Letter from the Editor: Let’s Come Together

By Rachel Brandt
In Culture

AT MY HOME, on any given summer evening, one may find a group of friends sitting around a wooden table while rings of wine soak into coasters, Bill Evans plays lightly in the background, forks clink against china and chair legs creak against the floor. These happenings usually culminate with that same ensemble pulling chairs around a fire, resting guitars and noise-makers of all kinds on their laps and strumming familiar tunes while howling at the moon. The roaring conversations surrounding politics, religion and how we’ll change the world have ended; the rest of civilization has gone to sleep. In those musical moments, we rejoice in the fact that we’re all in this together. We’re all breathing the same air, we’re all gazing at the same stars, we’re all human.

In this issue, we celebrate the simple, ancient act of coming together—be it for a common goal or simply the pleasure of company. Join chef Matthew Daughaday as he uses his gourmet talent to riff on dishes that remind us of gathering around a table. Then dog-ear his spaghetti Bolognese recipe for your next dinner party (page 14). Writer Jeremy Nulik rides along with entrepreneur Kevin Brennan and digs deep into the expansive mind of this creative chameleon’s dedication to crafting unique experiences (page 40). I know you’ll devour Sarah Kendzior’s gripping story of a Congolese man’s migration to the United States, fleeing a life wracked with terror. His family, their close bond and his partnership with the International Institute saved his life (page 48).

Some say art also saves lives, and artist and curator Amy Granat is connecting world-renowned artists with art enthusiasts at Parapet Real Humans. The small, stark white gallery, enhanced by the community Granat has built, is one of the most important visual art projects happening in our region (page 20). Speaking of cultural statements, if you haven’t heard the St. Louis Public Radio podcast, “We Live Here,” I suggest you add it to your queue. We sat down with founding reporters, Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanely, and got personal about race and the impact of their year-old podcast (page 18).

I dusted off my musician’s hat when I chatted with Nathaniel Rateliff about country living and connecting with a crowd (page 16). Talking with him was like reconnecting with an old friend; I was instantly transported to one of those late summer evenings in my mind. Rateliff could easily be my brother-in-law or the guitar player in my husband’s band. As we talked about playing an original song for someone that was written about a personal moment in your life, he reflected that it becomes their song as well as yours. It becomes their story and fuels their feelings—as it should. When the last bar is played, we’re all in this together, after all. We’re all breathing the same air, we’re all gazing at the same stars, we’re all human.

Love,

Rachel signature

Rachel Brandt
@TheRachelBrandt

Find more from the Let’s Come Together issue in our online issue, or at select locations around St. Louis. Once you take it all in, tell us what you think using #ALIVEtogether for the chance to be featured.

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