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Kranzberg Arts Foundation opening new literary arts venue

"High Low fills a niche that we feel is needed to create a place where writers and literary institutions can collaborate to further the literary arts."
Credit: Kranzberg Arts Foundation

ST. LOUIS — The Kranzberg Arts Foundation will open its latest project in the Grand Center Arts District — a literary arts center — in early December. High Low will serve as a new venue for freedom of expression through spoken and written word, officials said.

The renovated two-story space at 3301 Washington Ave. includes a 1,500-square-foot library and cafe on the main level. The library will feature rotating collections of books, magazines, literary journals, newspapers and articles. The library is being sourced from donations of private individuals, institutions and Left Bank Books.

The cafe, called Blueprint Coffee at High Low, will offer a full-service coffee program by Blueprint Coffee and fast-casual food service with food from chef Rob Connoley.

Several local organizations, which will act as programming partners, will have offices at High Low, including:

  • Flood Editions
  • River Styx, St. Louis' oldest literary magazine
  • Shirley Bradley LeFlore Foundation & the Creative Arts and Expressions Lab
  • St. Louis Poet Laureate Jane Ellen Ibur
  • St. Louis Poetry Center
  • St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
  • UrbArts Poetics

"We are thrilled to partner with St. Louis' top literary arts organizations and those that support local writers to provide this unique, collaborative space for everyone to enjoy," Chris Hansen, executive director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, said in a statement. "We look forward to serving and supporting the literary community in the same way we have supported the music, visual and performing arts communities locally."

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The 600-square-foot gallery space, which can expand up to 2,600 square feet, will host up to six rotating exhibits throughout the year. A 2,000-square-foot performance and event space, which can accommodate 200, will be dedicated to literary arts-focused content like poetry readings, storytelling and book signings.

A 1,000-square-foot Writers Suite will occupy the second floor and will house the foundation's writers-in-residence program that will support local up-and-coming writers and has plans to attract national and international writers, officials said. Additional space on the second level is available for rent by local writers on a weekly or monthly basis.

Two fashion industry veterans say a plan to open a $5 million, high-tech apparel factory in Grand Center can help make St. Louis "the flat bed knitting center of the United States." St. Louis Apparel Manufacturing LLC, branded as Evolution St. Louis, plans to open the facility, at 3830 Washington Blvd., in August.

"St. Louis is a literary city," founder Ken Kranzberg said in a statement. "High Low fills a niche that we feel is needed to create a place where writers and literary institutions can collaborate to further the literary arts. It will be a welcoming place for all to enjoy."

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation worked with SPACE Architecture + Design on the project. The foundation has partnered with the same architecture firm for other projects, such as The Grandel and .ZACK in Grand Center.

Kranzberg owns the building and has invested around $1.5 million into the space, according to city of St. Louis real estate records.

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