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Tag Archives: Nancy Kranzberg

28 Aug 2020

Create Safely. Present Safely. Attend Safely.

When it comes to the arts, it’s as our trustee Nancy Kranzberg says: “There ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.” Here at the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, we have always loved gathering people to experience the best of our thriving arts community. And while we’re amazed at the new and exciting ways that arts organizations have been able to present their work digitally, we can’t wait to bring people back to our spaces while still respecting the current public health emergency.

Since early May, we’ve been working with the Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC, Regional Arts Commission – St. Louis  and twenty other organizations from across the state as part of the Missouri Arts Safety Alliance to help arts organizations prepare to reopen. Together, we’ve launched Missouri ArtSafe, a certification program promoting best practices for arts and cultural organizations designed to protect the health and safety of artists, staff, volunteers, and guests. Based on eight universal measures and a commitment to publically share their plan, organizations of all sizes will receive support to develop their reopening plans including a free training video to use with frontline staff and volunteers. We know from our experience how much time and effort it takes to create a safety plan. Our hope is that Missouri ArtSafe will help other arts organizations learn from our work, and when the time is right, be able to safely share their work with the public.

Organizations that become Missouri ArtSafe-certified demonstrate that they’ve strategically planned how to reopen safely. And guests will benefit from a centralized location to learn more about an organization’s safety policies before they walk through their doors.

Organizations looking to develop their own plans and become ArtSafe-certified can learn more at missouriartsafe.org. Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts has put together a list of resources on developing your plan. And the Missouri Arts Safety Alliance will be hosting a series of webinars to help organizations create their plans, work through HR issues, develop strategies for de-escalation, and public relations.

It’s important to note that Missouri ArtSafe is not an endorsement to reopen, but a call to be prepared to reopen safely. Art is critical to our lives and well-being, but we all need to do our part to keep our community healthy and safe.

Visit missouriartsafe.org to learn more.

Photo credit: Ian Burt

10 Apr 2020

The 2020 St. Louis Theater Circle Awards recognized six Kranzberg Arts Foundation resident organizations this week. Outstanding work in professional St. Louis theater is acknowledged during this ceremony, which was presented virtually this year by HEC-TV.

Well-deserved recognition also goes to Nancy and Ken Kranzberg for receiving a special award for invaluable support in the arts. The St. Louis arts is a thriving community because of their longtime contributions.

Many congratulations to the Kranzbergs and the winning resident organizations, listed below.

Max & Louie Productions

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play
Patrick Huber, Indecent

Outstanding Sound Design
Phillip Evans, Indecent

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama
Indecent

Outstanding Director of a Drama
Joanne Gordon, Indecent

Outstanding Production of a Drama
Indecent

New Line Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Tiélere Cheatem, La Cage aux Folles

Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical
Sarah Porter, La Cage aux Folles

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Patrick Blindauer, Love’s Labors Lost

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis & The Big Muddy Dance Company

Outstanding Choreographer
Dexandro Montalvo, Such Sweet Thunder, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Jazz St. Louis, and The Nine Network of Public Media

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Such Sweet Thunder, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Jazz St. Louis, and The Nine Network of Public Media

Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Kelley Weber, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
(Tie with Katie Kleiger, Pride and Prejudice, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)
Maggie Wininger, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy
A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

Outstanding Director of a Comedy
Kari Ely, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

Upstream Theater

Outstanding Actress in a Drama
Donna Weinsting, Salt, Root, and Roe

See the full list of winners here.

Image features “Indecent” by Max & Louie Productions, captured by Don Donovan.

01 Feb 2020
man playing trumpet
By Nancy Kranzberg

I was inspired by two art exhibitions at The Sheldon Art Galleries in Grand Center Arts District. The first was titled “Amazing Horns: Bridging Continents, Bridging Time.” The works were instruments from The Hartenberger Collection of Musical Instruments now owned by The Sheldon. Dr. Aurelia Hartenberger has been researching and collecting musical instruments and artifacts amassing more than 3,000 items. Ninety-four horns from the collection were on display in this exhibition.

Wikipedia describes horns as any of a family of musical instruments made of a tube, usually made of metal and often curved in various ways, with one narrow end which the musician blows, and a wide end from which the sound emerges. In jazz and popular-music contexts, the word may be used loosely to refer to any wind instrument, and a section of brass or woodwind instruments, or a mixture of the two, is called a horn section.

As the name indicates, people originally used to blow on the actual horns of animals before starting to emulate them in metal or other materials. The original usage survives in the shofar (Hebrew), a ram’s horn, which plays an important role in the Jewish religious rituals. The genus of animal-horn instruments to which the shofar belongs is called Keren in Hebrew, Qarnu in Akkadian, and Keras in Greek.

The Wikipedia article on horns describes every horn imaginable from finger horns, marching horns, and saxhorns to horns used all around the globe.

Then I remembered another exhibition at The Sheldon Art Galleries, “The City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973,” and the wonderful book written about it by Dennis Owsley, jazz scholar, St. Louis Public Radio jazz host and photographer.

Gabriel, of course, refers to the biblical character who blew his horn to announce the judgment day. The trumpet had more references in Owsley’s book than any other instrument.

The definition of a trumpet says it is a brass instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments (such as the piccolo trumpet) with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC. They began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art, music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music.

Adam Corre wrote an article titled “10 Of The Most Famous Trumpet Players of All Time,” and of course Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, and our own Miles Davis were all on the list. But we forget just how famous St. Louis is for its trumpet players in general. The late Clark Terry in the forward to Owsley’s “City of Gabriel’s” says, “I am not certain of the exact reasons why my hometown of St. Louis has had such a great jazz trumpet tradition. It could have been the Midwestern atmosphere or the other great musical traditions of the city, but I know that the origins of that tradition come straight from the great Mississippi River.”

Owsley says, “Trumpet players have shaped the sound and direction of St. Louis from the beginning. The sound of a St. Louis trumpet player is unmistakable, whether the trumpeter is Charles Creath, Dewey Jackson, Miles Davis, Clark Terry, Floyd LeFlore or Lester Bowie. The unique sound is described as a clear, singing tone, with many bent notes reminiscent of the human voice.”

There are many more notable horn players that have and continue to blow their horns in our city, but I’d like to end this commentary by paying tribute to David Hines (1942-1991) whose life was cut short in a motorcycle accident. By 1963, Hines was touring on trumpet with Albert King, T. Bone Walker, and Little Milton and in 1968, Hines was the jazz soloist with Woody Herman and held the same position with Ray Charles in 1970. Hines also played in theatre orchestra throughout the St. Louis area. He was the leader in halting discriminatory practices in the hiring of musicians for theater work by requiring auditions to be held behind curtains. He taught in various school situations and led the University City Jazz Band in the late 1980s. Hines toured Europe with Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy in the winter of 1986.

We can all toot our horns for St. Louis’ rich history of music where it shines in all its guises.

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