Grand Center News

60-Foot MetroBus Vehicles Coming to #70 Grand Line

News Conference to Introduce Metro’s Articulated Buses

For the first time in more than 20 years, a new kind of Metro public transit vehicle will be put into service in St. Louis. Beginning Monday, June 9, 60-foot articulated buses that pivot or bend in the middle will serve the #70 Grand Line, which is the region’s busiest bus route. These rebuilt buses are the most cost effective way to ease overcrowding by adding more passenger capacity.

            When:          Friday, June 6 at 10 a.m.

            Who:          John Nations, President & CEO, Bi-State Development Agency

                                    Mokhtee Ahmad, Region 7 Administrator, Federal Transit Administration

                                    David Dietzel, Chairman, Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners

                                    Francis Slay, City of St. Louis Mayor

                                    Charlie Dooley, St. Louis County Executive

What:              A news conference to focus on 60-foot MetroBus vehicles going into service on Metro’s highest ridership MetroBus route. Two articulated buses will be on display and open for tours. Thousands of area residents take the #70 Grand Line to get to work and school every day, while others use it to connect to medical appointments, entertainment, dining and shopping venues.

Where:            Grand MetroLink Station

                            3560 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, MO

Transit options: Take MetroLink or the #70 Grand MetroBus route to the Grand MetroLink Station. Driving directions: From the west: Take eastbound I-64 and exit at 37A Bernard Street heading toward Market Street. Turn right onto South Theresa Avenue. Turn right onto Scott Avenue. The MetroLink Park-Ride lot is on your left. From the east: Take westbound I-64 and exit at 38B Market Street heading toward 3000 W. Turn left onto Market Street. Turn left onto South Compton Avenue. Take the first right onto Spruce Street. Take a slight left onto South Teresa Avenue. Turn right onto Scott Avenue. The MetroLink Park-Ride lot is on your left.

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St. Lou Fringe Finalizes its Fantastic Offerings

Festival adds frenzy to its five-day June festival

 

In less than one month, the St. Lou Fringe Festival will utterly transform the Midtown neighborhood in St. Louis for five days. If the expanded third-year lineup of 35 artists working in six venues was not enough, the Festival has also partnered with artists, producers, and businesses from all over St. Louis to show off both ticketed and free performing arts for dedicated patrons and curious newcomers every single day during the festival. For those counting, that’s nearly 50 hours of Fringeplosion in just five days.

It all starts with a five-hour kickoff party featuring the always-fabulous Fringe Tease. Our opening day features live music, libations, and best of all, sneak peeks of all the shows in the festival. Each company gets sixty seconds, one microphone and a soapbox to pitch their show. Patrons can plan their whirlwind Fringe weekend in one fell swoop with the help of the brand-new Fringe arts magazine, The Ghost Light, and buy tickets to every single teased show during the party.

The performances by both national and local producers in our partner venues will be at the heart of the St. Lou Fringe festival in the next four days. All six venues will run shows during the evening on Thursday and Friday and during the day and evening on Saturday and Sunday, and will require a Fringe badge ($5) in addition to the cost of the show. New promotions include a “Get Lei’d with Fringe” night on Thursday, which offers reduced admission to three pairs of shows for a couple, two badges, and matching leis. Fringe aesthetes will want a hand-drawn Fringe Crest from local artist Aaron Saule ($25), and Fringe fanatics will need either the Fringe Hopper package ($50) that includes a free Fringe badge and admission to five shows, or the All-You-Can-Fringe punch card ($100) that includes a Fringe Crest and access to every show at any time.

Our new venues at the Stage at KDHX and Duet Gallery face the expanded offerings at Fringe Central Station in Strauss Park. This year, Fringe Family has partnered with groups as diverse as Circus Flora and the St. Louis Science Center to bring innovative and free programming to children and families on Saturday and Sunday in the park.

On the Strauss park stage, Fringe has assembled more performing arts offerings than ever for the free Street Fringe. Music, magic, and pop-up theatre will enliven the space during all of the box-office hours in Strauss Park. Food trucks on Washington Avenue will provide fuel for the frenzy.

