Sneaker Tact Single Released!


No Comments

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is proud to release a new single called,

“Sneaker Tact” by K.P. Dennis and Branden Lewis

with the great Ntegrity on the board!!

Cover photograph by Shawn Taylor with Cali Fleming.

Check it on apple music, spotify and wherever you listen your music.

Watch @storystitchers on tiktok for more exciting developments coming up!

 

SNEAKER TACT

Verse I

Three burned dead bodies in the back of my residence!

Homicide D’s investigating for evidence!

I hear the homie’s yelling, “ KP for president“

Been down since the 90’s, a representative ever since!

When we was young we used to bang Pro-models,

With the sticker still on it gripping 40 Old Gold bottles!

From Diadora Lottos to my Eleese’s!

When they dropped that Bk we became an endangered species!…

But my Adidas was saving us from the rapture.

That them Chuck Taylor’s was ushering in a social disaster!

We died faster in them Cortez!

But once them J’s popped off, inevitably there was more dead!

Could never see me in no poor Keds!

Or no Pro-Wings so the 1st & -the-15th, we came so clean! Hustle for bread.

In some crispy Air Forces, black and blue

Air Maxes in the Ville where we sport it!

Chorus

Can I kick it? It’s the Sneaker tact!

Can I kick it? It’s the Sneaker tact!

Can I kick it? It’s the Sneaker tact!

Got soul in your sole, what are those? Kick back!

Can I kick it? It’s the Sneaker tact!

Can I kick it? It’s the Sneaker tact!

Can I kick it? It’s the Sneaker tact!

Got soul in your sole, what are those? Kick back!

Verse II

I, wake up at 6 in the morning,

We still mourning over shots that rang out yesterday.

Mama say until we get the bread to get a better place,

We gotta pray for better days.

You just a step away from somebody taking your breath away.

That was her warning like every morning.

Open the closet reach for the jordans. Oh yeah, we can’t afford em,

So I, strap up the sketchers, and let her finish her lecture,

This the first day of school, can’t believe I gotta wear this.

I’m out the door, at the bus stop I see a couple dudes I knew was out before.

They don’t look like they out no more.

They in the game trying to get paid.

They might drop out of tenth grade,

By time the bus came they paid ten ways.

They out here chasing money,

They got the shoes plus the bread plus a tool in case somebody try to take it from em.

They look at me and they like what are those,

Oh no these my other clothes, the forces still at home I’ll rock em later on.

Chorus

Verse III

Mannnnn catch me in my summer clothes,

I love that watch, I gots to cop me one of those.

Bus is here I gotta go.

What are those? I don’t even know

I’m on a need to know, and they don’t even need to know that these my brother clothes.

Hope they don’t take it wrong but we don’t live forever

Life ain’t long, it’s even shorter on that corner they be standing on.

Be taking chances on, that they be planted on.

Cause lord knows I’ll probably still see them standing there when I get home.

Verse IV

Do Summersaults and turn cartwheels to get a deal!

Not when you’re a real, one from Baden by way of the Ville!

My soul is not for sale don’t need no more celebrity!

Pay me so all of us can eat, you know how dope that would be?

We take no losses or no shorts, Kevin Hart like a Dwarf playing Limbo…

& no, it’s not no demo!

Skip a chart strike a match just blaze…

Many men have tried but I was made this way!

Chorus

 

Recorded at Saint Louis Story Stitchers Storefront Studio

Mastered by Preston Jones at Sawhorse Studios

Published by Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective

Copyright 2020

All rights reserved

 

 

 

Story Stitchers included in St. Louis Post Dispatch article on Gun Violence Prevention


No Comments


Read the full article:

Wounded St. Louis seeks answers as groups try to stem violence

From the Gun violence in Missouri: ‘There’s no war going on, but if you count up the body count … you might think there was’ series

Notes on Program Impact

Susan Colangelo, Executive Director, Saint Louis Story Stitchers

 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers uses nonviolent collective action and creative youth development to create systemic social change.

Story Stitchers uses a collaborative model to create social justice art. Story Stitchers’ Studio is a living laboratory where youth lead and build the nonprofit organization alongside adult mentors.

Youth bring raw experiences and are supported by regionally and nationally recognized black artists and scholars who work alongside the young activists through collaborative learning experiences inviting dialogue and generating raw, authentic works of art. Story Stitchers use music, spoken word, photography, videography, and dialogue to highlight stories related to trauma such as gun violence, life transitions, and mental health. The work promotes mutual respect for diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, and fosters understanding across the racial, socioeconomic, and age divisions of our region.

