St. Louis Public Radio
Cut & Paste brings you in-depth conversations with artists and cultural drivers, hosted by Jeremy D. Goodwin. Listeners will hear from artists about their work and why it matters, and also about who they are and how their own personal experiences shape their art-making.
After years of twists and turns, the twentysomething St. Louis band sit on the eve of its major label debut.
23 min 30 sec
One idea behind it is to create an upbeat and safe activity for people who’ve been getting most of their entertainment via computer or TV screens during the coronavirus pandemic. Audiences can’t gather in a theater for a stage adaptation of the story this December, but they can stroll down the streets of the Central West End. Another is to showcase artists of color, particularly Black artists, who have historically been underrepresented in the vision of Christmas presented by mass media.
18 min 12 sec
From raising $160 million to shipping a lonely Monet, Brent R. Benjamin has seen a lot in 21 years as director of St. Louis Art Museum. He reflects on his tenure and looks ahead to how museums can adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.
20 min 7 sec
“Upstairs Headroom” explores similar territory as “A Thousand Shades,” with deeper drinks of jazz fusion, electronic elements and ear-friendly pop poured into the style. The pair describe it as “future soul.”
15 min 55 sec
D.B. Dowd has spent a lot of time collecting and studying the history of illustration, a category of artwork that art historians and art museums have sometimes overlooked.
27 min 19 sec
Monument Lab rethinks the memorials and historic places of St. Louis
23 min 41 sec
St. Louis trio CaveofswordS address the anxiety of contemporary American life by looking straight at it.
21 min 53 sec
Carl Phillips was teaching Latin to high school students when a poet changed his life. Phillips had long been an avid reader and wrote poems casually, but he never conceived of poetry as a career path. The poet Martin Espada visited the school where he worked and led a workshop for faculty. He saw what Phillips wrote in an exercise and suggested he apply for a state grant. He got the grant. Then he won a poetry contest that led to publication of his first collection, “In The Blood,” in 1992. The next year he secured a position on the faculty at Washington University, where he remains a professor of English and leads a workshop in the graduate creative writing program. Many awards and honors later, Phillips published his 15th poetry collection in March this year.
30 min 43 sec
Artist Mee Jey started a collaboration with husband Jey Sushil at the beginning of January. She pledged to create a portrait of Sushil every day for a year. Each day, she shows him the finished piece without comment, and he writes a short note in response. But befitting Jey’s multidisciplinary, eclectic approach, these are not simple depictions of her husband’s physical presence. They are her impressions of his mental state, rendered impressionistically — sometimes from objects Jey finds around the house. As January turned into February and February turned into March, the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic gradually grew over this evolving body of work.
13 min 35 sec
Jane Birdsall-Lander talks about her "Dictionary Poem Project."
16 min 28 sec
As a pediatrician who is also an accomplished cabaret artist, Ken Haller says he may play several roles over the course of a day: teacher, doctor, friend, singer. He says those roles are all different aspects of his chief pursuit: being a healer. He explores the link between arts and healing in an improvisational acting course he leads at St. Louis University School of Medicine and in his latest cabaret show, “The Medicine Show,” which he’ll perform at Blue Strawberry in St. Louis on March 14. It’s also the subject of a five-year effort recently launched by the Arts & Education Council with help from an $825,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, called the Arts and Healing Initiative.
19 min 32 sec
Examining the legacy of the late, great St. Louis multi-purpose venue Foam.
25 min 1 sec
When some music lovers cue up the oldies, they go way back —sometimes 1,000 years or so. Definitions vary as to what exactly counts as early music, but the wide-ranging category goes back at least to the beginning of European music notation, around the 10th century. Early music ensembles may perform music from the medieval era, the Renaissance, the Baroque period and even some music written as late as the 19th century. In this episode of Cut & Paste, we talk with two early-music experts who help keep early music alive in and around St. Louis.
20 min 48 sec
The Black Tulip Chorale is notable as an "all-identity" choir, in an artistic world where people presenting as male are often sent to one creative corner and people presenting as female are sent to another.
19 min 5 sec
When Stéphane Denève was a 10-year-old child growing up in a small town in the north of France, he heard something he liked. A nun liked to play the pipe organ in the chapel at his Catholic school, and Deneve would hide there to listen. “I thought the sound of the organ was extraordinary,” he said in an interview at his new office in Powell Hall. “I was enchanted.” Fortunately for classical music lovers in St. Louis, the nun found little Denève hiding there and suggested he take piano lessons.
