Page 1

your home of education, arts, & culture

winter 2019 magazine

an evening with stephen sondheim Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was the recipient of the 2018 St. Louis Literary Award from Saint Louis University. Watch it, only on


10 culture

11 Arts

MADE Makerspace opened on Delmar Boulevard in November, and is ‘Version 2.0’ from the TechShop, which closed last year.

The High Low, a new venue for freedom of expression through spoken and written word in the Grand Center Arts District, will be a new literary center for a writers-in-residence program.

14 education Everyone seems to love something about the arts. Whether it’s dabbling with clay, singing in a choir, or listening to a free park concert, there is something for the creative soul that resides in all of us. And art has some serious brain benefits as well.


HEC Magazine

Winter 2019



ARTS/CULURAL St. Louis Arts Experience Bach Society of St. Louis Center of Creative Arts (COCA) Commission for Access and Local Original Programming (CALOP) Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Focus St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center International Institute of St. Louis Jazz St. Louis Missouri Botanical Garden Missouri Department of Conservation Missouri History Museum Missouri Humanities Council Museum of Transportation National Endowment for the Arts National Blues Museum Opera Theatre Saint Louis Regional Arts Commission Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) Saint Louis County Parks and Recreation Saint Louis Science Center Saint Louis Symphony Saint Louis Zoo The Sheldon Art Galleries and Concert Hall CIVIC Cortex Innovation Community Missouri Bar Association St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission St. Louis Economic Development Partnership St. Louis Regional Chamber EDUCATION Archdiocese of St. Louis 22 Area Universities and Colleges Education Plus 62 Elementary/Secondary School Districts in Metropolitan St. Louis

HEC-TV leadership Alan Winkleman, Acting President Ann Terry Johnson, Secretary James L. McHugh Sr., J.D., Treasurer Wayne Goode, Member Craig Larson, Member

HEC-TV team Dennis Riggs, President Boyd Pickup, Director of Operations Jayne Ballew, Director of Programming Christina Chastain, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships Manager Amanda Honigfort, Special Projects & Programs Producer Kristy Houle, Educational Opportunities Coordinator Tim Gore, Director of Educational Initiatives

Feat. An evening with stephen sondheim


Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was the recipient of the 2018 St. Louis Literary Award from Saint Louis University. Sondheim is the first lyricist to receive the honor in the history of the award, which is presented by the Saint Louis University Library Associates. St. Louis Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson interviewed Sondheim – a conversation HEC Media was pleased to capture exclusively and bring to you at

Magazine Design by Christina Chastain

Winter 2019

10/11 art corner a look at the new literary building in grand center and makerspace in the loop

15 EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT By Gabrielle Corley, Education Team Member

Everyone seems to love something about the arts. Whether it’s dabbling with clay, singing in a choir, or listening to a free park concert, there is something for the creative soul that resides in all of us. And art has some serious brain benefits as well.



area events

tech news

We have curated some fun and educational events happening in St. Louis January, March, and April!


Find out about a new documentary following refugee students in schools, and much more on HEC!

You will now see robots at more than a dozen Schnucks area stores, but don’t worry. They’re friendly!

13 station news

We’ll be digitizing our magazine eight months out of the year, so make sure to sign up for our newsletter!


events calendar january


spring exhibitions at cam

Christine Corday combines the sciences with the fine arts to create a unique body of work that investigates the very stuff and definition of space and the universe. Her site-specific installation at CAM—Corday’s first solo show exhibited inside a museum—is anchored by RELATIVE POINTS, a twelve-piece installation of monumental works as well as the debut of a new hybrid, large-scale painting series, Primer Grey, Centers for Gravity. Each of the RELATIVE POINTS is fashioned through a cold-cast process compressing 10,000 pounds of elemental metal and metalloid grit into form. Eleven of the works will be placed in the gallery in a “non-random constellation” designed by the artist and another will sit outside in CAM’s courtyard. The outer edges of the sculptures have various levels of permanence—with some of the surface layers eventually changing shape, sloughing off, or even crumbling as a consequence of subtle friction produced by visitor interaction. When: Jan. 18 - April 21 Where: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis $$ Free website:

