Stray Dog Theatre has Pups

Stray Dog Theatre’s newest program, Stray Pups Youth Theatre, provides children the opportunity to perform in professional theatrical productions. The theatre sought funds on power2give.org to launch their first-ever main stage performance for this group titled, “Bring Oz to the Tower Grove Abbey,” which  immersed 65 students in a production of The Wizard of Oz in May.

STRAY PUPS Group-PhotoThe performance was an intense, four month immersive experience for children ages 7-18. Funds were needed for things such as set construction, lighting, sound, costumes, props, performance rights and production materials. Students involved in the production were led by area professionals and learned everything that it takes to put on a performance.

Stray Dog Theatre secured more than half of the costs of production, which in total was $29,000, before putting their project on power2give. The organization used the crowdfunding site to get a final push in funds needed to complete their project. Stray Dog Theatre enticed donors by putting flyers in their play bills, making announcements at shows, talking to parents while their kids were in classes and having a laptop out at special events to make donating convenient.

“Power2Give STL was instrumental in Stray Dog Theatre raising the funds needed to produce its first ever Stray Pups Youth main-stage performance.  Sixty-five young actors and their families’ lives were enlightened by the transformative experience of the theatre, in part because of the Power2Give campaign,” Artistic Director Gary Bell said.

The Stray Pup Youth Theatre will be staging another performance in 2015, this time of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. Auditions will be held in January. Stray Dog Theatre is an Arts and Education Council 2014 PNC Grant Recipient.

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Holiday Arts Guide

A Winter Fable at the St. Louis Symphony

Circus Flora performs A Winter Fable at the St. Louis Symphony

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by taking in a holiday-themed show or event? Luckily, you’ll have plenty to choose from this season; here are just a few of the holiday highlights:

Family-Friendly Theater

The Rep's Imaginary Theatre Company presents Bah! Humbug!

The Rep’s Imaginary Theatre Company presents Bah! Humbug!

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ Imaginary Theatre Company presents “Bah! Humbug!” a hilarious, updated musical take on the Charles Dickens holiday classic. The family-friendly show runs Dec. 13-23 at the Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall High School. 314.968.4925 or repstl.org.

Circus Flora and the St. Louis Symphony team up in high-wire  holiday fun for the whole family in  “A Winter Fable.” Performances take place Dec. 12-14 at Powell Hall.  314.534.1700 or stlsymphony.org

Theater

All is calm and bright with holiday beer until the local Scrooge is stricken by a freak bout of amnesia, putting neighborly love to the test in Stray Dog Theatre’s “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical.” This regional premiere runs Dec. 4-20 at Tower Grove Abbey. 314.865.1995 or  straydogtheatre.org.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre kicks off their holiday shows with “Manheim Steamroller Christmas” Dec. 9-10. Next is the seasonal classic, “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 12-14. The holiday shows wrap up with “A Christmas Story” run-ning Dec. 16-Jan. 4. 314.534.1111 or  fabulousfox.com

Music

Go Tell It On The Mountain: the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show at The Sheldon

Go Tell It On The Mountain: the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show at The Sheldon

The Sheldon Concert Hall has several holiday concerts, including Brian Owens performing “A Motown Christmas” Dec. 4; “Go Tell It On The Mountain: the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show” Dec. 13; “Winter Wonderland,” a morning “coffee con-cert” featuring holiday music new and old Dec. 16-17; and “Christmas in the Kitchen,” billed as a Celtic holiday music experience set in a Christmas kitchen Dec. 16. 314.533.9900 or  sheldonconcerthall.org

The St. Louis Children’s Choirs will perform their holiday concert Dec. 6. They will also join the Bach Society in their annual Christmas Candlelight Concert Dec. 23. Both shows take  place at Powell Hall. 314.993.9626  or slccsing.org and 314.289.4029 or bachsociety.org

“A Very Manley Christmas featuring Jim Manley’s Mad Brass and Rhythm” comes to Jazz St. Louis’ Ferring Jazz Bistro Dec. 12-13. This seven piece group will be sure to bring holiday cheer! The Jazz St. Louis Big Band will also play Ellington’s “Nutcracker” as part of the Jazz at the Bistro Series Dec. 22-23. Shows are 7:30 and 9:30 pm at the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz located in Grand Center. 314.289.4030 or go to jazzstl.org.

