STAND DOWN / RISE UP!


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2.17 tickets front

Save the date!

February 17, 2020

6:00-7:30 PM

Clark-Fox Forum in Hillman Hall at the Brown School of Social Work

Washington University in St. Louis

 

STAND DOWN / RISE UP Respect and Redirect

is an exploration of African Americans throughout Missouri’s history that have impacted gun violence today by Black artists and young poets ages 16-24 who currently reside in St. Louis city and county.

Join the Saint Louis Story Stitchers on February 17th, 2020 in the beautiful Clark-Fox Forum for an unforgettable and moving experience!

Free and open to the public.

Parking is available for a small fee in the underground garage off Forsyth Blvd on Wrighton Way.

 

STAND DOWN RISE UP Hoodies available for a limited time! 

Order through February 18th with delivery around March 5th.

Proceeds support Saint Louis Story Stitchers. Thank you!

ORDER YOUR HOODIE TODAY! CLICK HERE

 

Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: Joshua


The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Meet Joshua, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

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“My art is a  mish-mash of different styles. I read and watch a lot of films to try to gather visual information. I spend five to six hours a day drawing. My favorite artists are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Egon Schiele, and Trenton Doyle Hancock. I enjoy being around other creators at Story Stitchers. I like when our different ideas and work come together through collaboration. I was looking for other artists to work with so this came at a perfect time in my life. It’s been fun- making friends, talking about art and learning from each other.

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“I’ve been working with some of the dancers and I photograph them and draw them.

I am taking my skill of figure drawing and putting it to use here. The process would normally be that I photograph and film them while they are dancing and then I go back and draw them on my own. I use pencil, water color and ink. I also work in pastel and collage. The video below is a collaborative piece that shows some of my drawings with another youth named Anthony dancing.

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I think Story Stitchers can build a large enough audience to start doing installations in art spaces. We are becoming better known in the region. Our work is something that’s desperately needed in the current political and social climate with the rising fear of gun violence and racial disparity that exists here.”

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The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.

Stitchers is committed to placing youth at the center of the work both in identifying topics for exploration as well as the methods for engagement. This approach builds a community of youth and professional artists who respect one another. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.

The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000.

Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.

Thank you and Happy New Year

Give for Peace in 2020

 

 

Giving Thanks


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Saint Louis Story Stitchers is being featured December 31st, 2019 by a non-profit called Givable that offers individuals, businesses, and families a new way to raise funds for other local non-profits.

Through a monthly membership program Givable creates a group giving program whose members can make a big impact in the St. Louis region. Members learn about local and trustworthy charities making a difference in our community, and lend their support. Givable shares information about all of the amazing non-profits in the St. Louis area, including us, and members have an opportunity to chip in alongside hundreds of others to support their good work.

Givable makes giving easy, affordable, and impactful to support our community, and we encourage you to consider signing up agivable.org.

We are grateful to the good people at Givable for helping to spread the word about Saint Louis Story Stitchers to their followers and friends!

We are grateful to our Saint Louis Story Stitchers volunteers and donors for joining us in supporting our youth, artists, communities, and our beautiful city! You are an important part of every step we take and we thank you for joining us in building a safer and healthier region.

 

Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: Keith


The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Meet Keith, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

IMG_8564Keith is a 22 year old youth who is in the Urban League’s Save Our Sons program and who joined Stitchers Youth Council two weeks ago.

Keith said, “I lost my mother in June this year and that experience made me want to change my life style. I saw there was no one like my mother. I met Mr. Dennis, (Director of the Save Our Sons program at the Urban League) on the streets and after two weeks of waiting due to shame and embarrassment, I decided to walk in to the Urban League and ask Mr. Dennis for help. I’ve been helping out as much as I can but I also been living on the streets. I know its not the life for me. It’s hard. One day I was riding with Mr. Dennis and he took me to the Story Stitchers studio and I met Mrs. C who’s been very helpful to me. (KP Dennis is also Artist in Residence and a founding member of Story Stitchers).

