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Arts Interview with Nancy Kranzberg

Nancy Kranzberg talks with artists, performers and movers and shakers in the arts community. Interviews cover music, visual arts, dance, literature and performance. Produced by Nancy Kranzberg and Jon Valley. Edited by Jon Valley, with engineering assistance by Mid-Coast.
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Nancy Kranzberg talks with artists, performers and movers and shakers in the arts community. Interviews cover music, visual arts, dance, literature and performance.

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Mar 10, 2023

The Rep is a live professional theatre company. Founded in 1966, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is a fully professional theatrical operation belonging to the League of Resident Theatres, The League of St. Louis Theatres and is a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Inc., the national service organization for the not-for-profit professional theatre.-----

Danny Williams became The Rep’s Managing Director in January 2022.  An experienced arts administrator, Danny has expertise in nonprofit accounting, senior management, and organizational development.  Prior to joining The Rep, Danny worked at The Public Theater in New York, where he served in various roles since 2006. Most recently, as Senior Director, Finance and Administration, he managed the daily and strategic financial operations of the $50 million nonprofit organization, successfully launched an organization-wide intranet, partnered with the development team to achieve fundraising goals, and collaborated on long-term financial planning and analysis, including cash investment strategies, budget analysis, and project management.  Noteworthy and favorite productions include Broadway productions of Fun Home, Eclipsed, Hamilton, and Hair along with Off-Broadway productions of Here Lies Love, Into the Woods, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, White Noise, and Rock Bottom. ------

As a performer, Danny was featured in the 2002 Westport Country Playhouse pre-Broadway production of Our Town starring Academy Award winner, Paul Newman. He also performed extensively as an improvisor at various venues in New York. Williams directed several NY Fringe Festival productions including Gated and Yellow Brick Wall, both written by Marisa Marquez.  For several years, Danny has been affiliated with the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana, bringing world class theater to the Treasure State.  Danny produced productions of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, directed by Laura Savia, the world premiere production of Levity by Stephanie DiMaggio, directed by Stella Powell-Jones, The Last Five Years directed by Jason McDowell-Green, and [title of show] directed by Danny Sharron. -----

Williams has held roles with Musical Theatre International and Manhattan Theatre Club and has served as an adjunct professor in the performing arts management master of fine arts program at Brooklyn College. He earned degrees in marketing and theater from Fairfield University and spent a semester abroad studying at Regents University in the United Kingdom.------

Mar 1, 2023

Grant Benoit, Director of Education for Craft Alliance, stopped by to talk about some exhibits and the institution. ------ 

Grant Benoit (American, 1990) is an interdisciplinary artist who observes notions of memory through printmaking, sculpture, and craft methods.  In his practice, Benoit combines traditional printmedia with installation and sculpture to reinterpret the mechanics of memory in more human ways through the lens of the domestic space. Through printing wallpaper, he works through ideas of domesticity, place, and memory through a print practice that speaks to printmaking's industrial beginnings. ------

He received his Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Southern Illinois University in 2015, and his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from Spring Hill College in 2012.  Benoit exhibits nationally and internationally, most recently being selected to exhibit work at the Printmaking Center of New Jersey, DEMO Project in Springfield, IL,  Williamson Museum in Wirral, England, and Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. Benoit was a 2016-17 Artist in Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and  the 2017-18 Community Artist at the Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts. He is a member of the 12 member collective, Good Children Gallery in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. ------ 

Feb 24, 2023
Cbabi (pronounced Kuh-bob-bi) Bayoc is an internationally-known visual artist and illustrator residing in St. Louis, Missouri. His subjects include family, children, music and a bunch of other cool stuff designed with line, bold color and phunk!
 
Bayoc, whose birth name is Clifford Miskell, Jr., adopted his name CBABI (Creative-Black-Artist-Battling- Ignorance) during his time at Grambling State University (‘92-‘95). In 1997, a legal name change took place at the time of his marriage. Later, Cbabi would change his last name to BAYOC (Blesed-African-Youth-Of-Creativity) as something that could be shared with his future children.
 
