Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

The Lens: Over the moon for 'Moon'


This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 31, 2009 - Science-fiction movies are typically big-name/big-studio/big-budget affairs, but “Moon” is an independent first feature film by industry veteran Duncan Jones. It recalls “Gattaca” (1997) in its hard questions about the uses of technology, the ethics of corporations and nation-states – and the meaning of being human.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 1, 2010 - With Clayton's smoking ban begining today, smoke and mixed feelings filled the air in many of the municipality's bars and restaurants Wednesday night. 

While many restaurant customers and employees support the ban that prohibits smoking in Clayton restaurants, several oppose it, saying the ban infringes on their individual rights.

(June 26, 2019) Soccer coaches Olivia Silverman (at left) and Lori Chalupny-Lawson joined Wednesday's talk show to talk about the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and the state of local women's soccer.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The United States will advance to the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup after a 2-1 victory Monday against Spain. Now they’re set to play the host nation of France this Friday, during a game anticipated to be the most-expensive-to-attend Women’s World Cup game ever.

In anticipation of the game, St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann delved into the Women’s World Cup and the state of women’s soccer in St. Louis on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air

A KMOV Channel 4 reporter records a news story from the 1984 Pride parade, where marchers carried pink balloons. It wasn't until the 1990s that the rainbow flag became a common symbol in St. Louis and nationwide.
Provided | Scott Lokitz

When Scott Lokitz was a gay teenager, his mother and grandmother took him to march with dozens of other gay and lesbian St. Louisans down Lindell Boulevard in the city’s first Pride parade.

Marching in a Pride parade was a bold move in 1980, a time when state and national laws forbade consensual same-sex relationships. But Lokitz felt right at home at St. Louis’ first Pride celebration, four decades ago. His mother had come out as lesbian and his grandmother was a member of PFLAG, an organization for those with a gay or lesbian family member.

Kris Kleindienst is co-owner of Left Bank Books.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Left Bank Books is turning 50 this year, and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, co-owner Kris Kleindienst talked about the shop’s storied history with St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann.

Located in St. Louis’ bustling Central West End neighborhood, the independent bookseller got its start in 1969 when a group of Washington University graduate students set out to create a place where one could find all kinds of literature.

Left Bank will formally celebrate its 50-year milestone in October.

Among the films in the series is 'The Kinloch Doc' by Alana Woodson, which traces Kinloch's demise.
Paul Sableman | Wikimedia Commons

ArchCity Defenders uses the cash bail system, the death of Michael Brown Jr. and the movements that grew out of the Ferguson unrest to shine light on racial injustice and inequalities with their second annual racial justice film series. 

The law firm will first showcase “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” on Thursday night at the Kranzberg Arts Center. The film, by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, outlines the life of gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who served in the background as an organizer of the civil rights movement.

Nearly 8 Decades Later, Remains Of Trenton Sailor Who Died At Pearl Harbor Are Headed Home

Jun 24, 2019
William "Billy" Klasing was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His remains were recently identified by scientists with the Defense Prisoners/Missing in Action Accounting Agency.
Moss Funeral Home

A Trenton man was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. After nearly 78 years, his remains are finally coming home.

Navy electrician’s mate 3rd Class William “Billy” Klasing was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, a vessel that after being attacked by a Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941, quickly capsized. Eighteen-year-old Klasing, along with 429 other crewmen, died on the battleship.

'Waltz with Bashir': astonishing and heartbreaking

Jun 23, 2019

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2009 - The stunning Israeli animated film "Waltz with Bashir" begins with a nightmare, a nightmare it never really escapes.

An Israeli man who had been a soldier during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon dreams, time and time again, that he is being pursued and attacked by a pack of crazed dogs. He asks one of his former comrades, Ari Folman, what he thinks the dream could possibly mean. It seems to be associated with the war. Folman, as he begins to examine his memories, realizes with horror that he remembers almost nothing about the war, even though he had participated in the invasion of Beirut. It is as if most of that portion of his memory had been excised, lobotomized.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 23, 2019, will present “Real Traditional Jazz Plus New Music.”  Traditional jazz combos did not use tubas for their bass instrument.  They used a string bass or banjo or no bass at all.

This article first appeared in the St Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2009 - Two 19-year-old St. Louis students expect to find themselves inside the Oval Office during the coming week as they present the Boy Scouts of America’s annual report to President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Washington officials.

Sugarfire Smoke House is the 2019 readers' choice winner of best restaurant and best barbecue.
Jonathan Gayman | Sauce Magazine

Every year, Sauce Magazine puts its critiques of local bars and eateries to the side and lets readers decide which restaurants and chefs deserve the spotlight.

This year, Sugarfire Smoke House won three Readers’ Choice awards: Favorite Restaurant, Favorite Barbecue and Chef of the Year – which went to Matt Glickert, catering and events chef for Sugarfire 44 in Valley Park, Missouri.

