Lisa Çakmak

Preparations for a groundbreaking exhibition making its North American debut continue at the Saint Louis Art Museum. “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds” will offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view one of the greatest finds in the history of underwater archeology: artifacts from the long-lost city of Thonis-Heracleion and the nearby community of Canopus. Thonis-Heracleion served as Egypt’s main Mediterranean port in the Late Period (664–332 BC). By 800 AD, earthquakes and other natural catastrophes had caused the area to submerge, and ruins remained underwater for more than 1,000 years.

Colossal, 16-foot-tall sculptures and other excavated treasures uncovered by French archeologist Franck Goddio will be on display for an extended six-month run beginning March 25. In the middle of it all is the museum’s associate curator of ancient art Lisa Çakmak, who’s been busy overseeing the installation since November.

“From a logical perspective, ‘Sunken Cities’ is a huge undertaking. It’s also a costly one. There aren’t many art museums in this country that have the professional staff, the financial resources, and the experience to take on a project like this,” she recently told Gazelle STL.

Çakmak with one of the interactive mummy CT scans

Çakmak adds the exhibit serves as the perfect complement to the museum’s Egyptian collection.

“Almost everything from our collection is from a funerary context, so we have borrowed material that offers a more domestic perspective about daily life. That’s something we’ve never done before,” Çakmak noted, adding that technology will also allow visitors to see the collection’s mummies from a whole new perspective, including from inside the coffins and beneath the wrappings.


We salute this year’s Visionary Award honorees, who are being hailed for their numerous contributions to the arts in St. Louis. They are: Cheeraz Gormon (Outstanding Working Artist)

2018 Visionary Award recipients photo by Diane Anderson

Spoken word/poet and community artist and author, Lana Pepper (Major Contributor to the Arts), Allison Felter (Outstanding Arts Professional), Asha Premachandra (Outstanding Teaching Artist), Yvonne Osei (Emerging Artist) and Antionette Carroll (Community Impact Artist). An awards ceremony and reception will be held April 23 at the Sun Theater. For ticket information, visit


Terence Blanchard photo by Henry Adebonojo

Direct from the Kennedy Center, “Bud, Not Buddy,” the play based on Christopher Paul Curtis’ award-winning novel and set with an original score by Terence Blanchard, is coming to Metro Theater Company. And to celebrate the coup, Metro Theater is holding a benefit concert featuring the trumpet maestro himself. Blanchard will appear at the Feb. 3 concert at The Grandel, along with St. Louis favorites Peter Martin and Brian Owens. Proceeds from the event benefit Metro’s work to make the arts more inclusive to people of all ages regardless of ability to pay. “Bud, Not Buddy” runs Feb. 4 through Feb. 25 at The Grandel. For more information, visit


An award-winning journalist recognized for her media leadership and for promoting diversity, Trish Muyco-Tobin has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcasting. She is also a dedicated community volunteer, and proudly serves on the board of the St. Louis Press Club, Friends of Character Plus, and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Photo by Sarah Crowder