A group of local women is being recognized for their efforts in keeping the arts thriving in St. Louis. The recipients of this year’s Grand Center Visionary Awards include philanthropist KIM EBERLEIN (Major Contribution to the Arts), CON CHRISTESON of the Community CollabARTive program at Peter & Paul Community Services (Successful Working Artist), The City Studio Dancer Center’s SARA BURKE (Outstanding Arts Professional), Saint Louis Art Museum photography instructor LOIS INGRAM (Outstanding Arts Educator), artist GINA ALVAREZ (Emerging Artist) and Washington University English professor and author MARY JO BANG (Lifetime Achievement). In addition, SUSAN UCHITELLE, director of the Confluence Academy, will receive the President’s Award for her role in establishing Grand Center Arts Academy. The 10th annual Visionary Awards takes place May 16 at The Sheldon. For tickets, call 289-1583 or visit grandcenter.org.

CIRCUS FLORA has announced the theme of its 26th big-top season: The Wizard—Merlin & the Legends of King Arthur promises to be a playful exploration of the Arthurian world. NINO the Clown, YO-YO the Narrator, the FLYING WALLENDAS and the ST. LOUIS ARCHES are among the Circus Flora favorites who are returning for this year’s production. New acts include aerialists SHAYNA SWANSON and LAURA LIPPERT and Luciano’s Pound Puppies. The season begins May 31. For tickets, call 289-4040 or visit circusflora.org.

Author MAUREEN DUNKEL held court with a group of VIP guests during the opening of her exhibit, Diana, The People’s Princess, in St. Louis. Over breakfast, Dunkel kept her new friends entertained with stories related to the creation of the exhibition, including a business meeting at Kensington Palace in DIANA’s parlor, during which the late princess’ personal butler, PAUL BURRELL, served her tea.

Power of the photo: We’re happy to report that the ANIMAL PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION OF MISSOURI’s newly launched pet photography makeover campaign, Pics of the Litter, has been a howling success! Since launching on Valentine’s Day, about a dozen dogs featured on PicsoftheLitterSTL.com have been adopted. The campaign is a joint effort of the APA, the Brighton Agency and photographer LYNN TERRY. The idea is to give dogs who have been at the shelter the longest a better chance at adoption through great photography.

St. Louis Arc’s KATHY MEATH joined 150 other Arc leaders from across the country at the White House last month to advocate for people with disabilities. The Community Leaders Briefing gave administration officials the opportunity to hear from leaders of The Arc about how government policies affect the lives of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The meeting came in advance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness month, taking place this month.

Another renowned Broadway star is making her way to The Muny this season: Tony and Emmy Award-winning entertainer LESLIE UGGAMS will reprise her critically acclaimed role of Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (June 18-24). Uggams last performed at The Muny in the 1977 production of Guys and Dolls.