18 loop ice carnival

The Ice Carnival hits with all sorts of cool things to do for the entire family. Kids (and fun-loving parents) can glide down an ice slide, fly through the winter air on a zip line, watch some ice carving demonstrations, check out skateboard ramp demos, jump on five person bungee trampoline, jump through the inflatable obstacle course, visit the bounce house and more! When: Jan. 18 - 20 Where: The Delmar Loop, University City $$ Free website:

29 Fiddler on the roof

The original production won ten Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. You’ll be there when the sun rises on this new production, with stunning movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. When: Jan. 29 - Feb. 10 Where: Fabulous Fox Theatre $$ $30-$89 website:


orchid show Immerse yourself in a tropical oasis brimming with vibrant blooming orchids at the Orchid Show, a once-a-year opportunity to view a rotating display of hundreds of orchids from the Garden’s expansive living collection. When: Feb. 2 - March 24 Where: Missouri Botanical Garden $$ $5 + regular garden admission website:

1 disney on ice Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic and skates into St. Louis. Be charmed by a cast of more than 50 unforgettable Disney characters, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, his sweetheart Minnie Mouse, plus many more characters and princesses! When: Feb. 1 - 3 Where: Enterprise Center $$ Tickets starts at $15 website:


madco United through dance, the voices of people across St. Louis’s diverse neighborhoods are brought to light for three extraordinary performances. Giving citizens a platform to use their voice, MADCO collaborates with organizations city wide to uncover what people love, fear, and desire for their St. Louis community. Discover something new with MADCO and take home an unforgettable experience. When: March 28 - 30 Where: The Touhill $$ $30 website:

22 Striking Power:

Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt is the first exhibition to explore the history of iconoclasm in relation to ancient Egyptian art. With nearly forty masterpieces on loan from the renowned collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Striking Power will examine widespread campaigns of targeted destruction driven by political and religious motivations. When: March 22 - Aug. 10 Where: Pulitzer Arts Foundation $$ Free website:

Go to for a full listing of st. louis events and sign up for our newsletter at to get a weekly update of event reminders.


what to watch

HEC Magazine

Filmmaker Features Unique St. Louis School for Refugees Filmmaker Lori Miller and cinematographer Brian O’Connell visited the Nahed Chapman New American Academy, a transitional school for refugees, which is part of St. Louis public schools. Their film, Day One, follows a group of teens from war zones in the Middle East and Africa as they are resettled in St. Louis and enrolled at this unique school. Filmed over the course of a year, Day One follows the kids as they progress through their layers of grief and loss while attending school, forging new friendships, and preparing to be mainstreamed.

New Hope for Nerve Regeneration


Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Northwestern University have developed an implantable, biodegradable device that delivers regular pulses of electricity to damaged peripheral nerves in rats, helping the animals regrow nerves in their legs and recover nerve function and muscle strength more quickly. The next step is to test the device in larger animals with the hope of eventually using it in humans to help people with nerve damage from car accidents, sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and cubital tunnel syndrome.

Big Heart Tea Co. Makes Ethical, Sustainable Herb & Spices Sourcing Mainstream Big Heart Tea has seen national, even international growth in the span of less than one year, all from their warehouse here in St. Louis, just off of Cherokee Street - and are now found in more than 250 locations, more than 40 states, and multiple countries. They won’t just be a tea company soon, however. This year, Founder Lisa Govro and her team pitched Arch Grants with their plans to launch a herbal marketplace dedicated to ethical and transparent sourcing of herbs and spices. And they won.