26 min 39 sec
Visual artist Yingxue Zuo grew up amid persecution by the Chinese government during Mao's Cultural Revolution, and discovered art as a way to propel himself from a potential life of manual labor. His latest work incorporates figures from contemporary American politics.
21 min 58 sec
Thiel sought his literary fortunes in San Francisco in 1963, where he moved into the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and discovered the burgeoning scene of Beat poets centered around Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookstore. Allen Ginsberg was a familiar face in the neighborhood, and, for a time, an unknown singer named Janis Joplin rehearsed beneath his poet’s loft. He later relocated to New York City, where he sold poems on the streets of Greenwich Village for a quarter apiece; saw W. H. Auden hanging out in the back at poetry readings; and encountered Andy Wharhol as a “white ghost” always hovering silently around the literary and artistic scene. He also witnessed the Stonewall Uprising, the acts of protest and civil disobedience that launched the Gay Liberation movement
31 min 11 sec
St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate Camryn Howe and UrbArts founder MK Stallings reveal the electrifying power of the spoken word.
22 min 15 sec
Palestinian-American artists Saj ISsa and Kiki Salem talk about their collaborative exhibition "Back Home In Your New Home" at Kranzberg Arts Center in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Authors Amanda E. Doyle and Steve Pick discuss their book "St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline." They talk about key figures from St. Louis music history, from Chuck Berry to Nelly. They also explain the legendary origins of songs "St. Louis Blues" and "Stagger Lee."
15 min 28 sec
The chorus specializes in music by African-Americans, from 19th century spirituals arranged for 120-voice chorus, to contemporary gospel and pieces by black composers. The melding of black-American and European classical styles is heard vividly in the path-breaking “Gospel Mass” by IN UNISON’s founding director, Robert Ray. We hear from chorus members Gwendolyn Wesley and Brittany Graham, and Ray reveals the origins of his opus. Its different flavors are heard in excerpts from performances by Morgan State University Choir with orchestra, Angeles Chorale, Chorus of the Medical School of Białystok(Poland) and a rehearsal of the mass by IN UNISON Chorus.
27 min 45 sec
Syrhea Conoway isn’t a DJ, and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis isn’t a dance club. Yet Conoway — in the guise guide of her solo project, Syna So Pro — is CAM’s new DJ-in-residence. She’ll fill monthly, two-hour sets with instrumental pieces she’s writing in response to the art on display at the museum, beginning with Christine Corday’s cosmic-minded sculpture collection “Relative Points.”
30 min 12 sec
21 min 40 sec
Justin Phillip Reed published his first collection of poetry (“Indecency,” Coffee House Press) earlier this year — and it won the National Book Award for poetry. “Indecency” is in large part a product of the 29-year old’s time in St. Louis. His work foregrounds his identity as a queer black man in America, and examines the complex social calculus he’s navigated as he earns literary accolades and is celebrated by traditionally white institutions.
We talk with Dino Taca and Adrian Gough, who ran the Upstairs Lounge in its final months, after a run that began in 1991. The Upstairs was home to various forms of underground electronic music.
17 min 39 sec
18 min 8 sec
Rising-star conductor Gemma New talks about her approach to working with an orchestra, and the increased demand for conductors to be the public face of their organizations. We also hear an excerpt from St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's rehearsal of Elgar's "Enigma Variations."
16 min 40 sec
While shooting his documentary on an encampment of homeless people living near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Paul Crane set up his own tent and moved in.
14 min 58 sec
20 min 16 sec
St. Louis native Daria Finley was focused on her career, working in the information technology department of the Department of Defense, when one day she woke up blind. She'd been diagnosed with glaucoma the year before, but her sudden onset of blindness was a shock for her and her doctors. Finley used this life-changing experience as an opportunity to pursue things she had only daydreamed about doing before. They include modeling, acting in a short film and writing and performing a one-woman play about her experiences.
12 min 13 sec
A few years ago Shayba Muhammad started making jewelry for herself, and was inspired to start a business, Mahnal, to sell her work. Now she wants to help other artists and artisans who would like to do the same.
12 min 40 sec
We speak with 17-year-old pianist, producer and bandleader Owen Ragland about his path to music and his plans for the future.
