Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age
A portfolio project led by Mariana Parisca, Story Stitchers Artist in Residence
March 2-25, 2017
Spoken Word Performance March 25 4 PM
7513 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton MO 63105
Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age is a time capsule of teenage voices combined with adult artists living in St. Louis in 2015, all reacting to a critical and unique time in the history of race relations, gun violence, police roles and community relationships in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
c Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2015
I can’t breathe. All that’s happened in the last week leaves me momentarily breathless. I still hear the news reporters making their questions gunshots against the quiet area. I wish I wasn’t getting older. I know that once I’m 18, then I’ll have to deal with everything by myself. For now, I still can’t believe what’s happened. People may think the racial differences reside in the past, but the sad truth is they’re not. Growing up in this environment leaves you with a lot of thoughts, both good and bad. It leaves you with baggage that can’t be thrown away. Your silent dream you know as reality suddenly shatters into a nightmare. 24/7 there are people trying to relate, trying to get an inside scoop, and televising my home all over. If the problem was slightly different, would it matter at all? No matter, I’m a minute older than I was before. Don’t waste time on something you can’t control. I’m at my birthday party. I’m becoming an adult. The stage beckons me to give my speech, but my throat constricts. All of a sudden I’m crying. Big sloppy tears roll to the floor. The whole world caught up in something where I am. This is supposed to happen to someone else. Unfortunately, I’m someone else to someone else. Wiping my tears away, I start to trudge on stage. I’m free of anything to hold, but my shoulders sink from the weight of the past.