Starlight Concert series returns to the Heman Park concert stage, Monday, June 4

May 31, 2018


Tell your friends and family, get your lawn chairs and blankets ready! The annual Monday night summer Starlight Concert series is almost here!

All Monday night concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. and will take place on the south side of Heman Park at the Midland/Shaftsbury entrance. There is also a special Saturday afternoon show on July 7 which begins at 3:30 p.m.

The 2018 concert lineup is:

6/4 – Tiffany Elle & Friends (contemporary sounds, pop and hiphop)
6/18 – Felicia Ezell, Sam Huddleston & Chad Evens — tribute to Jeffery Osborne and Deniece Williams
6/25 – David Hicks Project (Dance, Pop, R&B, and Rock Ballads from 1968 to 2018)
7/7 (Saturday) – Coleman Hughes Project featuring Adrianne, and The Cheryl Brown Band (Smooth Jazz/R&B)
7/9 – TLT Productions (The 80s and 90s Show)
7/16 – The Convertables (Pop, Rock, and Country)
7/23 – Inner City Blues (Blues)
7/30 – Black Diamonds – featuring Tambra Cross & Chuck Flowers (70s Funk)
8/6 – Flirt (Contemporary R&B)

Watch this page for updates and other announcements!


Call to Artists: Mannequins on the Loop 2018 deadline March 30

February 20, 2018

Last year’s Mannequins on the Loop winner, Visual One Displays Representing Blueberry Hill.

Another great call for art! Please share with the artists and designers in your circle…


Are you ready for a challenge? Do you have the artistic skills to showcase your talent on one of the most traveled streets in America, the Delmar Loop? Become a contestant in this annual event!

For this tenth anniversary of the Mannequins on the Loop Project they’re looking to highlight the importance of recycling and ask that prospective artists incorporate recyclable materials into their mannequin design.

First Place $1,000
Second Place $500
Third Place $250

Application fee: $125 (Non-Refundable)
Application Deadline: March 30, 2018

For more information, or to sign-up now, visit …

Phone: 314.527.3093

Call to Artists: Olive (Boulevard) Link Bench Painting Project, due March 23

February 13, 2018

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Attention artists and art groups:

The City of University City is seeking artists for bench painting on Olive Boulevard. Benches include those next to bus stops between Midland Boulevard and 82nd Street.

Official call to artists for the project is available here, the specifications for the benches is here, and examples of other bench art is here.

The official call to artists, bench specifications and example photos are attached.

Applications and templates are due Friday, March 23Electronic submissions can be emailed to Adam Brown at, and hard copies can be mailed or dropped off at the Department of Community Development, fourth floor City Hall, 6801 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO 63130.

We encourage everyone to share this information with artists they know. This is a great opportunity for original designs to be displayed in the Olive Link!

Raquel Hunter, Class of ’96, named 2018 Returning Artist — reception February 8

January 31, 2018

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The Commission is pleased to present University City High School graduate and children’s author Raquel Hunter as our 2018 Returning Artist.   The public is invited to attend a special reception to honor her at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 8 in University City High School’s Pruitt Media Center, 7401 Balson Avenue (the Jackson Park entrance).

A 1996 graduate, Ms. Hunter has published the well-received book,  Diary of a Diva’s Daughter with a DO-IT-ALL Dad starring Brave Rave.

Ms. Hunter will work with school children through the week of the reception and encourage them to investigate careers in the arts.

Since 1994, the Returning Artist program annually features artistically renowned graduates of University City High School who return to share their fields of work.

Poet Michael Castro chosen for 2017 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award

October 24, 2017

Michael Castro has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award. The award, which was created in 2014, funded by the Municipal Commission of Arts & Letters of University City, and conferred by the Saint Louis Literary Consortium is given “to honor the work of a living local author whose literary achievement has won national and international acclaim and, in so doing, has contributed to the distinction of the St. Louis area, upholding its tradition as a center of literary excellence.”

Castro, called “a legend in St. Louis poetry” by Charles Guenther in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is a widely published poet and translator. His poetry has appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, as well as in eleven books and chapbooks. “We Need to Talk: Selected Poems 1970-2016” is due out in November 2017 from Singing Bone Press. Castro is a founder of the literary organization and magazine River Styx, which has been in continuous operation since 1975. He has spread the word of poetry off the page for decades, organizing readings and hosting three literary radio programs. He has read his poems on four continents, including many collaborative performances with musicians. His aural/oral work is recorded on seven albums. With his fellow poet, Gabor G. Gyukics, he has translated modern Hungarian poetry, resulting in five books.

