Author: Saint Louis Story Stitchers

Community Conversation: Ending Violence


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Chris and Alia lead a discussion at the Grandel Theater with Terence Blanchard

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective was invited to host a pre-concert panel discussion with Terence Blanchard on gun violence prevention in connection with his live performance on May 20th, 2018 and his recent album LIVE that reflects on gun violence and healing. The conversation was held in the Grandel’s Ballroom. Mr. Blanchard and The E Collective gave a beautiful performance to a large audience in the Grandel Theater later that night. The performance was sponsored in part by Jazz St. Louis and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

Story Stitchers youth Chris and Alia guided the conversation with panelists:

Terence Blanchard – 5 time Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer

Howard Cox –Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artist in Residence

Pastor Johnnie Jackson

Cheeraz Gormon – Founder and Executive Director, Sibling Support Network

Terence Blanchard: “We’ve been on this campaign of telling people who have lost loved ones, let the music absorb your pain and frustration, that’s what it’s there for…

With the music and with what I do, I try to have a broader approach to try to reach more people and to try to change some hearts and minds when it comes to this issue because of people like this that are doing the grunt work with people, touching people, actually dealing with it first hand. It’s important, it’s important work.”

Youth leaders and the panelists were lively and thoughtful and the conversation included the power of the arts as a healing force and as a strong tool for communication, mental health, the role of faith and morality, the effects of violence and loss on families and communities, police brutality, implicit bias, and the importance of the roles of mentors and parents in ending violence.

Story Stitchers will release a video of the conversation.

Special thanks to Terence Blanchard, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, the community panelists, and the Stitchers youth leaders for your valuable contributions to this important discourse.

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a non-profit organization engaged in urban storytelling whose mission is to document St. Louis through art and word to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy. Collective artists work alongside 15-24-year-old urban youth to collect stories, reframe and retell them using the arts to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring society. Current projects focus on public health issues including gun violence

Harold


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I want to say thank you to Ms. Susan Colangelo for accepting me as an intern from Clive C. Miller Academy. It has been a pleasure working with her and designing and creating a business plan, something that she has been wanting ever since she started Story Stitchers.

When I first arrived to 616 N Skinker, I didn’t really pay attention to arts that much. I wasn’t aware that people used the arts as something therapeutic to them. I wasn’t aware that they used it to make a living. I didn’t realize that it meant the world to people and it was their lives and she actually brought awareness to me about that.  

It has been so fun! I believe that I have had the best internship out of my class. She gave me a free hoodie and I literally wore that hoodie every single day to school. It grabbed so much attention! And I think that is just what we need in our community. People like her that stand up for us and really leave a mark. Thanks Ms. Colangelo.

Harold

Age 18

Business Intern from St. Louis Public School District, January-May, 2018

 

Congratulations to you Harold, on your high school graduation!! Thank you for all of the help and for leaving your mark on Story Stitchers. When you first came I told you to always do your best wherever you go, so that people will miss you when you move on. Good job with that! We miss you already.— Mrs. C

Poetry @ Spectrum Community Day


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Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a non-profit organization engaged in urban storytelling whose mission is to document St. Louis through art and word to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy. Collective artists work alongside 15-24-year-old urban youth to collect stories, reframe and retell them using the arts to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring society. Current projects focus on public health issues including gun violence.

Representing The Collective: Leading performing artists in the Stitchers Youth Council will perform their original poems, Different by Emeara and Different II by Branden. The poems draw from stories collected by the artists from St. Louis neighborhoods and reflect on the pressures of gang violence. The artists will each present one additional poem.

Event: Spectrum Community Day
Location: Better Family Life (5415 Page Boulevard)
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
Time of performance: 12:20PM
Length of performance: 10 minutes
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UP Next 4 Story Stitchers  —

Event: Saint Louis Story Stitchers Youth Council leaders Emeara and Chris will host a pre-concert discussion on gun violence prevention in conjunction with a live performance by TERENCE BLANCHARD FEATURING THE E-COLLECTIVE
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2018
Time: Discussion 6:00-6:30 PM

 

Details at www.storystitchers.org.

Countdown… 2 days 2 go!


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 Teen Rap Crisis II 

St. Louis Storytelling Festival

 

Saturday, May 5, 2018       

2:00-2:30       Kranzberg Arts Center Gallery 

PUBLIC PERFORMANCE / Q & A

501 N Grand Blvd., St. Louis 63103

For The Talking Cure exhibition

All ages. Free.

