Arts & Culture

UMSL students Qianling Ye, Charis Railey, Robbie Wade, John Hood, Lalitha Jilakara and Tony Marr perform with their classmates during the dress rehearsal for their spring concert.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend is the last time those studying dance at the University of Missouri-St. Louis will put on a performance.

After this semester both UMSL dance professor Ronderrick Mitchell and the students who want to make dance into a career will be gone.

Devin Lawson of south St. Louis County works to dry out the boilers in the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad Association's 12-inch gauge steam engines.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The volunteer crew at the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad Association in far west St. Louis County is back on track after it was almost derailed by severe floods along the Meramec River late last year.

The ridable miniature railroad in Glencoe opens for the season this Sunday, the first time it will run for the public since the flooding. 

Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Pop music often falls into the tropes of love, desire, and wanting things you can’t have or had and lost. In real life these feelings can lead to inertia, melancholia, and ennui.

So what happens when those sentiments are expressed through huge melodies and danceable beats? 

There’s a group of young St. Louis-born musicians who have toured the country and developed strong online fan bases, despite having released only handfuls of tracks.  Their songs are connected stylistically and thematically by this exploration of pairing propulsive beats with a sense of want.

Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis, speaks against SJR 39 during Wednesday's House Emerging Issues committee meeting.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed the defeat of SJR 39, the “religious shield” proposal, in Missouri and explored the experiences of local transgender people.

Joining the program:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time this week, when severe weather rolled through the St. Louis metropolitan area, neither Cindy Preszler nor Mike Roberts had a newsroom to check in with or viewers to inform about breaking weather alerts.

“Sitting home and watching it on TV was tough,” Preszler told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I wanted to be there.”

Weather is still top-of-mind for both meteorologists, who are also personal friends.

Ron Campbell's Blue Meanie reclines on the words "all you need is love" whith the Yellow Submarine in the background.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The Beatles seem to be invading St. Louis once again. This summer Paul McCartney will perform at Busch Stadium, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles's legendary performance at the old stadium. This weekend provides a chance to meet an artist who helped build the group's legacy, Ron Campbell.

“The Beatles fans, they spend their whole life remembering,” said Campbell, who also worked on popular kids cartoons. “Then there’s all the fans of the cartoons; the "Scooby-Doo" fans and all the childhood memories that they have.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, May 1, 2016 will be “The Career of Jimmy Cobb.”  Best known for his associations with Miles Davis and the Wynton Kelly Trio, drummer Jimmy Cobb is now 87 and still going strong.  He was born in Washington D.C.

Akshat Chandra vs. Fabiano Caruana
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The 2016 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship that concluded April 25 will not only go down in the history books as the strongest event but also as arguably the one with the most dramatic finale. Entering the final round, both tournaments had one clear leader as well as one or more players trailing by half point. The tournaments were reaching their crowning moment, the players’ nerves were at their peak, and the tension could be felt in the air.

Connor Wright seated on his trio of Stan Musial portraits at Ballpark Village. Wright used 5,980 Rubik's Cubes to make the piece.
Connor Wright | Provided

Baseball is a game of numbers: batting average , RBIs. ERA.

But Connor Wright had to come up with a different kind of number for a project honoring St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial: how many Rubik’s Cubes it would  take to create a 205-square-foot mural with a trio of images of the famous #6.

poetry
Rachel Knickerman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/24icZgD

April is National Poetry Month and before we flip the calendar page, St. Louis on the Air wants to celebrate two local organizations working to make sure that poetry continues on in the lives of young people.

Listen to the full interview and hear poetry from the young poets themselves:

UrbArts VerbQuake Poetry Slam

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The term ‘non-audition’ as it applies to choral endeavors may conjure up images of off-key singing and uncoordinated dance moves. That’s certainly not the case with CHARIS — The St. Louis Women’s Chorus, said the group's president, Sharon Spurlock.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A musical collaboration between the International Institute of St. Louis and the St. Louis Symphony will have the sounds of Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Bosnia, Congo and Cuba streaming from the gym at the institute come May 3.

