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St. Louis, often called the Gateway to the West, is home to some of the country’s most recognizable corporations, including Enterprise Holdings, the rental car company; Edward Jones Investments; Energizer battery company; and of course, the city’s most popular company, Anheuser-Busch. The city is also home to three professional sports teams — the St. Louis Cardinals, Blues and Rams — and is one of the LGBT capitals of the Midwest.
Visitors to St. Louis should consider using the MetroLink train system, an inexpensive way to travel throughout the city. It has two routes, the red line and the blue line, and it’s easy to navigate. MetroLink connects Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to downtown, as well as a host of other neighborhoods worth visiting, including my personal favorite, Forest Park.
One of the largest urban parks in the United States, Forest Park is about 1,300 acres, which is 500 acres or so larger than Central Park in New York City. Forest Park is home to the St. Louis Art Museum, the St Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Zoo, the Jewel Box greenhouse and the Missouri History Museum, as well as a 7.5-mile biking, jogging and skating path. Most of these attractions are free of charge.
The St. Louis Zoo, which has free admission, is home to 655 species of animals, many of them rare and endangered. Catch a glimpse of the cheetah, elephant, lion and penguin habitats while enjoying a leisurely day with friends and family. This summer, the zoo will open Sea Lion Sound, combining a spacious new sea lion habitat with the zoo’s popular sea lion show.
A brisk walk through Forest Park will lead you to another great attraction, the St. Louis Art Museum. It is among the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums, with collections that include more than 33,000 works. Most notable are the Chinese, pre-Columbian and 19th and 20th century masters galleries. The museum building itself is an architectural masterpiece and a highlight of the park. Admission is free.
St. Louis’ most recognizable landmark is, without a doubt, the Gateway Arch, the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in downtown St. Louis. The arch was completed in 1965, and at 630 feet, the stainless steel structure is the tallest manmade monument in the country. The view from the top should not be missed. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
After a day of history and culture, head to the Central West End neighborhood, which is adjacent to the park. It’s a gay-friendly destination with numerous sidewalk cafes, small boutiques, and antique stores. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, also in this neighborhood, houses the one of the world’s largest collections of mosaic art. Ground was broken for the cathedral in 1907, and it was designated in 1997 as a cathedral basilica.
Those looking to stay close to LGBT nightlife should check in at the Cheshire, a boutique hotel reminiscent of a traditional British inn. The hotel contains beautifully appointed rooms with luxury linens, deep soaking whirlpool tubs and complimentary tea service. The Cheshire truly transports visitors to the English countryside, and for a while, you forget you are in St. Louis. For a quick snack, stop by Fox & Hounds Tavern and sample traditional British fare.
Most of St. Louis LGBT culture is centered on the Grove, a growing business and entertainment district along Manchester Avenue, about a five-minute taxi ride from the hotel. The Grove is home to a variety of independently owned restaurants, nightlife options, and retail shops.
Stop by Atomic Cowboy for some Mexican cuisine, such as shredded pork tacos, fish tacos, or buffalo chicken sliders, or head to the Bad Dog Bar & Grill to mingle with the leather and bear crowd and enjoy happy hour cocktails and traditional American fare. Ladies should make an effort to go to Novak’s, regularly voted one of the top lesbian bars in St. Louis. The vibrant bar and grill features weekly karaoke nights and a regular lineup of live entertainment.
Gays looking to party St. Louis-style should head to Just John Nightclub, located in the heart of Manchester Avenue. Just John offers an upscale environment with high-tech lighting, premium sound, flat-screen TVs, private tables and the friendliest staff in town. The focal point of Just John is the Florida Room, an indoor/outdoor area that is climate-controlled and features a fireplace, tropical plants and lots of windows overlooking the patio area. While you are there, find Andy and ask him to pour you his signature Pineapple Upside-down Cake.
One of the coolest spots to visit in the Grove neighborhood is Erney’s 32 Degrees. The bar features a large, walk-in Vodka Box – a glass-enclosed freezer that people can gather in to sample dozens of vodkas from around the world. It gets quite cold inside the box, so dress appropriately.
St. Louis is also proud to host one of the largest pride festivals in the region, and it was held June 23-24 this year. The event in Tower Grove Park expected to attract over 60,000 visitors and featured headlining entertainment from Deborah Cox, Kristine W and Pandora Boxx. St. Louis Pride also included an Athletes Village and a nondenominational prayer service.
A highlight of St. Louis’ LGBT scene is the Gateway Men’s Chorus. The GMC was formed in 1988 with 22 singers and has since grown to about 80, making the chorus one of the most successful male choral arts organizations in the country. St. Louis is also home to numerous gay sports leagues, nonprofit organizations and cultural groups, making the city a must-see “out” destination.
