Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

A few evenings ago, my husband and I had dinner with two creative and inspiring senior citizens. Frank Schwaiger at age 78 continues to design buildings, build sculptures, paint and be creative in every way, shape and form. Our mutual friend, Leslie Laskey, 96, professor emeritus at Washington University, is still a revered artist and teacher. When Laskey spoke at the Bruno David Gallery a few weeks before, every eye, heart and mind was enraptured by his words and enthusiasm.

Cider flights are among the offerings on tap at Brick River Cider Co., one of four must-try places on Sauce Magazine's latest Hit List.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The first question that St. Louis on the Air’s Don Marsh asked the Sauce Magazine team during Friday’s Hit List segment had to do with the word “cidery.”

The term was new to Marsh and understandably so, with St. Louis’ first such cider-focused brewery opening just about a week ago. Located in a former firehouse on Washington Avenue, Brick River Cider Co. was the first of four new, must-try restaurants that Catherine Klene and Matt Sorrell plugged during the discussion.

Former Mayor Raymond Tucker (at right) and then-civic leader and bond issue chairman Sidney Maestre look out over an area of Mill Creek Valley slated for clearance in this photograph from 1956.
Missouri Historical Society

Gwen Moore can rattle off the names of all sorts of characters who once walked the streets of Mill Creek Valley, a historic St. Louis neighborhood demolished in the name of urban renewal in the late 1950s.

General William T. Sherman lived in Mill Creek at one point. The poet Walt Whitman stayed there during trips to visit his brother, and the owner of the Daily Missouri Republican also called the community home.

Hip-hop artists perform during a Story Stitchers event called Make Music on the Loop, June 2017.
The Sheldon

An exhibit at the Sheldon Art Gallery will display videos and photos of young St. Louisans working through their experiences with gun violence.

“Pick the City UP” is a presentation of the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. The exhibit, which opens Friday, documents work from the past several years.

Susan Colangelo and several other artists founded the nonprofit in 2013 with the idea to tell stories through embroidery. Now, the work encompasses written and spoken word, including hip-hop and poetry.

2017 U.S. Junior Champion Awonder Liang who will be playing in the 2018 Spring Chess Classic.
Austin Fuller | Saint Louis Chess Club

The time for strong round-robin tournaments at the Saint Louis Chess Club (STLCC) is about to restart!

Marsha Evans and the Coalition at the 1860 Saloon on February 24. The band played blues, hip-hop, and r&b songs during their performance.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Marsha Evans is no stranger to the blues. She has performed blues music all her life and can be found performing at venues across St. Louis with her band, Marsha Evans and the Coalition.

But Evans doesn’t confine her passion for the blues to the stage. She’s a strong advocate for the music. For weeks, she and other musicians in the St. Louis region have discussed ways to honor the legacy of the blues and keep the treasured African-American art form alive.

“You’re pouring your life in three or four minutes of musical expression — your innermost emotions, all of the pain you felt on any particular day for a number of months or years,” she said.

Thomas Easterly | Missouri Historical Society Collections.

After experiencing a cholera outbreak and the Great Fire, 1849 was a difficult year for St. Louis. In addition, the city struggled to keep up with population growth. The U.S. Census shows the population of St. Louis nearly tripled between 1840 and 1850 from 35,979 to 104,978 residents.

This is the audio mix of St. Louis Public Radio's ongoing coverage of the protests and unrest following the not-guilty verdict of former police officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

The coverage in this audio mix starts with the announcement of the verdict in September and continues for about a month.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for February 25, 2018 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour (Oscar) Plus New Music.”   The “Keys and Strings Hour will present performances by Oscar Peterson plus four of his compositions played by Makoto Ozone, Rene Rosnes & Bill Charlap, Ramsey Lewis and Monty Alexander.  The New Music Segment for February in the last two hours will feather music by Alicia Olatuja, Cyrus Chestnut, Peter Sommer, Mike Vaax & Ron Romm, James Hall. Craig Fraedrich.

McCluer High School theater students rehearse “Man of La Mancha” at the Florissant Civic Center. Feb. 21, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis schoolchildren in well-funded school districts often enjoy newer amenities like updated textbooks and newer technology. They may also have an advantage when it comes to the arts.

The disparity of resources is illustrated by theater departments at two local high schools. Clayton High School, whose students are mostly white, gets more help from the district and the community. In Florissant, predominantly African-American McCluer High School largely relies on the theater director, Doug Erwin, for funding.

Kahlil Irving completed his BFA in art history and ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute. In May of 2017, Irving earned his Master of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
Kahlil Irving

St. Louis multimedia artist Kahlil Irving is only 25, but he’s enjoying a level of success many artists never see.

