It’s not the coronavirus that’s kept the CWE’s iconic “watering hole” dry

You may have assumed, as I did, that the fountain on Maryland Plaza was left empty this summer because it, like city parks, are a magnet that could have been a potential virus spreader. Just another notch in the summer that wasn’t—Movies on the Plaza,  The Cocktail Party on Euclid, 4th of July Kids & Pet Parade, etc.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Maryland Plaza CWENorthCID

However, I learned recently that the cause in this instance isn’t due to COVID19 at all. Instead, after 15 years of operation, the fountain is undergoing extensive restoration to address leaks in the fountain reservoir and mechanical issues with the elaborate system of piping and jets that enable the elaborate displays we have all come to love. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Urban Gardens  Maryland Plaza CWENorthCID

The $70,000 project cost is being funded by the CWE North Community Improvement District (CID). Word is that work is expected to wrap up next week, perhaps in time to allow a few weeks of operation before being shut down for winter, and installation of the traditional holiday tree in early December.

For information about the inner workings of the fountain visit a 2011 guest post by CWEnder David Strom here.

Jazz St. Louis hosts a Virtual 25th Anniversary

Gene Dobbs Bradford, President & CEO of Jazz St. Louis, located in The Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz in Grand Center (3536 Washington) announced recently that programming would remain virtual for the remainder of 2020. That includes a celebration of the beloved organization’s 25th Anniversary which will take place this Friday, October 2.

The anniversary party will include a special, open-to-all streamed event that features artists from across the country. The evening will focus on the impact the organization has had on jazz in the St. Louis Community and nurturing the Jazz St. Louis Family throughout the years.

Pull up a chair and raise a glass to support Jazz St. Louis at 25. The online festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Jazz St. Louis Gene Dobbs Bradford

Jazz St. Louis will only have one 25th anniversary, and we can’t wait to celebrate it with you! On October 2, we’ll be throwing a party unlike anything we’ve ever done before.

Around the world, jazz fans will make a toast to everyone who has been along for the ride the last 25 years as Jazz St. Louis transformed from a small music program to an internationally renowned jazz venue with jazz education programs for all ages, and forum for thought-provoking community outreach.

This music-filled and mission-driven virtual celebration will include performances by some of our favorite local and national artists, stories from education partners and families, and many special surprises.

And because a party’s only as good as its guests, we want to include everybody—musicians, patrons, donors, and supporters of all stripes from the last quarter-century. Whether you’re a 20+ season ticketholder or a curious spectator, we want to see you there. So, for the first time ever, we’re giving away all the tickets for free.

Jazz St. Louis’ 25th Anniversary Virtual Celebration
Friday, October 2, 2020
6:30pm Pre-event Concert
Arrive at your leisure to a performance by our JazzU Students
7:00pm The Big Event
Gene Dobbs Bradford & Peter Martin host with performances by Regina Carter, The Bad Plus, Ann Hampton Callaway & more!
8:00pm After-Party
Denise Thimes caps off the evening with a special set not to be missed.

Help us celebrate 25 years of the uniquely American art of jazz in St. Louis by RSVPing today, and bring your friends!

RSVP and More Information

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Jazz St. Louis Gene Dobbs Bradford

CWE’s Legendary Halloween Costume Contest Goes Virtual!

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Halloween hasn’t ghosted us yet. Even though due to COVID-19 we physically can’t be together — we are keeping the Halloween tradition alive by making our Legendary CWE Halloween Costume Contest VIRTUAL.

We’ll press record — you just need to rock the runway with your creative costume, and strike a pose!

Filming will take place at a private taping on Saturday, October 24 at The Chase Park Plaza Khorassan Ballroom (212 N Kingshighway Blvd) from 1-5 p.m. To comply with social distancing guidelines, contestants must pre-register online and select a time slot. CLICK HERE to pre-register now! Time slots are on a first-come, first-serve basis (max 15 entries per time slot due to COVID-19).

An entry fee of $25 for individuals or $50 for two or more people is REQUIRED. To submit your payment, CLICK HERE.

All costume contestants will be featured in a video to be aired on the CWEscene Facebook Page and Youtube Channel on Thursday, October 29. $5,000 in cash and prizes are up-for-grabs for the top 10 finalists, and this year, VIEWERS will be able to vote for their favorite costumes. Winners will be announced on the CWEscene social media pages on Saturday, October 31 at 10:30 p.m.

The health and safety of our costume contestants and staff is our utmost priority. We will adhere to all CDC and the City of St. Louis COVID-19 guidelines to provide the safest space possible for the private taping of costume entries — no spectators allowed. Masks will be required for all costume contestants. All contestants must complete an online COVID-19 waiver two hours prior to arriving at The Chase Park Plaza. (This waiver will be emailed directly to contestants and can be completed by phone).

The CWE Halloween organizing committee will continue to closely monitor and assess, based on current conditions in the community, whether to modify the scheduled private taping. If a cancelation is necessary, all registration fees will be returned.


• The organizing committee is committed to promoting healthy behaviors, environments and operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Safety protocols will be enforced including social distancing, hygiene stations, and masks.


• Contestants must complete an online COVID-19 waiver two hours prior to the taping. (This waiver will be emailed directly to contestants and can be completed by phone). Contestants must meet all safety criteria, before arriving for taping.

• Contestants and staff are required to wear a face mask at all times, including when showcasing costume on stage.

• Upon arrival, all contestants will have an additional health screening and temperature check.

• If a contestant should exhibit any symptoms of illness, they will not be able to participate in the private taping. All fees collected during pre-registration will be refunded by mail within two weeks.

• Contestants will be kept a minimum of 6ft apart at all times.


• Only contestants who have been approved by producers and pre-registered online/paid entry fee are allowed at taping.

• No walk ups allowed.

• No spectators allowed.

• All contestants must complete an online COVID-19 waiver before arriving at venue.

• Must be 18 years or older to participate.

• Producers reserve the right to refuse any costume for any reason.

• Costumes must be self-contained, able to move easy, and be able to enter/exit the stage without assistance.

• When directed, contestants will take the stage to showcase costume. Immediately after, contestant is to exit the venue to collect personal items.

• No projectiles or objects may be thrown.

• Follow all directions of the producers on site.

• Nudity is not allowed.

CLICK HERE to submit your pre-registration form.

After registration has been submitted online and event producers have reviewed entry, contestant will receive confirmation that they have been approved to participate in the 2020 Virtual Central West End Halloween Costume Contest.

By participating in the private taping for the 2020 Virtual Central West End Halloween Costume Contest all participants release and allow the use of any and all video, images, and photographs taken by the event producers, their agents and assigns to promote and otherwise market the event hereafter without any rights or compensation to the participant(s).