I don’t think I would’ve met Mr. Dennis or Mrs C if I was in the same state of mind…

Keith Dean III and Cali IMG_8566I was depressed and lost after my mom passed and I didn’t think I would be able to do anything. She died on June 8th this year and I had buried her on June 16th so that her friend could come and see her one last time. I used to live with my mom and we were very close and I shared everything with her. Then when she was gone I was lost and had trouble coping with life. 

But now I’m in the Save Our Sons Program and I have a new job at a restaurant that I will start next week. I’m writing my ides, activities and thoughts down everyday for the Story Stitchers art project that I’m in called called The WHY of MY City. This past week I worked at Story Stitchers as a photographer for one of the performances at a school. I really liked that and it was fun. I never did anything like that before. This is one of my photos of the performers.

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The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.

Stitchers is committed to placing youth at the center of the work both in identifying topics for exploration as well as the methods for engagement. This approach builds a community of youth and professional artists who respect one another. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.

The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000.

Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: Rachel


The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Meet Rachel, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

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Rachel is a dual enrollment student at Metro High School where she plays basketball and also takes most of her classes at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She is a producer and a song writer, performing at her school, at the African Arts Festival, and sings in the choir at her church on Sundays. In the future she will be performing in FEM Fest for female Emcee’s and St. Louis underground music’s SLUM FEST.

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Rachel joined Story Stitchers in 2018 and was a creator and performer on Teen Rap Crisis II .

“I enjoy working with other artists, with kids, and interacting with the neighborhood. Despite being one of the youngest in the Stitchers Youth Council, I’m a vocal powerhouse when it comes to my music and poetry. Being with Story Stitchers allows me to not only continue my work, but become more creative,” said Rachel.

Rachel is serving as a youth writer, poet, and performer for Story Stitchers’ new project, The WHY of MY City, which will premiere at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival April 24, 2020 at the new High Low on Washington. The WHY of MY City is an artistic commission designed to raise awareness on gun violence prevention and rebuild civic pride for St. Louis, MO, which has neighborhoods that are reeling from gun violence. The new work by African American artists will explore why citizens do and should care about their neighborhoods, even as outsiders might see the same city blocks as uninhabitable. The WHY of MY City is created with support from Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, a state agency, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

IMG_8538 2The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.

Stitchers is committed to placing youth at the center of the work both in identifying topics for exploration as well as the methods for engagement. This approach builds a community of youth and professional artists who respect one another. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.

The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000.

Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

 

Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: AnnaLise


The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Meet AnnaLise, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

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AnnaLise is a sophomore at Fontbonne University studying art and social work. She joined Stitchers Youth Council as a STL Youth Jobs intern in 2018 and has been active ever since. She enjoys photography, writing and poetry as well as performance arts.

AnnaLise performs on the tracks of Who’s Ready? and Good For Your Health and created a poem called, “Roll Call, Please” for Story Stitchers Black History Month performances.

 

Roll Call, Please
Roll call, please…

Our ancestors are here!
They waited long enough for others to listen,

But I am the chosen one,

And it is time to make things clear.
It is time to spit it all out,

So take a seat,

Don’t look that way,

Because ya’ll know what I’m talking about.
A wise woman once said,

That challenges make you discover things about yourself.

That you already knew.
So why are we acting like all of this is untrue?
Dred Scott valiantly stands on my right side,

With Charles Alfred Anderson Sr. in the sky,

Because Cathay Williams taught us how to walk with pride,

Margaret Bush Wilson has sworn her hand on the Bible,

Tell me how can I lie?

 

We reign with eminence,

Have graced this Earth with every breath we utter,

We are known to make it to high places,

Coming straight from the gutter.

 

We come from self-made beings,

Like Annie Malone,

And Red Foxx too,

But it’s no laughing matter,

About the amazing things we can do!
We are capable of so much more,

Than the selfless inflictions we take part in,

You see, we block our blessings when we give in to sin.
Roll call, please…

Our ancestors are here!
If we truly want the change for ourselves,

We must stand down, and know that there’s nothing to fear.
This is a call to action!

Our ancestors are here!
Roll call, please…

It is time for us to rise up and persevere!

