Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

The chess team from Saint Louis University at the Collegiate Chess Championship in December 2017.
Nozima Aripova

The 2017 Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championships saw St. Louis teams prevail yet again. The tournament was held in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 27-30. Sixty teams from all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico took part in the six-round Swiss tournament.

The traditional chess collegiate powerhouses, Webster University, University of Texas Dallas, Texas Tech, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Saint Louis University, all came with reinforced teams, while many top universities, like Harvard, University of California Berkeley and Columbia University brought strong representation.

This photograph by Kat Reynolds is part of the Mane 'n Tail exhibition. Other artists include LaKela Brown, Pamela Council, Baseerah Khan, Abigail Lucien, Narcissister, Yvonne Osei, Shenequa, Diamond Stingily and Rachel Youn.
Provided | Kat Reynolds

Kat Reynolds stops by the beauty products store about as often as some people shop for groceries — about three times a month.

For many women, shampoos, conditioners, extensions and weaves seem to hold the key not only to an improved appearance but also a kind of self-satisfaction, according to Reynolds. With that in mind, the photographer is curating an art exhibition, “Mane ‘n Tail,” named for a popular line of beauty products.

Reynolds said the show, which opens Jan. 19, focuses on female attractiveness and African-American culture, including money and self-determination.

Laura Domela

When singer, songwriter and author Storm Large is not with her band Le Bonheur, she fronts Pink Martini and symphony orchestras. Her varied interests include performing music from Broadway, the American songbook, rock music and her own originals.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked with the singer about her career and her performance in St. Louis on Jan.17

Comedian and St. Louis native Greg Warren talks about his comedic career and upcoming performances in St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

For many years, comedian and St. Louis native Greg Warren traveled around the country to make people laugh. He’s appeared on CMT Comedy Stage, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Late Night with Seth Meyers and CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Warren about his upcoming appearances at the St. Louis Funny Bone. Friends, family and fans will line up to see the new material he’ll showcase, starting Jan. 11.

(L-R) Etta Daniels, Marvin-Alonzo Greer and Shakia Gullette talked about collaborative event between the Missouri History Museum and Greenwood Cemetery to commemorate Missouri's Emancipation Day.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

This Thursday, Jan. 11, marks 153 years since slaves in Missouri were finally freed from bondage. Missouri’s Emancipation Day will be commemorated at the Missouri History Museum, in a collaborative event between the museum and Greenwood Cemetery.

St. Louis author Ken McGee talks about his latest historical novel, “The Great Hope of the World.”
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The construction of the Eads Bridge a century and a half ago almost made St. Louis one of the most important cities in the country. The steel combined road and railway bridge over the Mississippi River brought rail and other traffic from the east to St. Louis and beyond.

The bridge serves as the backstory to St. Louis author Ken McGee’s latest historical novel “The Great Hope of the World.”

The Bebop Hot House

Jan 6, 2018

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, January 7, 2018 will be “The Bebop Hot House.”  The bebop style, which flowered in the hot house of the mid 1940’s burst on the scene with harmony, velocity and virtuosity never heard in jazz.  We will feature music with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Lionel Hampton, Jay McShann, Cab Calloway, Charlie Christian, Lucky Millinder, Don Byas, Billy Eckstine, Coleman Hawkins, Tiny Grimes, Boyd Raeburn, Sir Charles Thompson, Woody Herman, Fats Navarro, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson, J.J.

Commentary: St. Louis is a strong literary city

Jan 5, 2018

Last week I had a morning filled with culture. I first went to the Eugene Field Museum in downtown St. Louis. In March 2007 the Eugene Field House was designated as a National Historic Landmark by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. 

Eugene Field was best known for his children's poetry and humorous essays. I think of the light-hearted "Wynken, Blyken, and Nod." The museum has a wonderful library filled with Field's works and has special exhibitions and a wonderful collection of antique toys.  

Circus Harmony artistic and executive director Jessica Hentoff talks about their production, “Legato.”
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Circus Harmony, the local social circus, is preparing for a series of performances at the City Museum this month. The production will take a look at circuses through the decades from 1920-2010.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the next production, “Legato,” with Jessica Hentoff, artistic and executive director of the organization.

Food from Squatter’s Cafe
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine kicked off the New Year with their top picks for the best St. Louis restaurants to visit during the month of January.

On Thursday, Sauce Magazine managing editors Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes and art director Meera Nagarajan joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss new venues the editors recommend visiting.