Winter 2019

how to watch who to watch HEC Media is the leading producer of local arts, cultural, and educational programming in St. Louis - reflecting our mission statement, “to strengthen and promote the education, arts, and cultural communities of the St. Louis Metropolitcan area.” HEC is affiliated with the St. Louis County for Educational Media. As a three-time winner of the prestigious Station of Excellence Award from the Mid-America Emmy Association, HEC is committed to producing television designed to engage and challenge viewers, and to illuminate topics that will “Make You Think!” In addition to providing local programming, all HEC productions are available free of charge to teachers, along with corresponding curriculum and classroom materials through www.Educate.Today.

stream all programs free at ch. 2.2 ktvi sundays ch. 989 spectrum ch. 99 at&t

connect with us






arch grants recipients

By Amanda Honigfort, Special Projects and Programs Producer

In November, Arch Grants awarded 20 $50,000 equity-free grants and added to the roster of dedicated and innovative professionals building their companies here in St. Louis.

Since 2012, Arch Grants has awarded over 6 million in cash grants to attract or retain more than 100 early-stage businesses in St. Louis. Those companies have gone on to create more than 1,200 jobs, generate more than $89 million in revenue, and attract more than $130 million in follow-on capital. The companies are diverse in both their focus - obtaining patents in 14 sectors - and in their founders’ demographics. Sevey four percent are owned or co-owned by women, veterans, immigrants, or people of color. From GoodLifeGrowing’s economically sustainable answer to urban decay and food insecurity to Digital Medical Arts’ software that improves your visit to the doctor’s office to Equine Smartbit’s revolutionary new horse bit, these founders are changing industries worldwide from here in St. Louis. We expect to see big things from these founders and will be profiling them and their companies over the next few months. Just go to the Arch Grants category under the “Business” tab and you’ll find all of the Arch Grants founders we’ve covered from this year and years past. We’ll be adding new segments on this current cohort regularly through February.


HEC Magazine

An Evening with

Stephen Sondheim


Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was the recipient of the 2018 St. Louis Literary Award from Saint Louis University. Sondheim is the first lyricist to receive the honor in the history of the award, which is presented by the Saint Louis University Library Associates. St. Louis Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson interviewed Sondheim – a conversation HEC Media was pleased to capture exclusively and bring to you at


On teachers Mike Isaacson: I once heard you say, “Teachers saved my life.” Stephen Sondheim: Yes they did. It’s the sacred profession. When I went to college, I intended to major in math and I took an elective course in music in my first year with a man named Robert Barrow. After his first lecture, I thought, “I’m going to major in music.” He was one of those inspiring teachers. He was matter-of-fact; he took all the romance out of music. He made everything understandable. I have a puzzle mind, a structured mind, so that made sense to me. I was lucky to get teachers who, inspire is not the word, but who dredge up your interests, who go into you and find that button.

On Hammerstein MI: What has shaped you as a writer? SS: My parents were divorced when I was 11 and I

lived with my mother in Pennsylvania, and three miles away lived the Hammerstein family. They had a son my age, so we became good friends and the Hammerstein’s became by surrogate family, and Oscar (Hammerstein) encouraged me to write. I wrote a show for the George School called By George. How about that? I was really brilliant at an early age. I wrote the songs myself and I asked Oscar to read it. I knew I was going to be the first 14-year-old on Broadway. I knew how much he would love it. So I went to him the next day and said, “I really want you to treat this as if it just crossed your desk. I don’t want you to think of me as a friend of part of the family.” And he said, “Oh, ok, in that case, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever read.” He saw me, trembling lip, and said, “I didn’t say it wasn’t talented, but if you want to know something about it, let’s start with the first stage direction.” And he took me through the entire script as if I were a professional. That what made it work, and in that afternoon, I got the distillation of Oscar’s 40 years of writing shows. And I’ve often said I learned more about musical theater in that afternoon than anybody has ever learned during a career, and that’s true. I can remember things he said right now, and there are principals that I’ve always followed.