Finally, Fringe Nights have brought Fubar Lounge and St. Lou Fringe’s dedicated year-round effort to build the festival’s footprint in the city’s art community together. First, Fringe continues its campaign to bring lifelong Edinburgh Fringe patron Eddie Izzard to St. Lou Fringe after his appearance at the Fox Theatre on June 19. The “Executive Transvestites” Thursday party will feature staff in Izzard’s trademark opposite-gender gear, plenty of gender-bending beats, and special guests in full Fringe regalia. The “Alice in Fringeland” Friday party will remount Fringe’s production of a re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s book that played to such acclaim at their March fundraiser, Five-Fifths. The “29:92” Saturday party will pit Fringe partners St. Louis Jitterbugs and the B-Boys against each other in a lindy-dancing, beat-breaking, 1929 vs. 1992 showdown. Finally, our Closing Extravaganza on Sunday night will feature a critic’s panel that will help choose the Festival’s Fringemeister, with special awards for our Fringe Crush and Spirit of the Fringe. Each after party starts at 10p.m in the Lounge and requires a Fringe Badge or $5 for entry.

Fringe will continue to support the Midtown neighborhood through the festival, and will be offering VIP access to the Dark Room during the festival, as well as many deals accessible only through the Fringe Badge. Parking in the neighborhood is free after 7p.m. and on Sundays, and parking space is available in paid lots every day during the festival.

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Articulated buses coming to #70 Grand Line

Metro Transit St. Louis announced that articulated buses will launch on the #70 Grand Line on June 9. These 60-ft buses will accommodate 54 seats and additional standing room, nearly 25 percent more passengers than the 40-ft buses currently serve on the Grand Line.

To roll out the new articulated buses in style, Metro St. Louis is holding a mural painting event for one of the new buses on Saturday, May 31, from 10 am – 1 pm at the South Grand parking lot at 3500 Hartford Street. All are welcome to help paint murals, designed by The Firecracker Press, on the bus. The mural design includes “notable civic landmarks, iconic buildings and prominent features of the Grand Boulevard streetscape,” according to David Allen, Director of the Metro Arts in Transit Program on Nextstopstl.com. Check out http://www.nextstopstl.org/11797/ for the full event details.

By the end of 2014, Metro will carry 15 articulated buses. Metro St. Louis will also hold a news conference to introduce the new fleet of buses at 3560 Scott Avenue (the Grand MetroLink Station) on Friday, June 6 at 10 am. To learn more about the articulated buses, visit www.morebus.org.

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Tom Voss to Join Board of Grand Center

Grand Center announced today the appointment of Ameren CorporatioExecutive Chairman Thomas R. Voss to its Board of Directors.

“I am excited to welcome Tom to Grand Center’s Board of Directors,” said Ken Kranzberg, Grand Center, Inc. Board Chairman.  “Tom brings a wealth of expertise in business, an expansive leadership role in the St. Louis civic community as well as a deep passion for the arts. Tom and his wife Carol know Grand Center and its many institutions quite well, and he’ll be a major addition to the Grand Center Board,” Kranzberg said.

“This is an exciting time for Grand Center,” said Vince Schoemehl, Grand Center President & CEO. “The District’s institutions have worked together to develop a plan that will transform the District, the institutions that call it home, and the entire St. Louis Region. Experienced and dedicated leaders like Tom and the rest of Grand CenteBoard will enable us to make our vision for the District a reality.”

Thomas R. Voss is retiring July 1, 2014, as executive chairman of Ameren Corporation. His service on the Grand Center Board will commence in September 2014. Tom and Carol Voss are well known throughout St. Louis for their philanthropic endeavors and their dedication to the arts. In addition to Grand Center, Tom serveon several St. Louis area civic and arts organizations, including Dance St. Louis (Chairman Emeritus), The MUNY and St. Louis Regional Chamber as well as national industry boards of EEI (executive committee) and AEIC. Voss was former chairman of the board of the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

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Grand Center Architecture and History Tours Back in Full Spring

Discover a neighborhood and step back in time as the Grand Center Architecture and History Tours launch for Spring 2014. Unlock history on this free 1.5 mile walking tour throughout the Grand Center neighborhood every Saturday in May and June. Sign up for a tour at www.grandcenter.org/gctourssignup.

Want a sneak peek? Here are some fun facts about Grand Center’s history you will learn on the tour. Be sure to sign up for a tour to hear the rich history and incredible arts and cultural destination in St. Louis!