Castro is the recipient of the Guardian Angel of St. Louis Poetry Award from River Styx and the Warrior Poet Award from Word in Motion, both for lifetime achievement. In 2015 he was named St. Louis’s first Poet Laureate. As Poet Laureate Castro promoted the art of poetry by developing the Unity Community, a coalition of literary artists from all over the region that resulted in the Unity Community and Poet Tree reading series, and the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival that just completed its third year.

Castro will receive the award on Friday evening, October 27, 2017, at the Tradition of Literary Excellence Award ceremony. The event will take place on the fifth floor of University City’s historic city hall (6801 Delmar Blvd.) at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony will also recognize the new St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate and two local literary organizations.

The public is invited to attend the award ceremony and may purchase tickets ($25/person), which cover beverage, reception, and live music, at Brown Paper Tickets, And to support the Saint Louis Literary Consortium, an alliance of local literary groups, with a financial donation, please visit

Call for artists, for Olive Blvd, deadline May 26

May 15, 2017


Calling all artists!  The City of University City’s Department of Community Development invites artists to submit designs to be painted on Olive Boulevard Traffic Signal Boxes and Photocell boxes. The theme for the art work is Diversity. These works of art will contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of Olive Boulevard in University City. For more information on Olive Boulevard, visit

A total of twelve boxes will be painted. Eight are Traffic Signal boxes (TSBs) owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation and four are Photocell boxes (PBs) owned by the City of University City.

A document with all the details on this competition, along with a list of the box locations, can be found here.   The submission deadline is May 26th.


2017 Public Arts Series answers the question “What is Mound 28?”

April 22, 2017

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UPDATE:  The April 29 reception noted in the article below has been postponed because of the rain.  The new date will be Saturday, May 6, from 1 to 3 p.m.

What is Mound 28? It’s the title of this year’s Public Arts project, selected for the 2017 Public Arts series which is scheduled to open April 29 on the south side of Heman Park along Vernon Avenue.  An on-site reception is open to the public that day from 1 to 3 p.m.

The 31st annual collaboration between the Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters of University City and Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, this year’s project was the creation of four university students to fit the theme of “Uncommon Common Grounds.”

Mound 28 is an earthworks sculpture — an artwork created from natural elements in the landscape — and is designed to reimagine that side of Heman park as a “river of earth” according to the students, and reflects on University City’s relationship with the River Des Peres. They point out that there were once 27 mounds in the St. Louis area and conceived this piece as a contemporary 28th mound.

Unlike recent years where individual artists put together proposals, the 2017 project was designed by a group who will also take charge of its installation. This team — consisting of Washington University students Jenn Brown, Erin Darnauer, Fin Roy-Nyline, and Jon Young — first got approval for their proposals from the University City Parks Commission before getting final approval from the Arts & Letters Commission.

Some of the public art project’s past pieces, like Rain Man by the Post Office, have become icons of the University City landscape. Funding for the project is made possible in part by the generosity of the Marvin Levy Family, as well as the City of University City.

Send questions on the program to the commission by email, to

Award-winning local children’s author Patricia McKissack passes away

April 11, 2017


The Municipal Commission on Arts and Letters of University City is sad to hear that famed local author Patricia McKissack passed away this last weekend. Among the author’s many honors was the 2016 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award, presented to her just last October at the Gala Opening Event of the Lit in the Lou festival in our city hall. More information on her life and works can be found in the obituary at the link below.

2017 Returning Artist Dr. Stan Ford honored February 22 at public reception in UCHS

February 16, 2017


The Commission is pleased to present University City High School graduate and internationally respected concert pianist Dr. Stan Ford as our 2017 Returning Artist.   The public is invited to attend a special reception to honor him at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22 in University City High School, 7401 Balson Avenue.

A 1975 graduate, he was inducted into the University City High School Hall of Fame in 2000. Dr. Ford is a professor of music at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He holds degrees in music performance and education, piano pedagogy and chamber music and balances a very busy teaching schedule with solo and chamber music concerts throughout Europe, North and South America and parts of Asia.

Dr. Ford will work with school children through the week of the reception and encourage them to investigate careers in the arts.

Since 1994, the Returning Artist program annually features artistically renowned graduates of University City High School who return to share their fields of work.

Returning Artist Marlon West honored by St. Louis International Film Forum

October 18, 2016


The Municipal Commission on Arts and Letters of University City congratulates animator Marlon West, UCHS alum, who will receive the 2016 St. Louis International Film Festival’s Cinema St. Louis Award for his achievements in animation. West has worked on over a dozen animated features for Disney, including “The Lion King,” “Mulan,” and “Frozen.”

He was also our first participant in the Returning Artist Program, in 1994, which features artistically renowned graduates of University City High School who return to the school system to share their fields of work with students.

More information on his latest honor can be found at the film festival’s website,