From left, Joe Hess and Daniel Hill joined Friday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ biggest local music festival gets underway Friday evening and all day Saturday with a lineup that the Riverfront Times has billed as its best yet. Featuring more than 100 performances by St. Louis-based bands across 11 venues, ShowcaseSTL 2019 aims to match that quantity with quality, and organizers have taken a collaborative, input-heavy approach to planning.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jim Kirchherr of the Nine Network talked with RFT music editor Daniel Hill and with Joe Hess, who has spearheaded the curation of the lineup.

This year’s theme is the idea of discovery. The festival presents both long-established artists and emerging ones, in all sorts of musical genres, for concertgoers.

A bible belonging to Abraham Lincoln has been unveiled to the public for the first time in 150 years.

Camp facilitator Phil Robie demonstrates some design details [6/21/19]
Kara Hayes Smith

On a recent Thursday morning, 27 kids, mostly teenagers, sat at tables and used their imaginations to sketch out ideas for new buildings that would do some good in their communities. Models they’d made from household items and craft supplies, all painted gold, sat on the tables. Some of the kids made small versions of the buildings they’d envisioned. Others crafted abstract sculptural pieces.

A looped beat played in the background, fueling their inspiration both for this project and for the day’s big event, coming later: a rap battle.

This gathering at the Natural Bridge branch of St. Louis County Library in Normandy was one of 11 week-long events run around the country this summer by Hip Hop Architecture Camp, an organization based in Madison, Wisconsin.

The goal is to foster the creative spark that lies at the heart of both hip-hop and architecture, and explore ways that one discipline can influence the other.

Gena Stringer labors in the hospital with doula Benetta Ward as Brittany Ferrell captures the moment for her film project.
Provided | Brittany Ferrell

When a Ferguson police officer killed Michael Brown in 2014, St. Louisan Brittany Ferrell left nursing school to join the protests. Five years later, she’s pouring her activism into another outlet: a film project.

“You Lucky You Got a Mama” focuses on how African Americans are three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and childbirth as white women.

Ferrell wants to show people that the higher risk to African Americans is a complicated situation with a simple cause.

“Let’s name it for what it is, and it’s racism,” Ferrell said. “It’s racial bias.”

St. Louisan Chris Bolyard of Bolyard's Meat and Provisions in Maplewood joined Wednesday's talk show to talk about his appearance on the new History Channel television series called "The Butcher."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Many years ago, St. Louisan Chris Bolyard made the decision to switch careers and go from working in restaurants to providing them with an alternative to big-box grocery store meat. He went on to become head butcher and owner of Bolyard’s Meat and Provisions located in Maplewood.

Now the local face will soon be familiar to many across the nation after his appearance on a new History Channel television series called “The Butcher,” which airs 9 p.m. tonight. The goal of the show is to help educate the public on the skills that it takes to butcher whole animals.

Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street hosted a release party for "The St. Louis Anthology" last Friday. The volume's editor, Ryan Schuessler poses for a picture with Vivian Gibson (at right), whose story "Sun Up to Sundown" is one of nearly 70 pieces in the
Belt Publishing & Ryan Schuessler

Poems about St. Louis’ vibrant Bosnian community. A story of racial segregation in 1907 St. Louis that still resonates. An ode to Imo’s. These are just a few of the nearly 70 locally focused writings that fill “The St. Louis Anthology,” a newly released 240-page book spearheaded by St. Louis native Ryan Schuessler.

“My two biggest goals when putting this together were to have the volume be as diverse and representative as possible,” Schuessler, the editor, has said, “and to have as many first-person narratives [and] takes as possible – as in, having people write about their own experiences, even if they're not writers.”

Described on its back cover as “a love letter to those moments and people … that are so St. Louis,” the anthology “dares to confront the city’s nostalgia and its trauma,” all while celebrating the people who live there.

(L-R) Peggy Holly, Christopher Limber and Mark Abels talked about the 2019 Grand Center Theatre Crawl on Tuesday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Next weekend, a two-day pop-up theater experience will take place in and around Grand Center. Participants in the 2019 Grand Center Theatre Crawl will be able to explore new venues while enjoying short performances by over 20 local theater companies.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Holly Edgell discussed what all the event will entail with Mark Abels, treasurer of West End Players Guild; Christopher Limber, artistic director of Prison Performing Arts; and Peggy Holly, event founder and lead volunteer organizer.

(June 17, 2019) Author Marie-Christine Williams (at left) and Ron Klutho talked about an upcoming program at the Missouri History Museum to commemorate UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Monday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

From April to July 1994, nearly a million people lost their lives as members of the ethnic Hutu majority slaughtered them during the Rwandan Civil War.