OUT Destinations is part of OUTreach Public Relations, a Nashville-based company specializing in LGBT marketing. Founded by Joey Amato in 2012, OUTreach PR has quickly become one of the most sought after companies for firms looking to target the ever growing and affluent LGBT consumer. For more information, please visit www.outreachpublicrelations.com.
Worldwide opera star Renée Fleming will perform in Kansas City on Thursday night, November 18, but the day before, she'll be part of a panel discussion for "Music and the Mind" — a conversation about how music affects the brain, cognitive development, healing and quality of life.
WHAT: Music and the Mind with Renée Fleming
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021
TIME: 4:00-5:30 PM
WHERE: The 1900 Building, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, KS, 66205
Music has a profound impact and the ability to shape 86 billion neurons in the brain for cognitive development, healing, and therapy. Science research has clearly shown that music therapy interventions can improve quality of life across nearly all neurological disorders. And there is tremendous public-interest in applying music to creative aging, childhood development, and community wellness.
But scientists want to know more.
Join soprano Renée Fleming and a distinguished panel of local Kansas City experts in neurology, music therapy, music and healing, and more for this cutting-edge discussion. Audience members will be able to participate in a Q&A following the panel discussion.
*Please note this Music and the Mind Event is not a musical performance*
As Artistic Advisor at Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Renée Fleming has spearheaded a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, with the participation of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Sound Health initiative explores and brings attention to research and practice at the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. This collaboration has led to workshops at the NIH, and events and performances at the Kennedy Center. This initiative has also led the NIH to recently award $20 million dollars in funding for music and neuroscience research over five years.
As part of her advocacy, Fleming is also advisor to the recently launched NEA/UCSF Sound Health Network and co-chair of the Aspen Institute/Johns Hopkins NeuroArts Blueprint, both working to advance the field of arts and health.
This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please call the Harriman-Jewell Series at 816-415-5025 to reserve your seat.
WHAT: Renée Fleming, soprano in recital
WHEN: Thursday, Nov 18, 2021
TIME: 7:00 PM
WHERE: Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
COST: Tickets from $25.00 *discounts available for students, educators, first responders, active duty military and veterans with valid I.D.
Pair a glorious voice with a winning personality and you have a diva for the ages. Renée Fleming is a longstanding Harriman-Jewell Series favorite. With her many television and Broadway appearances, Fleming has been embraced by music lovers of all genres.
Whether singing at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Olympics, or Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Renée Fleming represents opera to the world. In addition to her numerous operatic performances, Fleming often works classic show tunes and the Great American Songbook into her recitals. Fleming’s trademark rapport with audiences will give her Kansas City performance a warmth that is personal and sincere.
Rob Ainsley is pianist for the recital. His diverse career as a musician, conductor, educator, and administrator has taken him to top organizations and colleges from coast to coast. He now serves as Director of the Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artists and American Opera Initiative. Ainsley performed with Renée Fleming in The Metropolitan Opera’s August 2020 “Met Stars Live in Concert” that was streamed worldwide.
ABOUT THE HARRIMAN-JEWELL SERIES
Renée Fleming's recital will mark the 977th performance since the Series was founded in 1965. From free education events that allow interaction with musicians and dancers, to our free Discovery Concerts that are open to the community, the Harriman-Jewell Series continues to offer life-enriching opportunities for its community's youth and lifelong learners.
Whether you're spreading truth, information, or love, traveling abroad for humanitarian reasons can have risks. Detained American journalist in Myanmar, Danny Fenster, is to be released from jail, and to fly home soon. But it doesn't always end well for every foreign national attempting to do good in a foreign country.
The missionaries consisting of sixteen Americans and one Canadian kidnapped by the Haitian “400 Mawozo” gang on October 16, is extremely scary. The gang has threatened to kill the humanitarian Christians if a million dollar per person ransom is not fulfilled. The group consists of men, women, children and an eight-month-old baby.
These missionaries have sacrificed their time and paid their own way to go to the poorest place in the Western hemisphere to try to spread God’s love and save some souls. In turn, the missionaries are experiencing a nightmare like they’ve never imagined. They’re imprisoned and being threatened with a bullet in the head.
Most of us will never get over seeing journalists being beheaded and tortured in Syria and Iraq by the barbaric Islamic extremist group called ISIL. Burning people alive and beheading others were too graphic and gruesome to ever be forgotten.
Years ago, I traveled to a third world country on a “missionary trip” with others thinking it would be a nice break. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.
Sadly, the 17 missionaries in Haiti are undergoing a cruel experience that may end with the cost of their very lives. What are they thinking now? What is going through the minds of the little children who traveled to a world to help others and spread God’s love?
Haiti has been the site of years of humanitarian efforts. The United States and other countries have given billions of dollars to help Haiti. Sadly, hurricanes, political unrest, underdevelopment and extreme poverty have all made for a sad scenario.