You can find full descriptions here, but here are the spots they recommend:

Lonnie Powell's watercolor, Southsun is one of 200 works in the All Colors exhibition.
Portfolio Gallery

A longtime gallery owner is debuting an exhibition Jan. 13 that he hopes will draw people from all over the country to see African-American art in St. Louis.

“All Colors” features the work of 66 national and local artists. The Portfolio Gallery nonprofit will present the show at the Artists’ Guild, 2 Jackson Ave., in Clayton, the first exhibition following the sale of its Grand Center building.

Portfolio owner Robert Powell sold the gallery space in 2015 with the goal of supporting African-American artists.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial could change to the Gateway Arch National Park by July 2018.
(photo by Tim Tolle via Flickr Creative Commons)

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial could soon have a new name. 

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill to change its name to Gateway Arch National Park, which proponents say would better reflect the Arch, its famous centerpiece.

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill sponsored the bill, which only addresses the national park’s name. U.S. Reps. Lacy Clay, Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer have sponsored similar legislation in the House.

On Chess: The Pro Chess League returns

Jan 4, 2018
the 2017 Saint Louis Arch Bishops; Starting from the left. Nicholas Rosenthal, Wesley So Yaroslav Zherebukh, Dariusz Świercz, Varuzhan Akobian, Francesco Rambaldi, Cemil Can Ali Marandi, Ben Finegold, Mike Kummer.
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

The inaugural Pro Chess League season ended with a resounding victory by the Saint Louis Arch Bishops last year. The Pro Chess League, originally the U.S. Chess League, used to be an online chess tournament where American Chess Teams, from different states and cities, competed for first place. Chess.com, the founder of the Pro Chess League, decided to innovate and expand on this league by inviting players from other cities, countries and continents. The first event was a great success, as teams from all over the world joined to play.

Associate professor Corinna Treitel talks about the 200th anniversary celebration of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" novel at Washington University.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The iconic image of the monster in "Frankenstein" bears little resemblance to the original monster portrayed in the novel by Mary Shelley. Her novel “Frankenstein” was written 200 years ago, and is celebrated in a series of events at Washington University.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the 200th anniversary of “Frankenstein” with Corinna Treitel, associate professor in the Department of History and chief organizer of the Frankenstein celebration at Washington University.

National Blues Museum Director Dion Brown
The National Blues Museum

The National Blues Museum in St. Louis will soon be looking for a new executive director.

Dion Brown, who has led the museum for two years, is leaving to become president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. He departs in mid-February.

Party Time

Jan 1, 2018
Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for December 31, 2017 is “Party Time.”  New Year’s eve is always a time of parties celebrating the end of the year and the coming of the New Year.  The parties range from sedate to out out of control with people imbibing too much.  We will celebrate the New Year with party music to fit the occasion and will start one hour later due to the symphony broadcast.  Music by Bluesiana Triangle, Ramsey Lewis, Dinah Washington, Monty Alexander, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Cassandra Wilson, Jimmy Smith, Gene Ammons and Ray Charles.

Winnie Caldwell and Sidney Keys III
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Sidney Keys III, 11, has had quite a month. On December 13, he and his mother, Winnie Caldwell, flew to California where he appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Two days later he was featured on CNN’s “Young Wonders” program in a segment that had been recorded weeks earlier. On December 17, he appeared on a live CNN special in New York City honoring CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2017.

As 2017 comes to an end, the team that brings you St. Louis on the Air decided to take a look at the top 20 most visited online stories of the year that came out of this program.

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh spoke with senior producer Alex Heuer about some of the stories and larger trends.

Carolyn Mueller and John Brown
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Did you know that Missouri was once a mecca for health conscious people, that there is a town in the state named Tightwad or there is still a law on the books that cattle can’t graze on airport runways? These and a plethora of other facts and histories can be found in the new book “Missouri Almanac 2018-2019.” Carolyn Mueller and John Brown, two of the book’s five authors, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to share highlights and the genesis of the book.

Michael Ferguson and Betsy Bowman starred in Bluff City Theater's 2017 presentation of The Glass Menagerie.
Joe Anderson

A small theater company in Hannibal is giving larger St. Louis troupes a run for their money in a regional awards competition.

The 4-year-old Bluff City Theater is nominated for 12 Broadway World regional awards for the 2017 season, including Best Theater Company. Larger, more established institutions like Stages St. Louis and The Rep typically dominate the annual contest. A public vote decides the winners.

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