The purpose of Music Without Boundaries is to make immigrants new to the area feel welcomed by connecting them to the sounds of their homeland.

For Maureen Byrne, the director of community programs at the St. Louis Symphony, the collaboration was a logical fit.

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

Five of six Busch siblings were in court Tuesday over the potential $26 million sale of Grant’s Farm from the Busch Family Trust.

Billy Busch has offered to buy Grant's Farm. His siblings, Gertrude Busch Valentine, Peter W. Busch, Andrew D. Busch, and Beatrice Busch von Gontard, have made a competing offer. Yet, in court the family sat on the same bench.

The Missouri Belting Company, considered one of the most endangered buildings in St. Louis by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.
Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1UcUB67

St. Louis is home to a vast array of architectural marvels. Whether you’re looking for art deco gems or modernist icons, you’ll find plenty of examples within city limits. But not all buildings are well preserved. What are the most endangered historical buildings in St. Louis? And what buildings are symbols of a preservation job well-done?

Morgan DeBaun, co-founder and CEO of Blavity.
Blavity

Morgan DeBaun is co-founder and CEO of Blavity, a media startup that seeks to be the “voice of black millennials.” She says the organization got the name from a phenomenon she witnessed while attending Washington University.

A St. Louis Start

DeBaum, St. Louis native, said that if you head to the Danforth University Center on campus, you’ll find a bunch of tables with a big, round table in the middle.

The Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards recently decided that abstaining from legumes during Passover is more of a long-standing tradition and not a rule.
Gilabrand | Wikipedia

Barbara Shamir’s Passover table may get one new addition this year, to accompany the tender brisket, rich potato kugel, gefilte fish with a horseradish sidekick, and ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake.

It's tehina -- also called tahini -- once banned, now welcome at her table, thanks to a rabbinical dispensation.

In previous years, Shamir, of Olivette, would not allow her husband, Amos, to prepare or serve this sesame seed-based sauce during the holiday. That’s because the condiment contains “kitniyot,” foods that include legumes, certain seeds and peas. For many Ashkenazi Jews, or those of Eastern European descent, kitniyot is not kosher to eat during Passover.

The documentary Major! features Major Griffin-Gracy, a long-time transgender activist.
Cinema St. Louis | Provided

When QFest debuted in 2008, its schedule of LGBT films was more about the “G” than any other letter. Few male or female characters were people of color.

But things are different now, according to Cinema St. Louis’ Chris Clark.

“The true minority of all, honestly, is white, gay men,” he said.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Singer-songwriter Donny Hathaway was born in Chicago but grew up in St. Louis. Known for songs like “The Ghetto” and “This Christmas,” Hathaway began singing in his grandmother’s church choir and playing the piano at age 3. Hathaway was a prolific musician but also grappled with mental illness throughout his life.

Image of gridded room with free-floating squares that look like screens into another universe.
Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

Destruction, reinvention and the Anthropocene. Adult Fur’s, all-too prescient new album MYU tackles these concerns while acknowledging that the time may be too late for us humans.  In a recent RFT review by Christian Schaeffer the album is characterized as “dystopic” and in this age of political and ecological sturm und drang we decided to lean into that classification and see what other “dystopic music” is burbling up through the city’s pavement.

Bishop Derrick Robinson and Rev. Rebecca Ragland place a candle on the spot where 15-year-old Jorevis Scruggs died after being shot by a police officer.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Clergy members, activists and community members gathered Thursday to mourn the death of 15-year-old Jorevis Scruggs, who was fatally shot by police earlier this week. Police say the teen was shot after he pointed a gun at an officer who gave chase as Scruggs jumped out of a suspected stolen car.

About three dozen people attended the vigil, placing teddy bears and “Black Lives Matters” signs in the residential alley where Scruggs died near St. Louis Avenue and Bacon Street. They lit candles, prayed and called for changes in community-police relations.