His murals can be seen around St. Louis, and he did the album cover artwork for Prince's Rainbow Children.
Feb 15, 2023

Jessica Baran is a St. Louis, Missouri-based writer and curator interested in the interplay between art, place, and identity. She’s the author of three poetry collections, and her art reviews and essays appear regularly in publications such as Artforum and Art in America, among others. In 2021 she received an Arts Writers Grant for short-form criticism from the Andy Warhol Foundation to support critical writing about artists and exhibitions situated across the greater Midwestern region. In the summer of 2022, She conducted research on the People’s Art Center of St. Louis (1945-1965) with the support of a Divided City graduate research fellowship.------

Alongside her freelance writing, which has included an art column for the alt-newsweekly the Riverfront Times (2008-2012), she’s spent over a decade organizing exhibitions and programming at a range of independent and community-focused art spaces in St. Louis. From 2008-2011, she was the Assistant Director of White Flag Projects; from 2012-2016, she was the Director of fort gondo compound for the arts; and from 2017-2021, she was the Director of Curatorial and Program Development at Barrett Barrera Projects (2017-2021). She is also an educator who has instructed and advised graduate students in the MFA program at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art (2012-2017); taught writing courses in St. Louis University’s Prison Arts & Education program (2013-2017); and overseen numerous public workshops, discussions and literary events.------- 

Feb 4, 2023

Carol Crouppen Schuchard, is an artist currently based in St. Louis, Missouri, lived and worked as a studio artist in St Louis for twenty five years – exhibiting work in galleries and museums in the U.S. and abroad. Her degrees include the University of Missouri, Columbia, and post graduate studies at Fontbonne College and Washington University. ------

Under the name of Boo Cat Projects Carol and her artist husband Patrick Schuchard have restored, renovated and designed dozens of historic landmark buildings. The Schuchards’ activities as painters and image makers center on the making, realization and uncovering peculiar beauty in the made object or built place. ------

 

Jan 31, 2023

Bob Bennett, Artistic Director of Jazz St. Louis stopped by to talk with Nancy about the goings on at the institution. 

For over 25 years, Jazz St. Louis has been the foremost presenter of jazz in St. Louis and throughout the region. We are dedicated to preserving the legacy of this musical genre. Hundreds of local and nationally renowned musicians, such as Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr. and Al Jarreau have graced our stage. Our state-of-the-art Ferring Jazz Bistro has earned praise from artists and patrons alike as one of the best listening rooms in the country. Year after year, Jazz St. Louis strives to be the leader in showcasing unique and diverse jazz performers and preserves the shared cultural heritage embodied in jazz music through our educational programs. ------

 

Jan 29, 2023

Karen Lucas, Curator of the High Noon Series at the High Low which is the Kranzberg Arts Foundation's literary arts cafe. The events are held in the listening room at the High Low.

The Listening Room: A 150-person event space is dedicated to literary arts-focused content including poetry readings, storytelling, literary series, and book signings. Featuring state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, a full-service bar, and a professional box office, the space is available for expanded gallery exhibitions, installations, traditional and chamber music, and special events.

Jan 20, 2023

Amy Shaw, President and CEO of Nine PBS, stopped by to speak to Nancy about her career and the happenings at the station. -----

After the sudden passing of Jack Galmiche on April 16 of 2019, Amy Shaw, Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer, was named interim president and chief executive officer. ------ 

After a nation search for a new president and chief executive officer, Amy Shaw was chosen for the Job. ----- 

Subjects covered include how locally produced and national shows work on the station, the new revamp of Living St. Louis, and the change of branding to Nine PBS. ----- 

 

 

 

Jan 12, 2023

Mary Ann Srenco, a Trustee for the Kranzberg Arts Foundation stopped by to speak with Nancy about the Walls Off Washington project. ----- 

The Walls Off Washington features 20 thought-provoking murals by renowned local, national and international artists. The murals are painted on (and off) walls between Josephine Baker Boulevard and N. Leonard Ave. and behind KAF venues Sophie’s Artists Lounge and High Low. Walk-in hours for The Walls off Washington are 1pm to sunset, Wednesday through Saturday. ----- 

Jan 5, 2023

Colin Healy and Bradley Rohlf of Fly North Theatricals stopped by to talk about the company's works and programs.