On secrets MI: There was a legendary story/myth/rumor about Gypsy – how “Rose’s Turn” was conceived and where it took place. SS: For those of you who don’t know Gypsy, the leading lady has a nervous breakdown at the climax of the show,

Winter 2019

in which she has raised her daughter and the daughter becomes a star and now outshines her, and she wanted to be a star herself, so she has a nervous breakdown. The original intention was it would be a ballet. Jerry Robbins directed the show, and his idea, because there were three, in the original version, there were three periods of Louise the daughter, and so Jerry wanted to have three Louises and all the characters and Rose to have this kaleidoscopic ballet as her breakdown. Then, about four weeks before rehearsals, Jerry said, “I don’t have time to do a ballet.” So I said, “Then what are we doing?” And Jerry said, “I don’t know. Just do something. Get a song.” So I asked for a meeting. For somebody who grew up on movies, this was my idea of show business: I came into an empty auditorium with just what they call a ghost light. I’m meeting the greatest director of musicals, and we’re going to talk about doing a number. I was in ecstasy! I said, “You know what I think it should be is, since we’re not doing a ballet, how about doing all the songs Rose has been connected with and making a pie out of those, and let her do the strip herself, that her daughter has just done, but utilizing the songs and themes.” He said, “Yeah, ok, alright, play something ad lib.” So there we are with this ghost light on stage and there’s a piano in this pit. I start ad libbing and Jerry goes, “Play something strip-style.” I start, and Jerry Robbins started to do a strip across the stage. I just thought, “I can’t believe this is happening.” And of course, it was brilliant. He’s the only genius I have ever met, and you could see it right there on the stage. So that’s what happened – Jerry Robbins ad libbed Ethel Merman doing a strip.

On novelty

On the audience MI: Doing something different in the musical theater world takes courage. SS: Well it does. Gee, I don’t think of it that way. You’re

On characters MI: What types of characters are the most difficult for you to write lyrics for? SS: If I don’t understand the character, I don’t even try to write the lyrics, but again, it’s about understanding. It hasn’t happened often, and it’s never happened that I wrote lyrics for a character I didn’t understand, because I don’t do it.


On what’s next MI: If you are working on a show, we would love to know about it and who your collaborators are. SS: I’m working with a playwright named David Ives. He is primarily a satirist who writes short plays, but he wrote a full-length play two years ago called Venus in Furs, which is about the famous Venus in Furs book. It turned out to be a moderate hit on Broadway and it was the most performed play in the U.S. last year. But I’ve wanted to write with him for a while and we wanted to write something in a style we both like a lot. We are both fans of the movie director Luis Bunuel, so we decided to do a musical based on two of his movies, one called The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and the other one called The Exterminating Angel. They are both movies about people trying to find a place to eat. That’s what they’re about. That is the plot. That’s it. In the first act, which is Discreet Charm, every restaurant they go to, something weird happens, as always in Bunuel, and in the second act, they finally get to a place to have dinner. It’s in an embassy, and they can’t get out. That’s what we’re writing. It’s, as I say, another hit form the House of Hits.


MI: Was it your intent to create new and different musical theater, or was it just your personal creative journey? SS: I’m a firm believer in content dictating form, and so, Company, for example, which was a watershed show, because it combined revue and book, but it’s because it was based on five disparate plays by George Firth, and Hal Prince thought they’d make a musical, so we devised the musical out of that, and that’s why it became the form it did, which then affected many other shows. A Chorus Line is a direct descendant of the idea of a show that holds together in revue form. But, we didn’t sit down and say “Hey, how are we going to change the musical theater? I know. Let’s do it backwards.” I got to tell you, anybody who does that is due for a disaster.

always worried about how an audience is going to react, how critics are going to react. If you’re into the material, you’re writing something. If you write something thinking about the reaction later, you’re sunk. You can’t think about the result. If you write thinking about what the reviews are going to be or the reception’s going to be, sometimes you’ve got your pulse on the public, but most of the time…no. And it’s also no fun! But you do have to have a few previews for the audience. That’s when you start learning. It is a mistake to make any changes at all until you’ve had three or four audiences. That’s number one. Do they understand what’s going on? Do they know she’s his mother? That’s the important thing. If the audience understands, then if they don’t like it, fine. But when they get restless, it’s often because they’re bored because they don’t quite understand what’s going on, and that’s the important thing to discern.

