Beyond its tile mosaic and granite façade, Water Street's chefs create dinners from locally acquired ingredients. Modern and retro decorations backdrop bartenders as they fill delicate vintage coupes and other glassware with beers, wines, and cocktails, such as the vintage cocktail of the week. They also mix mainstays such as the Immortal Clay by shaking together tequila, cherry heering, and agave nectar. Dinnertime brings a menu of dishes such as polenta with sauteed mushrooms, chicken pot pie enveloped in a puff pastry, and golden trout layered with bacon over a white bean ragout with green beans. The kitchen also stays open late, whipping up deviled eggs, dates stuffed with goat cheese, and other bar noshes.
Working as a pediatrician in 2004, Dr. Joe Cangas noticed that many local children didn’t wear helmets while riding their bicycles. Concerned for their safety, he began talking to children at local schools and founded Helmets First! as his mission grew. As the Helmet Doctor, he conducts regular talks at neighborhood schools, clubs, and community centers, teaching youth about the importance of wearing helmets. His organization also runs events where it distributes free helmets to youth from low-income backgrounds after measuring their heads for the proper fit. Only with a proper fit are helmets effective at preventing traumatic head injuries. Since its inception, Helmet First! has donated more than 14,000 helmets to local youth.
Fire. Hammers. A pottery wheel. Some of humanity?s most elemental and primitive tools, yet into the 21st century they remain. And Craft Alliance Program Director Susan Donahue Yates attests that they?re some of the coolest. With each season?s catalog of classes, some of the most popular, according to Yates, let students play with fire, hammer metal into jewelry, or shape a lump of clay into something as fundamentally beautiful as a baby seal mimicking the Mona Lisa?s wry smirk.
At Craft Alliance, the focus is art in all its forms. Whether the tool is the raw flame fusing cut copper or a Mac loaded with Photoshop image-editing software, the intention to inspire and to create remains the same. Its two locations schedule seasonal terms with four- to six-week classes, as well as intensive workshops and children?s classes. Guiding each student along his or her adventure, skilled faculty instruct from experience. Most are working artists who exhibit their work and who have reaped their experience from the trenches of the art world.
Craft Alliance is not just empowering people with knowledge; they are also helping people make mugs, bowls, wooden spinning tops, rings, rugs, and digital photo albums. Many of these things are practical and serve a functional purpose. But many do not?they?re just beautiful things, like vestigial tails. A good number of these pieces are created by hand and are meant to remind us, as Yates remarked, that everyone can do something different from their everyday, workaday lives by adding beauty to a world that truly needs it.
The student and faculty artists backbone the Craft Alliance community, which in 2014 celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Grand Center location represents a regeneration of an arts district already pillared by the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Powell Symphony Hall, and St. Louis University.
Food Outreach's team of staff and volunteers supports a growing number of local clients from diverse backgrounds and ages that now numbers more than 1,700 annually. To help foster a sense of community among its clients and their caregivers, Food Outreach hosts a Monday Hot Lunch program in its dining room. Guest chefs from the area or Food Outreach's own resident chef prepare the weekly three-course meal, and clients who attend enjoy restaurant style dining, complete with china, silverware, and linens. The nutritious meal changes every week, and an average of more than 100 clients attend each Monday Hot Lunch.
Drive A Tank teaches civilians how to handle tanks by placing them at the controls of an FV433 Abbot tank. Comprehensive tank experiences include lessons on the history of its use, from World War I up to its present function as the vehicle of choice for the most aggressive holiday shoppers. During certain packages, tanksters complete their militaristic forays by test firing WWII-era weaponry or crushing cars beneath behemoth treads.
The green thumbs at Gateway Greening believe in the power of a garden. For nearly three decades they have promoted gardening in both public spaces and private backyards as a solution to urban issues ranging from food insecurity to sedentary lifestyles. Through a citywide network of more than 200 gardens—including community vegetable gardens, tree and shrub plantings, and street beautification projects—the organization brings fresh food to the community, teaches hands-on lessons, and uses empty space in a positive way. Member gardeners can attend educational workshops on garden care, watering, and landscaping principles, and take advantage of assistance with project planning and procurement of materials.
Other key Gateway Greening programs work with specific populations to encourage self-sufficiency. The City Seeds Urban Farm, provides job training to individuals experiencing homelessness and distributes fresh, locally grown produce to nearby food pantries. Also youth gardens supported by Gateway Greening dot the grounds of more than 60 local schools.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassrootsblog.