EMILY RAUH PULITZER will be the guest of honor at the Contemporary Art Museum’s annual gala in March. Pulitzer, who has enjoyed a notable career as curator, collector and patron of the arts, is the wife of the late St. Louis Post-Dispatch publisher JOSEPH PULITZER. Together, they’ve amassed one of the country’s premier art collections with works by PABLO PICASSO, ELLSWORTH KELLY, ANDY WARHOL, RICHARD SERRA and others. The March 6 event at the Four Seasons Hotel will feature a special award presentation to Pulitzer for her contributions to the world of contemporary art. 

    Veteran journalist and Washington Week moderator GWEN IFILL will be in town later this month to promote her bestseller, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Ifill’s analysis of the changing political landscape includes exclusive interviews with PRESIDENT OBAMA, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the REV. JESSE JACKSON. Her Jan. 30 appearance at St. Louis County Library headquarters is part of the library’s Black History Month Celebration.

    Forbes has named UMB Bank as one of the top financial institutions in America. The magazine’s year-end assessment places Missouri-based UMB second-best among the 100 largest banks and thrifts in the nation, based on eight financial measures including return on average equity and net interest margin. The Bank of Hawaii was ranked No. 1.

A good read for a good cause…Author SUSAN McBRIDE is out with The Cougar Club, her debut into mainstream fiction and her first book set in St. Louis. A proud member of ‘the club’ herself, McBride and her (much younger) husband live in town. She’s throwing a Jan. 26 Girls’ Night Out signing party at the Borders in Brentwood, with a portion of the proceeds from book sales that evening going to Komen St. Louis. McBride, a three-year breast cancer survivor, has also penned the award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries and The Debs young adult series.

    The final fundraising push is on for erecting an 8-foot tall statue honoring native son and music pioneer CHUCK BERRY. Approximately two-thirds of the $100,000 goal has been raised so far to help pay for the bronze likeness, to be installed on Delmar Boulevard in University City. Blueberry Hill’s JOE EDWARDS and KMOX Radio personality CHARLES BRENNAN are leading the effort to recognize the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. Created by St. Louisan HARRY WEBER, the statue will be dedicated in June. For more information, visit chuckberrystatue.com.

    Save the date…LADUE MIDDLE SCHOOL’s ‘Art with Heart’ fundraiser takes place Feb. 7 through Feb. 15 at Plaza Frontenac. In its 13th year, the silent auction features more than 200 acrylic paintings, paper mosaics, totem poles, paperweights, jewelry and other pieces created by LMS art students, with all proceeds going to charity. This year’s beneficiaries include American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation and St. Louis Area Food Bank.

    Rehearsals are underway for more than 700 St. Louis-area students as they prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on the Fox Theatre stage. The eighth ANNUAL ST. LOUIS PERFORMING ARTS NIGHT showcases musical theater, jazz ensembles, opera, dance, choral groups and concert bands made up of students from six school districts. The event, produced by Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, will be hosted by foundation executive director KATHRYN BALLARD with Jazz St. Louis’ GENE DOBBS-BRADFORD as emcee. Admission for the Feb. 11 event is free, but tickets are required and are available at the box office.

    A local group of Jewish 30-somethings recently returned from a free, 10-day trip to Israel, courtesy of philanthropists RON and PAM RUBIN. The second annual Rubin Israel Experience is the only program of its kind in the country aimed at encouraging young adults to strengthen their Jewish identity. The participants, all of whom embarked on their first-ever trip to Israel, include KIMBER CHAPPELL, JENNIFER DEUTSCH, KIM GOLDENBERG, JEN KASLOW, AMY LEVY, RACHEL PEPE, JIM DEUTSCH, ROB MERLIN, ALAN SINGER and DAVID STEINBACH. While there, they had an opportunity to see most of the country, as well as interact with soldiers, VIPs, and people on the street.