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.
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. ------
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. ------
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. ----
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. -----
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. ———
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.
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?
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.
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. ------
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ------
Bob Bennett, Artistic Director of Jazz St. Louis, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the happenings of this jazz 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. ------
Gina Grafos, Director and Chief Curator of Visual and Literary Arts for the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the happenings at the Kranzberg venues and galleries. Topics include Music at the Intersection, Exhibitions at the Dark Room Gallery, High Noon at the Hi Lo, and more. ——
Poet and Kranzberg Resident, Lizzy Petersen, stopped by to speak with Nancy about her life and poetry. ------
Lizzy Petersen is a poet from St. Louis, MO, where she works in public media and directs a student-run, after-school literary magazine, OutsideLitMag.com, through a partnership with St. Louis Public Schools. Her poetry has recently appeared in or is forthcoming in December, Image, Ninth Letter, Pinch, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. She has been recognized for her writing by the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission’s Artist Support Grant, the Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Interchange Fellowship, the River Pretty Poetry Scholarship, and the Dairy Hollow Writers Residency, and she was a 2019-20 Community Arts Training fellow at St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. She currently serves as a contributing editor for $: Poetry is Currency and has previously served as the Managing Editor of River Styx and Co-Poetry Editor for Sycamore Review at Purdue University, where she received her MFA in Poetry. ------
Dana Turkovic, Curator at Laumeier Sculpture Park, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the new exhibition, "Forest Through The Trees," which opens August 27th and runs through December 11, 2022.
About "Forest Through The Trees": In art and in poetry, the beauty and power of trees is an alluring subject matter with infinite possibilities. The exhibition Forest Through the Trees pulls together a group of artists whose observations range from representation through landscape to conceptual experimentation where the tree is treated as both subject and object. The exhibition also incorporates works from Laumeier’s permanent collection that utilize trees, expanding the theme to our outdoor galleries. ------
As a sculpture park focused on the conversation between art and nature, the works on view operate in harmony with and in reference to the natural landscape, both organic and manicured. Rather than viewed as a backdrop, the tree as a symbol of nature is respected and revered. Each of the artists in the exhibition approach this philosophy with wildly different interpretations. Whether literally carved from a tree trunk, cut from paper, planted in mass, compiled from thousands of carefully layered paint splotches or recreated with computer data, Forest Through the Trees celebrates and, in some cases, further complicates our relationship to nature. ------
Zadok Ben-David / Benjamin Butler / Charles Gaines / Lena Henke / Katie Holten / Miler Lagos / Jason Middlebrook / Andy Millner / Katie Paterson / Julius von Bismarck / Rachel Youn
Chris Hansen, Executive Director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, stopped by to talk about the upcoming Music at the Intersection, which happens September 10th and 11th in the Grand Center Arts District. -----
Music at the Intersection is a civic-led effort presented by Kranzberg Arts Foundation in partnership with Steward Family Foundation and The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) of St. Louis. First held in 2021, the festival tells the story of St. Louis’ musical, cultural and artistic heritage. It celebrates the city’s imprint on the American songbook, the relationship St. Louis has with its Mississippi River sister cities, and the musical genres that have been birthed and fostered locally. Music at the Intersection gives a spotlight to national acts as well as St. Louis-based musicians across blues, jazz, soul, R&B, hip-hop, & rock and roll.————
Matthew Kerns, President & Artistic Director of St Lou Fringe, stopped by to talk about this year's festival, which runs August 15 through 21 at venues throughout the Grand Center Arts District. ------
