Talk of the Towns: 7.27.16
university city: A little less than two years ago, Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. The officer was white, and Brown, unarmed, was black. St. Louis became the focal point of national attention and the watershed of the Black Lives Matter movement. Response to the tragedy was unprecedented, with rioters in Ferguson and on South Grand Boulevard smashing shop windows. These were boarded up and then later transformed by amateur and professional artists into works that make a strong statement of hope, healing and unity. One includes an image of the Arch, ripped from the earth but formed by white and black arms clasped at the top. An observer noted that the messages ranged from the spiritual to the practical. So when the windows were replaced, what became of the plywood art? Most was saved and will be on exhibit at COCA and five other locations throughout the metro. On Aug. 27, COCA marks its 30th season in U. City’s Millstone Gallery with the exhibit Outside In: Paint for Peace. The messages encouraging positive change are needed just as much today, if not more, than they were then. Outside In will remain at Millstone through Oct. 30, as well as at the Missouri History Museum, UMSL, and two other locations at about the same time. The galleries at The Sheldon will feature a collection of the panels from Oct. 7 to Nov. 19.
chesterfield: A new amusement park has opened in Chesterfield (pictured above), with an emphasis on water features. For dogs. It’s called Canine Cove and was opened earlier this month by Petropolis Pet Resort. Could we possibly spoil our four-legged furry friends any more? First there were gourmet dinners and frozen treats, now Canine Cove … which features more than 30 squirty and splashy elements, including a paw-shaped splash pad, water umbrella, water arches, water chasers and bubbling canine hydrant. (Self-cleaning?) According to the American Pet Products Association, our spending on pets has increased nearly four-fold since 1994, from $17 billion to $63 billion last year. We’re all for dogs having a quality entertainment experience, and more and more communities are setting aside acreage for dogs to romp and frolic off the leash. More power to the mutts, I say, but if you plan to visit Canine Cove, I add a caveat about your ride home in the car: Wet. Dog. Smell.
frontenac: Muggles just wouldn’t understand. But those who waited for hours in line awaiting the premiere of the latest Harry Potter movie certainly would. St. Louis County Library is celebrating Harry Potter this summer in a big way in anticipation of beloved author J.K. Rowling’s newest release, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, on July 31. Throughout the month, patrons were asked to predict how it all would turn out for entry into a drawing taking place Aug. 1 at each branch. Winners will take home a copy of the new book … which they will not have to return to the library. All month, SLCL branches have been hosting programs celebrating the precocious, odd, gifted child, his friends and more than one nemesis through game nights, crafts, trivia contests, costume competitions and more. All open branches will feature displays of Harry Potter books, of which there will never be enough, kids and adults of all ages will contend. Quidditch, anyone?
lemay: They joined the cavalry at Jefferson Barracks to conquer the American frontier. And a vivid historical exhibit at Jefferson Barracks Park that ran from March 2015 through May this year brought these men and their mission to life, so much so that St. Louis County Parks was acknowledged with an Award of Merit for the exhibit by the American Association for State and Local History. JB’s was one of 63 national awards this year honoring people, projects, exhibits and publications. Courageous and Faithful: The Cavalry at Jefferson Barracks exhibit included a Sioux war club given to a Native American agent by Chief Red Cloud himself. There also was a Grimsley saddle used by the earliest cavalry soldiers and a buffalo coat for the coldest climates. Visitors were able to engage with hands-on activities, videos and interactive touch screens while discovering how St. Louis came honestly by its moniker, ‘Gateway to the West.’ Have we whetted your appetite for more lore? There’s plenty in store. In August, the park’s Old Ordnance Room will feature an array of military collections that address the question, ‘Why do we collect?’ Early next year the JB Historic Site will open a new exhibition to commemorate the contributions of American, Missouri and St. Louis soldiers during World War I. This will coincide with the centennial of U.S. preparations for and entry into the Great War. It also was known as The War to End All Wars, but as history tells us, a conflagration much worse was but two decades away.
st. louis: First there were only three television networks and maybe PBS, too. Now there’s something like 25 million channels, 24/7, but nothing at all you feel like watching. A home show on roofers? Feel the sweat, smell the tar? OK, we made that up, but you get the idea. Well, now we have a new entry in the St. Louis market, which launched July 1 on Charter Channel 995: GOTV. It’s the first original content channel in The Lou, and it doesn’t run all night long with airtime to fill with fluff. GOTV Network provides original programming, documentaries and films, some of which may inspire you to become part of the story. Viewers have the opportunity to participate in a groundbreaking entertainment movement that’s cropped up right here in River City. Check it out from 7 to 11 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. every day. The network bills itself as an independent TV and music platform showcasing the newest and brightest talents in the metro. Maybe we’ll hip-hop to our next Nelly. Or shudder to the next Vincent Price.