It’s a Party… Presented by Starlight Concerts!

March 10, 2022


February 23, 2022
Completed PVG Mural as of 2722

Andy Cross mural

The curved wall with benches at the southwest corner of the Leland-Loop North intersection is a forlorn, long-neglected spot. It is near the main entrance to the Parkview Gardens neighborhood, and the Parkview Gardens Association Special Business District (President: Mike Giger) wants to renew it. The costs will be borne by the PGA-SBD. The wall belongs to University City. We have informally approached City Manager Rose and Public Works Director Alpaslan about the project and received favorable responses.

    Our plan: after the brick wall is tuck pointed, Andy Cross will paint a mural (Dimensions: 41 feet long, 5 feet 7 inches wide) of the U City lions on it. He is an active member of the Skinker-DeBaliviere community. He has painted scenery for The Rep, Muny Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In his freelance work, he has done murals for restaurants, public art installations, and paintings for private residences. He also painted some of the board-ups in the Loop last summer. A flower bed with colorful annuals will be planted and maintained by Kelcye McDonough, who takes care of the ten flower beds in Parkview Gardens. The benches will be repaired and repainted. Our time-frame is late this Spring.

David Linzee

Parkview Gardens Association

Starlight Concerts 2021: Series Continues at the Heman Park Stage, 09/26, 3PM!

September 9, 2021

  • Orquesta Chevere (Sun., 09/26)
  • U. City Jazz & Roots Festival w/Phillip Graves Band & The Western Satellites (Sun., 09/05)
  • Coleman & Hughes featuring Adrianne (Sun., 08/29)
  • The Convertible’s featuring Selena (Sat., 08/21) *CANCELLED due to Inclement Weather*

Directions: East of HWY 170 at Olive Boulevard;
Heman Park, 1028 Midland Blvd., University City, MO, 63130 
(btwn Olive Blvd and Vernon Av.)


Sarlight Concerts 2021: Series Continues at the Heman Park Stage, September 05th, 3PM!

September 4, 2021

The Convertible’s featuring Selena (Sat., 08/21) *CANCELLED due to Inclement Weather*

Coleman & Hughes featuring Adrianne (Sun., 08/29)

U. City Jazz & Roots Festival w/Phillip Graves Band & The Western Satellites (Sun., 09/05)

Orquesta Chevere (Sun., 09/26)

Directions: East of HWY 170 at Olive Boulevard;
Heman Park, 1028 Midland Blvd., University City, MO, 63130 
(btwn Olive Blvd and Vernon Av.)


Sarlight Concerts 2021: Series returns to the Heman Park Stage, August 21st, 3PM!

August 20, 2021

Sarlight Concerts 2021: Series returns to the Heman Park Stage, April 21st, 3PM!

The Convertible’s featuring Selena (08/21) *CANCELLED due to Inclement Weather*
Coleman & Hughes featuring Adrianne (08/29)
U. City Jazz & Roots Festival w/Phillip Graves Band & The Western Satellites (09/05)

So long to Melcine!

November 17, 2020

The Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters of University City sadly notes the passing of one of our former commissioners, a past president and vice president, and a model of civic engagement in University City, Melcine Henderson.

From 2010 until 2018, she served on the Commission, helping to realize its mandate of offering arts-related programming to University City residents. Melcine worked on the Returning Artist program — a collaborative effort of the Arts & Letters Commission and the University City School District — but she might best be remembered for her commitment to the Starlight Concert Series.

As chair of the Starlight Committee, she was charged with putting on the Commission’s annual series of summertime concerts in Heman Park. Although setting up a series of such events can prove daunting, Melcine’s passion for the community, coupled with her indomitable work ethic, made it all seem effortless. No matter the number of behind-the-scene challenges, she made sure the show would go on.

In addition to her work on the Arts & Letters Commission, Melcine served on the Traffic Commission and contributed to countless other civic efforts for the benefit of the community. She will be greatly missed, but her spirit will live on in all of the Commission’s future endeavors. We send our condolences to her friends and family.