Matthew is a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts award-winning educator, critically acclaim theatre performance artist featured in American Theatre Magazine, and a 2020 St. Louis Business Journal Diverse Business Leaders Award recipient. ———
Matthew has been an Executive Producer, Director, and Artistic Director for Off-Loop Theatre [Chicago], Off-Broadway Theatre [New York], Reparatory Theatre [California], Regional Theatre [Iowa, Missouri, Colorado] and Educational Theatre [Chicago, California, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri]. ——
Matthew’s artistic portfolio includes original performances [Xmas Carol, Chicken, Life in the Fastlane], Immersive events [Gay Fantasia, Home], and standard plays and musicals [Noises Off, For Colored Girls…, Frost/ Nixon] ———
Students that have trained with Matthew have gone on to work in television, film, major motion pictures, and on Broadway. From Saturday Night Live to Gotham, and from Six: The Musical to Jake, the State Farm Guy and beyond. ———
Matthew is an expert in the performance practices of Stanislavsky, Meisner, Grotowski, Somatic Movement, Improvisation, Roy Hart Vocal Technique, Moment Work, and Viewpoints. ———
He has presented at the NAIS Conference, National Writing Conference for Youth, Missouri Conference on the Younger Years, TCG National Conference, and at TEDx. ———
Matthew holds an Associate degree in Communications and Theatre from St. Louis Community College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Eastern New Mexico University, and Master of Fine Arts degree from Naropa University. ———
He married the love of his life, Mr. Sean Gottlieb, in a simple service under the St. Louis Arch in April of 2020. They reside in the Lafayette Square neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri with their dogs Lewis, Harvey Milk, and Tuxedo the Cat. ———
HANA SHARIF (Augustin Family Artistic Director) has enjoyed a multi-faceted theatre career, including roles as an artistic leader, director, playwright and producer with a specialty in strategic and cross-functional leadership. She served for five years as Associate Artistic Director at Baltimore Center Stage, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of all of the mainstage and studio productions, and was the architect of the innovative CS Digital program: a platform that pushes the boundaries of traditional theatre and looks at the nexus point between art and technology. Her other achievements at Baltimore Center Stage include prototyping the Mobile Unit, strengthening community engagement, producing multiple world and regional premieres and helping to guide the theatre through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort. In 2012, Hana served as the inaugural Program Manager of the ArtsEmerson Ambassador Program and launched ArtsEmerson Artist-In-Residency program featuring playwright Daniel Beaty. In addition to her work at ArtsEmerson, Hana leveraged her regional theatre experience to freelance produce for smaller theatre companies, looking to expand and restructure their administrative teams. Hana served as developmental producer and program manager for Progress Theatre in Houston, where she consulted with the Artistic Director on redefining the artistic vision and subsequent recasting of the ensemble company and lead strategic organizational planning focused on LORT market entry. During her decade-long tenure at Hartford Stage, Hana served as the Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer. Hana launched the new play development program, expanded the community engagement and civic discourse initiatives, and developed and produced Tony, Grammy, Pulitzer and Obie Award-winning shows. From 1997–2003, Hana served as the co-founder and Artistic Director of Nasir Productions, a theatre dedicated to underrepresented voices to challenge traditional structures. Her guest lecturer credits include Spelman College, Sewanee University, UT Austin, UCSD, Prairie View A&M, Emerson College, Maggie Flanigan Studio, Towson University, UMD, UConn, UMass and University of Hartford, among others. Additionally, Hana has directed acclaimed productions of Porgy & Bess, The Who & The What, Fun Home, Sense and Sensibility, The Christians, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Pride and Prejudice (DCArts: Best Director/Best New Play), The Whipping Man, Gem of the Ocean (six CCC nominations), Gee’s Bend (CCC Award Best Ensemble, two nominations), Next Stop Africa, Cassie, The Drum and IFdentity. Her plays include All the Women I Used to Be, The Rise and Fall of Day and The Sprott Cycle Trilogy. Hana holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from the University of Houston. She is the recipient of the 2009–10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship, EMC Arts Working Open Fellowship, Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations Fellowship, and is a founding member of The Black Theatre Commons (BTC). She serves on the board of directors for the TCG, BTC, and the Sprott Foundation.
