Since 1998, the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center has served as a beacon and focal point to performance groups that might have a tough time booking shows in conventional venues. Proprietor Mark Sarich makes no bones about his mission in the St. Louis cultural adventure when he says, "My family has been in this building since 1930. My roots are right here and I consider myself lucky to have this chance to bring the world to my doorstep and let them see what we have to offer." The mural on the north side of the classic Benton Park storefront reads "Art Relieves Social Constipation," and judging from the standard bill of fare, it's a much-needed blast. From hardcore to histrionic theater, the south-side brick masterpiece serves as an asylum for the asinine, a sanctuary for the sanctimonious and a haven for the have-not's. The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center is neighborhood pro-activity in action -- and a champion by all measures.
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