Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: “It felt like freedom out here.”

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March 7, 2020

Doors open at 12:00 PM for Prairie Activities

Performance at 1:00 PM

At High Low, 3301 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

$10 on MetroTix

Saint Louis Story Stitchers will share their impressions of Missouri’s endangered prairies through spoken word and photography in their upcoming performance “To The Prairie.” This performance is original works of music, dance, photography, and poetry created and presented by Stitchers Youth Council exploring the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes. It’s interactive and family-friendly so bring the kids!

To The Prairie expands the artistic body of work of young African American artists in the Collective, expands 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.

Join the Saint Louis Story Stitchers for “To The Prairie” on Saturday, March 7th at 1:00 pm inside High Low. Doors open at 12:00 for Community Activities. Tickets are $10 and available at MetroTix or at the door.


After the performance, Story Stitchers artists and prairie specialist James Trager will offer a Q&A. James Trager is an insect scientist who early in his working life realized how habitat loss was impacting insect life and all the other life connected to them. James worked in management, restoration, and interpretation of prairies, woodlands and wetlands at Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve for 28 and 1/2 years, and is a technical advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation. He’s led us on two hikes so far and we think he’s amazing!

This project is supported by the Missouri Foundation for Health, Incarnate Word Foundation and Kranzberg Arts Foundation. Thank you to Missouri Prairie Foundation for opening the prairies to us.

Is the path towards peace through Missouri’s endangered prairies?

Over the past four years, Stitchers Youth Council members have explored and recorded native prairie landscapes via trips to Missouri prairie reserves, including Missouri Prairie Foundation at Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Osage County and Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve.


On October 20, 2018 Susan Colangelo, Cassandria White, and She’Kinah, a member of Stitchers Youth Council, drove to Bland, MO, to Prairie Star Restoration Farm, owned and cared for by Jan and Bruce Sassmann, for the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Meeting, Carol Davit Director.

She’Kinah documented her reflections in the car on the way back to St. Louis after her very first exploration of a Missouri prairie.

She has since visited additional prairies and has joined other Story Stitchers to create new music at the Stitchers Storefront Studio about her experiences. Some of these pieces will be featured in the March 7th performance, To The Prairie.

This is She’Kinah singing the chorus to Prairie Therapy, written during our overnight trip to Shaw Nature Reserve in September, 2019.


“Today we went to Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Bland, Missouri and it was beautiful. The plants were very healthy looking. It was memorable. It felt like freedom out here.

There’s a lot that you could learn about. The people here are really resourceful and know a lot about prairies.

It was lovely.

It was windy.

What impressed me the most was learning about the different sections of how they grow each of the plants and how they would burn parts of it down just for the rest of it to be able to grow up so it can be new plants on top of the surface.

And then knowing about how the different animals such as a buck deer will mark their territory and leave a scent so you can trace back and see if they were here or not. I thought that was really cool.

And then how the plants are really deep inside and the roots are really deep in the ground and that they die usually but people don’t know that even if they’re dead they are actually growing another new plant on top of it so it’s kind of like reproducing the same type of plant on top of the surface so that’s why they have to put a fire out on it so that the dead one can go away and the fresh one can come on top of it. So I thought that was actually real neat.


Yeah this trip was really cool. I learned a lot about nature and how we should not take it for granted because we really basically need this in our lives a lot. I’m happy that I did come.

I learned that nature is everywhere and we should take really good care of it. And there’s not a lot of prairies left in the world so we should be mindful about that.