Colin Healy is a dog-owner based in the city of St. Louis who is also a composer, music director, and the artistic director of Fly North Theatricals. Starting at age 15, as a touring singer/songwriter with South Florida-based rock band The Republik, Colin's work as a recording artist spans five full-length studio albums -- three as a performer (Last Chance Planet, 2006; The Unexpected Answer, 2010; We Are The Wild Things, 2012), and two as a producer (The Gringo: Original St. Louis Cast Album, 2017; Seeing Other People: A New Musical Concept, 2021). 2012's We Are The Wild Things, was recorded at Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne, Crybaby: The Musical) and James Iha's (Smashing Pumpkins) legendary Stratosphere Studios in New York and was produced by Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls). Healy's body of studio work has been recognized by Billboard, College Music Journal and has received radio play nationwide. His work as a composer includes 4 works of musical theatre: Forgottonia, The Gringo, Madam, and Big Machine and one cast album entitled Seeing Other People. Madam was nominated for five St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards in 2021 and The Gringo was one of the headlining acts at the 2018 St. Louis Fringe. It still holds the record for being the best selling show in festival history. Healy has also served as the Artist-In-Residence at both St. Louis University (2020-21) and the Center Of Creative Arts (2022). ------ 

Bradley Rohlf is a musician, writer, producer, and performer based in St. Louis. He was the drummer for local band Finlay Fields, and appears on their releases "What Songs Cannot Repay" (2010), and "From A to B" (2011). As a songwriter and recording artist, he has released two EPs under the moniker Another White Suburbanite, "AWS" (2011), and "Counter Culture" (2012). He began acting in plays and musicals across the metro region in 2013, and garnered a Best Performance Award nomination from Arts For Life for his portrayal of Mr. Bungee in "A New Brain" with Hawthorne Players in 2019. He has worked as a production manager for Fly North Theatricals since the staged reading of Colin Healy's musical "The Gringo" in January 2017. In addition, he has focused on supporting the development of new works by prioritizing attending readings and play festivals with feedback sessions for the writers, and has participated in and organized readings as well. He is a part of the production team for FNT's digital content on YouTube, and he is a co-host of the Grown-Up Theatre Kids podcast. He continues to write songs and is constructing an original book musical. ------ 

 

 

Jan 4, 2023

 

Anna Lum, Poet and Co-Founder of Herding Cats Collective, stopped by to talk with Nancy about her life, career and poetry. ------

Anna Lum has taught Tai Chi since 1973. She evolved from computer programming
to poetry/design. The Urge to Play God, published by MoonShadow Press led to
performing her poetry nationally and internationally. St. Louis’ first Poet Laureate Michael Castro’s anthology “Crossing the Divide” includes her poem “Sitting Down for Yourself”. Volunteering excessively on numerous arts boards she was named St. Louis Woman of Achievement in cultural awareness in 2002. -----

She is also a co-founder of the Herding Cats Collective. ------

Dec 28, 2022

Stéphane Denève, Music Director of SLSO, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the goings on at the symphony. ------

Stéphane Denève is Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, and from 2023 will also be Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. He recently concluded terms as Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic, and previously served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. ------ 

Recognised internationally for the exceptional quality of his performances and programming, Stéphane Denève regularly appears at major concert venues with the world’s greatest orchestras and soloists. He has a special affinity for the music of his native France, and is a passionate advocate for music of the 21st century. ------ 

Dec 20, 2022

Lyah LeFlore-Ituen, President and CEO of The Arts and Education Council, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the happenings at the organization.

Lyah B. LeFlore-Ituen serves as President and CEO of the Arts and Education Council. In this role she oversees all institutional matters including fundraising and grant making. ------

She is a bestselling author, television and film producer, and music supervisor.  As a 30 year entertainment veteran she has worked at Nickelodeon, Uptown Records/Entertainment, Wolf Films/Universal, and ran Alan Haymon Development for over a decade.  LeFlore has also written eight critically-acclaimed books.  She is the co-founder and executive director of the literary arts-based nonprofit, The Shirley Bradley LeFlore Foundation/Creative Arts and Expression Laboratory, which honors LeFlore’s late mother, St. Louis Poet Laureate Emeritus, and 2Leaf Press author, Shirley Bradley Price LeFlore.

