Pick the City UP Tour is about young people and gun violence prevention.
Pick the City UP Tour is about learning ways to better love ourselves and one another. The Tour is about learning how to be safe, to feed our bodies and our minds so that we can be happier, healthier and wiser.
AND Pick the City UP Tour is about ART and having FUN while we learn!
Pick the City UP Tour presents Saint Louis Story Stitchers unique brand of urban storytelling, featuring live hip hop, spoken word and story magic on public health issues St. Louis cares about including gun violence. Pay tribute, join the fun, and make a difference.
Starting with an art exhibition and concert at the Sheldon Art Galleries and Concert Hall March 2-April 21st, 2018, and then to Marquette Park in Dutchtown and in Tower Grove Park on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 2nd, on to Tillie’s Corner in JeffVanderLou on July 7th, Demetrius Johnson Foundation on July 28th, to Gregory J Carter Park in Walnut Park August 18th, and the very special finale at the .ZACK in Grand Center on Friday,August 31st, 2018 the tour will hop around the Lou this summer spreading good will and bringing neighbors out of their homes and into the streets.
WHY do Story Stitcher focus on gun violence?
Because it affects our youth, our artists and our communities. Stitchers youth identify this as the #1 issue that needs to be addressed.
The project addresses the public health crisis of gun violence. In St. Louis in the past 5 years, 15,000 victims were murdered, shot or robbed at gunpoint. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney reports there were 2,092 shootings in St. Louis in 2015 and half involved youth age 25 or under.
Lt. Col. Ronnie Robinson, Deputy Chief of Police, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department told Story Stitchers, “Criminal activity amongst teenagers in the city is at a very high rate and unfortunately they do have access to illegal weapons. We need intervention and outreach along with enforcement in order to solve the ills that we are suffering from in our city relative to violent crime involving teens.”
Pick the City UP promotes gun violence prevention through storytelling and innovative public health education. The Tour helps youth to understand the gun violence epidemic has many societal causes and the solution will require a multi-faceted approach that involves everyone working together.
The project addresses the public health issue of gun violence with arts and culture, in this case including an interactive theatrical presentation promoting safe and respectful police/teen interactions and reinforcing the benefits of putting guns down and picking books UP.
Youth have reported to Story Stitchers their strong interest in positive, safe activities, a desire to hear music with a good message, and a need for strong and stable mentorship.
A high school student explains, “Teenagers get negative influences from rap music and a lot of kids are fascinated by that life style and the songs that say “pick the gun up”. We don’t hear songs like yours that say “put the gun down”. I love your song, so thank you for that. I think we need more positive influences on the youth. We need more songs that say “put the gun down”. (Quote edited for clarity.) In crime prevention, this program falls under intervention.
Youth are involved in planning and implementing the project which involves the creation of original art and music. In addition, Story Stitchers will engage with venues to invite community participants to plan and orchestrate their own health fairs based on community needs and interests. Vendors on a variety of health and safety topics can be selected by communities and invited to engage including HIV/STD testing, Blood Drives, police/youth interaction, community gardening, bee keeping, drug awareness, suicide prevention, youth homelessness, social services, mental health services, or nutrition and cooking demonstrations.
Sign up to follow the blog below and/or for emails to keep up with the latest Tour news!
Thank you for your support!
See you soon!
Questions or comments?