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Spotlight on St. Louis Area Neighborhood Activities - Updated May 23, 2013

Artwork at the Arch-Laclede's Landing Metro Station Inspired by Historic Eads Bridge
(L - R) John Nations, Metro President and CEO, Seattle artist Beliz Brother and David Allen, Director, Metro Arts in Transit Program, at the dedication of "BUILD" at the Arch-Laclede's Landing Station.
3-D Artwork Inspired by Historic Eads Bridge Installed at Laclede's Landing Metro Station
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 23, 2013 - The historic Eads Bridge has spanned the Mississippi River at St. Louis since 1874 and today carries thousands of MetroLink passengers and hundreds of personal and commercial vehicles between Missouri and Illinois every day.

Some of the elegant structural details of the bridge now have become the subjects of special 3D artwork that passengers and visitors to the Arch-Laclede's Landing MetroLink Station can admire on eight large colorful panels, each 4.5 feet tall by 2.5 feet wide, of sculptured aluminum mounted on columns down the center of the station platform.

Artwork at the Arch-Laclede's Landing Metro Station Inspired by Historic Eads Bridge
"BUILD" at the Arch-Laclede's Landing Station, by artist Beliz Brother, consists of eight panels, each 4.5 feet tall by 2.5 feet wide, mounted in pairs on four center columns along the length of the station platform.
In a dedication for "BUILD", held today at the MetroLink Station, internationally-recognized artist Beliz Brother of Seattle, described how her artwork was inspired by the work of designer-builder James Eads.

Brother said that after visiting the bridge twice, studying the work of designer-builder James Eads, and viewing his original drawings from the 1860s in the archives at Washington University, Brother produced abstract representations of some of the structural elements designed by Eads.

"Because of where this artwork is located and because I am always using different materials and methods of fabrication, the artwork for Arch-Laclede's Landing Station is not like anything I have done before," Brother said.

"The scale is sometimes changed to be larger or smaller than the real objects, but the shapes are directly from the original drawings of the 1800s. The colors were chosen because they appear in some of the drawings and construction comments on the drawings. If people who are traveling on a MetroLink train or waiting on a platform know this, I hope that they can recognize in the artwork some of the details from the drawings that exist in the actual bridge," said Brother.

The panels and frames were fabricated from aluminum and the designs were cut into them with water jets. The finish is baked-on, powder-coat enamel. The artwork was assembled and installed by Brother's colleagues from her studio in Seattle, Jeremy Sharp and Dennis Mendoza.

The artwork at the Arch-Laclede's Landing Station was financed with $50,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Federal Transit Administration. It is the third of seven projects financed by ARRA to be created and installed at stations in the MetroLink system. Metro Arts in Transit also plans other public art projects over the next two years.

Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing
Anthony Clark, a plumber from BC Plumbers who discovered the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing when installing a fountain on the Riverfront Trail, brought his 2-year-old daughter Akoi to the historic site during the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation event on Saturday.
Historical Event Held at Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 18, 2013 - On Saturday, May 18, 2013, area residents and educators watched local history come alive as Missouri's first national Underground Railroad site, the historic Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing, was transformed into a Civil War military camp to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Anthony Clark, a plumber from BC Plumbers, learned about the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing when installing a fountain on the Riverfront Trail. "I've lived in St. Louis all my life and never knew this site existed. He said that he knew about Mary Meachum and brought his 2-year-old daughter Akoi to the historic site to to participate in the event on Saturday.

"Many St. Louisans are unaware that Benton Barracks was located on what is now known as Fairgrounds Park," said Angela da Silva, Adjunct Professor at Lindenwood University and reenactor director responsible for creating the replica recruitment camp. "We are excited to be able to bring such an important part of our history back to life at the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing site, and we encourage everyone to come out and get a sense of what life was like during the latter stages of the Civil War, especially for the men of color who made that transformation from slave to citizen soldier."

In 1855, nine slaves belonging to prominent St. Louisans, met at the home of Mary Meachum, who used her home as a depot of the Underground Railroad. The escape was only partially successful. This is the only nationally recognized underground railroad site in Missouri and in a former state.

In 1863, when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation of the Proclamation, it allowed Black men to join the military.

The event Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing site featured cavalry units with horses, a cannon, period games for children, an example of a Freedman school, a 19th century medicine show, choirs, and an 1863 fashion show. The highlight event of the day honored Lincoln University, which owes its founding to contributions made by the Black 62nd and 65th regiments organized at Benton Barracks.

The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing site, which was dedicated in 2001, is located 28 East Grand Ave, by the Riverfront Trail on the banks of the Mississippi River, just north of Merchant's Bridge in North St. Louis City.

11 Local Arts Organizations Receive Grants Through PNC Arts Alive!
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 9, 2013 - PNC has announced that 11 local arts organizations will receive $250,000 through the PNC Arts Alive! initiative for projects that seek to attract and engage diverse audiences in music, dance, theater and visual arts.

"The arts programs this year will increase the quality of life, deepen the appreciation of local talent and provide an opportunity to enjoy new and varied cultural offerings in our hometown," said Rick Sems, PNC Bank regional president for St. Louis. "Arts Alive-funded programming provides more access to the rich arts offerings of Greater St. Louis while leveraging interest in the arts to help grow the region's economy."

