MAYbe this is the Month to Spring into the Arts

It was my recent honor to be invited to a luncheon in the Missouri State Capitol with Governor Mike Parson, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, and a group of Missouri entrepreneurs and makers. We were all there to celebrate the first Buy Missouri Day. The Office of Lieutenant Governor created this new BUY MISSOURI initiative to actively promote to other states and the world the products that are grown, manufactured, processed, and/or made in Missouri. It includes widely diverse, small businesses from across the state, from siding manufacturers to, yes, artists. The idea behind the program is simple: if you purchase anything, check first to buy it (whatever “it” may be) from a fellow Missourian who made it here within the state. The idea is to generate revenue in the state but, more importantly, to raise awareness of what is made within our borders.

Those who have been accepted into the Buy Missouri program are listed grouped in (currently) sixteen categories on the program’s website, one of which is ARTISTRIES.
And raising awareness of the artistries within our state’s borders is definitely a good thing. I am eager to see the list of Missouri artists in the initiative grow but, for that to happen, Missouri artists have to join the registry. It’s easy, and free, to apply for registration of your artistic business by visiting www.BuyMissouri.net. When you shop for art, please remember to support Missouri’s talented artists.

On May 10-12, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève, leads the final weekend of the orchestra’s 2018/2019 classical subscription season. Featured in the season’s closing performance is Berlioz’s masterpiece Symphonie fantastique, considered among the most influential orchestral compositions of all time. Denève, recognized as an interpreter of French repertoire, guides the SLSO in this rousing symphonic story about a talented artist who resorts to drastic measures because of unrequited love.

Just a few days later on May 19, wind, brass and percussion players of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra team up with military musicians from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America stationed at Scott Air Force Base (Shiloh, Illinois) and the 399th Army Band stationed at Fort Leonard Wood (Waynesville, Missouri) for the free Joining Forces on Stage at Powell Hall. The 3 p.m. performance features patriotic anthems, military medleys, and an unforgettable performance commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing that includes narration and video. Details for both above-mentioned concerts at www.slso.org.

Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, brings the most exciting dance performances to be found anywhere during Dance St. Louis’ annual Spring to Dance Festival. Some forty different, wonderfully diverse dance companies perform at the Touhill on the UMSL campus. The nightly offerings range from classical ballet to edgy modern and contemporary, from jazzy tap to very hip hip-hop each night. Lobby performances begin at 5:30 p.m. Ticketed Lee Theater performances, just $5, begin at 6 p.m. and the $20 Anheuser-Busch Hall performances start at 7:30 p.m. Purchase a 3-day package for the Anheuser-Busch Hall for just $50 (that includes all three days!!). Have a seat you really like? Purchase VIP seating to, reserve that spot just for you, $35 per night, or $90 for three nights. For more info, call 314-516-4949 or visit www.dancestl.org.

As the month closes on May 31, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ opens with Love’s Labors Lost. This year’s play presents the Bard’s wonderful insights into the ways we love and want to be loved.

Belonging to Shakespeare’s “lyrical” period, which also includes Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this year’s delightful comedy tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has never produced this play before and, according to their research, this will be only the second time that the play has only been performed in St. Louis.

Here’s a fun fact: The annual performances by Shakespeare Festival St. Louis are the only Shakespeare plays anywhere that takes place entirely in a park. And what could be more St. Louis-y than spending a warm evening relaxing in the city’s favorite Forest Park?! Add a high-quality performance to that, and the result is magical. Performances are free but show your appreciation with a donation while you’re at the play. Gather some friends, a picnic basket, and head to the Glen any evening, except Tuesdays, for an absolutely awesome evening of Shakespearean theatre. More info at www.sfstl.com.

Full arts calendar at TheHealthyPlanet.com