Grand Center

Grand Center Arts District Widens Its Horizons

Apr 4, 2014

It's time for my yearly update on Grand Center. What a happening and hopping place it has become. There have been dozens of additions to the arts district and still more are about to open.

Richard Baker
Provided by Richard Baker

Richard Baker, president of Fox Associates since 2001 and a member of the Fox Theatre staff in a variety of capacities since 1986, is leaving to become president and CEO of the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on March 17.

Earlier this week, Baker sat down for a lengthy interview that looked back on his eventful 27-plus years at the Fox, the evolution of Grand Center during that time, and an unpredictable career path that took a young boy who loved theater and Broadway from dreams of becoming a doctor, to a degree in accounting, and then full circle to the Fox.

Table and Chairs
Duet Gallery

A table can connect families, foster discussion or encourage a game of cards. This weekend, a table in Grand Center also provides a canvas for artistic and cultural expression.

“Table” opened Thursday night at the new Duet art space, 3526 Washington Ave., with an evening of drinks and folk music. Friday night at 7, the custom wood design by Martin Goebel becomes the stage for a new media performance.

Our preview of the exhibits opening Friday at CAM includes video of artist Joyce Pensato doing what she loves most: playing with paint, and a look at the work of  Nicole Eisenman.

The title “I Killed Kenny” smacks of death in its reference to the recurring demise of the "South Park" icon. But the exhibit's more about Brooklyn artist Joyce Pensato bringing new life to animated characters ranging from Homer Simpson to Mickey Mouse.

Vanity Projects

Using words like “play” and “permissiveness” in its promotional materials, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts wants to make sure St. Louisans know it's operating on a different frequency in the upcoming “Reset” program.

First Night 2013 poster
Courtesy First Night

Grand Center has a two-pronged approach for luring more revelers to its “First Night” New Year’s Eve party this year.

Organizers look to active entertainment to bring in the families and a wide spectrum of participants. And they hope a more mature late-night lineup will attract teenagers and adults without children.

GCAA website

Lynne Glickert, who was ousted as principal of Grand Center Arts Academy, then brought back as interim principal after a storm of parental and student protest, has been named to a newly created leadership position at the school.

Courtesy of Stewart Goldstein

After being ousted from their home at The Grandel Theatre in Grand Center, The Black Rep theater company has found a new place for its productions at Harris-Stowe State University.

The company will now hold its performances at the Emerson Performance Center on the school’s campus, which seats over 200. The Grandel Theatre was owned by Grand Center Incorporated, which sold it earlier this summer.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra serenaded officials and more than 40 onlookers as the ribbon was cut on the refurbished Grand Ave. Bridge.

Dignitaries said the bridge will be a critical link in the heart of the city, connecting cultural institutions at Grand Center with St. Louis University and Harris Stowe State University.   

Alderwoman Marlene Davis expects the $22 million bridge project and the adjoining $7 million Metro Scott Ave. Transit Project to yield an economic boost.

(via Flickr/Paul Sableman)

The federal government has filed a new indictment against former St. Louis real estate mogul John Steffen for allegedly misusing funds he had promised as collateral for a bank loan.

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