Author Gail Pellett of "Forbidden Fruit: 1980 Beijing" spoke with "St. Louis on the Air" host  Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer

Author Gail Pellet recently released a new memoir called “Forbidden Fruit: 1980 Beijing,” which details her experience working for Radio Beijing as a foreign expert.

“I was hired as the first experienced broadcast journalist to work at Radio Beijing,” Pellett told host Don Marsh.  

Pellett discussed her experiences in China as well as her connection to St. Louis — she was a student at Washington University during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"MSDFLOWers" with glass cairn by Libby Reuter and photograph by Josh Bowen
Libby Reuter I Provided

A new collection of artwork debuting Friday — Earth Day — uses different mediums to remind us not to take St. Louis’ abundant water supply for granted.

On Chess: Music and chess harmonize at Hall of Fame

Apr 21, 2016
Composer Spotlight Series
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Chess and music are topics that intertwine frequently at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Through exhibits such as Living Like Kings, visitors learned about how the birth of hip-hop coincided with a surge of interest in chess among Americans. In Cage & Kaino: Pieces and Performances, revolutionary 20th-century composer John Cage and contemporary conceptual artist Glenn Kaino produced works that highlight the sense of community created by chess, especially when interwoven with music and art.

Matisse's Window I Acrylic, oil on canvas 31 x 44 1/2 inches (framed)
Provided by the gallery

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Shakespeare’s Romeo finds hope in the candle-lit glow of Juliet at her window: “What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” Carl Sandburg used the window to symbolize hopeful waiting, while Emile Bronte used windows to suggest a limited vision, a separation between viewer and viewed.

Flo Rida
Flickr Creative Commons |Flo Rida Wild Ones Tour T-Mobile ROCK4G and Walmart Soundcheck

Fair St. Louis announced today that Lee Brice, Sammy Hagar and Flo Rida will headline Fair St. Louis this July Fourth weekend. The announcement confirms one headliner that was leaked earlier in the year and reveals two more. George Clinton's appearance on July 4 had also been disclosed previously.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Ten years from now, you will hopefully see Fort Zumwalt West High School senior Audri Bartholomew accepting the crowning award in the much-lauded EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, for those in the know). You’ll also hopefully see Belleville East High School sophomore Abby Zaiz still tap dancing to her heart’s content.

One artist's piece examines the history of suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge. The art includes netting, a map of San Francisco, suicide prevention phones, and a note explaining the piece.
Provided by Zoe Becker

Advocacy organization Metro Trans Umbrella Group's third annual art exhibit is open this month. The show focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans artists.

The show's curator Capella Marissa Huniwalt said the exhibit can bring unknown artists to a wider audience.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, April 24, will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.” The Keys and Strings hour will feature pianist Keith Jarrett, one of the most amazing improvisers in jazz, in solo, duo and trio performances.  New music for April will include the debut live recording of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, the SF Jazz Collective performing the music of Michael Jackson, vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, the Steve Kuhn Trio, the East-West Trumpet Summit, newly discovered live piano duets between Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones, Ernie Wilkins’ Almost big Band, the Marc

Bulldozers and dump trucks are what's in store for the vacant mall most recently known as Crestwood Court as redevelopment plans are in the works. Thousands of residents came to say good-bye at a food truck festival held Saturday.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Santa Claus. That’s the first thing Carol Feldman thinks of when she recalls her childhood memories of the mall known then as Crestwood Plaza off Watson Road.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

When Robert Charles Howard retires as conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra in a few weeks, he hopes a certain musical instrument will follow in his footsteps: an aging 32-inch timpani that has lost much of its luster.

“I’ll miss the job, but I won’t miss this,” Howard said with a smile, as he rolled the dented kettle drum back into its place in the instrument storage room at the orchestra’s rehearsal hall in downtown Belleville.

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