__________

Rachel

Gun Violence

15-years-old

It’s no justice in this world man it’s just us,
Being a black girl in this country shawty its gettin rough.

I learned from young age I gotta woman,
Gotta be prepared to see my people in cuffs.

They say the good die young why can’t we live forever,
It’s ashamed we afraid of a piece of metal.

Face on a shirt RIP in bolded letters,
Another man behind bars ain’t gonna make it better.

That was Lil Tay brother and he out for revenge,
It’s a continuous cycle so tell me when will end.

Moms crying cause kids dying the reps trying,
The thought of me in the streets is terrifying.

Every black boy he wanna be a hero,
But the S on his chest man it represent struggle.

He try to help out but all they see is trouble,
His heart gone cold so let the world crumble.

Black bodies on black bodies, black bodies,

One shot in the chest, that’s a dead body.
No finger on the trigger man it shouldn’t be a hobby.
Guns flying out the window at a block party.

__________

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”.

Teen Rap Crisis II is a humanities-based program designed to give voice to concerns and triumphs, uncover facts, and build awareness of public health issues as seen through the eyes of contemporary African American youth, ages 15-24.  Reflecting on the original 25-year-old Teen Rap Crisis, participants will partake in thoughtful discussion and collaborative learning experiences through writing with Story Stitchers artists Bobby Norfolk, KP Dennis and Howard Cox, leading to a poetic performance and a post-performance discussion with Professor Sean Joe from Washington University, a scholar in Black male adolescent self-destructive behavior and related societal causes and implications. Activities take place both inside and out of the City of St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center, providing an opportunity for youth to explore topics related to individual lives and society at large through writing, discussion, performance and learning. The program is a part of the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

The goals of the activity are to bring attention, clarity and opportunity for meaningful action to the issues surrounding the challenges faced by youth, especially African American youth in urban environments through documentation, storytelling, performance and discussion. The program also creates opportunities for intergenerational interaction and collaborative storytelling through the collaborative learning experiences and discussion.

 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is supporting this program in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, and Missouri Foundation for Health and in collaboration with the City of St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center and the City of St. Louis Department of Health.

Give 2Day!


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Thank you for following the Story Stitchers — for caring, attending and supporting.

Today is Give Stl Day, sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation.

Your donation today will help to support Story Stitchers work with artists and youth ages 15-24 throughout the year.

Thank you!

 Give StL Day Link to Saint Louis Story Stitchers

Story Stitchers works to save lives through creative work and messaging and through mentoring and job training. In the words of an 18 year old intern:

“Hey! I’m Terrell. I am a high school senior in St. Louis Public School District and an intern studying non-profit business structure at Story Stitchers. I have been helping with setting up the social media to attract teenagers, reviewing and critiquing the website, studying the budgets and meeting lots of people that help with the organization.

Kids are already saying this summer is going to be tragic and terrible because people are going to be losing their lives to gun violence this summer. Sometimes teens will pick up an a gun because of anger and sometimes because of fear. Some teens might be going through something at home, or something they’ve seen or done might make them think a gun could help to keep them safe. 

The Story Stitcher summer Pick the City UP Tour can help because it informs teens about why you should not pick up a gun and helps them to think about the consequences if you do pick it up and pull that trigger. You could go to jail, lose your life, take someone’s else’s life. The songs and poems tell about how you don’t need a gun to be safe or cool. They say that you should have your own mind and think for yourself and don’t let nobody get in your head about carrying a gun.”

 Give StL Day Link to Saint Louis Story Stitchers

 

OPEN AUDITIONS CONTINUE!


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For the Summer Tour!

Last Saturday’s Open Auditions 4 youth were great! Thanks everyone!!

See clips of some of the artists on instagram and twitter @storystitchers.

WHO: Artists 16-24 years old & New Adult Artists

PLUS Summer Tour Registration 4 Returning Adult Artists

If you want consideration for this summer’s tour line-up come in and let us know!

Show us the piece or act you would like to perform in the tour.

All original, family friendly work related to the Story Stitchers mission.

To document St. Louis through art and word to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

The tour is especially focused on public health issues including gun violence, safe driving, addiction, healthy eating, peer pressure, and bullying.

WHAT: Hip hop, spoken word, dance, instrumentals.

Acts must have an easy set up. 

WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 2018   *  10:00 am -12:00 pm

WHERE: Stitchers Storefront Studio  *  616 N Skinker Blvd.

‘Dwell in Other Futures’


 

‘Dwell in Other Futures’ conference this weekend

Dwell in Other Futures is a two-day festival of art and ideas exploring the collisions of race, urbanism, and futurism, providing a platform for alternate visions of the St. Louis to come.

Visions of the future shape how we see the present. On Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, Washington University’s Divided City initiative will co-sponsor “Dwell in Other Futures,” a two-day event exploring how collisions of race, urbanism and futurism might spark fresh ideas about the city that is and the city that is to come.

Dwell in Other Futures is organized by Gavin Kroeber, Tim Portlock, and Rebecca Wanzo.

Congratulations to all, especially Tim, a member of the Story Stitchers board.

Events take place at the .ZACK and the Pulitzer Arts Fundation

RSVP online.

https://dwellinotherfutures.com/

“A sense of optimism…”


Saturday, April 14, 2018 7:30 PM

KDHX and St. Louis Poetry Center present Bullets Into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence

At The Stage at KDHX

Special thanks to Erin Quick from the St. Louis Poetry Center for the invitation to participate.

3524 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

Free, open to the public

STORY STITCHERS PERFORMANCE:

Representing The Collective: Leading performing artists in the Stitchers Youth Council will perform their original poems, Different by Emeara and Different II by Branden. The poems draw from stories collected by the artists from St. Louis neighborhoods and reflect on the pressures of gang violence.

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a non-profit organization engaged in urban storytelling whose mission is to document St. Louis through art and word to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy. Collective artists work alongside 15-24-year-old urban youth to collect stories, reframe and retell them using the arts to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring society. Current projects focus on public health issues including gun violence.

Poets and panelists:
Dana Levin, Aaron Coleman, Mary Jo Bang, Cheeraz Gorman, Kenneth J. Pruitt, MO State Rep. Stacey Newman, Becky Morgan from Moms Demand Action, Emeara and Branden from Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, Dr. Laurie Punch from Washington University in St. Louis and moderator, co-editor of Bullets into Bells, Brian Clements.

This program is presented in conjunction with:

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now at Craft Alliance

Saint Louis Story Stitchers presentation is sponsored in part by a grant from Missouri Foundation for Health to Saint Louis Story Stitchers. 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.

To learn more about Saint Louis Story Stitchers visit the exhibition Pick the City UP at the Sheldon Art Galleries through April 21st.

Story Stitchers Community Council


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Photograph from The Wish Box Project, c Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2017

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings youth, 15-24 years old, and artists together in documenting our community  to build a healthier, more peaceful society through storytelling.

SAINT LOUIS STORY STITCHERS COMMUNITY COUNCIL

 The purpose of the Community Council is to build a network of support for the organization.

Story Stitchers Vice President Cassandria White serves as board liaison.

Community Council members…

Stay up to date, follow the blog and help to spread the word through social media.

Attend events and bring guests.

Participate in the annual Bowl A Thon fundraiser.

Join today!

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

 

Anthony and Antonio on the Cat Walk!


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Story Stitchers at a visit to the Experimental Design Class

Story Stitchers Youth Council members Antonio and Anthony will appear on the cat walk at the 89th Annual Sam Fox School of Art and Design Fashion Show.

Story Stitchers are collaborating with the Experimental Design class taught by Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Fashion Design to try to push their messaging of building a stronger city through design to new heights.

Anthony and Antonio will wear clothing that features accessories created by the student designers.

Sunday, April 15th

Third Degree Glass Factory

5200 Delmar Blvd.

Doors Open 4:30

Ticketed Event

The event will feature dozens of models wearing scores of outfits created by fashion design majors.

The show begins at 5p and will be followed by a reception for the designers at 5:30p. Advance VIP tickets—which include front-row seating, a gift bag, and a pre-show event sponsored by the St. Louis Fashion Fund—are $125.

General admission tickets (i.e. second- and third-row seating) are $50, or $20 for standing-room-only. Tickets are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, 314.935.6543, or online at edison.wustl.edu.

For more information, email samfoxschool@wustl.edu or search #wustlfashion on Twitter and Instagram.