Enjoy a “Gospel Christmas” when gospel sensation Oleta Adams joins the St. Louis Symphony and IN UNISON® Chorus for a night of soul-stirring Gospel music to celebrate the joyous holiday season Dec. 18. In addition, the Symphony offers a visit from Santa and holiday music Dec. 19-21 inside  beautifully decorated Powell Hall. 314.534.1700 or stlsymphony.org

Dance

The Nutcracker at Saint Louis Ballet

The Nutcracker at Saint Louis Ballet

Nothing says holiday season quite like “The Nutcracker” and luckily Saint Louis Ballet keeps that tradition alive and well with 10 performances of the classic ballet Dec. 18-23 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. It also hosts a Sugar Plum Fairy Lunch Dec. 20, 22-23 before each matinee performance. 314.516.4949 or stlouisballet.org

Little Dancer at COCA

Little Dancer at COCA

COCA is bringing back Ballet Eclectica to present “Little Dancer,” the tale of Degas’ famous statuette that comes to life and finds herself dancing among various works of art. Performances are Dec. 12-14. 314.725.6555 or cocastl.org.

Visual Art

Every year, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design arranges a dazzling dis-play of glass ornaments hand crafted by local and national artists to cele-brate the holiday season. This year’s event runs through Dec. 24 at the Delmar Loop location. 314.725.1177 or craftalliance.org

Check out the Arts and Education Council’s Know and Go Discount Calendar for deals on performance and events!

 

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Craft Alliance turns 50!

This was the exterior of the McPherson Gallery in 1968.

This was the exterior of the McPherson Gallery in 1968.

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Opening its doors in 1964, Craft Alliance is the only center in the entire region dedicated solely to contemporary craft. When the organization started 50 years ago, it was a small group of 15 craftsmen who released a monthly printed newsletter. Now, each year over 60,000 patrons visit Craft Alliance to view galleries, take classes, buy art in the gallery shop and participate in free community programs.

“We are proud of the fact that over the last 50 years Craft Alliance’s work has been based on the founders’ vision of education for all, regardless of their ability to pay.

This is the Delmar location in 1979, a location which still operates today.

This is the Delmar location in 1979, a location which still operates today.

Tens of thousands of students, from beginners to experts, have studied craft techniques in our studios,” Craft Alliance Executive Director Boo McLoughlin said.

Craft Alliance has hosted a variety of events and exhibitions to celebrate their 50th anniversary, beginning in January. The first event was the Fif-TEA: 14th Biennial Teapot Exhibition, a free exhibit that ran January-March that showcased over 50 artists’ teapots made of clay, glass, fibers, wood and metal. The anniversary exhibits culminated with the exhibit, St. Louis Collects: A Passion for Contemporary Craft, which ran in May and June. The exhibit was free to the public and displayed works selected from important St. Louis collections of contemporary craft.

An archived photo from an exhibition of Arthur Towata, one of the four founders of Craft Alliance.

An archived photo from an exhibition of Arthur Towata, one of the four founders of Craft Alliance.

In honor of their anniversary, Craft Alliance launched a project on power2give.org to get a “50th anniversary face-lift.” The project raised money for a new roof for the Delmar location of Craft Alliance.

Along with their 50th anniversary, another change Craft Alliance made this year was the rebranding and renaming of their organization from ‘Craft Alliance’ to ‘Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design.’ The change was announced by McLoughlin at Craft Alliance’s annual gala in April. The name change came to try to

Susan Taylor Glasgow's "The Nest," a 2012 exhibit.

Susan Taylor Glasgow’s “The Nest,” a 2012 exhibit.

encompass more aspects of  Craft Alliance. In addition to being a gallery and an alliance for artists, Craft Alliance is a center where people come to view, create, watch, and shop for art. The word ‘Art’ was added to represent all of the work exhibited and produced, and the word ‘design’ was added to include the concepts of design that are taught in classes.CraftAlliance_QuadMark_4Color

“We believe in the human touch in making art but also believe in new ideas and processes for creating. In the last few years, Craft Alliance has embraced ‘Design’ and has added new tools to our studios to extend the reach of the human hand, such as 3D printers and graphic design technology for paper, metal, cloth and clay.  We believe that the name ‘Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design’ tells the world who we are today, how we have evolved over the last 50 years, and conveys the potential for innovation that is inherent in ‘Craft!,’” McLoughlin said.CraftAlliance_50Logo_K

Craft Alliance is an Arts and Education Council Sustaining Grant recipient. Visit keeparthappening.org for more information.

Fiber Artist-in-Residence program member Grace Kubilius gives her fashion presentation earlier this year.

Fiber Artist-in-Residence program member Grace Kubilius gives her fashion presentation earlier this year.