A common theme that appears across our community conversations is a mistrust of police. Violence in black neighborhoods is often the result of interpersonal conflict. Without trust in police, there is nowhere to turn for de-escalation, often resulting in violence. Black youth in St. Louis City experience high rates of gun violence: They are victims, know victims, and know perpetrators of gun violence. Every year, Story Stitchers youth choose gun violence as the most pressing concern in their community. Story Stitchers is committed to social change and youth have determined year after year that the focus of their work must be on gun violence. Story Stitchers is successful at attracting, engaging and retaining at-risk youth who are in search of recognition, self-expression, and a safe, stable environment. The collaborative studio and community service aspects of Story Stitchers provide a way to fulfill these needs. Story Stitchers also partners with Cure Violence to help extend the network of support for youth.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective (“Story Stitchers”) was founded by volunteer Executive Director, Susan Colangelo, and seven additional artists to combat gun violence. Incorporated in 2014, Story Stitchers creates a platform for community engagement through an artistic lens to shift perceptions and inspire hope for the Saint Louis community. The organization brings together professional artists and minority youth ages 16-24 to create social change, with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Through a unique form of “urban storytelling,” professional artists and African American youth collect the stories of Saint Louis, reframe and retell them through original work, and promote understanding, civic pride, and intergenerational relationships.

Story 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. Gun violence continues to be a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth, and artistic expression helps youth work through the pain and loss they have experienced.

As a young organization, Story Stitchers is proud that over the last five years, the organization has increased public performances from 15 public presentations with audiences of 2,500 to 27 public presentations with audiences of 8,600, strengthened partnerships with many neighborhoods, and more than doubled the organization’s operating budget, including an Innovations grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. The growth in our programs is a result of strong community partnerships, high quality programming, and a focus on topics that youth desire to explore. Most recently, Story Stitchers was recognized as a recipient of the Lewis Prize for Music Covid-19 Community Response Fund, a national competition creative youth development through music.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers partners with and has also received support from Lush Corporation’s The Charity Pot, Starbucks Foundation’s Neighborhood Grant, Mid-America Arts Alliance through National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Humanities Council through National Endowment for the Humanities and through the CARES Act. In addition locally, Story Stitchers partner and receive support from Spirit of St Louis Women’s Fund, Steward Family Foundation, and Missouri Foundation for Health through 3-year grants, the City of Saint Louis Public Safety Youth at Risk, the Circuit Attorney’s Office, the St. Louis Violence Prevention Commission, St. Louis Mental Health Board, and the Incarnate Word Foundation, Regional Arts Commission, Arts and Education Council PNC, and Youthbridge Community Foundation. Washington University in St. Louis and Kranzberg Arts Foundation serve as institutional partners.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers develops and maintains collaborative partnerships with local community organizations with whom they create block parties and work on the ground level including St. Louis Public School District, St. Louis Alliance of Community Organizations, Tillie’s Corner Historical Project in JeffVanderLou, Thomas Dunn Learning Center in Dutchtown, Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation, the Greater Pentecostal Church of God in Walnut Park, Delmar Loop Business District, Grand Center, Inc, and with parks including Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve, Laumeier Sculpture Park, and with Missouri Prairie Foundation, and is very appreciative of our network of private philanthropists.

The City of St. Louis Public Safety Youth at Risk Crime Prevention grant of 2020, the three-year Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, and Lush Corporation’s The Charity Pot grants support Story Stitchers launch of its new youth-led podcast program, StitchCast Studio. This unique program dives deep into the economically depressed neighborhoods with a majority of black residents and high crime rates to draw out youth who join small groups to explore topics of their own choice. After learning about podcasts and preparing for recorded final discussion, the audio is edited and published on major podcast platforms. Topics include homelessness, compounding issues, gun violence, domestic violence, mental health, being a teenager, laws of attraction, social justice and art, food insecurity, unemployment, affects of Covid-19 and solutions. Listen to the most recent episode, “Painting For The People”, in which youth leaders discuss the mural pictured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch article.

Story Stitchers fills a large gap in St. Louis’s youth service programs for at-risk minority youth in late adolescence transitioning to adulthood. Youth in the program go through significant trials, self-reporting depression, assault, robbery, transient living, hunger, anxiety, sexual abuse, domestic violence, grief from loss of loved ones due to violence or natural causes all of which may cause trauma and toxic levels of stress, adversely effecting healthy brain development and healthy bodies. The program engages 50-80 youth participants per year, 50% of whom are male and 100% of whom are people of color, 98% black. “Boys and men of color are at higher risk of trauma due to multiple factors including higher rates of incarceration and more exposure to violence” (OJP Diagnostic Center). Through its unique program focused on excellence in the arts, youth leadership, and outreach through community service, Story Stitchers is building a program that also effectively represents evidence-based practices in youth violence prevention.

These practices include:

  1. Spaces that strengthen social relationships
    2. Programs that strengthen youth skills
    3. Connecting youth to caring, culturally relevant adult mentors and activities
    4. Creating protective community environments
    5. Stability and trust
    6. Ownership over the program
    7. Sense of extended family
    8. Collaborations with community partners and local organizations
    9. Leadership opportunities

“The best single antidote for trauma and toxic stress is relationships. Healthy, consistent, confirming relationships promote healthy brain development, social skills and resiliency.” —Community Advisory Board Presentation: Vulnerable Children in the St. Louis Area Toxic Stress and Health, Susan Fliesher RN, DNP, 2/2/2017

Reducing likelihood of youth involvement in criminal activity:

Story Stitchers activities build and strengthen youth leadership, peer-to-peer education, adult-youth mentoring, youth resiliency and pro-social behaviors such as civic responsibility.

Story Stitchers is a member organization of the St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission (STLVPC). STLVPC is a regional, cross-sector collaboration working to reduce violence crime in the region by promoting and advocating for policies that support a well-resourced support system for individuals and families most at risk of violence crime.

Story Stitchers programs meet their recommendations for preventing gun violence as presented to members of the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Alderman by the STLVPC on September 17, 2019:

  •  “Increases the availability and accessibility of safe spaces and positive connections for youth” – Story Stitchers expands space, hours, recruitment and programs. (Watch clips from the recent Dance Battles, shown in the St. Louis Post Dispatch article)
  • “Supports and enhances neighborhood and community-based organizations to re-build social cohesion” – Story Stitchers provides 35 public community outreach activities each year (Community Partners through the Lou!)
  • “Advocates for better coordination of city, nonprofit, university and volunteer efforts to improve neighborhood conditions” – Story Stitchers will build-out community partnerships and work towards stronger collaborative efforts and sustainable infrastructure
  • “Fosters positive interactions between community and law enforcement, courts, etc.” – Story Stitchers will utilize youth-led podcasts and some of the guests may include police or judges, as decided by participating youth.
  • Implements a sustainability framework for youth violence prevention: “Leadership is a vital component for sustainable outcomes and real impact” – Story Stitchers is building a coalition of youth leaders within the target area and giving them a platform from which they can be heard by peers. (Watch youth leaders in JeffVanderLou!)

Youth involved in the program rarely have negative involvement with law enforcement. They build friendships, a sense of belonging, a safety net and learn to think of themselves as leaders in the community.

To learn more, visit storystitchers.org.

 

Story Stitchers Awarded Grant from LUSH Corporation’s The Charity Pot!


No Comments

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a $10,000 grant from LUSH Corporation’s The Charity Pot.

LUSH Corporation’s philosophy— “Charitable giving is at the heart of our business. We believe it’s our responsibility to advocate for the environment, animals and people in need, as well as giving back to organizations locally and around the world. We do this through our Charity Pot program, our ethical campaigns and our people.”

The Charity Pot is a rich body and hand cream created by LUSH that contains up to seven ingredients sourced from LUSH’s Sustainable Lush Fund projects that support regenerative agriculture around the world. With every purchase of a Charity Pot, LUSH donates 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small grassroots organizations like Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

The Charity Pot grant will support marketing for Story Stitchers’ youth-led podcast program, StitchCast Studio as well as support youth internships and youth training in marketing. We are grateful for their support in amplifying our young Black voices!

Through our marketing efforts, we strive to be able to make an impact in these ways:

  • Provide a regular platform for youth to have their voices amplified and heard
  • Develop hard skills amongst youth such as media training and media production
  • Develop soft skills amongst youth such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, empathy, self-esteem, and interpersonal communication skills (conversational & public speaking)
  • Build youth awareness of current event, leadership, opportunities
  • Build cultural awareness and sensitivity around African American youth
  • Build awareness of the needs of African American youth
  • Promote peaceful solutions and meaningful discussion that result in crime reduction amongst youth
  • Help youth foster their emotions by reducing anxiety & fear and building hope
  • Recognize and promote the importance of youth and their voices and their ability to create change

Want to help? Check out StitchCast Studio! Listen follow, and share!

Story Stitchers focuses on the root causes of youth gun violence including the trauma of poverty and the lack of adult guidance and mentorship by providing ongoing vocational training, safe spaces to gather, relevant cultural experiences, meaningful methods of self-expression, and character education through weekly meetings (now virtual), in-school assembly programs, community building, amplification of black voice through publications including music, video and  podcasts, and live and virtual performances.

The work of the Collective is authentic, powerful and raw. It captures and documents important pieces of black history through written word and art including poetry, photography and video recordings while training the next generation to become active, engaged citizens. Programs become a force multiplier, rippling into families, schools and neighborhoods and offering solutions for common urban problems. Each year, youth gain vocational skills and self-confidence. In 2019, diverse audiences of 8,600 experienced Black teenagers in a new way — as strong, capable community leaders unafraid to display good character and skills to a wide range of diverse audiences on public stages, changing perceptions and realities. 

 

This is the 2nd grant Story Stitchers has received from The Charity Pot.

“Community Conversations” was awarded $15,950 in November, 2018. The program took a pop up stage through impoverished black neighborhoods and aided Story Stitchers’ creative youth development efforts through a series of open mic’s, public performances, training sessions, and youth planning and engagement activities.

Encouraged by this grant, Story Stitchers as an organization tightened up the process of community engagement through meetings out in the communities as opposed to at our own storefront studio.

Funding from LUSH helped to benefit the communities we serve by providing performance spaces on empty lots, in parks, schools and on stages, food to encourage engagement, meetings and conversations, youth stipends to encourage and make possible training and community service for low income young people, transportation to enable youth mobility throughout the city, the development of stronger youth leaders through cultural enrichment and meaningful, relevant and culturally sensitive training, and marketing support to help spread the word about events and activities.

Story Stitchers Youth Council and the South Side Youth Council, based at Thomas Dunn Learning Center, developed two Youth Open Mic’s which helped young people to speak out on issues important to them including gun violence, death, relationships, bullying, identity, safety, stress and trauma, and more. The two events drew 125 people combined and many youth expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak out. The programs helped to draw attention to the Southside Youth Council. Story Stitchers created a logo for the Southside Youth Council as well.

Community leaders from St. Louis Sheriff’s Office, City Department of Health, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Federal Prosecutors Office, St Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, St. Louis City Fire Department, St. Louis Public Schools, and the St. Louis City Board of Alderman all engaged in Story Stitchers community events at various points this year. Exposure to Story Stitchers youth, artists and messaging has a big impact on all who come in contact with our work, including city officials. In the words of Stitchers Youth Council’s song entitled Who’s Ready?, “We will NOT be silent.” Programs become a force multiplier, rippling into families, schools and neighborhoods and offering solutions to common urban problems.

The most significant change we saw as a result of this funding was in our youth. There was more confidence, more determination, a clearer focus and purpose. They were changed, moved, and unyielding. They grew to have more awareness of the power of their own young voices and continue to want to use that power to help resolve the agony caused by systemic racial injustices. They are more likely to self-organize and are more skilled and successful at these attempts. They continue to grow, learn, mature, and transition from “me” to “we” as a result of the opportunities made possible through the Lush Charity Pot grants.

 

 

OPEN AUDITIONS


 

StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The Divided City

OPEN AUDITIONS

16-24 year olds

Living in predominantly Black neighborhoods in St. Louis.

8 positions open

To participate in a rehearsal and a 1-hour youth-led podcast discussion on a topic related to trauma and Black culture.

$200 stipend per podcast

Project dates: December, 2020-April, 2021

Location: Zoom

Podcasts are published on major platforms.

Applications are open. Interviews may be requested.

Apply today: https://storystitchers.wufoo.com/forms/w1iaeygj0pdfxs6/

 

StitchCast Studio is a youth-led podcast series launched by Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective in 2019. Episodes are recorded and published on topics determined by youth of color from St. Louis: gun violence, racial divisions in St. Louis, public health and safety issues, compounding issues, and more. 

StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The Divided City will produce and publish four 1 hour unique podcast episodes featuring African American youth, ages 16 to 24 years old, that live in neighborhoods with high crime and poverty rates in St. Louis. The conversations with Story Stitchers’ black youth will be led by Stitchers Youth Council co-chair Branden Lewis and will also feature African American humanities scholars, master storyteller Bobby Norfolk, filmmaker and Washington University alumnus, B.D. Architecture, Jun Bae, author and educator John A. Wright, Sowande’ Mustakeem, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Washington University, and LJ Punch, MD, President, Power4STL and an American Critical Care Surgeon. 

