1 million were sold. As for 2016? We’ll have to wait and see, but it is certain the trend isn’t going away any time soon.

The historic Bequette-Ribault House in Ste. Genevieve was restored in 2014.
Chaumette Winery and Vineyard

Earlier this year, the National Park Service completed a Special Resource Study on Ste. Genevieve to assess the area’s historic elements for their “significance, suitability, and feasibility of the resources, and potential area boundaries.”

At the end of the study, NPS determined that parts of Ste. Genevieve are eligible for inclusion in the national park system. It recommended a small NPS-managed unit and a large area affiliated with NPS for preservation. 

The apple cake dessert: creme fraiche semifreddo from Sardella
Sauce Magazine | Greg Rannells

When’s the last time that something on the dessert menu surprised you?

"Chocolate lava cake is ubiquitous, you can go to any number of restaurants and find that or a crème brûlée or a cheesecake on the menu,” Sauce Magazine art director Meera Nagarajan said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s particularly creative or different.”

David Robertson, the St. Louis Symphony's musical director, leads the orchestra in this file photo.
Scott Ferguson | Provided

The St. Louis Symphony ended 2016 with the healthiest bottom line in many years.

The good news includes the first balanced cash operating budget this century for the institution, which has a budget of $28.1 million, up from $26.6 million last year. The symphony saw growth in philanthropic support, and increased attendance and ticket sales.

In a news release, St. Louis Symphony President and CEO, Marie-Hélène Bernard praised the symphony's board and the generosity of the St. Louis area. She cited innovative experiences as factors in the orchestra’s achievements.

Cevin Lee poses with his daughter, Alana, and mother,  Phan Ly, at Hong Kong Express on South Grand Boulevard on Nov. 14, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Cevin Lee of St. Louis never meant to follow in the footsteps of his parents, who’ve run Asian restaurants for most of his life.

But a health crisis led Lee back to the family’s passion for food, and recently, to open his own restaurant, Garden on Grand, 2245 South Grand Blvd. — next door to his parents’ Hong Kong Express. It was something he once swore he’d never do.

Hundreds of demonstraters gathered in downtown St. Louis to express their disgust, concern and fear with President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 13, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The largest St. Louis-based anti-Donald Trump rally since his election to the presidency took place Sunday,  downtown. Hundreds of people marched from City Garden through  to the steps of the St. Louis Justice Center, 200 S. Tucker Blvd.,  across the street from City Hall. 

The march began with 22-year-old Basel Isa’s Facebook post to protest Trump's defeat of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. Isa said he wasn’t previously politically active but felt compelled to become more involved after the election's result.

“I want this to show the world that we’re not okay with this, we’re going to exercise our rights, and we’re going to get active,” said Isa. “Stand up for people that aren’t brave enough. We love and that’s what’s most important.”

Bill Ferguson maintained his son's innocence for years.
Dream/Killer Film

A weekend selection at the 25th St. Louis International Film Festival tells a different side of a story you may have heard about before. The documentary “Dream/Killer” tracks Bill Ferguson on the quest to free his son, Ryan Ferguson, from jail after he was convicted of second-degree murder and robbery and sentenced to a 40-year jail term in the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.

Gold medal winners: Rochelle Wu in Girls under-10 and Nikhil Kumar in Open under -12, give a thumbs up
Irina Krush

The U.S. team did amazing in Batumi for the World Youth Championship, winning two gold and one silver medal from six sections. Both our gold medal winners, Rochelle Wu in Girls under-10 and Nikhil Kumar in Open U-12, went on a tear after my mid-tournament report following round 6. After the free day, Nikhil won four consecutive games to guarantee first place with one round to go. Rochelle drew for the last time in round 7, then took four games en route to the title.

Blanche M. Touhill served as the Chancellor of UMSL for 12 years.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

While the United States of America did not elect its first woman president this week, there is a lot to be said about the progress women have made over the past 50 years. Change-making women have fought their way to the top of their industries, crafts and society. A change-making woman herself, University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Emeritus Blanche M. Touhill, did not want those achievements to go unnoticed in the annals of history.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for November 13, 2016 will be “Re-Imagining of Familiar Tunes.”  Great Jazz musicians are constantly re-imagining tunes in their own style.  We will examine three famous tunes, “King Porter Stomp,” “St.

Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau are credited with the founding of St. Louis in 1764.
Wikimedia Commons

The common version of the founding of St. Louis goes something like this: Pierre Laclède was told by the French government to travel from New Orleans and construct a trading post near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in 1763. Bringing along his stepson, Auguste Chouteau, in early 1764, Laclède opened a trading post 18 miles south of the confluence in what would become St. Louis.

Marlon West, who has worked on more than 13 Disney animated features, will return to St. Louis this week to recieve the Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award at the St. Louis International Film Festival.
St. Louis International Film Festival

Marlon West can’t remember a time he wasn’t interested in film, and animation, in particular. After graduating University City High School, he attended Columbia College in Chicago, where he studied film and writing, then moved on to animate Encyclopedia Brittanica films, a Beastie Boys music video and even Michael Jackson’s "California Raisins" commercial.

Actors play the part of other ghosts surrounding the ghost of King Hamlet in this November 3, 2016 photo.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

As the cast of “Hamlet” carefully rehearsed for opening night, they also got ready to break something: the fourth wall — the theater term for the invisible barrier between actors and audience.

In this rendition by the Rebels and Misfits Productions’ new Immersive Theatre Project, theater-goers are part of the play, opening Saturday at the Barnett on Washington event space in Grand Center.

The interaction starts with the cocktail hour. Don’t be surprised if a character beckons you over or whispers in your ear.

The artist, dressed in a cow-hide apron, Trillby hat and blinders, poses surrounded by hills of unused asphalt.
Provided by Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Drawn in by the landscape, South African artist Mohau Modisakeng hiked out to municipal yards holding heaps of asphalt in Nbabeni, a township outside Cape Town. Surrounded by road maintenance materials, he donned a cow-hide apron, trillby hat, and blinkers and began shooting the video and pictures that would become the artwork "To Move Mountains," currently on display at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Modisakeng is the 2016 winner of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award, one of South Africa’s major art awards. His work offers a look into how artists in other countries address racism and include images of black people. His approach is both personal and political.

St. Louis resident Imre Jokuti, who fought in the Hungarian resistance, drinks a toast to those lost during the 1956 failed revolution against the Soviet Union during a commemoration Friday, Nov. 4, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Friday marked the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union's crackdown that ended the Hungarian revolution. 

Imre Jokuti of St. Louis fought with the resistance before he fled. He shared the memories of his escape from Budapest:

Imre Jokuti, who escaped from Hungary while fighting in the revolution, sings the Hungarian national anthem at St. Mary of Victories Church on Nov. 4, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Wearing a ribbon with the Hungarian flag’s red, white and green colors attached to his lapel, Albert Futo sang a hymn in his native tongue with the St. Mary of Victories Church choir in St. Louis Friday morning.

For Futo, this special Mass commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hungary’s uprising against the Soviet Union has personal significance.

Commentary: Quilting can be an art, not just a craft

Nov 4, 2016

This past spring I attended the Mid America Arts Alliances bi-annual meeting in Lincoln Nebraska. The agenda said that we were to have dinner one evening at "The Quilt House-The International Quilt Study Center and Museum. I was less than overwhelmed about spending the evening in a quilt museum and boy was I wrong!

Founded in 1997 with the donation of the Robert and Ardis James Collection of nearly one thousand quilts, the IQSCM welcomes thousands of visitors each year from every state and from more than thirty countries around the world.

War without the gore, self-help gurus who can’t seem to help themselves, take-downs of late-stage capitalism, and a buddy movie about a duck that might make you run for the nearest tissue.  From domestic films to foreign films, features and documentaries, the St. Louis International Film Festival has something for just about everyone's taste.

For the St. Louis International Film Fest,  which starts with an opening reception Thursday evening, St. Louis Public Radio is bringing you our take on 25 key films.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, November 6, 2016 will be “The Compositions of Jerome Kern.”  Composer Jerome Kern was one of the first to bring jazz rhythms and harmonies to theater music.  Paradoxically, he did not like jazz musicians arranging his music for their own performances.  But, jazz musicians like his tunes and are still using them as a basis for improvisation up until today.  We will hear music from Art Pepper, Ella Fitzgerald, St.

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