Dec 10, 2022

Shannon Bailey, Chief Curator of the World Chess Hall of Fame, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the happenings at the institution, including the exhibition 1972 Fischer/Spassky: The Match, its Origin, and Influence. ------ 

1972 Fischer/Spassky: The Match, its Origin, and Influence celebrates the 50th anniversary of the American Robert "Bobby" Fischer's historic win over the Russian Boris Spassky's legendary gameplay in the 1972 World Chess Championship, ending 24 years of Soviet dominance in the sport. The show features more than 500 artifacts, including chess pieces used in pivotal game three of the "Match of the Century," a replica of the tournament table created by the makers of the original and never-before-exhibited books from the personal library of Bobby Fischer. The exhibition also highlights pieces from the World Chess Hall of Fame collection, loans from the Fischer Library of U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Inductees Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield & Rex Sinquefield, and from photojournalist and Fischer confidant Harry Benson CBE and recently-donated artwork by the LeRoy Neiman & Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation. ---- 

About Bobby Fischer: A chess prodigy, Fischer began playing the game of chess at the age of 6 and by the age of 16 was the youngest player ever to win a U.S. Junior Championship; win a U.S. Championship (record still stands today); become a grandmaster ever at the time; become an international player at that time, and qualify for the Candidates Tournament. In addition, he won the U.S. Open in 1958, was the first non-Sovet to win an Interzonal in 1962, and authored My 60 Memorable Games in 1969, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest pieces of chess literature. Fischer won all eight of the U.S. Chess Championships that he participated in and won all 11 games in the 1964 U.S. Championship—a record that still stands today. He appeared on the pages of LIFE Magazine and Sports Illustrated and on numerous television programs, bringing the game of chess to a wider audience in the United States. Prior to qualifying for the World Championship match, Fischer won 20 consecutive games in 1970-71 against the world’s top players. ------ 

Dec 2, 2022

As Vice Provost and University Librarian, Mimi Calter oversees Washington University Libraries and its staff of expert librarians, curators, and archivists. She is charged with strengthening print and digital collections; developing programming in support of research, teaching, and learning; and collaborating with scholars on- and off-campus. ------ 

Before joining Washington University in September 2021, Calter worked at Stanford Libraries for 16 years. During her time there, Calter helped develop the libraries’ $84 million budget, lead its 400-person staff, expand digital technologies and repositories, and manage capital projects, including relocation of the second-largest campus library and development of the David Rumsey Map Center. ------ 

Calter earned her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and graduate degrees in business administration and library and information science from Drexel University. ------ 

Nov 24, 2022

Sue Greenberg, Executive Director for VLAA, stopped by to talk about the organization and its works.

St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA) supports the creative community by providing free legal and accounting assistance and a wide variety of affordable educational programs. They serve artists of every discipline and career level, nonprofit cultural organizations and small arts-related businesses. Their organization enhances the region’s cultural fabric and offers volunteer opportunities. ----

About VLAA:
Their volunteer accountants and lawyers donate their time and expertise to help their appreciative clients navigate the complicated world of finance and law. VLAA also provides information and skills training designed to help the creative community develop sound business practices and protect their rights. -----

Founded in 1982 by St. Louis University School of Law and the city’s Arts and Humanities Commission, VLAA is housed in the High Low in Grand Center. Our primary service area is greater St. Louis, which includes St. Louis City, St. Charles, St. Louis, and Jefferson counties in Missouri and Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois. They also serve Columbia and Eastern Missouri. ------ 

This nonprofit, tax-exempt organization is supported by the Regional Arts Commission with additional funds provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; foundations; law and accounting firms; corporations and individuals. ----- 

 

Nov 18, 2022

About the New Jewish Theatre: The New Jewish, St. Louis’ Premier Small Professional Theatre, is dedicated to the exploration of universal themes and issues and the examination of the full range of the human experience filtered through the lens of the Jewish experience. Through the medium of theater, we build bridges of multicultural understanding, tolerance, communication and education. ———

About Rebekah Scallet: Rebekah served as the Producing Artistic Director for the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, an Equity summer Shakespeare festival, from 2011 to 2020.  During that time, she produced 32 plays and musicals, directed eight, and oversaw the creation of 2020’s “Revisiting Shakespeare,” an online festival celebrating and investigating Shakespeare and his work’s role and relevance today. ——-

Notable accomplishments during her time at AST include: more than doubling AST’s audience size; expanding the performance season by one week; establishing a hugely successful educational touring program; and founding the AST Artistic Collective, a group of actors, designers, and directors who advise AST’s artistic process and are committed to AST as their creative home. ——

Prior to her time with AST, Rebekah also worked as the Producing ——Associate and Literary Manager for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, an Equity company based in Chicago with a mission of producing works by and about women’s lives. She also served as the Marketing Associate for Northlight Theatre in Skokie for four years. ———

 

 

Nov 4, 2022

David Brinker, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the museum as well as the current exhibition by Jordan Eagles and a selection of works from the MOCRA collection through December 18th.

