StitchCast Studio Sex Education

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StitchCast Studio

Season I Episode 30

Sex Education

Youth leaders discuss the stigmas around STI’s, pregnancy, and safe sex practices with Ebony Boyce Carter, MD, MPH, a Washington University Physician with a specialty in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and a practice in High Risk Obstetrics.  Recorded live in Zoom December 18, 2020.

Pick the City UP Art Interlude


Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, 2017

Story Stitchers Awarded $500,000 Grant from The Lewis Prize For Music

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Saint Louis Story Stitchers artists and youth are honored to bring home a $500,000 grant from The Lewis Prize for Music!!! Go Team!!!

The Lewis Prize for Music – a philanthropic music arts organization advancing systems change through creative youth development – has announced its 2021 awards. Over $2 million in funding will give young people access to music education, strengthen the well-being of their communities and put music at the center of efforts to establish equity.

Founded in 2018 by philanthropist Daniel R. Lewis, The Lewis Prize for Music believes young people with access to high-quality music learning, performance and creation opportunities will mature into thriving individuals. Inequitable systems often fail to prioritize music learning in young people’s lives. As a result, too many young people are not supported to express themselves creatively. This stifles young people’s potential to become powerful citizens, who through musical pursuits learn to contribute positively to their communities. By supporting music leaders across the country to continue their great work, The Lewis Prize for Music seeks to inspire others to ensure every young person has the opportunity to access transformative music learning, performance and creation that benefits them and their communities.

“I am inspired by these leaders and organizations for all they do to put music at the center of young people’s personal development,” says Daniel R. Lewis, Founder and Chairman of The Lewis Prize for Music. “Our awardees and the entire Creative Youth Development field have expanded their efforts amidst the challenges of 2020 to meet the creative, material, and well being needs of young people and families. To recognize this unique impact and dedication, we have chosen to expand to four Accelerator Awards.”

“We are deeply grateful to the dozens of music, creative youth development and social change experts who reviewed applications and recommended awardees,” says Dalouge Smith, CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. “In particular, we appreciate the ten young adults who contributed invaluable insights from their own journeys as maturing musicians and artists to the awards selection.”

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is one of four Accelerator Awardees – $500,000 each Accelerator Awards provide multi-year support to enable leaders and organizations to make sustained progress toward ambitious community change initiatives that align with The Lewis Prize for Music’s values and vision.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is composed of professional artists and minority youth ages 16-24, 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.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers and its partners provide young people with platforms for turning their creative efforts into personal strengths and community transformations. Whether performing at neighborhood festivals, participating in mural and creative placemaking initiatives or podcasting from its Stitchcast Studio, the young artists of Saint Louis Story Stitchers translate the complexities of what they experience into accessible and affirming narratives.

Susan Colangelo and Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective will use The Lewis Prize for Music to build toward the establishment of a youth music and technology center by growing its administrative and fundraising capacity.

Covid-19 Vaccine Fears and Facts

StitchCast Studio

Season I

Episode 29


Covid-19 Vaccine

Fears and Facts


Stitchers Youth leaders discuss fears and concerns swirling around the Covid-19 vaccine with their friend Dr. LJ Punch from The “T”. Recorded in Zoom December 17, 2020.


Pick the City UP Art Interlude

Good For Your Health

Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2019

2021 Board of Directors

West Side Street Feast, 2019

Saint Louis Story Stitchers welcomes the 2021 Board of Directors.


Susan Colangelo, President  and Executive Director

Breona Butler, Vice President

Tausha Dirks, Secretary

Maggie Wu, CPA, Treasurer

Members At Large

Michelle Fleming

Chris Hansen

Keisa M. Johnson, Esq.

Nichole Dawsey

Ben Kessler

Hedy Lee, Ph.D.

Amanda Shields

Cassandria White

John A Wright, Jr.

Happy 2021!

Story Stitchers are looking back at 2020 and ahead to 2021 today.

Today we published a podcast that records youth leaders looking back on season one of StitchCast Studio. 

THANK YOU for contributing to our youth programs through the Stand Together Stand Strong Campaign.

With the help of 31 supporters the campaign has raised $17,315. Thank you so much!!!

We are very grateful for this support and will put it to work immediately. Funds enable youth to participate in meaningful programs that help to strengthen skills, build friendships and a network of adult mentors, and build resilience to help young people make good choices along the path to adulthood. To learn more about Story Stitchers impact please visit:

As we enter 2021 we again issue the #KickCovid Challenge and ask you to share with us how you kick Covid? We miss being in our studios and performing and visiting in our communities.

Let’s get past this pandemic and take control of our collective future! Story Stitchers is about creating change through non-violent collective action. We believe that collaboration and working together is exactly what is needed here.

Show us you are with us!

Please share a video, photo, text, post, like, share, and send us your comments!

Tag @storystitchers and #KickCovid and we will share and amplify your voices.

Peace and good health in 2021!

Reflecting on StitchCast Studio Season I

Reflecting on StitchCast Studio Season I

Episode 28

Youth leaders reflect on Season I of StitchCast Studio which included topics related to trauma such as Covid-19, gun violence, police brutality, mental health, compounding issues and more.


Pick the City UP Art Interlude

What’s your Why

By KP Dennis and Ntegrity

Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2020

The Center Part I

StitchCast Studio

Episode 27

Season I

The Center Part I

Story Stitchers discuss becoming one of 8 organizations nation-wide to reach the finalist stage of The Lewis Prize for Music’s $500,000 Accelerator grant competition. Youth and staff reflect on their application’s focus, a new youth arts and technology facility for St. Louis’ at-risk youth called “The Center.” Recorded in Zoom on December 2, 2020.


Pick the City UP Art Interlude – Who’s Ready?

Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2018.

DJ UP Wednesday Workshops

Saint Louis Story Stitchers continue the Stitchers Youth Council’s Wednesday Workshop Series with DJ UP!!

Starting with two Wednesday Workshops in December and continuing in 2021 (eventually in person!!) Stitchers top audio guru’s will lead discussions about the fine art of DJ-ing.

Wednesday, December 9 and 16, 2020
7:00-8:30 PM in Zoom

Come join the conversation!
Receive the Zoom link when you register for Stitchers Youth Council.

16-24 year olds may register at

DJ UP is a part of Pick the City UP and StitchCast Studio, sponsored in part by the City of St. Louis Youth At Risk Public Safety Grant of 2020 and the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund.

Stitchers Youth Council Spotlight: Rachel

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 a resident organization at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District with a program space on the first floor of Hansen House, 3617 Grandel Square called “The Center”, and also run “Stitchers Storefront Studio” at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Delmar Loop District.

Meet Rachel, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…

Rachel is a dual enrollment student at Metro High School where she plays basketball. She takes most of her classes at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. Graduating with her high school diploma and Associates degree, she will attend Webster University in Fall 2021. She will major in Music (Audio engineering) and Psychology hoping to become a music therapist and a record label owner. Her biggest goal is to challenge the culture Western Music and implement music from all around the world into her portfolio.

“I enjoy working with other artists, with kids, and interacting with the neighborhood. 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.

In February 2020, Rachel served as a youth writer, poet, and performer for Story Stitchers’  Black History Month performance of STAND DOWN RISE UP at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work. She performed her original poem, “Gun in the Hand of a Child.”

In 2020, Rachel also served as a youth writer, poet, and performer for Story Stitchers’  project, The WHY of MY City, which premiered online in May. Rachel wrote and sings the second verse on WADE, a song that is part of The WHY of MY City. 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 was 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.

The goal for all Story Stitchers programs 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 including education on safe practices during Covid-19.

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 200 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 for your interest and your support.

Have a safe and Happy Holidays!