HEC Magazine

new makerspace opens in the loop By George Sells, Producer

MADE Makerspace opened on Delmar Boulevard in November, and is ‘Version 2.0’ from the TechShop, which closed last year. Doug Auer, who runs the Third Degree Glass Factory across the street, partnered with Silicon Valley tycoon Jim McKelvey on the project. McKelvey is a native of St. Louis and best known for founding Square, along with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. McKelvey is also a cofounder of Third Degree Glass along with Auer.


“[McKelvey] didn’t have any time and I didn’t have any money,” Auer said. “He paid for it and I built it. And the building we’re sitting in is the second example of that sort of teamwork.” The first example was the Third Degree Glass Factory. So what is a makerspace?


“People who want to create have access to tools that they would never otherwise be able to use,” McKelvey said. “There are amazing things that happen in a makerspace.”

“I actually went in that morning getting ready to make a special order for somebody,”small business owner Karen DeGuire recalls, “and the manager stopped me in my tracks and said, ‘You need to go. We’re closed. We’ve gone bankrupt.’ And my jaw hit the floor. I went into my car and I cried for about an hour.” McKelvey had been scrambling from the moment he heard about the sudden closure. “So Doug [Auer] and I sort of concocted a plan that evening to save it. Then we announced to the makers of St. Louis that there would be a one year pause while we got a new building, moved everything over, and reopened.” McKelvey and Auer found a building across from their Third Degree Glass Factory on Delmar, but it was just a shell.

there are amazing things that happen in a makerspace. people who want to create have access to tools that they would never otherwise be able to use.

“I got involved when this was called TechShop in Menlo Park, CA,” said McKelvey. “That’s where I built some of the Square card readers. Then, TechShop expanded nationally and opened up a shop here in St. Louis. But a year ago they declared bankruptcy and closed all the tech shops.”

“We’re driving up to a building we had just taken possession of that had no systems, no lights, no heat, the roof was leaking,” McKelvey said.

TechShop shut down during the holiday season, leaving local small businesses scrambling to produce product to fulfill holiday orders. This forced the majority of the businesses working out of TechShop to go out of business.

MADE is now a 16-thousand square foot first floor dedicated to having just about anything you need to make, complete with a woodshop, metal shop, welding, water jet, 3D printers, laser cutters, silk screening, and more.

“These tools are too expensive for any one individual to use,” McKelvey said. “And you don’t need that much time. A waterjet you might need five minutes on the thing to do a project that will save you hundreds of hours.” They look to the future, not quite certain how MADE will evolve, but confident there is a long-term place for it in St. Louis. There is a partnership already in the works with the Magic House Children’s Museum to get kids interested in making. “I think we’ll have a good mix of crafters, hobbiest, and business owners,” Auer said. “I think it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. Our goal is to make it really inclusive.” The MADE team hopes making will put people back in touch with the real world. “There is so much digital resources for creativity out there these days and a maker space really allows us to enhance that in the physical world,” Vincent Schell, Director of Operations at MADE, said. “It’s so much fun to make!” McKelvey exclaimed. “We spend so much time these days creating in front of our screens, and that’s somehow unsatisfying to the hand. You’ve gotta feel something. Put your hand on a rough piece of wood, or feel leather, or do something that connects with our humanity and that’s what a maker space really helps do.” For more information and to view the full video, go to

Winter 2019

new literary center for a writers-in-residence program

Two distinct workspaces will occupy the building’s second floor. The 1,000-square-foot Writers Suite will house KAF’s forthcoming Writers-in-Residence program designed to support local up-and-coming writers and attract national and international writers to the community. Additional spaces are available for rent by local writers on a weekly or monthly basis. A separate Cooperative Office with eight dedicated office suites provides the perfect turnkey environment for fledgling arts organizations. Both workspaces will feature private entry from the first floor, the ability to rent storage space and access to a writers lounge and kitchenette.

