Arts & Culture

CAIR-St. Louis executive director Faizan Syed said this year's Sharing Ramadan event will be the biggest yet.
Council on American-Islamic Relations-St. Louis

As many as 500 St. Louis area Muslims and non-Muslims are expected to share in food and faith traditions Thursday for a "Sharing Ramadan" event, but this time, security measures will be in place. 

What happens when farmers become friends with the animals they need to prepare for food?
Nina | Flickr |

For many of us, our food arrives on a plate well-dressed and prepared for consumption. We rarely pause to think about what that plate of food was before we used it as nourishment. But for some local foodies and farmers, becoming friends with their food before they eat it is commonplace.

2 Americans lead at halfway point of Grand Chess Tour

Jun 22, 2016
Leuven, Belgium, hosted the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour.
Provided by the Grand Chess Tour

The chess world is awaiting the third leg of the Grand Chess Tour, the fourth annual Sinquefield Cup, to begin in St. Louis on Aug. 1. This series of four tournaments is spread over different parts of the world, attracting the very best chess players to test their skills against each other.

Giant robot lions connect in order to form a larger robot humaniod with a sword named Voltron
Provided by Lion Forge

“Ready to form Voltron!”

Fans of the mid-1980s TV show Voltron will recognize that phrase as the moment five robots join together to protect Earth from evil aliens. Now, local company Lion Forge Comics will release a comic based on the series.

“I’ve been a fan of Voltron. It was one of those properties that I grew up with in the ‘80s, so it was probably my favorite show ever,” said Lion Forge head David Steward.

Stacey Crawford twirls flags with the color guard at a Band Together rehearsal.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis LGBT band will mark a milestone this Sunday, a happy commemoration at a time of mourning.

Billy Busch enters the court building to attend a hearing on the sale of Grant's Farm
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9:26 am June 22 with statements from Busch siblings. - The courts have ruled that the sale of Grant’s Farm can go forward.  The only question that remains is who will buy it? 

The decision was made after a months-long legal battle between Billy Busch, one of the heirs to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, and four of his siblings over who can purchase the farm.

St. Louis Fire, illustration in a German book from 1857.
Henry Lewis | Wikimedia Commons

Fires, floods, tornadoes, oh my! St. Louis has been witness to many kinds of disaster over the years and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked about the most disastrous ones … and where you can find remnants of their existence still today.

Provided | RTDNA

St. Louis Public Radio Radio has received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for its website,, in the large market radio category. The award was announced today by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). 

A Make Music Piano near the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Provided by Make Music St. Louis

There’s music in the streets of St. Louis on Tuesday. Well, more music than usual.

More than 40 performers in more than 15 locations will take part in Make Music Day — an international attempt to inspire joy in communities through public performance.

Jesse Francis has worked his whole career to preserve historic French vertical log homes.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis area’s storied French past is well known — but do you know much about historic French architecture in the region? On Monday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the hallmarks of traditional French architecture, the vertical log home, with Jesse Francis, the cultural site manager for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Forest Park turns 140 years old this year.
henskechristine | Flickr

St. Louisans have plenty to be proud of when it comes to Forest Park. In the summer, the park is bustling with musicals, plays, cool museums and many other recreational activities. Recently, the park was voted the best urban park in the United States by USA Today. It also made it onto a list of the nation’s best city parks, curated by Thrillist.

A statue of Jesus and a lake greet visitors to  Lake Charles Park Cemetery on St. Charles Rock Road.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A few years ago, Betty Zweifel Eberley started tracing her family's history.

"I can't go back any further than 1816, my dad's great-grandfather," she told St. Louis Public Radio. "They came from Germany. I don't have a lot of stories to tell, but I have a lot of the pertinent information."

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday June 19 is “The Compositions of Charles Mingus.”  Bassist/composer Charles Mingus’s work reflected his experiences as a mixed race man who identified himself as black.  Known as the angry man of jazz, his music was influenced by the black church, classical music, Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington and was concerned throughout his career with civil rights and relationships.  We will hear his compositions played by his own groups, Dave Brubeck, Mingus Dynasty, Judy Niemack & Mal Waldron, Marty Ehrlich, The Mingus Big Band, Bob Stewart, George Adams, Junko

Provided by Darian Wigfall

“Play All Trap Music/That's What We Want/Let it wash ya brain/All We Do Is Stunt.”

In the first stanza of a new poem, multimedia artist Darian Wigfall examines how corporations run by the wealthy profit from art forms they didn’t develop.  He says the work takes aim at corporations and wealthy classes that appropriate minority voices.

Wigfall turned his poem into a series of large-scale paintings currently on view at the Kranzberg Arts Center. The show is titled “Hidden Messages: The Subtlety of Oppression.”

Crowd bows their heads during a moment of silence in memory of the victims in Orlando Saturday June 18, 2016 at Pride St. Charles.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Black and white ribbons joined the familiar rainbow colors Saturday in St. Charles for the region’s first Pride festival since 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub last Sunday in Orlando.

Speeches and prayers paid tribute to the victims, and a moment of silence lasted for minutes as a chime rang slowly in their memory.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

It takes a special kind of inquisitive mind to step out of the body’s current state and examine what it would look like from an entirely different perspective. Horace Miner did it in 1956 with his radical paper “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema,” and author Chuck Klosterman has done it again with his new book “But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past.”

Quail Ridge Horseshoe Club

Joe Faron, the vice president of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation, says the museum he helped create is one of the best kept secrets in the United States. The secret is so well-kept that people living right around the corner from the facility in Wentzville, often come up to him astounded that it’s been in their neighborhood for coming up on nine years.