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2015 St. Louis Arts Awards Honorees

The Arts and Education Council will host its 24th annual St. Louis Arts Awards on Monday, January 19, 2015 at the Chase Park Plaza. This year’s gala will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and awards at 7 p.m. The event is chaired by Jim Turley, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Ernst & Young, and his wife, Lynne, a board member of STAGES St. Louis. The presenting sponsors for the 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards are World Wide Technology, Inc. and the Steward Family Foundation.

“We are thrilled to serve for a second year as co-chairs of the Arts and Education Council’s 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards,” said the Turleys. “The arts are critically important to shaping and growing the vibrant community in which we live, work and play; and one in which employers find talented, bright employees.   In addition to honoring outstanding artists, educators and advocates for the arts, proceeds from the 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards provide a solid funding foundation for nearly 70 organizations throughout our region.  We are proud that our participation and personal investment in this important event yields incredible cultural returns to St. Louis.”

Presented since 1992, the St. Louis Arts Awards is the preeminent award ceremony honoring individuals who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence, and organizations and businesses that enrich St. Louis’ arts and cultural com­munity. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Arts and Education Council’s annual campaign.

“Thelma and I don’t believe people pursue careers in the arts because they expect to become rich or famous – or even to win awards. They do it because their desire is so deep, they cannot imagine doing anything else. That inner passion gives them the courage and perseverance to strive for excellence, inspiring the rest of us. said World Wide Technology Founder and Chairman David Steward. “World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation are honored to serve as presenting sponsors of the 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards, which annually showcases the amazing talent and dedication displayed by these individuals.  We look forward to celebrating this year’s remarkable honorees and their impact on making St. Louis a wonderful place to work, live and play.”

Those being honored in 2015 are: Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts; Warner Baxter and Tom Voss, Ameren, Corporate Leadership in the Arts; Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, Excellence in Philanthropy; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Excellence in the Arts; Denise Thimes, Excellence in the Arts; Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer, Third Degree Glass Factory, Arts Innovators; and Winifred Crock, Parkway Central High School, Art Educator of the Year.

“These honorees represent the exceptional creative work happening across the St. Louis region and the breadth of support for the arts in our community,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council. “We are honored to recognize the accomplishments of these individuals and organizations and welcome the community to join us in celebrating their contributions to St. Louis.”

Jill McGuire

Jill McGuire

Lifetime Achievement in the Arts –  Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission

In announcing her retirement, Michael Scully, chairman of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC), said, “Jill McGuire has been a vision-ary for the arts and for the community during her tenure.  The Commission is grateful for her leadership and innumerable contribu-tions to RAC over the past 29 years.” Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the organi-zation without McGuire, who has been the executive director of RAC since it was created in 1985. Under her leader-ship, RAC has awarded more than 5,000 grants, totaling $65 million.

Excellence in Philanthropy –  Ken and Nancy Kranzberg

Ken and Nancy Kranzberg

Ken and Nancy Kranzberg

Thanks to the Kranzbergs, more than 500 civic, social and arts organiza-tions have benefited from the Kranzbergs’ philanthropy.  Through their dedicated service and generosity, they have built an impor-tant legacy of community involvement and collaboration, which will have an enduring impact on the region.  Their passion and leadership created the Kranzberg Arts Center in Grand Center and through the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, the Northside Workshop.  They led the successful capital cam-paign for Laumeier Sculpture Park that will add an education laboratory for art and a fine arts center.  Additionally, the dynamic duo has provided board lead-ership and financial support to organi-zations such as A&E, Regional Arts Commission, Grand Center, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Dance St. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, KDHX 88.1 FM and many more.

Corporate Leadership in the Arts – Warner Baxter and Tom Voss, Ameren

Warner Baxter

Warner Baxter

Tom Voss

Tom Voss

Ameren, its leaders and employees have been longtime champions of the arts in the St. Louis region, raising over $2.7 million for the Arts and Education Council’s Workplace Giving Campaign over three decades. Both Tom Voss, who retired in July as Chairman, President and CEO, and Warner Baxter, who succeeded Voss, personify a  passionate commitment to the arts.  Ameren’s support of our cultural com-munity is broad and deep; and helps ensure that the St. Louis area’s legacy of artistic excellence will continue to provide adults and children with excep-tional art and culture experiences for generations to come. Ameren’s outstanding support for organizations such as the St. Louis Symphony, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, COCA, Craft Alliance, Circus Flora, The Black Rep, Dance  St. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, The Muny and many more, ultimately strengthens  the neighborhoods and communities where we live, work and play.