  • The intersection of Grand and Olive became the largest streetcar transfer point outside of Downtown in the late 1800s

streetcarss

  • The Beers Hotel (located at the site of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Building/Kranzberg Arts Center) built in 1893 was known as “the most elegant and fashionable hotel in St. Louis”

gandolive

  • Powell Hall, formerly the St. Louis Theater, was the largest theater in St. Louis when it opened in 1925

gctheaters

  • The Sun Theatre in Grand Center boasts 7 names since it was built in 1913 as a German Playhouse, and it is now the performance home of the Grand Center Arts Academy

 sun-remodeledsmall

  • The Sheldon Concert Hall auditorium does not have any parallel walls that would trap sound waves – this adds to the Sheldon’s amazing acoustics

sheldon

Learn more about the free Grand Center Architecture and History Tours at http://www.grandcenter.org/gctours.

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Moto Wall in Grand Center Receives Instructional Panel for Augmented Reality App

Have you marveled at the Moto Wall Mural in Grand Center? Did you also know that this amazing mural is interactive, allowing viewers to access innovative augmented reality art through an app on their smartphones? 

Grand Center, Inc. has installed an instructional panel for smartphone users to access the augmented reality app for the Moto Wall Digital Mural located on Olive Street next to Triumph Grill. Smartphone users can find the app by searching for “republic” on the Apple App Store and “re+public heavy” on the Google Play store. The instructional panel is located in the grass triangle across from the mural.

Free on Google Play and the Apple App Store, the Re+Public 1.0 App unlocks 42 digital variations of basic shapes displayed on the painted mural. It allows users to view, walk inside of and randomly re-compose the mural into hundreds of unique combinations. St. Louis, along with New York City and Miami, represents one of three cities in the U.S. to incorporate this revolutionary augmented reality mural.

The Moto Wall in Grand Center is a creative collaborative between Re+Public and New Orleans based artist MOMO. This mural would not be possible without the support of the Art and Life Alliance, a women’s giving circle, and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

moto-wall-panel

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Grand Center Participates in Give STL Day for First Night in Grand Center

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, Grand Center, Inc. will participate in Give STL Day, the city’s first-ever 24-hour community-wide online fundraising initiative hosted by The Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation. During this 24-hour online giving event, Grand Center, Inc. will be raising funds for First Night in Grand Center 2015 – St. Lou-minous.

Those giving to Grand Center will be helping to support the most creative New Year’s Eve Celebration in St. Louis. Donations made during Give STL Day will help fund the many activities attendees enjoy including make-and-take activities, fabulous face painters, magicians, street performers, the Fish Eye Fun photo booth, musical acts and amazing outdoor entertainment free to the public at First Night in Grand Center 2015.

St. Louisans looking to contribute to their favorite nonprofits on Give STL Day can visit GiveSTLDay.org, search for the charity of their choice and donate. Grand Center, Inc. will also post a link to contribute to First Night 2015 at www.firstnightstl.org. Contributions will be added to the ongoing tally board located on Givestlday.org. Those who give also have the chance to win special prizes for themselves or for the charity of their choice.

Give STL Day will be taking place in conjunction with similar fundraising efforts in numerous community foundations across the country during Give Local America on May 6. To learn more about Give STL Day and view the complete list of participating nonprofits, visit www.givestlday.org.

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Re+Public Launches Innovative Urban Art Augmented Reality App

The first of its kind, the Re+Public mobile application allows users to interact with public urban art in New York City, Miami and St. Louis

Re+Public: A creative collaboration between The Heavy Projects (Los Angeles) and PublicAdCampaign (New York City), Re+Public is born out of a mutual interest in democratizing access to our shared visual environment. Re+Public innovatively employs emerging technologies to alter the current expectations of urban media and accomplish our core mission of re+imagining public space. Re+Public’s projects uniquely combine the material with the digital in order to make immersive, interactive artworks that encourage viewers to see and engage their physical environment differently through technological interactions.  To this end, Re+Public’s mobile application digitally resurfaces walls and buildings in urban centers by overlaying digital content onto the physical environment. In doing so, Re+Public challenges notions of private property boundaries and user access.

