Grand Center News

Local and International Voices Share Stories of Love and Passion

Internationally acclaimed Fringe performer to add St Louis to her US tour 

What do stories of sex work, loss of virginity, pregnancy, and group sex have in common? They are all part of the unconventional love stories that international Fringe performer Rosie Bitts tells in her critically acclaimed new solo play Stories of Love and Passion. Rosie mixes cabaret, burlesque, and storytelling to create a roller coaster ride of a show that takes the audience from laughter to tears to titillation within the span of an hour. 

Bitts’ play is a spectacle for the senses featuring fabulous live music (Bitts sings soulfully and is accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Poynter), gorgeous costumes, and some very cheeky burlesque.

Rosie was invited to perform in NYC at the United Solo Theatre Festival, the biggest festival of solo work in the world, and this invitation became the impetus for a US tour that will see her hitting eight cities in seven states. This is Rosie’s very first time in St. Louis, where she is presented by St Lou Fringe.

“I think it’s important to tell true stories, ones that aren’t your traditional, candy-coated love stories,” says Bitts.  She describes the show as edgy, but emphasizes that the stories – all of which are based in truth from her life, or the lives of those close to her - are relatable and important to share.  “They push the envelope and hopefully get the audience thinking about what has been forced underground in our society.” In St Louis, Stories of Love and Passion will feature two world premieres by St Louis artists that resonate with the style and subject of the evening.  On Friday Oct 17, The Wide-Eyed presents Whores, a raw and heartfelt exploration of modern-day relationships in which three women find their voices in a world that compels most to silence.  On Saturday Oct 18, Vip the Clown presents Insufficiently Sober, in which the art of physical comedy is used to explore the shame and trauma associated with alcoholism in a bittersweet tribute to Vaudeville-era storytelling. 

Rosie is also a strong advocate for Sex Workers’ rights and is using the show to raise awareness by promoting a local organization that supports sex workers in each city she’s in. Five percent of the profits from this play will be donated to those organizations – locally, the performances will benefit Sex Positive St Louis. 

Performances are Oct 17-18 at 8pm and take place at the Kranzberg Arts Center, with tickets ranging from $12-$25.  Following each performance, the cast will hold a reception and discussion at The Dark Room wine bar, two blocks north of the venue.  For more information: www.stlfringe.com, 314-643-7853, buzz@stlfringe.com.

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Public Media Commons

Opens September 13 in St. Louis Grand Center Arts District

A collaboration of the Nine Network of Public Media, St. Louis Public Radio and the University of Missouri-St. Louis

 

When the Public Media Commons opens to the public on September 13, 2014, the unique open-air media environment in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis will bring people together for experiences that stimulate creative thinking and serve the community as an incubator of arts and ideas.

“The possibilities are endless,” says Jack Galmiche, president and CEO of the Nine Network of Public Media. “We’re inviting individuals and organizations to participate in the creation of experiences that bring the arts and dynamic digital video together to help us see things as we have never seen them before.”

Bordered by the Nine Network, St. Louis Public Radio and the Sheldon Concert Hall in the heart of the Grand Center Arts District, the Public Media Commons will provide a playground for the mind and the senses. 

The 9,000-square-foot space is flanked by large-screen video walls—two stories high—on two sides. Equipped with the latest audio/visual technology, the space will encourage the community to explore what can be created and experienced in a dynamic cityscape conducive to collaboration and experimentation.

The scale of the walls, the vivid quality of the imagery and sound, the surrounding urban architecture, and even a landscaped knoll for quiet contemplation will provide an environment like no other — an urban environment for shared creative experiences.

St. Louis Public Radio General Manager Tim Eby says: “We are looking forward to the opening night celebration, as it will enable the St. Louis community to experience a wonderful new gathering space—a space that is certain to become a destination place for concerts, festivals, art installations, interactive experiences and much, much more. September 13th will, undoubtedly, be the start of something special.”