Excellence in the Arts – Denise Thimes

Denise Thimes

Denise Thimes

In a career that spans over two decades, Denise Thimes has become one of the most cherished voices  of modern jazz.  An accomplished performer, she has toured America, Europe and Asia with numerous critically acclaimed produc-tions. She has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Tony Bennett, Clark Terry, James Moody and Cyrus Chestnut. Since 1997, Thimes has headlined a special Mother’s Day show at the Sheldon Concert Hall to raise money for the organization she started in her mother’s name, the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer.

Excellence in the Arts –  Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

SFSL LogoFounded  in 1997, Shakespeare Festival  St. Louis staged its first free production, “Romeo and Juliet,” in Forest Park in 2001. Since the initial two-week run that attracted 33,000 audience mem-bers, the Festival has grown into a year-round institution producing over 250 public performances annually and growing beyond Forest Park to the schools and streets of St. Louis. In 2014, the Festival took on its most ambitious project to date, staging two Shakespeare productions, “Henry IV” and “Henry V,” running consecutive nights, and entertained 640,000 patrons. Today, the Festival is recog-nized as an arts and culture leader  and one of the foremost Shakespeare  festivals in the United States.

Arts Innovators – Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer, Third Degree Glass Factory

Doug Auer

Doug Auer

Jim McKelvey

Jim McKelvey

Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer estab-lished Third DegreeGlass Factory in 2002 not only to bring attention to the fine art of glass blowing, but also to create a neighborhood hub. They took a dilapidated 1930s autodealership and service station and turned it into a state-of-the-art glass facility/community arts center. Today, Third Degree makes the tradition of working with glass available for all artistic levels by offer-ing classes and free, monthly open houses where attendees watch glass-blowing demonstrations, hear live music and discover art created by local and regional artists.

Art Educator of the Year – Winifred Crock, Parkway Central High School

Winifred Crock

Winifred Crock

Winifred Crock has been a beloved music educator for more than 25 years. Currently, she is the orchestra director at Parkway Central High School, and maintains a private violin stu-dio in suburban St. Louis. Her guiding belief is that every child can learn and deserves excellence, and she is com-mitted to ensuring those high stan-dards are honored and respected. In 2004, the Parkway Central High School Music Department received a Grammy Gold Signature Award as one of the top ten high school music departments in the country. Mrs. Crock has worked tirelessly to promote quality music education for all children. As a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, she has raised awareness of the need for and value of quality music education in the public school setting.

For more information about the 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards visit KeepArtHappening.org/what/2015_St._Louis_Arts_Awards.

 

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Hear the results of STAGES St. Louis’ power2give.org project!

Team STAGES

Team STAGES

Last year, STAGES St. Louis launched a project on power2give.org to help fund the production of a new CD featuring TeamSTAGES, an audition-only, teen a cappella group. “A TeamSTAGES Holiday,” was recorded at the group’s annual “Notes from Home” concert at the  in December. Another goal of the project was to educate participants on what it takes to record and produce a CD.

“Thanks to A&E’s Power 2 Give program TeamSTAGES was able to achieve a goal that was put on hold.  It gave the group the opportunity to reach out to people who may not have known about the group and introduced our music to a broader demographic.  It also energized the group to work harder and accomplish one of their dreams. Plus they had a great time making the video for the website!”  Lisa Campbell Albert, STAGES St. Louis Musical Director and Director of TeamSTAGES said.

STAGES promoted their project last year in a variety of ways, using mostly social media and live events, especially the concert at the Sheldon.  With the matching funds from Emerson for power2give.org, people had the incentive to donate quickly to the project.

Over the spring and summer, STAGES finished the production of the CD and placed it on sale in September.

Rita Hiscocks, STAGES Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, commented on the early sales of the CD saying, “It has been very popular, I sold four to one person one day!”

Team STAGES

Team STAGES

This year, TeamSTAGES is once again hosting their sixth annual “Notes From Home Holiday Concert” on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The group, which represents students from ten different high schools from St. Louis and Illinois, will be performing songs off of their new CD, “A TeamSTAGES Holiday,” as well as songs from their recent performance at Disney World. The group will also be selling the CD at the event. Tickets are $10, available in advance through Metrotix or day of show at the Sheldon.

In addition to the TeamSTAGES Holiday CD’s being available for sale at the concert, CDs can also be purchased at the Kent Center for Theater Arts in Chesterfield or through the STAGES box office (314)-821-2407.  The cost of the CD is $10.

STAGES St. Louis is an Arts and Education Council Operating Grant recipient. Keep checking power2give.org as more projects are being added each week.

 

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