University City Starlight Concert Line-Up Released for the 2015 summer series

April 29, 2015

University City has announced the schedule for its summer Starlight Concert Series. All Monday night concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. and will take place on the south side of Heman Park (Midland/Shaftesbury entrance). The concerts are free and open to the public. 

The Starlight Concert Series is sponsored by the Municipal Commission on Arts and Letters of University City and the City of University City.

Due to the success of last year’s special weekend shows, the commission is once again offering Saturday shows, this year on June 27 and July 18 from 3 to 8 p.m. 

Prepare to enjoy the outdoors and relax to the tunes of this year’s concert line-up:

  • June 8 – Coleman Hughes Project featuring Adrianne Felton
  • June 15 – Brian Owens (rescheduled to August 10 due to weather)
  • June 27- Ladies’ Day featuring Anita Jackson, Tiffany Elle and Theresa Payne
  • June 29 – Charles Glenn
  • July 6 – Jeff Hardin
  • July 13 – Heather Dawn
  • July 18 – Saturday Jazz featuring University City Jazz Band, Rhoda G and Jazz Edge
  • July 20 – Inner City Blues (rescheduled to August 10 due to weather)
  • July  27 – Cheryl Brown (we are working on rescheduling this show)*
  • August 3 – Tim Cunningham
  • August 10 – Inner City Blues (5 p.m.) and Brian Owens (6:30 p.m.)
  • August 17 – Cheryl Brown and her tribute to Whitney Houston (rescheduled from July 27)

    Our University City PTO groups will be on hand again this year selling food and beverages.

    For more information about the series send an email to or call Melcine Henderson at 314-863-6333 or Centennial Commons at 314-505-8625

Annual Arts & Letters Photo Show helps celebrate 30th anniversary of U City in Bloom

April 29, 2015
One of the beautiful U City in Bloom gardens, in this picture enhancing Rain Man by the post office.  (Photo courtesy of U City in Bloom.)

One of the beautiful U City in Bloom gardens, in this picture enhancing Rain Man by the post office. (Photo courtesy of U City in Bloom.)

For years, U City in Bloom—a community-based, volunteer, green-thumb brigade—has designed and nurtured eye-popping displays of natural beauty throughout University City. To celebrate the thirtieth year of U City in Bloom’s beautification efforts, University City’s Arts & Letters Commission will feature images of the group’s work in its 2015 photo show, themed “U City in Bloom: A Garden for All Seasons.”

“The Arts & Letters Commission is excited about our partnership with U City in Bloom for this project,” says Melcine Henderson, president of the commission, the purpose of which is to promote the arts in University City. “For years we have enjoyed the stunning, colorful gardens in our community. With the photo contest, we can share our appreciation for U City in Bloom’s 30 years of beautification.”

U City in Bloom currently tends more than 325 public gardens in University City, as well as planters in the Delmar Loop and hanging baskets on Olive St. Rd. Amateur camera buffs (adults and elementary through high school students) are invited to photograph the group’s handiwork and to enter their best images in the photo contest. A select number of contest photos will be used in the 2017 University City calendar.

Photos taken between September 1, 2014 and August 24, 2015—including fall and winter garden shots—are eligible for entry. Photos of private University City gardens may be submitted with the written permission of the garden’s owner. Photographs entered in previous University City photo contests are not eligible. Contest entries may be submitted between Monday, August 24 through Saturday, August 29, 2015, at the Centennial Commons Recreation Facility, 7210 Olive Blvd.

Complete registration rules are available here and application forms are available here.

Direct questions about the photo show to  More information on U City in Bloom may be found at their website.

Photos will be displayed and winners announced at a special public reception on Sunday, September 20, 2015, in the lobby of the city hall in University City at 6801 Delmar Blvd. The photos will also be on display (from September 14-18) at the Green Center, 8025 Blackberry, and (from September 21-28) at Royal Bank, 8021 Olive Blvd.


“Citizen” defined for 2015 Community Visuals collaboration

December 17, 2014


What does “Citizen” mean?   Several answers to the question were chosen to be part of the annual Community Visuals Sculpture Project and can be seen around University City through September.

The 29th annual sculpture collaboration between the Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters of University City and the Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, the project’s pieces were the creation of four university students and selected from a group of ten.

The theme of “Citizen” was chosen because of a desire by collaboration professors Noah Kirby and Buzz Spector that their students be more engaged as citizens within the community.  They pointed out that it also fits well with the collaboration program founder Marvin Levy’s hope that the annual project would continue to explore “ways to involve the citizens of a community in the processes and conversations of public art.”

Chosen for 2015:

Jonathan Berger’s “Golden in Silver” utilizes a photographic art tool from the past, the tintype, to bring together people of the present.  At a number of public events from late-winter through the spring, citizens told their stories about University City and had their pictures taken with an old-fashioned tintype camera.  These pictures and stories will be shared in exhibitions and through the mail.  Berger hopes that through this process “we can begin to recognize the gold of University City, its citizens.”  His works will be collected into a gallery presentation in July at the University City Public Library but can also be viewed online at his website,

Sarah Hull’s project, “Hands of Change,” celebrates the activist role of citizens, “when people recognized their duty to their community and lifted their voices.”  She feels that “activism requires a sense of ownership of one’s community that goes far beyond the role of a resident and forces a community to come together to respond to an issue.”  Concrete hands rise up from the ground along Ackert Walkway near the Delmar Loop, holding large semi-transparent historical photographs of activist moments in University City.

A sense of ownership is also reflected in Madeline Marak’s sculpture, “Have A Seat:  Say, What’s Good?” which appears near the pavilion in Millar Park, 7603 Carleton Avenue  The piece consists of a colorful outdoor living room space, couch and chairs and artificial flowers, where she said “the community can come together and interact in a comfortable setting.”  Marak believes “as citizens, we don’t always get to choose where we live, but we can choose how we live in that place.”  Her research into the use of public spaces also brought to light the responsibility citizens can come to feel about the public spaces they frequent.  The unexpected nature of her piece, she hopes, will encourage even more of a responsibility to the space as well as foster questions and enjoyment.

Jared Stein’s “Stockade” reflects the artist’s belief that “To be a citizen is to enter into a social contract with a given community.”  It looks at what happens when the community feels this contract has been broken, through a monument consisting of a large transparent Plexiglass stockade.    His piece sits on the area west of the Craft Alliance lot (6640 Delmar) in the Loop, it matches the traditional placement of the stocks – a central and heavily-trafficked public space – and, according to Stein, represents “the transparency of the modern judicial system and as a symbol of the social contract between citizens and the agents of the judiciary.”

A digital map to the sites is available here or you can also print a PDF version.

Some of the sculpture 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 Regional Arts Commission and the City of University City.

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.