Stitchers Youth Council. IF8A5398

AnnaLise said, “ I enjoy being part of Story Stitchers because it has changed my world view entirely. I see myself as more of an activist than I originally perceived myself to be. I feel like I can actually utilize the voice that I have now because I am not only saying what I feel from my heart but I am also saying what needs to be in everyone’s hearts. For example, mental health awareness and how it impacts all of us— all races, genders, and age groups. Food insecurity and food deserts is another topic I work with in the group. Though I grew up in a food desert, I am now more aware of the need for literacy about the issue.”

“I think Story Stitchers can go anywhere we set our minds to go. All we need is the support of you all to get us there. I would like to see and hear our work in classrooms and on radios, even in movies. Our impact could change the narrative that older generations have about us when it comes to us expressing our opinions on things that they believe we are unqualified for like politics, finances, public safety, and racial equality. Also we work to impact our peers because we understand the societal pressures that we place on each other and that come from poverty and racial inequality.

In the song Who’s Ready? we wrote,”Put the gun down, get up and join this movement!” encouraging our peers to make a safer choice when it comes to their thought processes in stressful situations. In a way, we have two weapons–our guns and our phones. We can either end a life with a bullet or we can bring forth new conversations and build understanding.”

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The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.

Stitchers is committed to placing youth at the center of the work both in identifying topics for exploration as well as the methods for engagement. This approach builds a community of youth and professional artists who respect one another. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.

The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000.

Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

 

ANTI Released on SPOTIFY


ANTI COVER

ANTI is now live on SPOTIFY!

ANTI was written by Stitchers Youth Council members Antonio Clark, Emeara Burns and Branden Lewis and was created at the Stitchers Storefront Studio in St. Louis, Missouri with musical support from Story Stitchers Artists in Residence Howard Cox and Ntegrity.

ANTI is a song about anti-bullying.

According to the Stop Bullying Now Foundation, the overall outlook of the long term effects of bullying upon society is grim:

  1. 60% of middle school students say that they have been bullied, while 16% of staff believes that students are bullied.
  2. 160,000 students stay home from school every day due to bullying. (NEA)
  3. 30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school.
  4. A bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24.
  5. A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he grows up.
  6. 2/3 of students who are targets become bullies.
  7. 20% of all children say they have been bullied.
  8. 20% of high school students say they have seriously considered suicide within the last 12 months.
  9. 25% of students say that teachers intervened in bullying incidents while 71% of teachers say they intervened.
  10. The average child has watched 8,000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school.
  11. In schools where there are anti-bullying programs, bullying is reduced by 50%.
  12. Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shootings reviewed by the US Secret Service.
  13. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) (Sauter, et al.,1990), there is a loss of employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion due to workplace bullying.
  14. Law enforcement costs related to bullying are enormous.  Since 1999, the Office on Violence against Women (OVW) has spent $98 million in assistance to address campus sexual violence.

ANTI

Lyrics

 

Antonio

Chorus

Anti, anti

I ain’t bother you where did I go wrong?

Anti, anti

I ain’t on that please leave me alone.

Anti, anti

Bully me and regret it when I’m gone.

Anti, anti, anti, anti.

Repeat

Antonio

Verse 1

16 with a dream and I don’t involve glocks with beam.

I don’t wanna hit the blunt. I don’t wanna sip the lean.

Got my head on straight with a high self-esteem.

Cause I’m… Headed to for the top ain’t got no time for no road blocks.

 I ain’t hitting the block.

Hitting the spot.

Aye.

Ducking the cops.

Ducking the shots.

Facts!

You need to pick up the slack.

You could be the leader of the pack.

Ain’t no sense in following the blind.

I guarantee they won’t have yo back.

You ain’t gotta do what they do.

Shoot what they shoot.

The decisions all up to you.

Ain’t no breeze.

Cause If you ask me, I tell em 1 2 3.

Aye.

 

Chorus

Anti, anti

I ain’t bother you where did I go wrong?

Anti, anti

I ain’t on that please leave me alone.

Anti, anti

Bully me and regret it when I’m gone.

Anti, anti, anti, anti.

 

Emeara

Verse 2

These bullies wanna take my chain.

Get in my lane.

Bash my name.

I ain’t even do nothing just tryna go to school and get my A’s.

Get my A’s.

They wanna see me fail because they ain’t living well.