About MOCRA: Through exhibitions, collections and educational programs, MOCRA highlights and explores the ways contemporary visual artists engage the religious and spiritual dimensions. MOCRA serves the diverse Saint Louis University community, and the wider public, by facilitating personal discovery, experience and inspiration, while contributing to a wider culture of interfaith encounter and dialogue.

About: Jordan Eagles: VIRAL\VALUE

The 2017 auction sale of a purported Leonardo da Vinci painting prompts a consideration of the value systems of art, religion and healthcare. Whose lives, experiences and stories are acknowledged and valued, in what contexts and by whom?

Oct 22, 2022

Bree Maniscalco, Executive Director of Cinema St. Louis, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the happenings at the organization.

Although she had no formal training in film, Bree's lifelong love of film, moved her to volunteer at Cinema St. Louis. She later became a board member, a staff member, and was recently named Executive Director.

SLIFF (St. Louis International Film Festival), Cinema St. Louis' flagship festival runs this year from November 3rd through 13th.

In addition to SLIFF, Cinema St. Louis also has educational programs, as well as hosting other festivals/events throughout the year including the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, QFest St. Louis, and the Classic French Film Festival among others.

Oct 15, 2022

Helen Turner, Director of Education and Interpretation, for the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the happenings at the Museum. ------

The newest version of the museum opens November 2nd 2022. ------

Helen Turner, originally from England, was moved at a young age to study the Holocaust, thinking to herself, "This is a story that must be told and remembered." ------

She says what she hopes people will take away from the museum, is not only a sense of the history, but to be inspired to make changes in their own life. ------ 

Also discussed are the various exhibitions and educational programs. ------ 

 

Oct 14, 2022

Rick Erwin, Creative Director at the City Museum, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the Museum and its offerings. 

Rick Erwin, describes the City Museum as a "constantly evolving sculpture," or as the world's largest game of "Chutes and Ladders."

Both educational and entertaining, the museum is located at 750 North 16th street in downtown St. Louis, and features, tunnels, an aquarium, several restaurants and bars, a ferris wheel on the roof, a circus, and many other attractions.

The city museum celebrates its 25th birthday in October. 

 

 

 

Oct 4, 2022

Jody Sowell, new President and CEO, at the Missouri Historical Society, stopped by to speak to Nancy about his new job at the MHS and about some of the exhibitions at the History Museum.

Though newly appointed as president, Jody Sowell has been working for the MHS for 16 years.

Some of the topics covered include the St. Louis Sound Exhibit, as well as the Coloring STL exhibit at the History Museum.

Sep 23, 2022

The multi facets of Rich O'Donnell span 65 years as percussionist, improvisor, composer, designer and builder of percussion and electronic instruments, teacher and writer.   He was director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University from 1980-2018. He has encouraged and facilitated the growth of independent contemporary music in the community for 49 years as music director of the St. Louis New Music Circle, which he left in 2009.  He retired in 2002 after 43 years as principal percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, he co-founded HEARding Cats Collective, an artists collective working to keep St. Louis strange and wonderful.

Sep 20, 2022

Chris Pieman, Director of Advancement for The Sheldon, and Laurel Wacyk, Director of Education, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the happenings at the Sheldon, and the various educational programs.

The Sheldon hosts over 350 events each year. Artists like Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, José Carreras, Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, B.B. King, Mavis Staples, Wynton Marsalis, Judy Collins and Renée Fleming have all performed on their stage. And over 300 exhibits have shown in the Sheldon's galleries since 1998. They also present a wide range of educational programs for schools serving over 30,000 St. Louis-area students each year, and they host hundreds of weddings, community events and other celebrations in their event spaces.

 

 

 

 

Sep 9, 2022

Lee Anne Mathews, Artistic Director of The Westport Playhouse, stopped by to speak with Nancy about her career as an actor and director, as well as her new position at the playhouse. ----

The Westport Playhouse is an intimate 240 seat theater in Westport Plaza, that holds all kinds of events including concerts  theater pieces, and more. ------

Upcoming events include "Songs for Ukraine" on September 17th, The Rocky Horror Picture Show with Flustered Mustard, Haunted Garage Horror Fest, and Shakey Deal: A Tribute to Neil Young. ------

 

 

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