Arts & Culture

Diane Rehm
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Famed NPR host Diane Rehm has not scaled back the magnitude of the issues she is tackling after she announced her planned retirement from behind the microphone earlier this year. In fact, she is taking on one of the most difficult topics for most of us to talk about: death.

Carmen Troesser | Sauce Magazine

Two St. Louis chefs are finalists in the James Beard Foundation Awards in the category of Best Chef: Midwest.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Fog added a magical touch to the drive along the Great River Road in Illinois on Sunday. 

For much of the day, the fog held thick over the water at Grafton, the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. By dusk, the blanket had thinned, offering stunning photo ops.

One of the rugs in the Carpet and the Connoiseur exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum. This is a western Anatolian knotteed woll carpet with 'Lotto' patter from the 16th century.
Courtesy, St. Louis Art Museum

In the art exhibitions business, when you find yourself faced with the conflicting character attributes of a millionaire who built his fortune on patent medicines of questionable quality yet who carried with him works of art of extraordinary aesthetic and historical value, you can be reasonably certain of having a hit on your hands.

Some St. Louisans enjoy a full breakfast; others get by on coffee alone. Then there's everything in between, from rum cake to Gogurts.
Susannah Lohr / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is known for toasted Ravioli and Ted Drewes. But what do we eat for the most important meal of the day?

We at St. Louis Public Radio have become sorta-experts on what St. Louisans wake up to. That’s because when we interview people (including each other), we often begin with the question, “What did you have for breakfast?” to check our microphone levels.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for March 13, 2016 will be “Jazz Families-Blood Relatives-Part 5.”  This last program on the genetics of jazz will feature music by the Joe and Walter “Foots” Thomas, the New Orleans Humphrey, Joseph, Batiste, Barker, Barbarin, and Jordan families, George E. and Julia Lee, the Hall Brothers, Nicholas Payton and his father Walter, the Sims brothers, St. Louis’s Silverman brothers, the Freemans of Chicago, Oscar Pettiford and his brother Alonzo, Ingrid and Christine Jensen, and Alice Coltrane and her half brother, Ernie Farrow.

Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

A penalty of more than $422,000 that had been sought from the Nine Network in St Louis by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been reduced to a little more than $32,000.

After an in-depth investigation, CPB said that the station, better known as KETC Channel 9, had not misspent any funds connected with its lead role in the nationwide American Graduate program.

Octarrarium projection still
Provided by Kevin Harris

Artists Chad Eivens and Kevin Harris are designing an immersive video experience unlike anything else in St. Louis.

They’ve created a room at RAC where movements and sounds are recorded, processed, and projected on eight separate screens. The project involves complicated video manipulations but the artists say the heart of the project rests in the experience.

“It’s almost on a very simple level like what a carny would do when he brings in the merry-go-round or some kind of experience or ride for someone to enjoy,” said Eivens.

Mt. Thelonious for Tiny Desk Concert
Provided by Mt. Thelonious

Mt. Thelonious band members want to respect the music they play.

“It’s about honoring the music by playing it. Not just playing it and being frivolous and trying to show off, but trying to be worthy of the song that you’re actually playing,” said Ian Lubar, the band’s guitarist and vocalist.

Exhibition room at Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Kristina Van Dyke, co-curator of “Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art” currently on display at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation through March 19, describes the discovery of the Kota reliquary figures and their naming as an “accident of history.”

Hazard to Ya Booty performs on STL Up Late
Provided by Hazard to Ya Booty

NPR's Tiny Desk Contest gives bands the chance to compete for a full concert at NPR’s headquarters, appear on Ask Me Another, and tour across the country.

To bring that competition home St. Louis Public Radio held our own Tiny Desk Contest. We collected submissions to the national contest and had you, our readers and listeners, vote on your favorite act.  Each day we're posting short profiles and band Q & A's for the top five acts. (Find out about our very own Tiny Desk concert here at St. Louis Public Radio.)

