Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Historian Bonnie Stepenoff discussed risk many St. Louis children faced in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Many are familiar with “Little Boy Blue,” a poem by Eugene Field that paints the sad picture of the little toy dog and the little toy soldier waiting decades for the toddler who had kissed them goodnight to return.

The death of children in the late 1800 and early 1900s was not uncommon, even in middle class families such as Field’s, due to lack of knowledge about contagious diseases and certain kinds of infections, historian Bonnie Stepenoff told host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Left, Matt Sorrell, David Sandusky and Otis Walker ignite a conversation about barbecue with host Don Marsh on Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis on the Air

For the backyard barbecuer ready to light up the grill for the Fourth of July, there’s no need to stress about which method or recipe is best.

“You can have a guy driving a Corvette, and another guy out here driving a Mustang, but if you can’t drive, it doesn’t make no difference,” Otis Walker said making an analogy for various barbecuing methods on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence is currently on view at the John M. Olin Library on the Danforth Campus.
James Byard | Washington University in St. Louis

Two hundred forty-two years ago this week, the American colonies formally declared their independence from Great Britain. But the Continental Congress’ adoption of the handwritten document – and the accompanying revolution – would not be televised or tweeted.

Instead, printed versions of the Declaration of Independence were quickly posted on courthouse doors throughout the colonies, where people gathered to read and discuss what had occurred.

The Muny box office sells tickets for its 100th season, which has drawn criticism for its production of "Jerome Robbins' Broadway." June 30, 2018
Brian Heffernan | St. Louis Public Radio

The boos launched by a group of protesters mid-show at the Muny two weeks ago are continuing to reverberate. Actors and directors of color in St. Louis say it’s time for theaters to stop casting white actors to portray people of color.

George Christie talked about his life as the former leader of the notorious motorcycle club, Hells Angels.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

As a young boy in the ‘50s, George Christie remembers being in awe when he first saw a motorcyclist coming through town on a decorated Harley Davidson wearing a Levi vest with the sleeves cut off.

“That just stuck in my mind,” Christie described to St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday’s program, “… [Someone] talking to my father became so upset [at the motorcyclist] and I thought, ‘gee, this is a pretty powerful position [the motorcyclist] is in and he’s not even paying attention to anybody, he’s just minding his business.’”

Christie later went on to become a leader of the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and remained dedicated up until one day in 2011, when he left the gang after deciding that he would not partake in the many fights the gang was involved with.

James Boldt is the general chairman of Fair St. Louis 2018.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Fair St. Louis is bringing fireworks and free music back to the Gateway Arch next week. After being held at Forest Park for four years due to construction, the $380 million renovations on the Arch and the surrounding park are complete just in time for this year’s Fourth of July festivities.

Alternate Takes

Jun 28, 2018
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, July 1, 2018  ill be “Alternate Takes.”   Many of our favorite jazz recordings have alternate takes recorded on the same day or even some time later by the same group, vocalist or big band.  I suspect that many of you have heard these famous tunes so much that you have memorized them.  We will hear some of these alternate takes and possibly hear why these takes were not used for the final pressing of these famous recordings.  Some of the artists featured on this show are Louis Armstrong, Charlie Christian, Art Tatum, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ahmad Jamal, Ar

Among the things on Owen Ragland's calendar are a monthly residency at the Dark Room and a slot at this year's LouFest.  6/28/18
Carl Wickman

Owen Ragland is a musician on the move. In the last year, the 17-year-old pianist, producer and bandleader has played the LouFest in support of local artist Mvstermind, released a debut album plus follow-up EP and launched a monthly residency at the Dark Room

Some of the next items on his agenda include a performance with his quintet at this year’s LouFest and graduating from Webster Groves High School.

He spoke with Cut & Paste about his path to music, which he started at age 3 — and his efforts to fuse elements of jazz, hip-hop and electronic music into a style all his own.

A worker at the new entrance to the Gateway Arch on June 19, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Thirteen-year-old Makenna Farnsworth had just been to the top of the Gateway Arch.

“It’s really cool to be up there,” she said, looking back at the stainless-steel monument looming above her, gleaming in the hot sunshine.

And she knew the answer to the top Arch trivia question: How tall is it?

“Six-hundred-thirty feet!”

That sums up all Makenna knew about the iconic monument, which on Tuesday will open a revamped museum with all new exhibits.

Hikaru Nakamura (left) won the Paris GCT in late June and Wesley So, who won Your Next Move in Leuven, Belgium in 2018.
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess tour

The first two events of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) took place in Leuven from June 12-16 and Paris from June 20-24. After 10 grueling days full of brilliance, blunders and inspiring chess, two Americans are leading the tour, putting themselves in an excellent position to qualify for the finals in London at the end of the year.