The evening will include dynamic video on the big screens, interactive experiences, entertainment, food trucks, and live music by Sleepy Kitty and The Reverbs. Among the featured videos is a showpiece by filmmaker Frank Popper and the world premiere of Electric Pilgrims: Everyone Is Everywhere, designed as a site-specific multiscreen experience for the opening by Van McElwee, internationally acclaimed video artist and professor at Webster University in the School of Communications. The party begins at 7:00 p.m.

“Creative and informed citizens are the foundation of a great community,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George says. “We’re proud that UMSL has partnered with the Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio to strengthen that foundation with the Media Commons in Grand Center. It furthers our commitment to St. Louis and the people who make this region an outstanding place to live and learn.” 

According to Grand Center Arts District President and CEO Vince Schoemehl, the Public Media Commons is unique. “We don’t know of any place like it in the world,” says Schoemehl. “It’s an environment where all ages can actively engage in creative experiences on a large scale. The Public Media Commons will be a dynamic new attraction for our region.”

The two large-scale video walls—two stories high—will become “windows on the world,” providing cultural and sensory adventures for all ages. In addition to the video walls the space will include four interactive touch screens, a performance stage and a window into one of the Nine Network studios. 

The community will also be invited to participate in developing content. Already underway are collaborations with StoryCorps, the Contemporary Art Museum, Feast Magazine, Alarm Will Sound, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Sheldon Concert Hall and TEDxGatewayArch.

The public will be able to visit the Public Media Commons from morning to night for experiences ranging from large-screen video productions to performances, events, films, and interactive audio/visual adventures that ignite wonder. A schedule of activities and video content will be available at PublicMediaCommonsSTL.org in early September. The Public Media Commons will also be available for rental.

The public and media are invited to the opening on September 13, but space is limited. Tickets for the public are free and available through EventBrite beginning Tuesday, September 2 at 10:00 a.m. Media should call or email Terri Gates (314) 512-9036 or tgates@ketc.org.

The Public Media Commons is a collaboration of the Nine Network of Public Media, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and St. Louis Public Radio. The Public Media Commons is managed by the Nine Network and is privately funded by local contributors.

Funding for the Public Media Commons has been generously provided by the Emerson Charitable Trust, The Boeing Company, Nancy and Ken Kranzberg, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Edward Jones, Interco Charitable Trust, the Richard A. Baker Foundation, the Steward Family Foundation, the WWT Foundation, and the Trio Foundation of St. Louis.

The Public Media Commons was designed by a team from Powers Bowersox Associates Inc. led by Ben Gilmartin, AIA, who previously was a lead designer on the Lincoln Center Promenade. Other elements of the Public Media Commons were designed by Electrosonic, Inc.; Dlandstudio, LLC; Randy Burkett Lighting Design, Inc.; and HDR, Inc. Electrosonic provided audio/visual design and implementation on the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and Millennium Park in Chicago.

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Grand Center launches free Fall 2014 Architecture and History Tours

Free walking tours available in September and October

Grand Center, Inc. is launching the Fall 2014 series of its Grand Center Architecture and History Tours sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust. Tours run each Saturday in September and October from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, beginning September 6 through October 25.  Sign up for the free walking tours is available at www.grandcenter.org/gctourssignup.

During the 1.5 mile walk around the Grand Center District, tour patrons will enjoy discovering the history behind Midtown and Grand Center. The tours provide a fascinating look into the history of Grand Center as a bustling arts, entertainment and medical hub in the early 1900s, and explore the background and architecture of buildings in Grand Center. Patrons also get a glimpse into the planned future transformation of Grand Center into a nationally-recognized cultural and entertainment destination through the Growing Grand Plan.

“Grand Center has such a vibrant and unique history as an arts and cultural destination,” explains Vince Schoemehl, President and CEO of Grand Center, Inc. “We are thrilled to continue to share that history with the St. Louis community and beyond thanks to Enterprise Bank & Trust.”

Tour patrons also have the opportunity to enter various museums, galleries or other institutions in Grand Center if time allows, viewing the latest art and cultural exhibits that Grand Center offers. More information on Grand Center Architecture and History Tours is available at www.grandcenter.org/gctours.