The café will operate daily from early morning into late afternoon/evening with a full-service coffee program by Blueprint Coffee and a fast-casual food service program by James Beard-Nominated Chef Rob Connoley and Squatters Café. Dynamic seating options including comfortable sectionals, focused workspaces and storefront café seating will offer patrons a variety of spaces to meet and work.

“St. Louis has a strong literary arts tradition and has and continues to produce some of the greatest authors, poets and literary arts professionals in the world,” said Chris Hansen, Executive Director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. “The High Low seeks to uplift and nurture that strong tradition, ensuring that there is always a space, time, and place where the literary arts can start and graduate.”

A 600-square-foot gallery space (expandable up to 2,600 square-feet) will host 5-6 rotating exhibits per year dedicated to literary arts-focused exhibitions in a temperature and humidity controlled environment to protect collections. A 2,000-square-foot/200 capacity dynamic performance and event space will be dedicated to literary-arts-focused content from poetry readings to storytelling and literary series to book signings.

The High Low is scheduled to open in summer 2019. Kranzberg Arts Foundation is working with SPACE Architecture + Design to complete the project. KAF previously collaborated with SPACE on several other development projects including The Grandel and .ZACK in the Grand Center Arts District. Renderings from Space Architecture + Design.



The Kranzberg Arts Foundation (KAF) continues its mission to invest in the infrastructure and systems needed to support local artists and community arts organizations with its latest development project, The High Low, a new venue for freedom of expression through spoken and written word in the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis. The two-story building located at 3301 Washington Avenue will include a 1,500-square-foot main level café and progressive library featuring rotating collections of inspiring books, magazines, newspapers and articles carefully curated by St. Louis finest literary arts professionals and institutions.

HEC Magazine

a robot invasion in aisle 1


By George Sells, Producer

science & tech

In more than a dozen St. Louis area Schnucks grocery stores, you’ll see expressions ranging from confused to amused these days. The “what is that?” look being worn on all those faces is the result of a roughly fivefoot tall machine rolling from aisle to aisle. “What we have is a robot called Tally that drives through the stores and helps the stores with their inventory,” Lauren Milliken from Simbe Robotics explains on a recent afternoon in Schnucks’ Des Peres store. So robots have come to the local market, but you don’t’ have to worry about a scene from The Terminator playing out in aisle 6. “You don’t see Tally and think it’s some scary machine down the aisle,” Milliken says. “It’s just this cute little robot. That’s one of the things I like.”

What grocers like is the potential for more efficiency. Tally makes a three-hour trip around a Schnucks store three times daily, checking every single shelf. When the robot finds an empty spot, it checks its inventory list and messages the store staff that there is an item in need of re-stocking.

“We didn’t have an overwhelming desire to go into the robot business. We ran into Tally at a conference and thought it was an interesting technology.”

“It’s essentially looking to find where there are holes in the shelf so that’s the most important part,” Milliken explains. “When something is completely out on the shelf that’s a missed opportunity for the customer.”

“Schnucks is one of the first to be using these robots like this and they have definitely embraced Tally in a way other stores haven’t,” Milliken observes.

Simbe Robotics is based in San Francisco, and is one of the first companies in the United States to produce such a robot. Dave Steck, who runs technology projects like this for Schnucks, says the company’s engagement with Simbe was a sort of happy accident.

So Schnucks decided to try Tally out, and has since become Simbe Robotics’ biggest customer.

It leaves Schnucks getting comfortable with a label you might not expect a family-owned, regional grocery chain in the Midwest to take on: robotics pioneer. “We’re out in front of all the big chains,” Steck says, “and that’s a good place to be.” But there is still a long way to go.