So they picking on me feeling like a cell.

I don’t even wanna tell because it’ll probably get worse and I really get hurt.

Time to put it in the dirt.

Don’t lose yo smile.

Loose yo crown.

Don’t lose yo style just to prove something.

But don’t do nothing.

You need to say something

While your veins pumping and yo J’s stumping.

Like bully stay in yo lane.

Bully stay in yo lane.

Excuse me teacher can you handle my light weight.

Chorus

Anti, anti

I ain’t bother you where did I go wrong?

Anti, anti

I ain’t on that please leave me alone.

Anti, anti

Bully me and regret it when I’m gone.

Anti, anti, anti, anti.

Bridge

Why you wanna bother me. Harass and follow me.

Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Why you gotta frown on me. Turn around and talk down to me.

Aye aye aye aye.

Why you wanna bother me. Harass and follow me.

Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Why you gotta frown on me. Turn around and talk down to me.

Aye

 

Check out Branden on Verse 3 on the recording.

Too fast to type!!

Copyright 2019 by Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

#KEEP THE PEACE

 

Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: Jihad


IMG_8014The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Meet Jihad, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

Jihad is a 20 year old college student attending St. Louis Community College at Forest Park and studying Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering. He’s doing well in school. He is the eldest of 5 siblings in his family, one being a twin sister. He was born in New Orleans and when he was 5 years old his family moved to Saudi Arabia as his father followed a career opportunity. When he was 17, after graduating high school, he relocated to St. Louis to be with family.

Jihad came to Story Stitchers through a pod cast activity in which Story Stitchers partnered with the students at the Community College to create a recorded discussion on gun violence prevention.

“I was nervous at the beginning because I was never used to people being able to speak on their personal experiences, because back home in Saudi Arabia, if you speak out it can be used against you and you’ll get picked up by police the next morning,” Jihad said. “It’s really different here because talking openly is seen as part of making solutions to problems rather than it being your own statement.

It’s hard to tell someone to put down their gun when every time they walk out the door they feel like a target. But I realize that carrying can put the person at a higher risk; even more risk than other people. You could go down on gun charges if you don’t use it or if you do use it it’s the same thing— you might not come back home…ever. When you carry, you would have to pick between two boxes— a coffin or a cell. I’ve learned a lot in my short life and now I want to help other people.”

Thinking abut the future Jihad said, “So after the podcast experience I came by the storefront the next day and joined Story Stitchers. Story Stitchers kept me away from sticky situations and it showed me to think before I act. I’m making friends here with other young people my age and I’m starting to perfect my art which is something I wasn’t able to focus on because I was sidetracked…. I hope to reach out to other kids in order to help them learn through my mistakes, and If we don’t change our habits, our mindsets, and our activities collectively, we might not be able to get a second chance…”

IMG_8015The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.

Stitchers is committed to placing youth at the center of the work both in identifying topics for exploration as well as the methods for engagement. This approach builds a community of youth and professional artists who respect one another. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.

The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000.

Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

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Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: Cali


The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Meet Cali, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

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Cali came to Story Stitchers in January 2018 as a high school senior. He is now 20 years old. Cali is a dancer and performed in five of the Story Stitchers Not Another One! high school performances about gun violence prevention in 2018/19. Cali completed high school with a GED. He likes to learn new things and at Story Stitchers he has been doing some amazing nature photography, learning to do graphic design and videography. He is in the premiere group of youth performers in the Stitchers Youth Council as a dancer. This group will be going to Seattle, Washington in November to perform to Unity Summit, sponsored by Missouri Foundation for Health and Change Philanthropy.

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“I’ve been to Seattle before by myself but this time I’m going to be with family, my Story Stitchers family, so it’s going to be way more fun. And I’m excited about the performances we’re going to do and visiting the Pop Culture Museum. Three of my friends are going to be at my house the night before we go and then a taxi is going to pick us up and take us to the airport at 3:30 AM! So I’m going to be tired but excited.”

Cali has participated in a Story Stitchers radio interview at KDHX, many Story Stitchers performances, and joined his peers to write a youth grant to St. Louis Mental Health Board for a new school assembly program called, Good For Your Health. He is known for his fashion-forward style, his warm smile and welcoming demeanor. He is always ready to learn or to help another.