On Chess: Grand Chess Tour approaches second stop

Jun 16, 2016
Hikaru Nakamura celebrates.
Spectrum Studios | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The Grand Chess Tour was introduced to the chess scene in 2015 to give the world’s very best players a new series of tournaments to compete in and also to promote chess to the general public. Not only were the players treated as superstars and got to play in three of the most beautiful places in the world for a large sum of money, but each tournament hosted many activities for the chess fans.

Brittish Williams and Lorenzo Gordon.
Anderson Group

St. Louis’ own Brittish Williams has made her mark on reality television in such shows as “Basketball Wives,” and, now, “Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars,” which premiered on June 3. She has also started her own clothing line.

Outgoing SBC president Ronnie Floyd (center, sixth from left) leads the panel discussion on racial unity, including two St. Louis pastors.
Van Payne | Southern Baptist Convention

Updated Wednesday, June 15 with presidential election results – The Southern Baptist Convention has selected Steve Gaines, a Memphis pastor, as its next president. 

Church representatives, or messengers, voted twice Tuesday after a close count caused a runoff election. By the next morning, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear dropped out of the race to keep the convention "united."  The announcement came the day after the convention representing the country's largest Evangelical Christian denomination notably called on its members to "discontinue the display of the Confederate Battle Flag."

Kameel Stanley, Alex Ihnen, Dustin Bryson, Wendy Buske and Adron Buske share their podcast wisdom at a St. Louis on the Air live recording event on June 9, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“How long did it take you to get comfortable behind a microphone?”

“I’m concerned about sound…do you rent space in a studio or do it in your house? Also, with editing: do you do it yourself or do you send it out?”

“How can I use a podcast in the classroom?”

“How much do you focus on monetization?”

“What do you think, as a medium, podcasting can do to heal the region and promote social change in the St. Louis region?”

Shalimar the Clown is Salman Rushdie's eighth novel. Published in 2005, it tells the story of a young man who seeks revenge after he's jilted by the love of his life. There's intrigue, violence, and conflict between tradition and modern society — the sort of stuff that makes for grand opera.

Now, Shalimar the Clown is just that. Adapted by composer Jack Perla and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, the opera premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Rushdie says the novel sprang from one tragic image.

The Clayton Family

Jun 12, 2016
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 12, 2016 will be “The Clayton Family.”  The Clayton Brothers, Jeff (reeds), John (bass) and John’s son Gerald (piano) are world-class jazz musicians, studio musicians, educators, multiple Grammy nominees and music directors for a number of jazz festivals.  We will hear them with the Clayton Brothers Quintet, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Monty Alexander, Count Basie, Don and Alicia Cunningham, Gene Harris, Milt Jackson, Superbass, Chie Imaizumi, the Gerald Clayton Trio, Ambrose Aikinmusire and Kurt Elling.

Did you know? St. Louis is considered the first major type foundry city in the Midwest.
Ian Britton | Flickr |

See these words on the screen right here? Do you see them? No. Do you really see them? Without realizing it, the words you’re reading right now are helping to give you a certain feeling. Not because of the boundless depths of meaning held within these sentences, but because of the typeface they are written in.

One of the world's foremost Wizard of Oz historians, John Fricke, will join St. Louis on the Air on Monday.
eyemage | Flickr |

Ah, sweet summertime in St. Louis. The birds are chirping, our hair is frizzing out and another local tradition is about to begin its 98th season: The Muny. The first show in its lineup? “The Wizard of Oz.” But what’s the history of such a popular musical?

Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

For its next season, the gallery at the Kranzberg Arts Center will focus on presenting variations on social justice art. But the new direction of the Kranzberg’s Grand Center gallery won’t necessarily be abrasive or overtly political, Director of Operations Chris Hansen said.

“It could be very subtle,” Hansen said. “This isn’t an outward projection of ideals as much as how the social landscape and the times are influencing your art.”

Dzemal Bijedic and Adil Imdad started the non-profit House of Goods in 2015 in response to the needs they saw in the St. Louis community.
House of Goods |

When St. Louis city police chaplain Dzemal Bijedic responded to a call for help from a newly-arrived family of Syrian refugees last year, he couldn’t have imagined that it would lead to the creation of a non-profit organization called Bait Ulmal, which means “House of Goods” in Arabic, to provide supplies to those in need at no cost.

Levon Aronian playing Veselin Topalov
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Chess fans are in for a special treat today as the second annual Grand Chess Tour begins. This year, the tour will consist of four legs and will have a slightly different format than its predecessor.

The first leg of the games will be June 9-12 with the Paris Grand Chess Tour; the second will be in Brussels-Leuven, Belgium June 17-20 with Your Next Move. The third stop on the tour is the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis Aug. 4-16, and the final leg takes place in London Dec. 8-19.

Theresa Payne performs.
Provided by Theresa Payne

St. Louis singer Theresa Payne has been through a lot since 2014. She went through a devastating breakup. She lost her job. And she lost confidence in her voice after competing briefly in the reality TV show "The Voice."

But Payne regained her musical footing while working on a new project. When she thought about recording her album, she abandoned the inspirational, gospel-infused style of her past recordings. The result is “Get My Heart Back,” an album Payne says is raw and honest. 

New Line Theatre

Note: Due to an actor's injury, the June 10 and June 11 performances of "Atomic" have been canceled.

The creators of “Atomic,” a new rock musical currently on stage at New Line Theatre, remember living through the fear of nuclear war.