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AMERICA’S FAVORITE SUMMER DANCE SERIES, EMMY AWARD-WINNING “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE,” HITS THE ROAD FOR ITS SEASON 11 TOUR, EXPANDING TO MORE THAN 70 MARKETS, DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

RETURNING TO THE FABULOUS FOX WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8 AT 7:30 P.M.

On Sale Friday, August 15

St. Louis, MO (August 11, 2014) –  SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, the 11-time Primetime Emmy® Award-winning show that sparked America’s fascination with dance, is set to captivate audiences again this fall – live on tour – with more stops than ever before. Celebrating its momentous 11th season, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Top 10 finalists will make their way across North America, performing in more than 70 cities, as part of the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE TOUR 2014. The Season 11 tour lineup includes the following Top 10 finalists: Bridget Whitman, Casey Askew, Emilio Dosal, Jacque LeWarne, Jessica Richens, Ricky Ubeda, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE airs Wednesdays (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

Tickets for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE at the Fabulous Fox go on sale Friday, August 15 at 10 a.m. online at MetroTix.com, by calling 314-534-1111 or in person at the Fox Theatre Box Office. Ticket prices start at $39.50. Prices are subject to change; please refer to FabulousFox.com for current pricing.

The tour kicks off on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans and crosses the United States and Canada with more than 70 stops. The first leg of the tour will finish up on Friday, Dec. 19, at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, UT. The dancers will return for the second leg of the tour, starting at the Rabobank Theatre in Bakersfield, CA, on Thursday, Jan. 22. 

The official tour routing is available on fox.com/dance. Fans can sign up for the FOX.com Newsletter to find out how they can get early access to tickets. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, Aug. 15. Visit fox.com/dance for more information.  

Fall’s hottest ticket will feature this season’s most popular routines, as well as original pieces created specifically for the nationwide tour. 19 Entertainment and dick clark productions will present audiences around the country with the opportunity to experience the action brought into their living rooms each week on the beloved summer series, with a variety of sizzling, one-of-a-kind dance routines they have come to expect from their favorite dancers.   

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE recently received seven 2014 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations, including Outstanding Reality-Competition Program and Outstanding Host In A Reality or Reality-Competition Program (Cat Deeley), in addition to Outstanding Choreography nominations. SYTYCD’s outstanding costume team of Marina Toybina and Grainne O’Sullivan also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety Program.

“I am thrilled with the spectacular, fresh talent we have discovered this season. I believe these dancers have inspired the choreographers to create remarkable dance numbers each week.  I am excited for your favorite dancers to bring their inspiration and routines to even more cities throughout the nation on this year’s tour,” stated Nigel Lythgoe, judge, executive producer and co-creator of the hit FOX series.  

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Arts America Explores Grand Center’s Transformation

The Nine Network Arts Series Also Includes a Segment Featuring an Art Carnival

The August 2 episode of Arts America, the Nine Network’s weekly arts series, spotlights Grand Center President and CEO Vince Schoemehl. He talks about how the arts are transforming Grand Center and what this transformation means to the region. This segment will air as part of the show on August 2 at 3:30 p.m. on Nine PBS. (Arts America will be broadcast again on August 3 at 1:00 p.m.)

Another Arts America segment introduces Sideshow of the Absurd, a traveling exhibit that offers an interactive art carnival in a museum setting. Although humorous and fun, the exhibit also takes on serious topics like the contemporary notions of female power.

Other segments feature multi-disciplinary artist Carlito Dalceggio, whose work combines pop imagery and mysticism; a Dayton fusion dance company pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance; and Los Angeles photographer Eric Anderson, who places real people in an imaginary world.

The Grand Center story is an Art Fusion segment, which is created by the Nine Network in partnership with the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) and the Radio Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Arts America is a weekly series showcasing arts stories from the Nine Network and PBS stations across the country. Nine’s St. Louis arts segments are also shown on PBS stations in 30 cities nationwide. Every episode spotlights local arts organizations. Arts America and all arts programming on the Nine Network are sponsored by PNC Bank. All Art Fusion segments can also be viewed online in the Art Fusion Gallery at nineNet.org/ArtFusion or as part of Arts America programs at nineNet.org/ArtsAmerica.