Much of his work, which challenges Western constructs of identity and culture, is now being shown from coast to coast. Irving embraces the rush of recognition and is enjoying being “on top.” But his work, and even his successes, conjure up issues from the past.

The Hamilton-Russell Cup is on display at the World Chess Hall of Fame. The American team gained possession of the trophy when it won the 2016 Chess Olympiad – for the first time in 40 years.
Austin Fuller | World Chess hall of Fame

In 2016, Americans made history by earning team gold in the Chess Olympiad, a biennial tournament in which teams of chess players represent their countries. The remarkable 2016 team included grandmasters Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Sam Shankland and Ray Robson, with international master John Donaldson as team captain and Aleksandr Lenderman as team coach.

Kristen Goodman performs her original song 'I’m Ready' for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert in January 2017.
Kristen Goodman via YouTube

Updated Feb. 21 with St. Louis on the Air conversation about contest starting  Tiny Desk Contest is now live! Use this entry form to enter, and tag your entry with #TinyDeskSTL so we can share it here in the St. Louis area. Good luck, Tiny Desk musicians.

Calling all St. Louis musicians: The 2018 Tiny Desk Contest from NPR Music officially begins Feb. 20.

You may submit a video of you or your band playing an original song behind a desk — any desk — and you could win a chance to play your own Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., before embarking on a nationwide tour. The winner will also appear at a taping of NPR’s "Ask Me Another." Submissions are due March 25.

The prolific author and TV and radio host will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at Powell Hall.
Rick Steves’ Europe

With more than 50 guidebooks to his name, Rick Steves is a go-to authority on international travel – particularly when it comes to Europe. But whether one’s destination is Italy or India, his main piece of advice is to travel thoughtfully.

“You just have to decide,” Steves said in a St. Louis on the Air interview just prior to his Feb. 20 visit to the Gateway City as part of the St. Louis Speakers Series. “Do you want to lie on the beach with a bunch of other Americans, or do you want to actually get out into the local culture and check things out?”

Clayton resident Stacey Smith and her Olympic ice dance partner John Summers. The two finished ninth at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Stacey Smith

Stacey Smith is an Olympian.

The former figure skater competed for the U.S. at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. 

As the ice dance competition wraps up at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the Clayton resident is watching with a mix of pride, patriotism and accomplishment.

Smith recently spoke with St. Louis Public Radio about how she started in the sport, her memories of Lake Placid and the importance of embracing St. Louis' Olympic legacy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 17, 2008 - St. Louis Jews, as well as Jews around the world, will soon celebrate Hanukkah, (sometimes spelled Chanukah), also known as the Festival of Lights.

Hanukkah -- the word means "dedication" in Hebrew -- is an eight-day Jewish holiday that begins on Monday, Dec. 22 this year. Jews observe the holiday starting on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which can occur anytime from late November to late December. According to Jewish tradition, holidays begin at sunset the previous day, so Jews will begin the celebration this year on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 21.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, February 18, 2018 will be “The Career of Horace Parlan.”  Pianist Horace Parlan was born in Pittsburgh in 1931. After working in New York as an in-demand musician, he became a permanent resident of Denmark in 1973.  He is best known for his work with Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp and Stanley Turrentine.  In addition, he will be heard with “Lockjaw” Davis & Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry & Ernie Wilkins, Dexter Gordon, “Rahsaan” Roland Kirk, Chris Woods, Tubby Hayes and his own groups.

Injustice Bear is the title of the black-and-white piece; Justice Bear is the name of the gold and yellow work. A street artist known as finnch created the contrasting canvasses.
St.ART

An international conference in Atlanta will spotlight St. Louis artists who took part in a festival designed to highlight local racial and socioeconomic divisions.

The exhibition at the Hope Global Forums conference in March stems from the inaugural St.ART street art festival  this past October in Forest Park and Fairground Park.

(L-R) Brian Elsesser, Bob Lawrence and Robert "Tuffy" Brandon talked about a show at the Link Auditorium highlighting blues music in St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about a St. Louis themed variety show featuring blues music, comedy and discussions about life in a divided city.

Joining the discussion were:

Families take photos next to a Black Panther banner at the St. Louis Science Center First Friday event dedicated to Black Panther on Feb. 2., 2018
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Welcome to Wakanda, the technologically advanced fictional nation that is the setting for an upcoming superhero, blockbuster film.

If you are not sure where that is, try asking the thousands of people who pre-ordered tickets to “Black Panther,” the film with the most first-day presales in history.

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