Winter 2019

Some employees complain Tally is the source of many an afternoon traffic jam in the stores, blocking the way of workers trying to stock shelves. But that’s a problem the company appears willing to accept, talking instead about the growth of the robot program. Right now, Tallys are in 15 stores, and Schnucks is working to determine how much efficiency is being gained from having the robots. They don’t have numbers yet, but are convinced the program is delivering on its promise. “I’m confident we’ll see an improvement in in stock position in those stores,” Steck says. “We’re asking Simble to make some modifications to help us improve the robot a little bit, help improve its capabilities, and once that’s delivered I don’t see anything that’s stopping us from deploying in all our stores.” Then there is the question of people. Is Tally a step toward taking a human’s job? All involved insist that’s

not the case here. “Tally doesn’t have arms,” Steck says. “It can’t stock items on the shelf. It’s a tool for the stores to use and help them focus on customer service.” Milliken also keys on that point. “This really frees up the store team to fix problems when they happen and will also give them more time to interact with the shoppers in the store.” For Milliken, whose full-time job is to go to client stores and follow the robots around, looking for ways to improve them, this project brings a lot of joy. She likes seeing the fruits of her robotics degree go toward a wider use and acceptance of the machines. “Anyone can come into a grocery store and see this cool robot driving around, which is really exciting for me,” she says.

going digital in 2019


find the hec magazine at

Are you ready for 2019? We’ve been looking forward to it here at HEC because it means new improvements to the way we serve you. As always, we’re looking for the best ways to provide the highest quality new content and respond to the ways you want to view, listen to, or read that programming.

This new trend will allow us to be more environmentally friendly, while still keeping in touch though our email newsletters and occasional postcards when something particularly exciting is happening. The biggest change you’ll see, is the events calendar will become significantly more broad, or give way to increased space for articles. If you are missing our events calendar, you can still find it at and “Happening Now” is always previewing some of the best of what St. Louis has to offer. We’re excited about the ways moving quarterly will

allow us to improve our communication with you and improve the magazine we’re sending you as a member of our community. As always, please let us know how you want to hear from us and the stories you want to see from your community arts, education, and cultural broadcaster. As we mentioned last month, we’re also responding to changes in the media landscape and requests for podcasts as we increase our offerings in that space. Two On The Aisle’s theater reviews are available wherever you source your podcasts, and more offerings will be coming throughout the year. We’re also starting pre-production on a brand new documentary, so watch this space for new exciting partnerships, segments and programming announcements in the coming issues! Happy New Year everyone, here’s to an exciting 2019!


This means we’re responding to your feedback and taking the magazine quarterly, while increasing our energies toward creating even more quality programs that you’ll find on the website ( and ensuring you receive an even stronger quality publication every January, April, July and October going forward.

HEC Magazine

t r ea

H r u o Y e r t i r p Ins with A 14


By Gabrielle Corley, Education Team Member

Everyone seems to love something about the arts. Whether it’s dabbling with clay, singing in a choir, attending the Nutcracker Ballet, or listening to a free park concert, there is something for the creative soul that resides in all of us. But did you know that the arts, in all their varied forms, have some serious brain benefits as well? Research shows that art in any form helps with cognitive development in children. Research done at the Truman Institute at the University of Missouri has shown that participation in the arts has a powerful influence on students, ranging from critical thinking and problem-solving skills to greater tolerance and empathy for others. There are also correlational studies that show that students who participate in an art activity (music, theater, dance, or visual arts) are more likely to graduate and pursue higher education. So what can parents do to encourage art experiences at home? You probably already encourage your child. You might have watched a play with together, or bought her a new box of crayons, or enrolled him in a dance class. There are so many ways to inspire a greater interest and appreciation for the arts: here are some ideas you might find appealing. Public Art abounds in the St. Louis Metro Area. The City Garden downtown is outdoors, completely free and

Winter 2019

accessible 24/7 all year round. You can find famous sculpture by artists like Keith Haring and Tony Smith mixed with water features, stone, architecture, and design. Likewise, the Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills, features acres full of famous sculpture and eye-opening exhibits. It’s also outdoors and free, although not open all the time. Museums and Galleries are also numerous across the Metro area. Of course, the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park is world-renowned (and free except for special exhibits). It also has a stunning outdoor sculpture garden. Art Saint Louis, downtown, features juried multimedia shows that highlight St. Louis-area artists and focus on various broad themes such as experiences and feeling, light and dark, and intricate detail. Admission is free. Let your kiddos dance and shout with the region’s many outdoor summer concerts. They are in nearly every neighborhood and almost always free. Some of the most popular concerts are at the Botanical Gardens in the Shaw neighborhood, the Jungle Boogie concerts at the St. Louis Zoo, and Music on the Main in historic old St. Charles.

