Carol Davit, Executive Director of Missouri Prairie Foundation, will join artists
in a Q&A after the performance of Peace in the Prairie.
Carol told Story Stitchers, “When it comes to nature we have sort of a Walt
Disney image of what nature is which is often a forest and you come upon a
waterfall but that’s just one version.
So much of North America is grassland which is an incredible ecosystem of
grass and wildflowers. When you first look at it, it may not look that
spectacular because it’s not — you know a huge 100 foot tall tree — but when
you learn about the roots system and how many different plant species you
can find in a prairie it’s really incredible.
It really helps to go out to a prairie with somebody whose knowledgeable or it
helps to just go out and take your time and really look carefully.
At some of the prairies that the Missouri Prairie Foundation owns, we hire
botanists to survey and count and identify the plant species that are there. And
one way that they do this is they take a tool like PVC pipe and it’s a quarter
meter square, and they’ll just randomly lay that down and they’ll identify all
the plants in that quarter meter square and document them. And on some of
our prairies they found 35, 38, and now they’ve just found 46 native plant
species in a quarter meter! And if you were to go in an average oak hickory
forest in Missouri, you would find 7.
So in terms of plant species diversity, prairies are incredible and in Missouri
particularly there are prairies with really high plant diversity. And that plant
diversity supports all these different kinds of insects and that helps support
grassland birds and mammals and on up the food chain, so prairie is
something that when you first look at it, you might feel underwhelmed. It
doesn’t maybe look that spectacular, but when you get out in it and really stop
and look — it’s incredible!”
Saint Louis Story Stitchers
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?
Peace in the Prairie expands the artistic body of work of African American artists, addresses the community’s need to make sense of 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 endangered prairie lands.
The project is presented by Saint Louis Story Stitchers with support from 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 presented with support from Kranzberg Arts Foundation