St. Louisans (from left) Bogdan Hamilton, Hossam Hassan and Daena Talavera each began fencing as young children.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Look out, St. Louis – or, en garde, rather: Some of the nation’s top fencers are about to invade this baseball town. The 2018 National Championships begin Thursday at the America’s Center Convention Complex downtown.

“It’s around 5,000 fencers [total] that will be coming,” Hossam Hassan, head coach at the local Fencers Academy club, said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “It’s 10 days with several events per day, and each event has around 150 to 200 or 300 participants from the United States and outside [the country].”

Jeffrey Blair, co-owner of Eyeseeme African American Children's Bookstore.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Eyeseeme African American Children’s Bookstore in University City became an internet sensation by association thanks to a visit to the store by Sidney Keys III and his mother, Winnie Caldwell. About a year and a half ago, she posted a video of him reading a book in the store that went viral. He was inspired by his visit to start Books N Bros book club, which caught the attention of CNN (which recognized him as a “Young Wonder” as part of the 11th annual CNN Heroes), Steve Harvey, Oprah Winfrey and many others.

St. Louis Public Radio contributor John Larson (left) talks to local poet Aaron Coleman about the use of poetry and Coleman's book "Threat Come Close."
John Larson | St. Louis Public Radio

Fulbright scholar and Cave Canem fellow Aaron Coleman writes, teaches and translates poetry. Fascinated with what words can do, he cites hip-hop as his “first love” that formed his passion for poetry.

“[Rap] was a great way to get invested in rhythm and sound and improvisation,” he said. “But it was really just the first step, I think, in starting to get more serious about the potential of poetry and letting it be something that lives fully on the page and then also fully in sound.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 24, 2018 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour Plus New Music.”  The Keys and Strings Hour or the quieter side of jazz will feature pianists Fats Waller, Art Tatum, Keith Jarrett, Erroll Garner, Chick Corea, Red Garland, Mary Lou Williams, John Lewis and Sun Ra.  New music for June will feature Tucker Antell, Grant Green, the Uptown Jazz Tentette, Bruce Barth & Tomoko Ohno, the Kobe Watkins Grouptet, Aaron Schragge & Ben Monder, Phil Haynes groups “Not Fast Food” and “Free Country,” the Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble, Matt Penman and Joshua Breakstone.

Ed Wheatley joined Don Marsh for a discussion about his illustrated children’s book “Incredible Cardinals.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For St. Louis Cardinals fans of a certain age, the players painted on the left field wall of Busch Stadium evoke fond memories of baseball heroes of days gone by. But for younger fans, the names Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst and even Stan Musial may not even register, much less Dizzy Dean.

To rectify that matter, local author Ed Wheatley and illustrator Ed Koehler have created a book for children featuring St. Louis Cardinals greats who are now in the Baseball Hall of Fame as well as some who may be future inductees.

Janie Oliphant, left, adjusts a LGBT flag held by Cody Copp and Samuel Taylor so they can have their picture taken at a rally and march in St. Louis in February 2017.
FILE PHOTO | RYAN DELANEY | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

St. Louis will host two Pride festivals this weekend as part of a yearly celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and history.

Pride traces its roots back to the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when police raided a gay club in New York City, sparking widespread protests.  As in past years, two Pride celebrations will take place in St. Louis; a large, two-day event downtown and a community-driven festival in Tower Grove Park. 

Musical instruments will be available to check out at four St. Louis County libraries starting June 25, 2018.
Kara Smith | St. Louis County Library

A program at the St. Louis County Library will allow residents to check out an assortment of musical instruments starting Monday.

The program is the first of its kind in the St. Louis region, said library district director Kristen Sorth. Lending musical instruments would be beneficial to many in the area, she said.

On Chess: 'Grand' chess exhibition from St. Louis travels to Belgium

Jun 21, 2018
A close up of artist Gregg Louis' "Untitled (Chess Set)" on display in Leuven, Belgium.
Lennart Ootes

For the second year, the World Chess Hall of Fame has organized "Grand Chess Tour: Art of Chess 2018," a traveling exhibition of chess artifacts, in conjunction with the Grand Chess Tour, an international circuit of chess events with the world’s best players.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

ArchCity Defenders and community radio station KDHX are rolling out a three-month film series on racial justice.

First in the series, "Marvin Booker was Murdered" by filmmaker Wade Gardner, will be screened on Thursday evening at The Stage KDHX. 

Bill Littlefield, host of the Boston-based NPR sports program “Only A Game,” will retire this summer.
Alex Kinsgubury | WBUR

For 25 years, Bill Littlefield has brought insightful commentary and thoughtful narratives surrounding the sports world to NPR listeners’ ears every Saturday morning. But in July, the host of the program “Only A Game” will retire from WBUR in Boston.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with Littlefield about his long career, the landscape of American sports today and the crossover between that realm and politics.

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