April ‘Showers’ for Women’s Philanthropy

Volunteers at a past ‘Shower’ event held by Women’s Philanthropy. 


IN JANUARY, JULIE GIBBS became director of Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federation of St. Louis, a job she told me she truly loves. Warm, intelligent and caring, Julie is heading “Shower Our Community With Love,” a service project to benefit the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. Scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Jewish Community Center’s Arts and Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, Julie and her outstanding committee suggest that you enjoy dessert and wine while you make a difference. Bring your donations, which could include the following suggested items: diapers and wipes, laundry detergent, formula, dog and cat food, canned food, toothpaste, soap, cereal and a gently worn purse,  to give as a gift. The cost of showering the community with love is $15, such a bargain for a delightful evening to benefit lots of needy folks. RSVP by April 18 at WomensPhilanthropySTL.org. 

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU to Circus Harmony’s new Flying Trapeze Center. As Circus Harmony’s Jessica Hentoff explains: “Circus Harmony is proud to be taking its goal of defying gravity to new heights with the opening of the Circus Harmony Flying Trapeze Center, where men, women and children will be able to soar through the air with the greatest of ease. The venture will serve as a place for recreational flying and will also help fund our social circus programs – where we use circus arts to motivate social change.” This project was able to take off thanks to Circus Harmony’s win in the YouthBridge Social Enterprise and Innovation competition. The Regional Arts Commission and Daughters of Charity Foundation also contributed to the effort. Jessica told me a piece of fascinating news: Matt Viverito, St. Louis Arch alum who graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University, is back in St. Louis and is going to be the manager of the trapeze center. The center will be housed in the open-air train shed at Union Station.

AND SPEAKING OF SOARING, let me tell you that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be in St. Louis at the Fox Theater at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26. The program includes “Lift” by choreographer Aszure Barton, “D-Man in the Waters” by modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones and “Another Night” by Ailey artistic director Robert Battle. Because they know that I have a mad crush on St. Louis native Antonio Douthit-Boyd (he calls me Grandma), one of the company’s principal dancers, I have been told that he will be performing on both nights of their stay here. Tickets are $35-$70, available at the Dance St. Louis box office at 3547 Olive Street in the Centene Center for Arts and Education in Grand Center, by calling 314-534-6622 or by visiting dancestlouis.org. But hurry, they are going fast.

THE VERY POPULAR JURIED ART FAIR at Queeny Park will return April 4-6 for its 36th year. Presented by the Greater St. Louis Art Association, this is one of the oldest art fairs in the area, exhibiting almost every medium – artwork you can display, artwork you can utilize and artwork you can wear. The artists are on-site during the fair, which takes place inside the park’s air-conditioned Greensfelder Recreation Complex, 550 Weidman Road in Ballwin. There will be 130 local and national artists whose works include ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, jewelry, photography, printmaking, digital art, glass, mixed media, sculpture and wood. Admission is $5 at the door and free to those 18 and under. Tickets are valid for all three days of the fair. For more information, visit artfairatqueenypark.com.