Re+Public 1.0 App (Free on Google Play & App Store)

St. Louis: Partnering with Grand Center and the Arts and Life Alliance, Re+Public collaborated with New Orleans based muralist MOMO to create an 85’ x 21’ urban mural. There are 14 basic shapes embedded in the painted mural. The Re+Public app unlocks 42 digital variations of those basic shapes and allows users to view, walk inside of, and randomly re-compose the mural into hundreds of unique combinations.

Miami: Re+Public has digitally augmented five murals in the Wynwood Walls outdoor gallery. Viewing the How and Nosm, Aiko, Retna, and Ryan McGinness murals through the app, users can walk into and interact with the 3D and animated digital art that extends off of the painted works. Additionally, users can view the previous Shepard Fairey mural that is triggered by the current Fairey mural.

New York City: Re+Public has digitally augmented the well-known Bowery Wall. Viewing the current mural through the app, users can view all of the murals previously painted on the wall beginning with Keith Haring in 1982. In other words, Re+Public contains a digital archive of the mural wall in situ. Users can travel through the archive as they simply swipe gesture the current digital mural on their mobile device screen.

  • Note: if users are unable to visit these cities, the augmented reality experience can be triggered from mural images on the Re+Public website at: http://www.republiclab.com/murals

Future: While currently only available on mobile devices, the Re+Public app is a visionary initial step in the coming future of digitally augmented urban spaces that individuals will view and interact with through wearables. The Re+Public app will soon expand to include projects in additional US locations and cities abroad. It is our hope that the future city will come alive with public interests by opening access to our common walls in new and exciting ways.

App Store: (search: “republic”)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/re+public/id683353374?ls=1&mt=8

Google Play (search: “re+public heavy”)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.heavy.republic&hl=en

Project Images:

St. Louis: Moto Wall – Sept. 2013

motowall1

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Grand Center to Celebrate "Make a Difference Day"

Kick-Off District Wide Beautification Program

Grand Center, Inc. will join forces with 100 student volunteers from Saint Louis University, Grand Center Arts Academy and Loyola Academy on Saturday, October 26, 2013, to celebrate “Make a Difference Day.” 

Volunteers will clean the Grand Center District by pulling weeds, picking up trash and leaves, and planting bulbs in the tree wells along the District’s sidewalks.  This will also serve as a kick-off for the Grand Center District’s beautification efforts as a result of the Great Streets planning process.

“I’m grateful for the army of volunteers who are giving their time to keep the Grand Center District looking pristine,” said Vince Schoemehl, Grand Center President & CEO. “Their giving spirit defines the meaning of Make a Difference Day.”

Adult volunteers will also be participating from the following groups:  Grand Center Arts Academy, Loyola Academy, Metropolitan Artists Lofts, Nine Network, and Fox ushers.

The beautification efforts start at 10:30 a.m.

 

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Grand Center Gains Economic Activity with Opening of New KDHX Building

KDHX, St. Louis’ volunteer powered radio station, website, events producer, music curator and educator will give the public its first look at the new Larry J. Weir Center for Independent Media, a four-story building located in the heart of Grand Center. KDHX has been building community through media for 26 years, and will now expand its reach with a coffee shop and performance venue in addition to new offices and broadcast facilities.

“This new broadcast center and 138-seat venue space will support local artists and arts organizations, strengthen the creative class in St. Louis, and increase economic activity for Grand Center,” said Vincent C. Schoemehl, President and CEO of Grand Center Inc. “We look forward to welcoming KDHX and their volunteers to the Grand Center community.“

The performance space can accommodate live music, film, equity and non-equity theatre, cabaret and lecture, as well as be available for private events. The coffee shop will serve breakfast and lunch and serve venue events. The office space will accommodate KDHX’s staff of 17 and the flow of the 1,000 plus volunteers who power the various aspects of KDHX’s offerings over the course of the year.   

“As with everything that KDHX does, building our new home was a community effort,” says Caron House, KDHX development director. “We are excited to welcome those who have made the Larry J. Weir Center a reality, with special tours for our volunteers and campaign supporters.” A “Hard Hat Party” will end the fall fundraising drive on Sunday, October 13  and DJs, volunteers and people who contributed during the drive will have the option of touring the new building.

Keys to the building will be handed over to KDHX in late October and move-in is scheduled for mid-November.

The fall drive began on Wednesday, October 3 and goal is $150,000, all of which will go toward daily operations.

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