Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective presents Peace in the Prairie, an original performance exploring the concepts of peace and violence, juxtaposing urban life as experienced by African American people living in the city of St. Louis, Missouri and the state’s unique endangered prairie lands. Is the path towards peace through Missouri’s native prairies?
Saint Louis Story Stitchers is working collaboratively to create an approach to health issues affecting Missouri’s urban youth. Story Stitchers bring the humanities to the forefront through a unique form of “urban storytelling”.
The artistic components for Peace in the Prairie include the creation of music, stories, and video. The new work will represent a collaborative exploration of the psychological and physical differences involved in a peaceful natural environment and an urban environment where violence is common. The resulting work will be unique to Missouri, generated by local artists reflecting on loss, resilience and rejuvenation in nature and in the human experience.
Leading Story Stitchers adult artists in residence Troy Anthony, KP Dennis, Bobby Norfolk, Ntegrity, and Superhood and contributing artist Susan Colangelo will explore the experience of violence affecting black families in St. Louis through organized collaborative learning experiences and sharing, recording some of these stories.
The artists have explored and recorded native prairie land via trips to Missouri prairie reserves including Prairie Day at Shaw Nature Reserve of the Missouri Botanical Garden in Gray Summit, with the Missouri Prairie Foundation at Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Osage County, and Prairie State Park in Mindenmines, Missouri in Barton County near Joplin. During creative sessions, artists will generate a new, original work that will add to the critical artistic discourse, contribute to the archived experiences of the state’s African American community and in addition, archive an endangered natural resource through art.
A public premiere performance followed by a Q&A panel with leading Story Stitchers artists and prairie specialists including Executive Director of Missouri Prairie Foundation, Carol Davit, will take place at the .ZACK Theater on March 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM.
Peace in the Prairie expands the artistic body of work of African American artists in the Collective, addresses the community need of understanding violence while seeking peace, supports the exploration of new natural settings by both artists and audiences, and supports the greater understanding of Missouri’s unique natural heritage in its native prairie lands.
Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a State Agency.
The project is supported by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Foundation is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through a combination of partnership, experience, knowledge, and funding.
The project is also is sponsored in part by Kranzberg Arts Foundation and the .ZACK.