Christine Brewer to Perform at Visionary Awards

Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer and St. Louis star Linda Kennedy will perform at the St. Louis Visionary Awards on Mon., April 24, at The Sun Theater in Grand Center (3625 Grandel Square). Brewer and Kennedy's performances will honor six local women who will be recognized for their numerous contributions and achievements to the arts. Tickets to the event are now on sale at

"We couldn't be more thrilled to have two renowned entertainers - Christine an internationally acclaimed singer and Linda, a beloved and long-established St. Louis actress, director and educator -- celebrating with us and honoring these six women who have made such an incredible impact in the arts," said Kim Eberlein, committee co-chair for the Visionary Awards. "Christine's own work in the schools both here and in Illinois, and Linda's work with students at the Black Rep, is a living example of how two women can impact an entire community. The audience is going to be in for a special treat."

The awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a cocktail reception at 7 p.m. For tickets or more information, please visit, or call Haley Sturguess at 314-584-6068. Event co-hosts are Alison Ferring and Emily Pitts. Presenting sponsors include PNC Bank, the Steward Family Foundation, and Centene Charitable Foundation.

The 2017 Visionary Award honorees include: poet Shirley Bradley LeFlore (Outstanding Working Artist); photographer Kat Simone Reynolds (Outstanding Emerging Artist); artistic director of the Pink House, ReGina Martinez (Community Impact Artist); playwright Nancy Bell (Outstanding Arts Professional); dancer and choreographer Vivian Anderson Watt (Outstanding Teaching Artist); and philanthropist Sally S. Levy (Major Contributor to the Arts).

Brewer, named one of the top 20 sopranos of all time (BBC Music), is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Srauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opera de Lyon, Theatre Du Chatelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She created the role of Sister Aloysius in the world premier of Doug Cuomo's opera Doubt with the Minnesota Opera in 2013, a role that was performed by Meryl Streep in the film version of the story. She reprised the role in August 2016 with the Union Avenue Opera in Louis.

Brewer has worked with many of today's most notable conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, David Robertson, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Sir Simon Rattle, to name a few, and has made over 25 recordings. She continues her work with the Marissa, Illinois 6th graders in a program called Opera-tunities, which is now in its 13th year. She also works with the voice students at Webster University, and will be doing a weeklong residency this month on African-American composers. The residency will culminate in a recital with the students and Brewer.

Kennedy, an artistic associate with The Black Rep, has worked both on and off stage with the company for more than 30 years. She most recently appeared in the company's Seven Guitars by August Wilson and the New Jewish Theatre's production of Intimate Apparel. Other credits include The Glass Menagerie, Windmill Baby, Marijah's Pictures, Helver's Night and Blood Wedding (Upstream Theater), Agnes of God (Avalon Theatre), The Gin Game (Actor's Studio).

Her directing credits include, Clybourne Park (Stephens College), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Mustard Seed Theatre), I'm Not Rappaport (The New Jewish Theatre) and The Mountaintop (The Black Rep), to name a few. In addition, Kennedy has performed several historical vignettes for the Missouri History Museum, and has taught theatre and dance to youth and adults. Kennedy has received numerous accolades for her work including the Go List Best Actress Award, the Missouri Arts Individual Artist Award, the Griot Award from the Griot Museum and, in 2012, the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the Arts and Education Council. Kennedy is also a former Visionary Award recipient.

In 2015, the St. Louis Visionary Awards were relaunched by an independent committee of women to celebrate the numerous contributions and achievements of women who work in or support the arts in St. Louis. From established working arts professionals and arts educators to emerging artists and community impact artists, each year's honorees are truly "visionary." For more information, please visit

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