Sun Theater

Shualee Cook and Sara Burke
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Since 2002, the Visionary Awards have honored 68 St. Louis-area women for contributions to the arts, but this year's list includes a first.

Shualee Cook, 37, a transgender woman, is honored as an Emerging Artist for her skills as a playwright. Cook’s “An Invitation Out” opens at Mustard Seed Theater Friday, April 17.

Amanda Honigfort / St. Louis Public Radio

The Sun Theater in Grand Center has reopened after nearly 40 years of neglect and abandonment.

On Grandel Square near Powell Hall and the Fox Theatre, the Sun Theater is being leased by the Grand Center Arts Academy. The Lawrence Group, a St. Louis-based design firm, spent $11.5 million on the theater’s renovation.

Lynne Glickert, executive director of the Grand Center Arts Academy, said she was always hopeful the school would be able to use the Sun Theater for its 535 students. The school is the Beaux Arts Building, which is next to the Sun.