Things are about to get wilder at the SAINT LOUIS ZOO. Beginning this Saturday, three new animal habitats will open to the public. The Purina Painted Dog Preserve will feature the African wild dog, a species that hasn’t been seen at the Zoo since the 1950s. Sun Bear Forest and Andean Bear Range will also open as the new homes for the Malayan sun bears and Andean bears, which were moved from the Zoo’s historic Bear Bluffs.
St. Louis writer (and 2012 LN Dynamic Person) SUSAN McBRIDE has debuted a new series called River Road Mystery with HarperCollins. The first book, To Helen Back, was released last week. The series centers around Helen Evans, a Miss Marple-type detective who was inspired by the author’s grandmother, Helen. The book is set in a fictional small town on the Mississippi River, loosely based on Chautauqua, Illinois, where McBride spent many summers as a young girl. The series’ second book, Mad as Helen, comes out in July; the third, Not a Chance in Helen, will be released in September.
In suspense…one of ST. LOUIS COUNTY LIBRARY’s most popular annual events returns this summer. Suspense Night: An Evening of Thrills and Chills with Five Renowned Mystery Writers takes place on Wednesday, June 11, at 7 p.m. at Library Headquarters. This year’s lineup includes former O.J. Simpson prosecutor MARCIA CLARK, bestselling author MEGAN ABBOTT, three-time Shamus Award-winner REED FARELL COLEMAN, internationally acclaimed St. Louis writer RIDLEY PEARSON, and world championship boxing official-turned-novelist TOM SCHRECK. Each one will read from their recent work and participate in a book-signing and Q&A session. The program is free and open to the public.
Congratulations to MARGIE IMO, who was among those recently honored at the 2014 VARIETY INTERNATIONAL World Conference Awards. The Imo’s Pizza matriarch was recognized with the organization’s Presidential Citation Award for her exceptional and sustained contribution to Variety of St. Louis. Also honored during the May 25 ceremony in Barbados were: FOX 2 and KPLR 11 (Media Award) and CENTENE CORPORATION (Corporate Award).
The PULITZER ARTS FOUNDATION, formerly the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, has announced an expansion project that will transform the lower-level of its Midtown building into new public exhibition and special-events spaces. The renovation will convert previous office and storage spaces into two new galleries, increasing exhibition space by almost 50 percent. The Pulitzer will close in late August for construction, and reopen in May 2015 with a new exhibition schedule.
The CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM is celebrating the single-biggest fundraising day in its history, thanks to the recent Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Sale. Fourteen lots were auctioned off May 15, raising $2.179 million. Highlights from the sale include Mark Hammons’ Dirty Money, which sold for $1.7 million and Mark Flood’s Star Channel, which brought in $170,000.
A Washington University professor is one of three scientists worldwide to win the prestigious Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. DR. MARCUS RAICHLE, a professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, is known for his contributions to advancing the frontiers of cognitive neuroscience. He shares the $1 million Kavli Prize with Brenda Milner of the Montreal Neurological Institute at Quebec’s McGill University and University College London’s John O’Keefe. The three are being recognized for their discoveries involving specialized brain networks for memory and cognition. The prize, awarded by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, was announced last week at the World Science Festival in New York.