The current programs receiving support blend traditional and new media into performances while including components that offer unique cultural and alternative learning experiences. This year's grant recipients are: Chesterfield Arts, Cinema St. Louis, Circus Flora, Dance St. Louis, Metro Theater Company, New Jewish Theatre, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, St. Louis Symphony and The Muny.

"Cinema St. Louis is excited by the opportunity that PNC Arts Alive has provided both our organization and the larger St. Louis community," said Cliff Froehlich, executive director of Cinema St. Louis, one of the 2013 grant recipients. "We've been expanding our programming for several years and we've long wanted to add a dedicated children's film festival. Without PNC's support, our dream would have never become reality. Just as important - because of the generosity of PNC's support - we're able to make the children's film fest absolutely free so more families can attend."

Historic Lafayette Square's 44th Annual Spring Home and Garden Tour
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 5, 2013 - Historic Lafayette Square's 44th Annual Spring Home and Garden Tour will be held Saturday, June 1, from 10 - 5 and Sunday, June 2, from 11 - 5.

The tour will provide a glimpse into one of St. Louis's most prestigious 1800s neighborhoods with an opportunity to see ten homes and gardens. See how Lafayette Square residents have preserved these historic homes and gardens, bringing them into the present with flair and grace.

After enjoying the antique fair surrounding Lafayette Square Park and a stroll through this historic park, attendees can tour the Park House, tucked just inside the southeast corner of Lafayette and Mississippi Avenues. Free trolley tour rides will wind through the Square, stopping at each of the gardens and homes open to the public.

Unique businesses and restaurants will be open during the tour. Activities also include wine-tasting, a Vintage baseball game (located at the northwest corner of the park) and a free evening concert.

The 2013 Lafayette Square 44th Annual Spring and Garden Tour is presented by the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee (LSRC). Home Tour tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the weekend of the tour. Children under 12 and accompanied by an adult are free. Tickets for groups of 20 or more are $12 each. Advance tickets are available by web at or by phone at 314-772-5724.

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Archived St. Louis Community News and Information:
 AT&T Closing the Technology Gap with Contribution to OASIS
 The Mission Continues Veterans and PNC Bank Employees Refurbish Early Childhood Education Center
 Second Annual City Mayhem Obstacle Course Challenge
 Streetcar Feasibility Study Unveiled at Moto Museum
 State Seeking Organizations to Serve Meals to Children During Summer Months
 Hardee's Crew and Fred Bird Helps Heat-Up St. Louis Hit Record High of $125,000
 'Reason for Freezin' Annual Polar Plunge Raises Over $85,200 for Special Olympics Missouri
 Gov. Nixon Announces $1.3 Million in Innovation High School Grants
 O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex Opens in North Saint Louis Community
 Missouri to Offer Refund Debit Cards for Taxpayers
 Great Rivers Greenway Approves Creation of CityArchRiver 2015 Citizen Committee
 CEO of Grace Hill Health Centers Named New Director of Department of Social Services
 Mayor Slay Signs Cell Phone Bill Into Law
 American Community Survey Details Changes in St. Louis Metro Area
 Governor Nixon Announces Health Care Coverage for Additional Estimated 300,000 Missourians
 Holiday Magic Train Concerts Are Back This Year
 Lafayette Square Named One of Nation's "Prettiest Painted Places"
 St. Vincent Trail Opens in the Heart of St. Louis City
 St. Louis Pushed To Form First Animal Cruelty Task Force
 Lafayette Square Competes for "Prettiest Painted Places"
 Mediation Program To Assist Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
 Clydesdales Make Special Guest Appearance at Veterans Festival
 Festival of Nations Attracts Huge Crowds to Tower Grove Park to Enjoy Food, Dancing and Shopping
 Youth Opportunities Program to Help Girls Incorporated of St. Louis
 "Food for Fines" Program Tops Last Year Total
 Arts & Education Council Invites Teachers to Apply for Grants
 Volunteers Needed for 9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance
 Cool Down Unveils "Keep On The Air" Project for Seniors and Disabled
 USPS Releases Plan to Preserve Post Offices in Rural America
 Four Missouri Schools Ranked Best High Schools in the Nation
 National Bike to Work Day Celebrated in Metropolitan St. Louis
 Urban Roots Volunteers Beautify Downtown St. Louis
 Cinco de Mayo Festivals in St. Louis
 Sesame Street's Elmo, Grace Hill and PNC Bank Introduce New Financial Education Program for Preschoolers
 Mayor Slay Signs Bike Parking Bill to Make City More Bike-Friendly
 MERS/Goodwill & The Cardinals Recycling Event Draws Big Crowd
 23rd Annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival at Forest Park
 Neighbors Work Together to Help Clean Up St. Louis
 550 Volunteers Braved the Cold to Raise $95,000 for Heat-Up STL
 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge to Build 35 Homes
 Welcome Home Foundation Challenges Other Communities to Hold Parades
 Welcome Home Foundation Moves Forward with Challenge to Raise $7 Million in 7 Days for Vets
 St. Louis Public Library Earns Second-Place Ranking

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