“I’m learning how to become a better role model because I get put in a lot of situations here where I have to have a leadership mentality. When I perform with the dancers we all know what to do but sometimes I help the group to sum up the whole performance before the show, like when we rehearse. When we perform for little kids at elementary schools the little kids go crazy because they like our dancing and they try to copy us. So we are careful about what we are modeling to them.”

“Right now I’m a STL Youth Jobs intern at Story Stitchers. My job coach is very hands on and she checks up on me a lot. At Story Stitchers I am working on creating beats for the dancers and curating and editing photographs for our upcoming show, To The Prairie, at The High Low in Grand Center next March. I also do graphic design and I just finished the cover art for our new song, ANTI, which is about bullying. It’s on iTunes and all the major music platforms.”

You can find links to the song on our website: storystitchers.org.

The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.

Stitchers is committed to placing youth at the center of the work both in identifying topics for exploration as well as the methods for engagement. This approach builds a community of youth and professional artists who respect one another. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.

Since 2013 Saint Louis Story Stitchers have gained support from or collaborated with: Washington University in St. Louis, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, Regional Arts Commission, Missouri Arts Council, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, Youthbridge Community Foundation, Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, Saigh Foundation, Cardinals Care, University of Missouri’s Extension Service’s St. Louis Storytelling Festival, KWMU’s We Live Here, Saint Louis Art Museum, Fringe Fest, St. Louis Mental Health Board, and more. The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 15,000.

Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

 

donatenowlogo2

Seeking Board Nominations


2019 Bowl A Thon.DSC07194
2019 Bowl A Thon

November 15th is National Philanthropy Day

“Celebrate by taking some action, big or small, to make the world a better place for someone else. You don’t have to be a billionaire to be a philanthropist.

Philanthropy  literally means  “love of mankind”. So to be a philanthropist, you only need show a bit of love and concern for the well-being of your fellow humans.” — Youthbridge Community Foundation

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is seeking nominations to the board of directors. The board is a diverse group of parents, professionals, and caring adults who give of themselves in various ways including time, skills, knowledge, and funds.

We are all very grateful for the giving of board members, past and present. You are the foundation that our artists and youth build upon. Thank you to our past and to our current board members!

2019 Board of Directors:

Susan Colangelo, President  and CEO

Cassandria White, Vice President

Sarah Gaby, Ph.D. Secretary

Maggie Wu, CPA, Treasurer

Members At Large:

Breona Butler – Chris Hansen – Keisa Johnson, Esq. – Eric Kayira, Esq. – Donna Campbell, Ph.D. – Ebony Boyce Carter, MD, MPH – Mary Chandler – Wanda Wang – Hedy Lee, Ph.D.

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention. Stitchers collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy. Story Stitchers are artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.

Since 2013 Saint Louis Story Stitchers have gained support from or collaborated with: Washington University in St. Louis, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, Regional Arts Commission, Missouri Arts Council, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, Youthbridge Community Foundation, Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, Saigh Foundation, Cardinals Care, University of Missouri’s Extension Service’s St. Louis Storytelling Festival, KWMU’s We Live Here, Saint Louis Art Museum, Fringe Fest, St. Louis Mental Health Board, and more. The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 15,000.

We are currently seeking nominations to the board of directors for Members At Large: 

MEMBERS AT LARGE 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective seeks nominations for Member At Large to the board. The board lends oversight and professional expertise to the volunteer administrative leadership. The board meets quarterly with an annual meeting and election in December. Board members are asked to give at a level stretching their personal capacity, participate in fundraising activities including the annual Bowl A Thon, and attend four board meetings each year. Board members are expected to act as advocates for the organization and attend or help to organize a minimum of one to two events per year.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or national guard status, or any other factor prohibited by law in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs and/or activities.

To apply or nominate a friend, please reach out:

storystitchers.org/

616 N Skinker Blvd. Saint Louis, MO 63130

To apply, please contact:

Susan Colangelo, President & CEO

storystitchers@gmail.com – 706-255-5835 mobile – 314-899-9001 storefront studio

Donation

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

$25.00