A Free Arts & Cultural Series Presented by the UMSL Center for the Humanities.

Park on the top floor of West Drive Garage (52 on map), take steps/elevator down to 3rd floor/ground level, and walk southeast to J.C. Penney Center, and up to the 4th floor.


January 26  |  Moments of Illumination: A Gallery 210 Artist’s Talk

Joe Chesla, professor of art, sculpture and design, St. Louis Community College at Meramec, has exhibited his work across the country and in Japan, as well as in many local galleries. He finds that often inspiration and purpose are discovered through the rigors of pragmatic action and the momentum of work, and in the peripherals of intentional performance are the seeds of investigations yet to be even considered. For this Gallery 210 Exhibition Preview, Chesla discusses his studio practice, inspirations and influences, and the development of the works presented in the exhibition. Moments of Illumination opens January 3, 2015. Gallery panel discussion followed by public reception, February 2, 2015, 4–7:30 PM.

Location: Gallery 210 Auditorium, Telecommunity Center (west of the North campus MetroLink stop—park in MSC Garage North). 

February 2  |  Lucas Place: The Lost Neighborhood of the Gilded Age of St. Louis 

Andrew W. Hahn, director of the Campbell House Museum in St. Louis, surveys a major Gilded Age neighborhood of St. Louis. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of a vanished neighborhood that was home to St. Louis’ wealthiest families and most remarkable buildings and institutions during the Civil War. 

February 9  |  Trombonist Clay Smith on the Chautauqua Trail 1904–1930 

Tim Howe, trombone professor at University of Missouri–Columbia, gives an illustrated talk with musical performances. He portrays a musician’s life on the Chautauqua circuit in the early 20th century as reflected in the life of trombonist and composer Clay Smith. The program includes performances of two works that were part of the repertoire of Clay Smith, Variations on Old Kentucky Home and Miraflores. Paola Savvidou, piano pedagogy professor at University of Missouri, accompanies Howe. 

Location: Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Drive, Bel-Nor, 63121

February 16  |  Voices from the Holocaust: Music Makes You Free

Kathleen Nigro, Gail Fleming and Barbara Harbach, UMSL faculty members, present a program in honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau and Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration campus. They talk about a visit to Dachau and meeting with a survivor, Mendel Rosenberg, here in St. Louis. They present Fleming’s musical arrangement of the Dachaulied taken from the walls at Dachau and original vocal composition Shalom “for the victims of Dachau.” Harbach presents her song cycle, Terezin Children’s Songs, for soprano, violin and piano on children’s poetry from the Terezin concentration camp where around 15,000 children between the years 1942–1944 were imprisoned; only 100 of them survived. Three outstanding musicians perform the song cycle: Stella Markou, soprano; Julia Sakharova, violin; and Alla Voskoboynikova, piano.

Location: Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Drive, Bel-Nor, 63121

February 23  |  Soul and the Movement: A Musical Performance

Brian Owens, soul man, whose performances are full of soul and love, has been referred to as the "second coming of Marvin Gaye.” He has performed at the White House before First Lady Michelle Obama. The refined style of Owens is in essence classic soul with a slightly modern touch that signals a new star in the younger generation helping sustain the “real music” scene. Join this Ferguson, Mo., native on his exploration of the power, beauty and role of music as the soundtrack of current social justice movements and the ongoing evolution of the country. This event is presented in cooperation with the St. Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch. CDs will be available.

Location: St. Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch, Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108 

March 2  |  Modern American Dance Company

MADCO offers a preview of their dance performance Double Date. Join us to enjoy the creative talents and amazing skills of the MADCO dancers. The full dance concert runs March 27–29 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center accompanied by the Double Date barbershop quartet.

Location: Touhill Performing Arts Center Whitaker Rehearsal Hall. Parking in MSC Garage North. 

March 9  |  Women’s Poetry

Members of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, UMSL Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Languages, share international perspectives as they read the work of women poets and feminine poetry from various cultures. They share the poems in the original Portuguese, French, Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Ancient and Modern Greek, German, and Chinese, as well as English translation. The language faculty members hold this annual Monday Noon Series event in recognition of National Foreign Language Week.

March 16  |  The Empire Rolls: A Reading

Trudy Lewis, director of Creative Writing, University of Missouri–Columbia reads from and discusses her newest novel The Empire Rolls, a book about roller derby, wilderness, private space and public land in Boonslick, Missouri. Lewis is the author of a previous novel, Private Correspondences, and a collection of short fiction, The Bones of Garbo.  Her stories have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Best American Short Stories, New England Review, Cimarron Review, and others.

March 23 & 30  |  No event – Spring Break

April 6  |  Poetry2: A Reading by Steven Schreiner and Shane Seely

In this presentation by Steven Schreiner and Shane Seely, faculty members in the UMSL Masters of Fine Arts Program, the powers of poetry are multiplied by more than two. Personal histories, lyrical explorations of experience, and mediations on the contemporary world combine to illuminate poetic possibilities in the works of two compelling poets. Schreiner says that for him “poetry has been a long search for what I like and for the permission to write the way I do." Of Seely’s The Surface of the Lit World, poet Brooks Haxton writes, “This book renews my faith in poetry as one of the great depths of pleasure.”   

April 13  |  Lifecycle of Independent Theatre

Em Piro is an emerging professional in the field of performing arts, with a background in both creative and administrative. Em is a professional actor, as well as producer, deviser and director. In addition to her work as an actor, she is the founder and executive director of St Lou Fringe, St. Louis' premier platform for independent performing arts. Em discusses the life of an actor, as well as the field of arts administration when supporting the independent sector. The Fourth Annual St Lou Fringe Festival will take place June 17-27, 2015, in Grand Center. More information is available online at www.stlfringe.com

April 20  |  A Greater Monster: A Reading

Adam Patric Miller reads from and discusses A Greater Monster, which was selected by Phillip Lopate as the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize. Miller also won a Pushcart Prize and received a Notable Essay Selection in The Best American Essays Series. He has published essays in Agni Magazine, The Florida Review, and Blue Earth Review. During his years of teaching in an inner-city high school in Connecticut, Miller was twice voted Teacher of the Year. For his outstanding contributions to classroom teaching and for improving the quality of secondary education in Ohio, Miller was named a Jennings Scholar. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Miller took a two-year leave to play the violin professionally. A highlight of that period was performing in Carnegie Hall. Miller lives with his wife and their blended family in St. Louis.

April 27  |  Winter Light: Adapting a Short Story for the Big Screen

Julian Higgins and Wei-Ning Yu, Los Angeles-based filmmakers, screen and discuss their new and ambitious short film, Winter Light, a modern-day revisionist Western adapted from a story by acclaimed author James Lee Burke. Higgins, a Student Academy Award-winner for his 2011 short Thief, and Yu, an accomplished screenwriter developing a number of original and adapted feature and television projects, describe their collaboration and the complex and intuitive evolution of a film from inspiration to production and beyond.

Financial assistance for this season was provided to the Center for the Humanities by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission of Saint Louis; the Missouri Humanities Council; and Gallery 210.