Books are another avenue to introduce new topics and inspire young artists. For example, before visiting a museum with elementary learners, share a picture book like Meet Me at the Art Museum: A Whimsical Look Behind the Scenes, by David Goldin. It’s told from the viewpoint of a discarded ticket. The author combines actual artwork, found pieces and digital art to introduce young readers to all that museums have to offer. If your student has a tech interest, Create Music with Scratch (Project Code), by Kevin Wood and illustrated by Glen McBeth combines arts and technology in an intriguing way. This book builds on Scratch (easy to learn computer coding) skills to compose music. Your child can try ready-made blocks of code to produce simple projects and use them as inspiration and models for new ideas. Middle grade kids often love paging through non-fiction books with LOTS of things in them. The Arts: A Visual Encyclopedia by DK is chock full of items that chart the evolution of the world's greatest cultural achievements in painting, sculpture, photography, music, and dance. It offers many jumping off points for further exploration. A fun title that gets kids moving is also a good way to encourage artistic skills. Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!

Games, Songs, and Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Brian Pinkney is exactly that. While creating a dynamic collection of songs, rhymes, and stories with origins in African American history, the author recalls most of the examples from her childhood in Missouri and Tennessee, and shares her own versions as well as memories and anecdotes. Extensive research highlights the histories behind these classics. Older students might want to learn a little history as well. Artists: Their Lives and Works by DK, explores the vision and techniques of the greatest painters and sculptors throughout history, and tells the fascinating stories behind each masterpiece, including the historical context in which each artist worked, their influences, creative development, friendships, loves, and rivalries. A budding teen musician might also be interested in something career motivated, like Learn to Speak Music: A Guide to Creating, Performing, and Promoting Your Songs by John Crossingham. This book covers everything from music being our universal language, to learning to play instruments, to promoting a band. And finally, don’t forget to check out Educate.Today anytime for a great line-up of programming featuring visual artist interviews and demonstrations, discussions with playwrights and theater folk, musicians, and more. There really is something for everyone! Art is all around us. Just by walking down the street with open eyes, you can find many jumping off points for encouraging your student to think about art and how it inspires their lives. Play, participate, enjoy, and nurture those creative souls and brains.



Theater experiences are all around the area as well. Two On The Aisle on Educate.Today’s sister site,, has reviews of every local theater production and a theater calendar. Shakespeare in the Park features a different production every summer in Forest Park and has extended runs. It is very kid friendly with traveling mimes and court musicians sometimes making an appearance. Nearly 1,500 free seats are available for every Muny performance in Forest Park on a firstcome, first-served basis. Each season has a stellar lineup including two child-focused productions. Paid seats are also available and reasonably priced.

At home, tune into Educate.Today on January 24th for an all-day live show called ‘Inspiring Your Heart with Art’. You can tune in (and out) at any time so you can fit a little inspiration into your day. There will be guests and experts discussing and demonstrating their art, and an exciting line-up of art project ideas to inspire creativity. The show will later be archived and accessible to all at any time.

Non-Profit U.S. Postage



Higher Education Channel 3221 McKelvey Road Suite 106 Bridgeton, Missouri 63044

Profile for hectv

An Evening with Stephen Sondheim  

In our Winter 2019 edition of the HEC Magazine, we bring you an evening with Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim....

An Evening with Stephen Sondheim  

In our Winter 2019 edition of the HEC Magazine, we bring you an evening with Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim....

Profile for hectv