How much money would the world have to give to Haiti to make life better for this nation? This is a question no one can answer because usually aid is a short-term solution. We spent a trillion dollars in Afghanistan and they aren’t any better off today.
Good missionary people went to Haiti with good hearts for helping others in the name of God’s love. They went to share a message they hoped would bring about change and better lives. They may now lose their lives.
Christians point to Jesus as the model for such missionary efforts. He came preaching and teaching in an effort to demonstrate and spread God’s love and it cost him plenty – his life, executed in public on a cross.
There are some Christians today who, like Jesus, are willing to risk their lives for the sake of others. Did these men and women literally go to Haiti taking their children with them truly believe they could be killed? Would they purposefully do this to their children? Who convinced these people that such a trip with small children was a good idea?
My goal here is to simply say, think about such trips to places like Haiti. Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Nigeria and numerous others countries are not vacation spots. Foreign travel may sound exotic and adventurous but consider the possible cost.
Many missionaries and Christian workers have paid the ultimate price in order to spread the gospel of Christ. Only eternity will reveal what their selfless sacrifice has meant to those whose lives they impacted.
By chance, if you decide such an international trip is not for you, don’t feel bad. Consider helping in an American inner city, Appalachia or maybe your own neighborhood. Service at home is needed across America.
Let’s pray for the safety of these missionaries and for those negotiating their release. May God help them and all who may consider such endeavors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Glenn Mollette is a graduate of numerous schools including Georgetown College, Southern and Lexington Seminaries in Kentucky. He is the author of 13 books including Uncommon Sense, Grandpa's Store, Minister's Guidebook: insights from a fellow minister. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states. Glenn Mollette has been on numerous International humanitarian and missionary group trips. Hear Glenn Mollette every weekday morning EST at 8:56 on XM radio 131. Editor-If you need to tweak or do a small edit for you paper or website that is okay. Please respond to this email if you need a picture for this column. Scroll down for additional biographical info. Buy his latest recording titled "Black Coffee" on iTunes. Learn more at www.glennmollette.com
The Black Trans Fund, incubated at Groundswell Fund, and Grantmakers for Girls of Color launched the Holding a Sister Initiative, the first-ever national fund explicitly dedicated to transgender girls and gender-expansive youth of color.
Dr. Monique W. Morris, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, and Bré Rivera, program director of the Black Trans Fund are together spearheading the Holding a Sister Initiative to bring attention and resources to organizations supporting trans girls of color, normalize concern and investment in their success, and create learning opportunities for cis and trans girls of color to move in deeper community with one another.
The initiative will award $1 million in grants in the first year, and will ultimately engage trans girls and gender-expansive youth of color in the decision-making process for selecting grantees on an ongoing basis.
While there has been an increase in donor attention to work led by people of color, it has yet to translate into significant gains in funding for trans and gender-expansive youth of color.
According to recent regional studies in Detroit, South Florida and New Orleans, trans women of color face higher levels of hunger, homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and discrimination. At the same time, the majority of this year's record-breaking anti-trans legislation are targeted to affect youth, including bills that prevent transgender athletes from playing in school sports and the "Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act." Research has show sharp rises in suicide attempts among trans youth during 2020 and 2021.
"The reality is transgender and gender-expansive youth of color require more attention, and resources to interrupt the staggering intersections of trauma and crises they experience," said Bré Rivera.
The initiative joins existing funding intermediaries who have been leading the work to resource trans communities and engage trans people in the direction and distribution of resources, including the Third Wave Fund, the Black Trans Travel Fund, and Fund for Trans Generations. As funding partners, the Black Trans Fund and Grantmakers for Girls of Color aim to expand and transform philanthropy's investments in trans and gender-nonconforming youth. The initiative will move resources to organizations serving and led by trans girls and young women of color. It will also amplify narratives that elevate the humanity, dignity and leadership of trans and gender-expansive youth of color, as well as the ways their experiences and contributions have been overlooked, minimized and targeted by oppositional and systemic forces, and larger social justice movements.
The Holding a Sister Initiative will be led by a manager, who will steward culture change through grantmaking, capacity building, narrative shifting and philanthropic organizing. The position is currently open for applicants.
About Grantmakers for Girls of Color
Fiscally-sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC) works to mobilize resources and amplify transformative organizing work to dismantle systems of oppression led by girls and gender-expansive youth of color. Grantmakers for Girls of Color openly invites partners and stakeholders to co-create an inclusive space in support of girls, young women, and gender-expansive youth of color across programmatic issues and geographic areas. Learn more by visiting Grantmakers for Girls of Color.
About the Black Trans Fund
The Black Trans Fund is a groundbreaking endeavor: the first national fund in the country dedicated to uplifting and resourcing Black trans social justice leaders. BTF seeks to address the lack of funding for Black trans communities in the U.S. through direct grantmaking, capacity building support, and funder organizing to transform philanthropy. Learn more by visiting Black Trans Fund.