The United Nations solemnizes the tragedy among others by marking June 26 as the UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Locally, the Missouri Historical Society has partnered with Bilingual International Assistant Services and the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center to create a program next week titled  Triumph Over Darkness.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 16, 2019, will present “The Compositions of Antonio Carlos Jobim.”  Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim was the one who brought bossa nova to the international scene in the early sixties.  He was much more than a composer of pleasant melodies.  Jobim’s compositions will be played and sung by himself & Elis Regina, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, our own Herb Drury, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Cannonball Adderley, our own Sherry Drake, Paul Desmond, the Great guitars, Kevin Mahogany, Branford Marsalis & Kurt Elling, Elvin Jones, Chet

The restaurant contest provided two years free rent, along with a nearly finished 4,464-square-foot space equipped with walk-in freezers, food-prep areas and a ventilation system.
Good Life Growing

A St. Louis urban farming operation is getting ready to open a grocery store and takeout place across from Crown Candy Kitchen later this month, nearly two years after winning a startup contest.

In August 2017, Good Life Growing won the competition with an idea to offer locally grown produce and takeout meals at a new enterprise, Old North Provisions.

But construction and marketing challenges delayed the opening at 2720 N. 14th St., now planned for late June. The experience has been more complicated than the “if you build it, they will come” mindset that many contestants had, according to co-founder James Forbes.

Floats and fire trucks make their way down Market Street during the Blues championship parade in downtown St. Louis on Saturday.
Nick Schnelle | Special to St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Blues fans by the tens of thousands gathered downtown Saturday to watch their team celebrate its first Stanley Cup victory.

The rain let up just as the parade began at noon. Floats, which featured individual players and their families, started at 18th Street and moved slowly down Market Street toward Gateway Arch National Park.

Dabke is a native Levantine folk dance performed in a line dance.
Courtesy of Rawan Abusaid

A showcase of Palestinian culture gets underway at noon this Sunday at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. Palestinians are often portrayed in the media only when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, but not much is discussed about the nuances of their culture, from the food they eat to the different identities that make up the culture. 


Blues fans celebrate winning the Stanley Cup at a watch party Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Fans will say this parade has been 52 years in the making. Those organizing it put the event together in a matter of days.

“We’re very superstitious in hockey,” said Steve Chapman of the Blues’ front office. “So we started planning this about two days into the Stanley Cup Final. Quietly, very quietly.”

But details are set for the Blues’ championship parade and rally to celebrate the team winning the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup this week. It’s the team’s first championship.

Julia Bullock and Davóne Tines in "Fire Shut Up in My Bones." [6/14/19]
Eric Woolsey

Terence Blanchard knows from experience that an opera that sounds and looks different from the classic repertory can bring new audiences to an old art form.

“An elderly African American man came up to me” after a performance of Blanchard’s jazz-infused opera "Champion" in 2013, the trumpeter/bandleader recalled, “and he said: Man, if this is opera, I will come.”

With his latest magnum opus, Blanchard wants to continue changing popular perceptions about opera — particularly, what stories it can tell, and who does the telling.

“Fire Shut Up In My Bones,” based on the memoir of New York Times columnist Charles Blow, makes its world premiere Saturday at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

St. Louis Blues fans embrace after a long-awaited first Stanley Cup win for the franchise. They joined thousands who watched the historic win on the video board at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. June 12, 2019
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has the Blues, and fans can't get enough of them.

In its 52nd season in the National Hockey League, the hockey team — the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues — hoisted the prized trophy for the first time after defeating the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, 4-1, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston.

It was history. The kind of put-down-your-phone-and-yell history that fans — old and new — will remember for the rest of their lives.

Where were you when the Blues won the Stanley Cup?

The 2017 Pride St. Charles Festival took place for the first time in the city's Frontier Park, drawing 12,000 people.
Provided | Sandy Sharp

The St. Charles Pride Festival has become so popular that five years after its launch, the organization behind it is adding a parade down historic Main Street.

When Pride St. Charles announced its first festival, the group expected pushback in the largely conservative area. Jason Dunn, a vice president, said the community instead welcomed the idea.

“When we started, we were honestly a little concerned,” Dunn said. “But the first question we got was, ‘What time is the parade?’”

Photographer goes back to future with iPhone pics

Jun 12, 2019

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 20, 2012 - Remember before everyone had pictures on their phones, and they’d whip out a bunch of snapshots of their new baby or recent Party Cove bash? Photographer Jamie Kreher’s “Equivalents,” opening Friday at Good Citizen Gallery, is kind of like that but on a much bigger scale.

The moon appears above Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in this recent photograph by St. Louisan Andy Magee.
Andy Magee

On the first day of 2019, St. Louis resident Andy Magee embarked on an unusual adventure with a goal to visit all 418 National Park Service units around the U.S. within the course of a single year. He’s now five months into that journey – and back in St. Louis this week for a pit stop.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, he joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jonathan Ahl to give an update on his travels, which began during the federal government shutdown.

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for June 9, 2019, will present “The Career of Chris Potter.”  Downbeat Award winner Chris Potter was born in Chicago, but was raised in South Carolina.  He was a professional musician by the age of 13 and after completing his schooling at the New school and Manhattan School of Music, began playing with Red Rodney.  A very in-demand player who plays all the reed instruments, Potter has worked and recorded with a wide range of musicians, including Patricia Barber, Kenny Werner, the Mingus Big Band, the Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band, Urbie Green, Rene Marie, Dave Do