Introducing the 2012 Riverfront Times MasterMind Award Winners

Introducing the 2012 Riverfront Times MasterMind Award Winners
RFT Photo-illustration. Source photo: Soylent News/Splash News. MasterMinds logo: Scott Gericke.

Click to view a slideshow of the MasterMind Award winners' work.

They walk among us. Two dozen of them. You may not know them, might not recognize them if you passed them on the street. But you may perhaps be familiar with their work, the wondrous and varied things they've accomplished (and continue to work at) that engage us as a community and feed our minds.

"They" are past Riverfront Times' MasterMind Award recipients: local artists, writers, actors, filmmakers and other species of cultural mover and shaker, who push the creative envelope and put their effort where their passion is day in and day out, not to get rich, but to enrich.

And now, in year five of the MasterMinds, with no further throat-clearing, we pay tribute — and a thousand bucks apiece, no strings attached — to four more, our 2012 MasterMind Award winners:

Carrie M. Becker, visual artist

Jenny Murphy, visual artist, founder of Perennial, a locally based nonprofit

Stephanie Pippin, poet

Carlie Trosclair, visual artist

Please join us in congratulating them at Riverfront Times' Artopia gala, which takes place tonight, Thursday, August 23, from 7 to 11 p.m. at 2720 Cherokee. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased via our website at, where you'll find all you need to know about the party.

In the meantime, click through the links above to read profiles of RFT's MasterMinds v. 5.0.

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After many years of sitting on this, I now feel the time is long overdue for me to do what needs to done regarding certain police officers who are employed or were employed by the Washington, Missouri Police Department.  And before I get started I want to make clear that I’m not a trouble maker nor have I ever done anything like this, in fact I’m a Christian, an upstanding citizen, and a taxpayer who just happens to have knowledge of something I can no longer keep to myself.  I carry a certain amount of guilt thinking that if I had shared this information earlier, I may have prevented similar instances from occurring.


First and foremost, my heart goes out to any employee or previous employee of the Washington Police Department, especially those who hold/held the position of communications officer (dispatcher) who may have been a victim of sexual misconduct by a police officer.  Keep in mind that police officers are trained in interrogation thus making them great manipulators, and they hold positions of authority and power, especially over communications officers in the law enforcement environment.  Bottom line, they are very good at asserting power and playing mind games especially over those who are young and/or naïve, if they so choose (most police officers are good and choose otherwise). 


And to keep this as short and to the point as possible, the knowledge I have are of cases of patrol officers engaging in sexual misconduct while on duty with communication officers.  Just to share a few of the many details I possess, some of the incidents of sexual misconduct occurred at night with officers parking their patrol cars out of site in Washington’s industrial park and at the municipal airport.  The cases I’m aware of occurred many years ago, as a result of a Washington Police Department practice encouraging, typically young and female, communications officers to ride along with patrol officers for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the day-to-day challenges of being on patrol (a practice with good intent that was exploited by a few officers with bad intent).  In one of the worst cases, the communications officer was less than half the age of the patrol officer and didn’t stand a chance against his intent to commit cold-blooded and premeditated adultery with her (yes she was married).


Now, if you are one of the communications officers impacted by the sexual misconduct, you most likely carry much guilt and shame because of what occurred. Maybe you have kept it to yourself for many years in fear of retaliation or being judged or like me to protect the reputation of a loved one.  It’s not your fault; you were manipulated and taken advantage of by a police officer who had both authority and power over you.


Now is the time to take something awful and make something good of it. The Honorable Mayor Lucy has been made aware of one of these instances recently.  While she best determines how to handle this situation, she needs lots of prayers and support as taking on the police department is not going to be any easy feat. I have the highest regards for Mayor Lucy and I know that she will do the right thing and not shove this under the proverbial rug. And if you are one of those communications officers or anyone else who’s been a victim of sexual misconduct by a Washington Police Officer, it’s time to stand up and share your story with Mayor Lucy (her office phone number is 636-390-1000 and email address is  ).  Do not be afraid or ashamed; what happened was not your fault.  And on the slim chance that the City of Washington would deny that the sexual misconduct occurred, even though they know otherwise, I will be happy to share whatever is necessary to prove otherwise. 


And, last but not least, what would I like to see come of this? First and foremost, I would like to see Mayor Lucy launch an inquiry into this matter (this must be done by an unbiased third party to have any validity) and once the inquiry is completed, I would like for the results and any corrective actions be shared with the citizens of Washington, also an apology should be issued to those who were victims of the sexual misconduct (despite how long ago the sexual misconduct occurred) and lastly a conversation must be held with the citizens of Washington on what constitutes acceptable moral behavior, even on personal time, for those who are sworn to serve and protect.


And as a far as me, I have not mentioned any names in this statement and I will remain anonymous for now, to protect the dignity and honor of the ex WPD communications officer that I’m connected to and also due to the fact my life was threatened (and yes I have a witness) by one of the police officers who participated in the sexual misconduct.


With the utmost sincerity.