Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Two counties in southwestern Illinois grow the majority of the nation’s — possibly the world’s — horseradish. The city of Collinsville, population 25,000, straddles both Madison and St. Clair, and celebrates the root annually, hosting the International Horseradish Festival.

Harvest Public Media decided it was time to check out the entertainment, games and horseradish-based dishes and drinks. Here’s a bite of the zesty gathering.

Ngone Seck hugs a friend after receiving her diploma at Riverview Gardens High School's graduation ceremony. May 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Just a few years ago, Ngone Seck arrived in Florissant from Italy and began the seventh grade.

From the start, she was behind her peers. She struggled to adapt to her new country, had trouble learning English, and, at first, did poorly in school.

Today, the Italian immigrant of West African heritage began her first day of college, on a full scholarship. Her journey is paved with the sacrifices of her working-class family, the comfort of her music and the support of good teachers.

Relationships

Jun 10, 2018
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 10, 20218 will be “Relationships.”   Relationships are tricky things.  Most successful relationships start with strong loving families and hopefully, lessons are applied to our relationships with our neighbors, our world and our romantic partners, but sometimes things go bad.  We will explore the gamut of relationships from good to bad to the commercial.  The musicians exploring relationships on this show will be Abdullah Ibrahim, Ahmad Jamal, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Gene Harris, our own Eric Warren.

Tom Stockman, a self-described movie geek, joined Friday’s show for a look back at the heyday of St. Louis’ drive-in movie theaters, two of which still exist within an hour’s drive of the city.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Tom Stockman estimates that back in 1961 – the year he was born – about 4,100 drive-in movie theaters dotted the U.S. landscape. Now their ranks have dwindled to a total of roughly 350.

66 Park-in, The Airway Twin, Holiday – these and most other St. Louis-area outdoor theaters that were all the rage in the Gateway City several decades ago have disappeared. Much of the industry’s demise locally had to do with real estate, Stockman said on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Switch’s “The Gateway Green – A Hole-in-One for STL” installation at the Sheldon Art Galleries.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

There are many art galleries and exhibits in St. Louis, but none combine the classic game of mini-golf with art like the Sheldon Art Galleries’ current exhibition, "Golf the Galleries: Artist-Designed Mini Golf."

“[Golf the Galleries] brings together design aspects and play – so art and fun,” Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, director of the Sheldon Art Galleries, told St. Louis on the Air producer Alex Heuer as they putted their way through the gallery on Friday’s program.

Curator Sharon Smith notes that roughly 55 million people have attended shows at the Muny in Forest Park over the course of the outdoor theater’s 99 seasons thus far.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Muny marks its centennial season of outdoor musical theater, another Forest Park mainstay is also celebrating the milestone – with “Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage.” That show opens Saturday at the Missouri History Museum.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh offered listeners a sneak peek at the new exhibit, which explores the Muny from many different perspectives. Joining him for the discussion was curator Sharon Smith.

British songwriter Benjamin Clementine says he changed his nomadic ways after a visit to the United States inspired his latest album.  6/7/18
Craig McDean

Songwriter Benjamin Clementine calls himself a nomad, and with good reason. Born in London to Ghanaian parents, he left home as a teenager to live and play music on the streets of Paris.

His low profile changed dramatically when his debut album, “At Least for Now,” earned him an international following and won the Mercury Prize in 2015 for best album of the year by a British artist. He has since moved to the United States, where his travels inspired his latest album, “I Tell a Fly,” released last year. He’s on a U.S. tour to promote his new recording, and opens for David Byrne at Peabody Opera House on Friday.

A scene from the 2017 Your Next Move event in Leuven, Belgium, the location of the first stop of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour.
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

The fourth annual Grand Chess Tour is right around the corner — this time with a new format. Instead of the London Chess Classic being just a stop of the tour, it will be the final stage for the Grand Chess Tour. At the end of the Sinquefield Cup, the top four players with the most points accumulated across the four events will proceed to the finals in London, where they will compete in a series of matches for additional prizes and the title of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour Champion.

Red Schoendienst, Cardinal great, dies at 95.
Ron Lewis

Baseball Hall of Famer and former Cardinal player and manager Red Schoendienst, who overcame a severe eye injury and tuberculosis to play major-league baseball for 19 years and managed the St. Louis Cardinals to two National League pennants and a world championship, died Wednesday. He was 95.

Albert Fred Schoendienst, born Feb. 2, 1923, was the most famous native of Germantown, Illinois, a village of less than a square mile in southern Illinois. With his curly red hair and freckles, Mr. Schoendienst was soon known only as “Red."

Bourbon, Missouri, native Taylor Louderman stars in the Broadway musical "Mean Girls." Louderman is nominated for a Tony Award.
Joan Marcus

The recollection of near-daily, hour-long van rides from Bourbon, Missouri, to St. Louis and back is etched in Taylor Louderman’s memory. Also present is the memory of her younger twin sisters screaming in the back of the Toyota Sienna because the sun was in their eyes.

