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PNC Arts Alive announces grants to St. Louis arts organizations

PNC Arts Alive announces grants to St. Louis arts organizations

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For the sixth year in a row, the PNC Foundation's PNC Arts Alive will contribute $250,000 in grants to St. Louis-area arts organizations. 

The grants will go to nine arts groups of varying sizes and disciplines. The funding will help pay for an app featuring musical instruments, an innovative neighborhood project and an interactive mapping experience, among others.

Union Avenue Opera and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis are new recipients this year.

Here are the arts groups and their projects:

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's popular Instrument Playground is a mobile orchestra that allows children to see, hear, touch and play instruments from each of the orchestra's families. Now the Playground will become a cutting-edge app as well, enabling children (and adults) to learn about those instruments wherever they are, on demand.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis will expand its "Shakespeare in the Streets" program in 2017, turning it into a citywide initiative. The result will be a new play based on Shakespeare's work that explores the history and character of St. Louis, to be performed in Sept. 2017 with a cast that includes hundreds of performers at a landmark St. Louis site.

Center of Creative Arts (COCA) With a design by Jer Thorp, COCA's data artist-in-residence, the St. Louis Ma Room and Website will offer members of the community the opportunity to "blend personal illustrations using drawings, photographs or collages with elements of existing community and historical maps" to create original maps reflecting their own experiences of the area. 

Opera Theatre of St. Louis will host "Opera Tastings," and offer $25 PNC Seats for 2017's production of "Madame Butterfly." "Opera Tastings," taking place at various locations around St. Louis, combines "bite-sized" opera performances with food and drink chosen to go with the music. 

Union Avenue Opera will continue and expand its "Crescendo" program, in which college students work alongside opera professionals. "PNC Arts Alive presents 'Hansel and Gretel'" will give the Crescendo artists the opportunity to take the roles an abbreviated version of Humperdinck's opera, presented at no charge in the fall for St. Louis-area schools.

The Muny will present the "PNC Arts Alive Pre-Show Festival," 53 nights of free interactive entertainment, located in four strategic high-traffic locations. The festival features community organizations along with arts non-profits, the Muny Kids and Teens, and professional artists, providing high-quality and accessible arts experiences for all ages.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis will provide a holiday production by the Imaginary Theatre Company, "A Gnome for Christmas," that can be experienced in several ways: on tour in schools, in a public performance, or streamed live in audience homes. Adapted from a Scandinavian folk take, "Gnome" was written for ITC, and is aimed at all ages.

Dance St. Louis will offer "Celebrating Women Who Inspire," the fifth edition of "PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons." Representing Dance St. Louis' commitment to creating and producing innovative, original works of dance, it will examine iconic women in history, and their influences on today's artistic landscape. DSL will bring three important female choreographers (Amy Seiwert and Wendy Rein from San Francisco; Stephanie Martinez from Chicago) to work with local dance companies on a trio of original dances that will have their world premieres in St. Louis.

Metro Theater Company will give "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane," an adaptation of Newbery Award winner Kate DiCamillo's book. Dwayne Hartford will adapt this story about a three-foot-tall china rabbit named Edward who learns important lessons about love. "Journey" will be performed this fall at the Missouri History Museum.

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Sarah Bryan Miller is the classical music critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; she has also written on a variety of other topics.

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