Author: Saint Louis Story Stitchers

Teen Open Mic’s

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Story Stitchers Youth Council is starting a teen open mic series and we would like to invite you to our first Teen Open Mic event of the summer Saturday, July 21st!

Participants can range from ages 13-21.

Performance pieces must be family friendly and limited to 5 minutes maximum.

There will be BBQ, snacks and beverages!!

We will also raffle off a $50 gift card (for participants only!) and Story Stitcher’s gear (open to everyone!).

Everyone is welcome to come and we look forward to seeing you there! Teen Open Mic’s are supported in part by a grant to Stitchers Youth Council from the St. Louis Mental Health Board.

Thank You!


Date: Saturday, July 21, 2018 

Time: 2:00-4:00

Neighborhood: Wellston Loop

Location: 1514 Hodiamont, 63112 at the corner of MLK and Hodiamont

Host Organization: Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation

If raining we will be reschedule. 


Date: Tuesday, July 24 

Rain or Shine!

Time: 5:00-8:00

Neighborhood: Academy/Sherman Park

Location: 724 Union Blvd., 63108

Host Organization: Demetrious Johnson Foundation

One teen will be chosen to perform in DJF’s Community Day on Saturday, July 28th!


Date: Tuesday, August 7

Take Back the Night, Rain or Shine!

Time: 5:00-8:00 

Neighborhood: Dutchtown

Location: Thomas Dunn Learning Center

3113 Gasconade Street, St. Louis MO 63118

Host Organization: Southside Youth Council

Pick the City UP Summer Tour Kicks Off!

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DSC_0075Saint Lous Story Stitchers will kick off Pick the City UP Summer Tour 2018 Saturday, July 7th at 1:00 in Chambers Park in JeffVanderLou! 

Pick the City UP Tour is about St. Louis’s urban youth and gun violence prevention.


Who’s Ready? We Ready!

Date: July 7, 2018      

Event: Tillie’s Corner Historical Project

Location: Chambers Park, 1109 N Compton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63106

Tillie’s Corner Event Time: 1:00-3:00

Performance Time: 1:00 PM                                                                                                       

Partner: Jeff-Vander-Lou Family and Community Resources and Health Fair          XXXXXXX  XXXXX                                                                                                                         XXXXXX                          Fair Event Time: 10:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Free / All ages

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

Now in its 2nd year, the Tour stops at community centers, neighborhoods, parks, and cultural venues across St. Louis, using the arts as a catalyst for neighborhood community building.  Pick the City UP Tour is about learning ways to better love ourselves and one another. Live performances act as a catalyst for neighborhood health care resource fairs.

2018 featured artists include Howard Cox, KP Dennis, Caph Guei, Bobby Norfolk and powerful voices from the Stitchers Youth Council. STL Youth Jobs interns and Stitchers Youth Council will premiere the new Story Stitchers song, Who’s Ready? We Ready! at the show. The song, which asks peers to drop guns and register to vote, was created by Story Stitchers youth in the summer studio with Artists in Residence Britt Baker and Reggie McNichols.  Get a sneak peek here: Creating Who’s Ready?

Produced by Susan Colangelo and Joel P. E. King of JPEK CreativeWorks.   XXX XXXXXX             Executive Producer Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective.

The next tour stop is July 28, 2018 for the Demetrious Johnson Foundation’s Community Day at 724 Union Blvd; St. Louis 63108!

For the latest details visit or call 314-899-9001.

Program Sponsors

The 2018 Pick the City UP Tour is presented with support from the Regional Arts Commission and with support from 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 program is presented with additional program support from Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Steward Family Foundation, Yvette and John Dubinsky Family Foundation, Glore Fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, Washington University in St. Louis, Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, STL Youth Jobs, Rome West Realty, LLC, and in collaboration with the City of St. Louis Department of Health.

Media Sponsor: KDHX







Join Our Team!

Susan Colangelo and Emeara, Youth Council leader, at St. Louis Public Radio, 2018

I hope you have your bowling arm finely tuned, because it’s time for the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Annual BOWL-A-THON!

Funds from this bowl-a-thon will go directly to benefit Saint Louis Story Stitchers Youth Gun Violence Prevention Program. These funds are very much needed, and we need your help. 

The Story Stitchers 2018 Bowl A Thon kicks off tonight at The Pasta House!

Please join our team!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Pasta House Co. Party Room

 5:30-7:00 pm

8213 Delmar, St. Louis MO  63124

(at Old Bonhomme — ¼ mile east of I-170)

Meet legendary St. Louis philanthropist Kim Tucci, Honorary Chair and owner of The Pasta Houses and Susan Colangelo, founder and president of Story Stitchers plus some of the Stitchers Youth Council!

This critical annual fundraiser is simple, fun and very easy on participants. We do all the work! Teens are happy to serve as your proxy bowler!

Through the efforts of many, Saint Louis Story Stitchers has become one of the most respected and innovative community-based gun violence prevention programs for youth. These funds will benefit the Saint Louis Story Stitchers directly. These funds are much needed, and we need your help.

This bowl-a-thon will be held July 29, 2018.

We are all working hard to create a positive impact on our community. Thanks in advance for your help and support. Remember, we’re all in this together!

Once upon a time there was a stitcher who liked to embroider stories from the newspaper. One day she was stitching about two sisters who were shot on their porch in University City. One sister died. Two brothers were arrested for the crime. The stitcher reflected on the power of stitching throughout history; of the Aids quilt and quilts on the Underground Railroad.  She determined to join with others to create change. In August 2013 eight artists gathered in Old North St. Louis and founded the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective — to make change.