“My family and I, my family mostly, had to make a lot of sacrifices for my career, and I felt like we were all able to celebrate together,” Louderman said just prior to a recent rehearsal for this year’s Tony Awards that are Sunday night.

The Boathouse in Forest Park is one new restaurant featured on this month's Hit List.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, two staff members from Sauce Magazine joined host Don Marsh to talk about new restaurants in and around Forest Park, as well as their favorite patios.

(L-R) Corinne Melançon, Steve Isom and Andrew Kuhlman talk about Stages St. Louis' “I Do! I Do!” production now showing through July 1, 2018.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

New York meets St. Louis in the cast for Stages St. Louis’I Do! I Do!” production now showing at the Robert G. Reim Theatre in Kirkwood. The play delves into the ups and downs of the universal proclamation of union – marriage. The two-character musical consists of a rotating cast of actors from New York and St. Louis.

Set in the years 1895 to 1945, the play follows the relationship of Michael and Agnes as they go through the motions of falling in love, marriage, childbirth, parenthood and settling down. They depict tough moments in long-term relationships such as the end of the honeymoon phase and having frank conversations on divorce.

Host Don Marsh (left) and author Jon Meacham talked about Meacham's latest book, "Soul of America" at the St. Louis Public Library on May 25.
Kara Smith/St. Louis County Library

“American history is defined by the phrase ‘and yet …,’” author and historian Jon Meacham told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh May 25, before an audience of 900 people at the St. Louis County Library.

“We promised equality to all, and yet, we didn’t extend it to all,” Meacham said, citing other examples of former presidential actions that they later contradicted. His latest book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” compares and contrasts today’s political climate to historical events.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for June 3, 2018 will be “The Career of Ben Webster.”  The show will start with an interview with trombonist Steve Turre about the upcoming Jazz Edge tribute to J.J. Johnson Concert at 7:00 p.m.

Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

“Bitten by radioactive bagpipes” 10 years ago, the Wee Heavies are a local, mostly a cappella group dedicated to performing Celtic music. Band members Jay Harkey, Peter Merideth, Steve Neale and Aaron Schiltz joined St. Louis Public Radio contributor Charlie McDonald for a conversation on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Andrew Stenson as Private Danny Chen, in the new opera "An American Soldier."  6/1/18
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis

U.S. Army Private Danny Chen died at his guard post in Afghanistan in 2011 — not in combat, but from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after enduring racially motivated hazing by his fellow soldiers.

A new opera opening at Opera Theatre of St. Louis on Sunday looks at Chen’s life and death. The creators of “An American Soldier” say it asks basic questions about the nature of identity and belonging in this country.

This rendering provides an idea of what the Gravois Park artists housing development will look like.
SPACE Architects + Designers + Builders

Many St. Louis artists struggle to make a living and pay the rent.

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation wants to help by buying 25 properties and developing affordable artists’ homes and studios. Most are in the Gravois Park area, bound by Jefferson Avenue, Chippewa Street, Grand Boulevard and Cherokee Street.

The city’s Land Reutilization Authority will let the foundation buy the properties for $30,000. Many of the 12 existing buildings and 13 vacant lots have been neglected for decades. The Kranzberg Foundation plans to renovate the dilapidated buildings and construct new homes on the vacant lots before offering them for sale to artists. The work will begin this fall.

The arts heal and allow us to express our inner most desires and feelings. The LGBTQ community is finally coming to the fore and being accepted and melded into the community as a whole. The arts are one of the most driving forces behind this positive move.

Emily Webb (1976-2018) began clogging as a young girl in St. Charles, Missouri. Family members and fellow cloggers joined “St. Louis on the Air” this week in remembrance of her love for the American folk dance.
Thunder & Lightning Cloggers

About three months ago, Emily Webb and her six children were traveling along Route 3 in Columbia, Illinois, when a large truck struck their SUV, killing 41-year-old Webb and leaving a huge void among her family and friends.

She is remembered as a beloved wife and mother. She was also a big part of the St. Louis region’s clogging community and an active member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois.

A 3D rendering of the "Romeo and Juliet" stage.
Margery and Peter Spack

Neon lights and the colors of young love will brighten Forest Park over the next three weeks, when Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents the bard's "Romeo and Juliet" for the first time since 2001.

The play runs June 1 through June 24 at 8 p.m. every night except Tuesdays. A prelude performance starts at 6:30 p.m. before each show. All performances are held on this year's outdoor stage in the Shakespeare Glen, near the St. Louis Art Museum.

The set this year mixes modern pop sensibilities with architectural features inspired by Verona, Italy, where the love story and tragedy play out. 

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