Hou Yifan played at the Showdown in St. Louis.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

What a month for the chess world! There are many events around the globe that are fighting for the attention of the chess audience, but two definitely top the bunch. The Candidates Tournament, Tuesday, March 8 - Tuesday March 29, features eight of the best players, and the winner qualifies to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen to the supreme chess title.

Two American grandmasters will be participating, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.

In the meantime, the Women’s World Chess Championship is already underway.

Tatiana Berman performs as part of Not So Classical
Provided by David Donnelly

Filmmaker David Donnelly is on a mission to keep classical music relevant.  For him it’s all about the genre’s ability to bring together history and personal experience.

“Something may have been composed centuries ago, but then you hear it and it feels like it was written for you, and that’s this continuum of human civilization,” Donnelly said.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

More and more people are trying to shed their heirloom pianos. While many of these instruments end up in the landfill, one St. Louis nonprofit is trying to give the instruments new life.

Fox Smith is one of eight storytellers who will talk about women's bodies at an event called "Picturing Women." In this photo, she's participating in a cosplay event, which involves dressing up, usually like an anime or video-game character.
Fox Smith

Images of the perfect female form are all around us, on social media, in movies and in advertisements for products from liquor to luxury cars. It’s hard not to feel inferior no matter what kind of body you have.

Fox Smith of Shrewsbury has complicated feelings about her appearance.

"Somewhere between loving and hating [my] body," Smith said.

Seven-year-old Phoenix Torno checks out his own reflection in the telescope's internal mirror, while his younger brother Bodhi tries to get in on the action.
Véronique LaCapra|St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Libraries throughout the St. Louis area will soon have more telescopes available for checkout.

The St. Louis Astronomical Society put 29 telescopes together over the weekend, bringing the total number of telescopes at area libraries to 88 by March 17.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 6, 2016 is “The Compositions of Richard Rodgers.”  Richard Rodgers was a composer who wrote over 900 compositions.  Music from his Broadway shows is used in jazz.  His music will be performed on this show by Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Bill Watrous, Roy Hargrove, Donald Byrd, Pepper Adams, Billie Holiday, the Great Jazz Trio, Gerry Mulligan, Nat Adderley, Sonny Clark, Miles Davis, Roger Kellaway, Red Mitchell. Gene Harris, John McLaughlin, Cassandra Wilson and Oliver Nelson.  This show is part of St.

J. Henry Fair

Sharon Isbin, a renowned classical guitarist, will come to St. Louis next week. Isbin has performed with over 170 orchestras around the world, often joins Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and has received multiple Grammy Awards.  

Although she started playing guitar when she was only nine years old in Italy and primarily grew up in Minneapolis, her return to St. Louis will be a bit of a homecoming.

Audio Agitation
Laura Heidotten | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s audio agitation is inspired by wanderlust, our health reporter's recent travels to Thailand, and the desire to get up and go. Sometimes the sun is up, the breeze is fine, and it doesn’t matter where you’re headed, you just need to be in motion. At that point it's time to take a walk or hop in the car or on a train. Many songs about travel also acknowledge the troubles that come with travel, because it's not always an easy ride.

Women and police on South Grand during a gathering to mourn VonDerrit Myers
Provided by Jarred Gastriech

Grand Center gallery Duet is pairing photographs by two photographers who documented the Ferguson Protests and the Bataclan shootings in Paris, as well as street life from the larger metro areas of both cities.  Both the gallerist and co-curator said the juxtaposition is intended to spark viewer’s awareness of the photographers’ unique perspectives in both circumstances.

"There are two things that go on with the photograph; the things that you know intellectually and culturally, and then the thing that makes a photograph special, that there’s something personal about it," said gallery owner and Lindenwood University Professor Daniel McGrath.