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is professional artists and minority youth ages 15-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention. Stitchers collect stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Projects create a platform for community engagement through an artistic lens and with it the Saint Louis Story Stitchers work to shift perceptions and realities and bring hope to the Saint Louis community.

Loop Arts Fest


Stitchers Storefront Studio will be open to the public for Loop Arts Fest and coinciding activities with Make Music St. Louis on June 21, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM and on June 22, 2018 from 4:00-8:00 PM for the Loop Gallery Walk (showing Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age portfolio) and the Loop Literary Festival with open mic for poets. (Family-friendly material only.)

The Storefront and front sidewalk will be open for Stitchers artists and guest artists to perform and be heard.

June 21 – 22
Loop Arts Fest
@ Stitchers Storefront Studio, 616 N Skinker Blvd.
June 21 – Make Music St. Louis

4:00 – 8:00 PM

Open mic for musicians


June 22, 2018

4:00 – 8:00 PM

Loop Gallery Walk

Loop Literary Festival

On view: Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age

Open mic for poets



Katy Brainerd, a Washington University student, interacts with Story Stitchers

Katy Brainerd, leader of the Washington University’s Storytelling SLAM student group, led a writing workshop for youth Saturday at the Stitchers Storefront Studio. Youth are creating and refining pieces that may be presented by Story Stitchers on stage or in publications.

Jasmine, a high school student, wrote this poem.


The Black Woman


I love these words.

Whenever I hear these words,

I hear the cries of past goddesses that have passed down their crowns

to the generation you see today.

The way her hips move to an internal, tribal drum.

Full lips that will the ripest plum

Wither and die.

Hair that kinks and curls into a crown that sits proudly on her head.

Skin that can thrive in the sun,

and is a reminder of how proud she should be to be a black girl.

A black woman

A black Queen

A Black Goddess

The Black woman

I also hear the cries of black women being disrespected daily.

The loud Black woman.

The mad black woman.

The ghetto black woman.

Not the smart black woman.

Not an inventor, the black woman.

Constantly ripped off and humiliated.

JERRY Springer


Kim K

Kylie Jenner

Even by our own black brothers and sisters.

Being a black woman is like being put behind two veils.

Being a



Sexism and racism.

My sisters and I are more than just our physical shells.

I’m not just talking about my sisters of which melanin binds us.

I’m talking about my sisters of the world,

who give life, food, and love to the future of mother Earth.

We hold so much knowledge,

So much love,

So much strength.

A body that can give endless life,

A heart that gives endless love.


To support programs like this, please join the Story Stitchers annual Bowl A Thon by volunteering (call 314-899-9001) or by making a donation at

What Britt showed me…

Britt Baker, Artist in Residence, works with STL Youth Jobs interns at the Stitchers Storefront

Story Stitchers Artist in Residence Britt Baker came in to work with the Collective’s STL Youth Jobs summer interns last week. Britt led the group through a process for writing a chant song. Britt’s time was well spent.

She’Kinah, a high school student, reflects on her experience…

My experience so far being on Story Stitchers has been not just a blessing to me but a huge impact in my life. Before Britt Baker came in to help us out on our chant I felt that I didn’t have anything to really contribute to the team, that Story Stitchers was really only about rapping, and they didn’t really want to go deeper than that, but I was wrong.

Since the two sessions spent with Britt, I found out that there is so much more to music and that when you speak poetry, rap, sing, or just do free writing, those are all things that express who are you and why you came to Story Stitchers in the first place. That’s what Britt showed me. 

When we were working on the chant, these words spoke out to me the most: 

 ‘We ready, we ready, we ready, for the violence to stop’  


‘It’s time for a Revolution’  

What that means to me is that we have been living in an unsafe world and what Story Stitchers is trying to do is make the areas we live in today into a safe place. So the people who are scared to go outside just to get their mail out of their mailbox that they can finally say, ‘Hey, I’m starting to feel a change that there is going to be a revolution’ and that’s exactly what this photograph is trying to say… That there are still good people in this world who are actually trying to create a safe, protected, loving, warm environment.

So my question is why continue to hurt the people we love or continue to destroy the world we live in because if you haven’t noticed yet, the same people who are trying to destroy your happiness are only hurting themselves more and more.

So I am very happy I came to Story Stitchers and gave it a chance because ever since then,   I am not just singing about what’s happening in the world but when I walk through the front door of Story Stitchers I know there’s a goal and mission and we are responsible to figure out what it is so we can get the job done. 

To support programs like this, please join the Story Stitchers annual Bowl A Thon by volunteering (call 314-899-9001) or by making a donation at


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Drop the gun and Pick UP and book or a bowling ball!

Story Stitchers is gearing UP for the annual Bowl A Thon!

The fundraiser supports Story Stitchers work on gun violence prevention. Story Stitchers works on youth violence prevention on multiple levels: vocational training for teenage youth, school assemblies, community building through performance and discussion, and PSA development.

The Bowl A Thon Kick Off is June 20th!!

We need your help! If you are interested in supporting Story Stitchers by joining the 2018 Bowl A Thon Committee please call us at 314-899-9001 or email It’s easy, fun and for a great cause.



Thanks @MomsDemand

Story Stitchers were honored to perform today at Tower Grove Park Stupp’s Center for the Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety’s #wearorange day.

The annual event marks National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Story Stitchers artists gave a 30 minute performance of original spoken work poetry, hip hop music and dance that remarked on the causes and effects of gun violence.

The Moms helped attendees register to vote and shared resources, stories and facts about gun violence.

Next UP 4 Story Stitchers:

June 21 – 22
Loop Arts Fest
Visit the Stitchers Storefront Studio
616 N Skinker Blvd.
June 21
Make Music St. Louis 4:00-8:00
June 22
Literary Day 4:00-8:00