Honors set for Returning Artist Christopher J. Watkins at public reception, November 13

October 25, 2019

ReturningArtist HeadShot - 2019
The Arts & Letters Commission invites the community to a reception honoring Returning Artist Christopher J. Watkins at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 13 in the UCHS Pruitt Library, 7401 Balson Ave. (Jackson Ave. entrance).
  Watkins is a noted music director and composer from the University City High School Class of 1988.

As the commission’s 2019 honoree, Watkins will work with music students in elementary, middle and high school classrooms in a series of sessions during the week of Nov. 11-15 and will also share his expertise in assemblies with younger students as well as master classes with older music students. 

He said he “looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for various genres of music and his memories of the impact University City Schools have had on his life journey.”  Watkins’ musical journey began in his early teens when he began playing the piano and organ at church, taught by his musician mother, Anita Watkins-Stevens.  He remained in the area after his time in the school district, continuing his education at Webster University.

Since 1994, the commission’s Returning Artist program annually features artistically renowned graduates of University City High School who return to share their fields of work.  Typically, one artist is invited per school year, and all visiting alumni artists have established careers in their fields.  Program activities are concentrated at University City High School in a variety of classes.  Some activities take place in middle school and elementary school classes in both public and non-public schools.

There are two goals of the program:  to encourage students to investigate careers in the arts and to enrich the schools’ art programs.  Returning artists have included visual artists, glassblowers, photographers, writers, filmmakers, graphic designers, videographers, animators, instrumental musicians, composers, actors, singers and dancers.  A complete list of the honorees may be found here.

Questions about the program may be sent to the commission, at

2019 Literary Gala scheduled October 26

October 16, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 8.38.51 AM

Howard Schwartz, the noted poet, essayist, novelist, editor, and expert on Jewish folklore and mythology, will receive the 2019 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award at a gala reception at 7 pm on October 26, on the fifth floor of University City’s historic city hall building.

The public is invited to attend the awards ceremony and may purchase tickets ($20/person; $35/couple), which cover light refreshments and live music, at the door. To reserve your tickets, use the ‘Get tickets’ button on our Facebook page.

The award, which was created in 2014 and is funded by the Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters of University City, 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.”

Questions may be sent to

Movies in the Parks 2019: Avengers – Infinity War on Saturday, December 14 in Heman Park Community Center

May 14, 2019


UCity’s Movies in the Park series returns with a free showing of “Avengers: Infinity War”, Saturday, December 14 in the Heman Park Community Center!

Black Panther, Captain America, Dr. Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, and many many more heroes of the Marvel Universe embark on a quest to find and protect the cosmic Infinity stones from the power of Thanos and his plan to change reality forever.

Bring your friends and family and blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy this big budget blockbuster.  Showtime will be at 6 pm in the Heman Park Community Center, 975 Pennsylvania Avenue.

UCity’s Movies in the Park is an event from the Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters of University City.

The film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references.  It runs 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Questions about the movie or the series can be sent to the commission at

It’s raining poetry in University City!

April 29, 2019


April is National Poetry Month, and University City is celebrating in style! The city’s Arts & Letters Commission is sponsoring a combined literary and public art project, called Raining Poetry, and is getting the whole community involved.

Designed both to extol poetry and to recognize our area’s rich literary heritage, the activity involves spray painting lines of poetry from the works of four poets with Missouri ties—Langston Hughes, Howard Nemerov, Mona Van Duyn, and Maya Angelou—for display at sites around University City.

Studio arts students at U. City High School, under the direction of art teacher Marnie Claunch and visual artist Adelia Parker-Castro, are using stencils and a special paint—visible only when it rains—to produce the poetry text and create a bit of poetic magic at the high school’s entrance.  The students were inspired to take part in the project after a visit from Jane Ellen Ibur, the newly installed Poet Laureate of St. Louis, who helped the students to write their own poetry.

Poetry will also be displayed at the Market in the Loop (6655 Delmar); Centennial Commons, University City’s recreational center (7210 Olive); and at the University City Public Library (6701 Delmar), where those curious to know more about the four chosen poets can find collections of their work.