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Missouri Style Week Draws Regional, National and International Designers

Missouri Style Week kicks off Wednesday, August 20 and will run through Saturday, August 23 at the Moto Museum located in the Grand Center District. This year, the event will feature local, regional, national and international clothes and accessories designers. Revered Puerto Rico-based designer Jaer Cabán whose work has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine is flying in to show his latest collection. Jaer has designed clothes and costumes for music artists like Nelly Furtado, Paulina Rubio and Pitbull for the Billboard Music Awards and other major events. 

Accessory designer Stevie Boi whose A-list clientele includes Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyonce is also flying in to show support for Missouri designers, and showcase his latest collection of hot shades on opening night, then emcee the next night. Stylist to the stars Derek Warburton will be in town to host the ‘Classic Couture’ themed night. Derrick has styled models and actresses, including Jessica Alba and Scandal’s Bellamy Young (Melle Grant). At this year’s Academy Awards, when Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Darlene Love, accepted her Oscar for “20 Feet From Stardom”, she was styled by Derek. 

Highlights also include a bustling marketplace with red carpet, vendor shopping, complimentary cocktails, appetizers and desserts, live entertainment by music artist Rochelle Coco Soul, Fly Girl Nation, a hot new ensemble of female kid dancers and more. Missouri Style Week 2014 is also a celebration of music, a huge influencer of style. Emcees for the other nights include; St. Louis Post Dispatch Music Critic Kevin Johnson and Radio Host Mz. Janee. St. Louis Designer Shan Keith who recently made the top four designers on Lifetime Television’s ‘Project Runway: Under the Gunn’ will show his collection during a special tribute and co-host on Thursday night.

Each night helps raise awareness about a nonprofit’s programs, mission and needs through public relations, marketing and community outreach. This year’s nonprofit partners are Grand Center, The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition and Connections to Success. Missouri Style Week is brought to you Urban Canvas Events & Spaces. To purchase tickets, visit www.missouristyleweek.com. 

A special thanks to our sponsors and partners for making this event possible. Urban Canvas Events & Spaces, Grand Center, Avondale Partners, Bronx Diba/Luchiny, American Harvest Organic Spirit, Cutex, BazaarBoy, Prophoto STL, St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, Radio One, Gazelle STL (Magazine), Delux Magazine, Vivant Entertainment Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, Connections to Success, The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. 

Missouri Style Week is a Gazelle STL Magazine & K. Lee Productions Event. Designer Bios, Celebrity appearances, ‘Marketplace’ vendors and more are available on our website.

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Call for Artists for First Night in Grand Center 2015 issued by Grand Center, Inc.

Grand Center, Inc. is searching for a design illustration for First Night in Grand Center 2015 to be held on December 31, 2014. The theme of First Night 2015 is “St. Lou-minous.” As St. Louis closes its STL 250 celebrations, we look toward the bright and luminous future of St. Louis. To honor and celebrate St. Louis, First Night in Grand Center 2015 will showcase St. Louis artists and performers.

All designs must be submitted by 5pm on August 8, 2014, to yourfirstnightstl@gmail.com. Submissions must include artist name, current address and daytime phone. High resolution, digital files must be submitted in Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop formats and become the sole property of Grand Center, Inc. Review and selection of design will be made no later than August 15, 2014. The selected design will appear on the Grand Center website, posters, programs, buttons and other forms of media associated with First Night in Grand Center 2015. Previous First Night design illustrations can be viewed at www.firstnightstl.org. A cash stipend of $1,000 will be given to the selected artist.

First Night is a community New Year’s Eve celebration. First Night in St. Louis takes place in Grand Center with both outdoor and indoor family friendly activities and events. First Night’s mission is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation of the arts through an innovative, diverse and high quality program that offers the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable to all. In order to maximize the participation of people of all ages, First Night is a non-alcoholic event. Visit www.firstnightstl.org for more information.

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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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