12 min 25 sec
16 min 5 sec
22 min 12 sec
10 min 48 sec
13 min 39 sec
13 min 23 sec
14 min 33 sec
19 min 25 sec
St. Louis artist Kahlil Irving is only 25 but he's exhibiting in galleries from New York City to Los Angeles.
17 min 33 sec
George Edick Jr. grew up inside his father's Club Imperial in north St. Louis during its heyday, when Ike and Tina Turner regularly took the stage.
10 min 53 sec
Carmen Garcia and her teenage daughter Isabel bond over their shared passion for musical theater and each other.
19 min 28 sec
Kat Reynolds stops by the beauty products store about as often as some people shop for groceries — about three times a month. For many women, shampoos, conditioners, extensions and weaves seem to hold the key not only to an improved appearance but also a kind of self-satisfaction, according to Reynolds. With that in mind, the photographer is curating an art exhibition, “Mane ‘n Tail,” named for a popular line of beauty products. Reynolds said the show, which opens Jan. 19, focuses on female attractiveness and African-American culture, including money and self-determination.
19 min 42 sec
You can often find St. Louis artist and set designer Kristin Cassidy on the banks of the Mississippi River, picking up stones, metal and even animal bones. Cassidy has long used such items to create installation art. Now, as a set designer, she’s created a fantastical, 71-by-37-foot world, punctuated by colored lights. It’s the backdrop for Mustard Seed Theatre’s revival of its very first play, “Remnant” about a handful of survivors marking Christmas in a dystopian world. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Cassidy about designing the backdrop for the chaotic holiday and how being a child of divorce forged her fascination with objects. Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also find all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link. The podcast is sponsored by SPACE Architecture + Design. Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter:
17 min 2 sec
How do you condense more than 150 years of civil rights history in to a single book — and make it understandable and meaningful to a fifth grader? St. Louisan Amanda Doyle and co-author Melanie Adams recently attempted to do just that, for their children's book, “Standing Up for Civil Rights in St. Louis.” It starts in the 1800s with the stories of people who were enslaved, and ends with the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. But its message looks to the future, asking kids what they can do to change enduring problems facing African-Americans.
19 min 42 sec
Contemporary classical music fans all over the country have enjoyed original compositions by St. Louis' own Chris Stark. But he may have found his biggest audience, ever, in a new group: moviegoers. Stark, a composer and a professor of composition at Washington University, recently finished scoring his first film, a Sony Pictures release, “Novitiate.” It’s the story of a woman who joins a convent. Margaret Qualley plays the aspiring nun and Melissa Leo, the mother superior, in the film directed by Maggie Betts. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast episode, Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler talk with Stark about his work for a major motion picture.
22 min 32 sec
By the time Daje Shelton of St. Louis was 17, she’d already lost lots of friends to gun violence. One was shot while waiting at a bus stop, another while walking to the store. Shelton had few outlets for expressing her grief and coping with emotions about that trauma. In her world, fighting, not talking, was a typical way to address conflict. After one fight, she was expelled from high school. A documentary film captures her struggle. “For Ahkeem” opens with Shelton in a courtroom, where St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards gives her a last chance to graduate, from St. Louis' Innovative Concept Academy. The St. Louis court system oversees the unique school, dedicated to the education and rehabilitation of delinquent teens. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast , we talk with Shelton and filmmaker Jeff Truesdell about the teenager’s efforts to negotiate school, friends’ deaths and an unexpected pregnancy. "For Ahkeem" runs through Oct. 19 at 24:1 Cinema . Look for new Cut & Paste
25 min 19 sec
St. Louis’ Prison Performing Arts serves 1,000 inmates every year, some as actors, others as audience members. But leaving prison doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to the program. Through its Second Acts Ensemble alumni troupe, PPA provides a theatrical outlet on the outside for those who honed their acting skills behind bars. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Robert Morgan and Lyn O’Brien, two Second Acts members, about how PPA and recently deceased founder Agnes Wilcox changed their lives.
21 min 36 sec
Who were the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the Western United States? The obvious answer is Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But many likely don't know that an enslaved African played a crucial third role. Lewis and Clark are famous for undertaking the “Corps of Discovery” in the early 1800s. But another man, York, typically only receives a footnote in history books. St. Louis storyteller Bobby Norfolk wants the change that. In our latest Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast, we talk with Norfolk, whose Sept. 15 storytelling event at The Link Auditorium in the Central West End focuses on York’s experience, which included adventure, hardship and terrible mistreatment.
16 min 11 sec