2019 is a few months in, but the action is Grand Center Arts District is only just beginning.

New Faces:

The Sheldon Arts Foundation has announced the appointment of Peter Palermo as their new executive director. Well-known throughout the region as a dynamic and outgoing leader, Palermo’s plans include building on to the already impressive legacy that the organization has, with an emphasis on increasing the engagement with a younger audience. “We’ll provide lots of opportunities for young people to have their minds blown,” Palermo tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

SLSO’s new music director, Stéphane Denève.


Another warm District welcome is due to Stéphane Denève, the next music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Denève, who is the current music director of the Brussels Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will serve as music director designate in 2019, and his three-year term begins with the 2019-2020 season. Touted as cheerful and vibrant, the SLSO is proud to host Denève for his first directorship in the United States.


New Exhibitions:

Among the many exhibitions that will take place at the dozen galleries District-wide, a few have already earned national buzz. The Pulitzer Arts Foundation presents Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt,  the first exhibition to explore the history of iconoclasm in relation to ancient Egyptian art by examining the extraordinary power of images and their targeted destruction in ancient times. The Sheldon Art Galleries welcomes major retrospective, Bea Nettles: A Harvest of Memory, an artist who, since the late 1960s, has pushed the boundaries of photography, exploring the narrative potential of the medium through images that utilize hand-coated emulsions, sewing and more. And at the International Photography Hall of Fame40th Year Anniversary: Nanjing-St. Louis Sister City: Retrospective brings together images of Nanjing, China, a Sister City to St. Louis since 1979. 

Akhenaten and His Daughter Offering to the Aten
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 BCE

New Shows:

Waitress, makes its debut at The Fabulous Fox, while the highly raved Hamilton will make its return for the 2019-20 season, giving those that missed it a chance to get in on the hype. In addition, the St. Louis Symphony is a must for your fall event list, with the first full season with new music director Denève kicking off in September, plus, Circus Flora is back at The Big Top and they want you to help solve the mystery of “The Caper in Aisle 6.” 

New Eats:

While the highly anticipated Grand Tavern by David Burke is now open in the Angad Arts Hotel, locals and visitors are excited to also welcome another curated dining experience to the District: Bulrush, by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Rob Connoley. In dedication to his affection for foraging and crafting mouthwatering dishes inspired by Missouri’s Ozarks, Connoley is set to open Bulrush at 3307 Washington Ave. in early 2019. Here, the kitchen will be located in the middle of the space with seating surrounding which will allow guests to have a more intimate experience with those that are creating the food.

Waitress, live at The Fabulous Fox March 26 – April 7

New Biz:

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation has announced their newest development in Grand Center Arts District, The High Low, a literary arts venue located at 3301 Washington Avenue. The two-story space will include a main level café (featuring coffee by Blueprint and food by Chef Rob Connoley and Squatters Café) a library, gallery space, and a dynamic performance and event space dedicated to literary-arts-focused content. The second floor will house KAF’s forthcoming Writers-in-Residence program, with additional spaces available for rent by local writers on a weekly or monthly basis. The High Low is set to open this summer.

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