Grant's Farm bridge with sign thanking attendees for visiting
William K. Busch Brewing Company

Updated 1:00 p.m. March 4 with Zoo's offer withdrawn:

The St. Louis Zoo’s plan to buy Grant’s Farm from a Busch family trust has fallen through. In a statement the Zoo says it’s withdrawn its conditional offer of about $30 million citing a legal dispute among the six heirs of the late beer baron Gussie Busch. Four of the six siblings have wanted to release the land from the trust, but Billy Busch is fighting to keep it in the family.  Earlier this week, he unveiled a five-year plan to acquire and develop the family-attraction with a small theater, and brewery.  A St. Louis Circuit Court hearing regarding the sale is scheduled for March 28.

Original article March 2:

A prominent member of the Busch family is providing more details about his plans for Grant's Farm. Billy Busch is trying to acquire the St. Louis County attraction and has unveiled a five-year business plan that calls for a small theater, brewery and continued free admission.

Watching the videos for all of the St. Louis singers, songwriters, bands and musicians who submitted entries to NPR's Tiny Desk Contest 2016 was not heavy lifting.

Why would it be?

There were creative interpretations of what constitutes a "desk." But best of all, original songs across genres offered a feel for the wealth of local talent we have in our area.

Conrad Anker Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

American mountaineer Conrad Anker is a surprisingly laid-back guy for someone who led the three-person team to the first-ever summit of the formidable Shark's Fin of Meru Peak (also starring in the doc that won a prestigious Audience Award at Sundance last year). He was also the man who found the body of climber George Mallory on his first summit of Mt. Everest.

These baseball caps (Cardinals, Pirates, two Orioles, KC Royals and Detroit Tigers) spell out "spookd" in a piece by artist Ryan Doyle.
Ryan Doyle

Make no mistake. As a white man, artist Ryan Doyle does not try to "explain" racism to anyone.

Doyle’s work is a way to explore his own experiences and the racist environment we all live in. Take his recent work using baseball caps. It features molds of the caps’ home team letters, spelling out "spookd."

On Chess: Boy Scouts learn the merit of chess

Mar 3, 2016
Joshua Becher constructed his own giant chess set, in which each of the pieces are represented by different scouting ranks.
Provided by Joshua Becher

On Feb. 27, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis again hosted a Boy Scout chess merit badge workshop. Since launching the merit badge in 2011, the Chess Club has helped hundreds of scouts achieve their chess merit badge. It hosts a free five-hour weekend chess workshop, where certified instructors teach scouts chess topics, including the basics of the game, intermediate strategy and tactics, and even how to play in a chess tournament.

Courtesy, the Sheldon Art Gallery

A visitor finds it difficult to move along to the next picture when he’s looking at Radcliffe Bailey’s absorbing and  many-layered glittery print, “Tricky 3.” This large, complex and challenging picture at the Sheldon Art Galleries sets the tone for a new exhibition, “Printmaking in St. Louis Now.” In size,  scope, substance and intention, the show qualifies as a respectable blockbuster.

Multicolored peppers
mgstanton | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1QRJCip

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of March.

Meera Nagarajan and Heather Hughes, the magazine’s art director and managing editor, respectively, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list? Olive & Oak, Boundary, The Muddled Pig Gastropub, and more.

Michael Uthoff, second from left, talks with students, along with Dance St. Louis’ Janet Brown. (Brown is in the middle on the right-hand side of the photo).
Dance St. Louis

Dance St. Louis is under new leadership as it winds down its 50th season, after executive and artistic director Michael Uthoff announced he's leaving after 10 years.

"I’m 72 and I figure I need some time to smell the roses," Uthoff said.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A native of St. Louis, Leon Burke III began music studies at age 12. By age 16 he was already conducting. Although he was also interested in science and math, he chose music as his field of study in college, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas. He also studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Operations manager Robbie Pratte pointed to an orange line on a utility post outside the landmark Bolduc House Museum in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., that is set to reopen on Tuesday.

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