Sheila Suderwalla, Executive Director of Artists First, stopped by to discuss the good works of the organization, including the In View Mural Project. ----
Artists First's In View Mural Project provides the community (businesses, residences, and public spaces) with high quality, hand-painted, custom murals. The project provides artists with disabilities, veterans, and at risk youth with confidence-building opportunities, work experience, inclusion, and visibility. -----
Artists First is an inclusive, non-profit art studio empowering artists of all abilities. We believe in bringing art to the community as a means of integration, healing, support, and finding common ground. ----
As Executive Director of Artists First since 2013, Sheila has 20 years experience working with children, youth, and families in need. Her successes as a social worker have been featured in local and national publications such as the New York Times, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Time Magazine. In 2017 Sheila was recognized as one of the "100 St. Louisans You Should Know" by the Small Business Monthly Journal. She is a national trainer and has been a social activist for 20 years. As a juried winning artist, Sheila has incorporated art into her work with individuals who have experience trauma. Sheila obtained her Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Certificate in Expressive and Integrative Therapies from Fontbonne University. ------
Meredith Malone, Curator at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the happenings at the museum. -----
As Curator at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Meredith Malone conducts research on the Museum’s permanent collection, propose new acquisitions, and conceptualize scholarly exhibitions of modern and contemporary art that enrich learning and research for the Washington University community and beyond. She is particularly interested in diversifying the Museum’s collections to include greater parity (race, ethnicity, gender, geographic location) and examining critical histories and theories of race, class, and gender in relation to the production, reception, and interpretation of art. Currently, she is working on exhibitions of artwork by two US-based contemporary artists who critically address issues of race and representation in their work: Nicole Miller, who explores the transformative capabilities of the moving image to recalibrate interpretations of self and culture; and Adam Pendleton, whose conceptual works draw on historical and aesthetic visual content to explore the ways context influences meaning. Meredith is also coordinating an exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery that includes work by artists from across the country offering perspectives on cultural identity, race, immigration, and mass incarceration, among other pressing topics. -----
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Monika Weiss arrived to NYC in 2001 as a long-term artist in residence at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. Since 2011, she divides her time between her studio in New York and her appointment as associate professor at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis. ------
She has been awarded numerous grants and residency fellowships, including BRIC, Harvestworks, US Embassy in Poland, New York Foundation for the Arts and YADDO. Recent publications about the artist’s work include a chapter in Guy Brett’s The Crossing of Innumerable Paths: Essays on Art (London: Ridinghouse, 2019) and a forthcoming bi-lingual monograph Monika Weiss – Nirbhaya published by the Centre for Polish Sculpture in Orońsko / National Institution of Culture, with texts by Griselda Pollock (Leeds University) and Mark McDonald (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), among others. ------
Nezka Pfeifer, Museum Curator at The Missouri Botanical Garden, Stopped by to speak with Nancy about the new exhibition at the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum at the Missouri Botanical Garden. ------
On view through March 2023, the Botanical Resonance: Plants and Sounds in the Garden exhibition at the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum at the Missouri Botanical Garden explores how plants create and cause sounds in our natural environment and cultural arenas. The exhibition features different plants used to create musical instruments in cultures around the world, as well as how different plants make unique sounds throughout their lifecycles in nature and in the Garden. For the species used to make instruments, many often become jeopardized and threatened in their native environments due to the increasing production and demand for the desirable plant material. Botanical Resonance includes three contemporary artists who were commissioned to create artwork installations that interpret sound in several different ways: soundwalks by Annika Kappner, an immersive quilt installation by Brooke Erin Goldstein, and an immersive sound installation by St. Louis artist Kevin Harris.
Karen Lucas, Curator of the High Noon Series at the Hi Low Literary Arts Cafe, stopped by to speak with Nancy about the series. -----
Blueprint Coffee at High Low is open from 8 am-3 pm Monday – Sunday, every day. With online and walk-up ordering options, and both indoor and outdoor seating available, order from Blueprint Coffee’s made-to-order drink program featuring coffee, tea, and specialty drinks, as well as a small assortment of fresh baked goods. ———
The High Low Gallery is open to the public during cafe hours (8am-3pm, everyday Monday – Sunday), no appointment necessary. To accommodate those who still would like a private appointment, they have 1/2 hr appointments available via Eventbrite. ———
Nestled in the heart of High Low is a 600-square-foot gallery space equipped with modern gallery lighting and professional hanging systems. Displays may extend beyond the gallery to the Listening Room, adjacent to the gallery when available. Artists and organizations exhibiting at High Low have the opportunity to utilize a projection system, pedestals, and vitrines if desired. ———
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. ———
A dedicated office suite serves our resident companies and will be the future home to a writers-in-residence program that aims to uplift local and international writers. The program will be developed in partnership with our current resident organizations: St. Louis Poetry Center, River Styx Literary Magazine, Shirley Bradley LeFlore Foundation/Creative Arts & Expression Lab, St. Louis Poet Laureate Jane Ellen Ibur, St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, UrbArts, St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature ———