Author: Saint Louis Story Stitchers

In honor of International Peace Day


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In honor of International Peace Day —

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is pleased to announce a chapter about the organization’s humble beginnings written by Susan Colangelo in the new book entitled Speak Peace: Words of Wisdom, Work, and Wonder by Ms. Lynette Ford and Sherry Norfolk.

The authors and contributors—educators, storytellers, and peacemakers—discuss what each of us can do to promote a more peaceful community, country, and world.

The book is available on Amazon

or directly from Story Stitchers at the Storefront Studio for $15.

Parkhurst Brothers Publishers, 2019

Excerpt from Chapter 16, Pick the City UP #DROP THE GUN #KEEP THE PEACE

by Susan Colangelo:

To understand Story Stitchers, think back over time through the field of artistic practice in social justice. Think of children’s building blocks that form a growing tower. The words on the blocks include historic incidents which involve human tragedy, artistic movements, and social movements.

For example, in the history of the Civil Rights movement in the United States, there is a strong example of systemic change generated in part, through storytelling. It is well recognized that Dr. King was a skilled orator and a mesmerizing storyteller. So, we had blocks that said, Jim Crow Law, Segregation, Discrimination, Dr. King, Civil Unrest, Boycott, Vietnam, Military Draft, Marches. and Police Brutality. Added to the tower were blocks of art such as music, (“We Shall Overcome,” “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game”), works of photographers such as Gordon Parks and Bill Hudson, and videography of journalists showing dogs tearing at protesters’ flesh, and the blasts of fire hoses. These shocking and undeniable images entered the living rooms of American families through the evening news. Our art helped to tell the stories, solidified change in American hearts and minds and helped to bring about justice. The resulting pressure generated a toppling of the status quo and the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Another example is the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt was conceived in 1985 by Cleve Jones, a gay activist working in San Francisco. In 1987, Cleve and his colleagues encouraged survivors to create quilts three by six feet describing their loved one, and send them to the project. Today there are more than 48,000 quilts commemorating people who have died from AIDS. The NAMES Project Foundation cares for and exhibits the quilt and has raised over $3 million for AIDS service organizations. The quilts — a massive community effort and outpouring of grief —  helped Americans to visualize and understand the enormous number of lives lost to the AIDS epidemic. They helped put pressure on Congress to fund medical research and to create and enforce AIDS and illness-related anti-discrimination laws. The social consciousness of the country changed, one stitch, one tear, and one story at a time.

When people come together to work collectively for social justice they can create a strong impact. Artists can help to tell the stories that will move hearts and minds. These are lessons from history that Story Stitchers demonstrates. In this work, there is an inherent belief that art and word are essential ingredients to the creation of the social justice needed to create a peaceful society. There is also an understanding that the work must be grounded in the community it serves. For Story Stitchers, this is the African American community of St. Louis.

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Mariana Parisca, Susan Colangelo and KP Dennis at the Story Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N. Skinker. (Photo: Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos)

Not Another One! is discussed in the chapter in Speak Peace. Learn more about this multi-year project below.

Not Another One! A Discussion on Gun Violence

Purchase the full color book today at LuLu HERE!!

Add to school libraries, utilize in high school and college classrooms, and for professional training for anyone working with youth or studying race relations, trauma and gun violence prevention.

Not Another One! is a youth-led discussion that opens communication and identifies commonality, greater understanding, and ways to cooperate and collaborate between city police and teenage youth as both work to lower the high rates of gun violence in St. Louis, Missouri. The discussion details citizen rights, police policies and procedures, trauma caused by gun violence, and possible solutions in a frank, honest, and respectful discussion.

The discussion was transcribed and a book and is now available with foreword by Jason Q. Purnell, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Want to get involved? Volunteers are gathering at the Storefront Studio, 616 N Skinker today, Saturday, September 21st, 2019 at 10:00 AM to work on planning the Super Heroes of the West Side, a health-themed Halloween Block Party for children and families. Come on in!

PUBLIC STORY COLLECTION


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PUBLIC STORY COLLECTION: VIOLENCE AND PEACE

When a person lives in an urban area where sirens, screeching tires, and gunshots can be heard nightly, how will their sense of self and world view change when that person experiences and explores native prairies?

If you would like to contribute a story to the Peace in the Prairie project’s archives, about violence or peace that you have experienced in either the city or the prairie lands of Missouri, please contact Story Stitchers at storystitchers@gmail.com, call 314-899-9001, or drop by the Storefront Studio during one of the Story Collection sessions.

We’d like to hear from you.

Drop in to the Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N Skinker Blvd in the Delmar Loop.

Audio Recording Sessions:

Wed., September 18, 2018, 11:00-1:00

Wed., October 2, 2018, 4:00-7:00

Sat., November 9, 2018, 10:00-2:00

Peace in the Prairie is supported by an Annual Discipline Minority Arts grant from Missouri Arts Council.

The project is also 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.

Peace in the Prairie is supported by Kranzberg Arts Foundation where Story Stitchers is a resident organization.

 

 

 

Take a Hike. Keep the Peace.


 

 

Story Stitchers Youth Council is creating a new public presentation involving prairies for 2020. We are very happy to be welcomed back to Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve as part of this project.

Story Stitchers has been fundraising but we are a little bit short, just $2,000, of the funds needed for the annual prairie trip.

Will you help us reach our goal to make this trip happen as it has for the past 3 years?

“Being able to experience an environment of peace is different than what I am used. I live in the city of Saint Louis, Missouri where I hear ambulances along with gunshots near my home every night. The trip allowed me to know that there is more to life then what I’ve been used to. I would like to change my mindset by being more adventurous and trying new things to expand my horizon.”

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Story Stitchers is where it’s at


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Emeara at the Good For Your Health music video shoot, Winslow’s Farm, 2019

Shakira — Emeara’s mom, shares her thoughts…

I have watched Story Stitchers grow for the last 5 years I want to say… no, 7 years!

Emeara and a group of her friends started in Story Stitchers when they were in high school, I want to say they were sophomores, juniors in high school. Now Emeara’s 21 and Story Stitchers has taken off from a group of small friends to a group of 20 and the support that I’ve seen, the events I’ve seen them at, the interactions with the crowd, with the children, the talent that has been coming through here.

Watching my own daughter grow has been so awesome. Watching the organization itself grow from just a group of friends to actually a storefront in Delmar, that is, like so awesome. Watching the growth in the community around them. Whenever they come to an event everyone is excited to see them. When they’re leaving an event I just see people stop and say hey, great job, y’all were just so wonderful. Great talent. You really gave me something to smile about. It’s just so awesome. I really really love Story Stitchers and I am thankful for Story Stitchers coming into my daughter’s life, coming into our lives, you know I’ve seen her do a really big change—not only on her walk with God, but just her interaction with Story Stitchers and how she pours into Story Stitchers. I am just so thankful and I think it’s so awesome that.. I’m just so thankful.

You have to check out Story Stitchers if you ever get the chance. Please, please, please, check out Story Stitchers, it’s one of the greatest things that has come out of STL and this is just the beginning. Story Stitchers is going to blow up from here and it’s going to be worldwide! They’re already worldwide but it’s going to get bigger and better!

Story Stitchers is where it’s at.

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OPEN AUDITIONS

Stitchers Youth Council

Open to 16-24 year olds

Saturday, August 31

12:00 -4:00 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd. 

storystitchers.org

Come learn about creative opportunities at Saint Louis Story Stitchers and meet some of the artists. It’s Wash U Day so pick up a freebie give away!

Share your artistic work in spoken word, hip hop or music, photography or videography.

Volunteer to help with our next big event, Super Heroes the West Side on October 26th and get to know the Lou through our eyes!

Free parking in the City lot behind the building.

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JOB OPENING

Program Director

Apply via INDEED

Position Summary

We seek a professional for the position of Program Director in St. Louis, MO. The ideal candidate has a solid track record managing all aspects of programs for a nonprofit arts organization and strong familiarity with the fine arts.

The Program Director is responsible for the coordination and administration of youth programs and youth recruitment through engagement with schools and local community organizations.

The Program Director works with artists and youth in the organization and supports their work through planning, organizing, administering, attendance, and advocacy.

The Program Director reports to and works directly with the President of the Board of Directors who also serves as the CEO.

The Program Director works full-time for a minimum of 40 hours per week at Story Stitchers designated locations with minimum of 20 hours per week for youth contact.

Program Director Job Description

 

YOUTH OPPORTUNITY RAP SESSION


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Yeah, we talkin’ 2 U!

 

UP This Week:

Stitchers Youth Council

YOUTH OPPORTUNITY RAP SESSION

Open to 16-24 year olds

Saturday, August 24, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Free parking in the City lot behind the building.

Discussion and application / registration session for creative opportunities for youth at Saint Louis Story Stitchers. B in the know 🙂

 

UP Next:

Stitchers Youth Council

OPEN AUDITIONS

Open to 16-24 year olds

Saturday, August 31, 12:00 -4:00 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Come learn about creative opportunities at Saint Louis Story Stitchers and meet some of the artists. It’s Wash U Day so pick up a freebie give away!

Share your artistic work in spoken word, hip hop or music, photography or videography.

Volunteer to help with our next big event, Super Heroes the West Side on October 26th and get to know the Lou through our eyes!

 

Free parking in the City lot behind the building.

storystitchers.org

 

 

Take a Listen


Take a listen…

Saint Louis On The Air

St. Louis Story Stitchers Advance Civic Pride Through Performance Art

  AUG 2, 2019

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske will talk with poet Tylea Wilson and  dancer Shawn Prather who have performed with Story Stitchers over the years. The group’s CEO, Susan Colangelo, will also join the conversation.

St. Louis Public Radio’s On The Air
August 6, 2019
90.7 FM
Coming UP Next:
Pick the City UP 
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Saturday, August 10
11:30-12:00
America’s Center
Downtown St. Louis
Bayer Health Fair at Urban Expo presented by Missouri Foundation for Health and the Urban League of St. Louis
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XXX
Saturday, August 10
Performance 1:15-2:00
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Gregory J Carter Park in Walnut Park
5800 Lillian Ave, St. Louis, 63120
Greater Pentecostal Church of God’s 20th Annual Community Day

Catch Story Stitchers on St. Louis Public Radio’s “On The Air”


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Tuesday, August 6

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske will talk with poet Tylea Wilson and  dancer Shawn Prather who have performed with Story Stitchers over the years. The group’s CEO, Susan Colangelo, will also join the conversation.

St. Louis Public Radio’s On The Air
Coming UP Next:
Pick the City UP 
Saturday, August 10

11:30-12:00
America’s Center
Downtown St. Louis
Bayer Health Fair at Urban Expo presented by Missouri Foundation for Health and the Urban League of St. Louis

Saturday, August 10
Performance 1:15-2:00
Gregory J Carter Park in Walnut Park
5800 Lillian Ave, St. Louis, 63120
Greater Pentecostal Church of God’s 20th Annual Community Day

Pick the City UP Swings Through the Lou!


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Story Stitchers perform Pick the City UP at the Tillie’s Corner Block Party and Health Fair on July 13th, 2019 in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers are lovin’ the 2019 Pick the City UP Tour!!

Pick the City UP 2019 Tour presents Saint Louis Story Stitchers unique brand of urban storytelling, featuring live original STL hip hop, spoken word and story magic on public health issues St. Louis cares about including gun violence. Pay tribute, join the fun, and make a difference. Bringing positive change to the Lou.

Story Stitchers August 3rd performance will include leading hip hop artist KP Dennis and the wild and wonderful Ntegrity plus a great line up from Stitchers Youth Council!

August 10th two separate performances will include Master Storyteller Bobby Norfolk and the another great group from Stitchers Youth Council!

Fun, educational, family-friendly shows you will remember!

#DROPTHEGUN  #KEEPTHEPEACE STL!!

Saturday, August 3
Pick the City UP
1:30-4:30 PM
WEST SIDE STREET FEAST

1514 Hodiamont, St. Louis, 63112

 

Tuesday, August 6

St. Louis On The Air

Noon Hour

St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 FM

Catch Susan Colangelo, Story Stitchers President & CEO with Stitchers Youth Council members Tylea Wilson and Shawn Prather.

 

Saturday, August 10

Pick the City UP

11:30 AM-12:00 PM

Bayer Health Fair at Urban Expo

presented by Missouri Foundation for Health

Urban League of St. Louis

America’s Center, Downtown St. Louis

 

Saturday, August 10

Pick the City UP

1:15-2:00

Greater Pentecostal Church of God’s 20th Annual Community Day

Gregory J Carter Park in Walnut Park

5800 Lillian Ave, St. Louis, 63120

 

Pick the City UP 2019 Tour is presented with support from Missouri Foundation for Health, Regional Arts Commission, LUSH Corporation’s The Charity Pot, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Steward Family Foundation, Cardinals Care, and Incarnate Word Foundation.

For the latest news visit storystitchers.orgstorystitchers@gmail.com or 314-899-9001

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Bowl A Thon @ The Pin Up Bowl 2Day!


 

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2018 Bowl A Thon at Tropicana Bowl

2019 Bowl A Thon! 

Join us for the 2019 Bowl-a-Thon!

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

Pin Up Bowl in the Delmar Loop

6191 Delmar Blvd

4:00-7:00 PM

Saint Louis Story Stitchers 4th Annual Bowl A Thon is the charitable organization’s annual fundraiser.

Funds from this bowl-a-thon will go directly to benefit Saint Louis Story Stitchers Youth Gun Violence Prevention Program.

Come say hello and cheer on the youth teams! 🙂

It’s not too late to make a donation!

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Purchase a Bowl A Thon T-shirt for $20!

Here’s what gifts you collect can accomplish:

  • $25 will sponsor the cost of start-up for 1 participant in Stitchers Youth Council Program
  • $50 can sponsor a youth in one performance or cultural outing
  • $100 can fund a teaching artist at a creative workshop
  • $250 can fund a video of Story Stitchers at work in the community
  • $500 can help fund an after school assembly program
  • $1,000 can fund a Story Stitchers performance on gun violence prevention for a community center or neighborhood block party.

Join us in supporting real change. Let’s support good in the world and make a difference. Youth gun violence is a terrible problem that takes innocent lives. Youth who are living in economically challenged neighborhoods are at the highest risk to be effected by gun violence. But this CAN change!

Story Stitchers work shows African American youth in positive roles as active, leading members of their generation and of the community at large. Youth engaged in the program experience social and emotional support and personal growth, become active and engaged citizens, learn to cooperate and collaborate, have strong mentors and build lasting friendships, and are less likely to become involved in criminal activity and youth violence. Help Saint Louis Story Stitchers save young lives!

Thank you for your help!

Hope to see you there!

 

Good For Your Health is ONLINE!


The music video Good For Your Health is online!

The song will be live on iTunes and major music platforms August 1, 2019! STORE

GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Good For Your Health, is a body of work that develops youth leadership and addresses food insecurity, one of the root causes of gun violence. 

Good For Your Health explores food insecurity, nutrition, and healthy food choices, and celebrates the beauty and bounty of Missouri agriculture.

In Missouri865,400 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 243,110 are children. In Missouri, as in the rest of America, 1 in 6 children may not know where they will get their next meal. For the nearly 13 million kids in the U.S. facing hunger, getting the energy they need to learn and grow can be a day-in, day-out challenge.  (Source: Feeding America)

Good for Your Health is a school assembly program that includes curriculum connections on nutrition and bullying. The program is appropriate for 5-15-year-old children. The interactive program includes original music, a skit, games and dance and covers nutrition and bullying in fun and innovative ways.

Good For Your Health has been created with support from Missouri Foundation for Health, LUSH Corporation’s The Charity Pot, Incarnate Word Foundation, and St. Louis Mental Health Board and with support from the Randy and Ann Lipton Charitable Fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation.

See Story Stitcher perform Good For Your Health at the West Side Street Feast on August 3rd, 2019, 1:30-4:30 PM at 1514 Hodiamont, corner of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and Hodiamont!

For more information please visit storystitchers.org.

Good For Your Health

Produced by Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective
Copyright 2019

Music by

Stitchers Youth Council
Emeara Burns, AnnaLise Cason, She’Kinah Taylor, Shawn Taylor and Michaela Taylor

With Audio Engineering by Ntegrity
Story Stitchers Artist in Residence

Produced at Stitchers Storefront Studio in St. Louis, MO
2018

Mastered at Shock City Studio, St. Louis, MO
2019

Music Video

Directed and filmed by Quinsonta Boyd, Boyd Media

Filmed on location at:

Winslow’s Farm, through the generosity of the Lipton Family in Augusta, MO

Midwest Farmer’s Market in the West Delmar Loop, University City, MO

Miss Tillie’s Corner in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood of St. Louis, MO

All rights reserved. Copyright 2019.

Public schools may receive free-use permission for the music video by contacting Saint Louis Story Stitchers at storystitchers@gmail.com.

Donation

Support the educational programs of Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective.

$25.00