The four unique conversations will bring historical context around recurring topics chosen by youth in the StitchCast Studio published podcasts, including: the culture of trauma caused by poverty and repeated exposure to violence amongst families of color in St. Louis, stories of disorientation and dislocation of black families, and the power of story as healer in black cultures through time. The series will be published through storystitchers.org on major podcast platforms.

This project is funded by The Divided City initiative. The Divided City is a joint project of the Center for the Humanities and the Sam Fox School, College of Architecture and Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis. The Divided City is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 

Working To Restore Hope In St. Louis


As Young Creatives, Here’s How My Friends And I Are

Working To Restore Hope In St. Louis

We knew that it was somehow our duty to restore that hope. No matter how great or small the impact, we knew it needed to be done.

Read more from this outstanding blog in @blavity by Emeara Burns, Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

Special thanks to @LewisPrizeforMusic for your help, support, and consultation.

https://blavity.com/as-young-creatives-heres-how-my-friends-and-i-are-working-to-restore-hope-in-st-louis?category1=opinion

Starbucks Foundation Neighborhood Grant


 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is pleased to announce a Neighborhood Grant from The Starbucks Foundation.

We’re happy to share that The Starbucks Foundation has selected Saint Louis Story Stitchers organization to receive a $2,500 grant!

This grant is part of The Starbucks Foundation’s Neighborhood Grants program, through which one or more Starbucks partners (employees) nominated our organization based on the important work we are leading in our communities.

We are thankful to Jason Douglas, the Store Manager at the Delmar Loop Starbucks for nominating Story Stitchers, “I wanted to reach out and congratulate you all on being selected as one of the recipients of our Starbucks Foundation Neighborhood Grants. I nominated your organization back in August after seeing the work and efforts you have put forward in the fight for racial and social equity in the St. Louis area.”

This round of Neighborhood Grants focused on supporting organizations that promote racial equity and create more inclusive communities, and The Foundation received over 4000 submissions from Starbucks partners across the U.S. The Starbucks Foundation is proud to recognize and support Story Stitchers as one of more than 400 nonprofits selected to receive a Neighborhood Grant.

@storystitchers DANCE BATTLES!!!


@storystitchers

DANCE BATTLES!!!

Strauss Park

Corner of Grand and Washington

3536 Washington Ave.

 

TWO DAYS!!

Two Friday’s – Oct 30 and Nov 6

(Oct 23 Canceled Due to Rain)

 

Open Call to 16-24 year olds living in St. Louis!!

 

Dance Battle Awards at each event!!

1st place $300!!!

2nd place $150!!

Visa Gift Cards

 

Top Dance Judges including @_richtheruler!! @tonypmedia!! & @loutribejigg!!

Judges decisions are final.

 

Holdin’ it all together- @storystitchers own DJ Ntegrity!!

 

FREE EVENT!!!!!

 

2:00 Refreshments & Registration

Register for a free meal, as a dance contestant and/or to do a podcast!

2:30 Battle Dance Round One

3:00 Battle Dance Round Two

3:30 Speak Out on a StitchCast Studio Podcast Recording!! Earn $100!!

4:30 Battle Dance Final Round!!

5:00 Awards

Food Truck – Time 2 Eat!!

One FREE MEAL Coupon to the first 50 – 16-24 year olds to register!!

 

18-24 bring your photo ID.

16 & 17 year olds must bring a photo ID & register with a parent.

Dances must be appropriate for all ages. Contestants must be fully clothed.

No alcohol or smoking permitted.

 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is a Missouri ArtSafe Certified organization.

Covid-19 safety protocols including wearing masks (we can give you one), using hand sanitizer, and social distancing will be practiced. See our Covid-19 safety protocols and procedures HERE.

 

Presented with support from St. Louis Violence Prevention Coalition, St Louis Mental Health Board, City of St. Louis Youth At Risk Crime Prevention Grant, Grand Center Inc, Arts & Education Council PNC Grant, and Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund.

 

Stay in tune with the latest news!! Click HERE!

 

Questions? Speak out 🙂

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Seeks Nominations to the Board of Directors    


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!

2020 Board of Directors:

Susan Colangelo, President  and Executive Director

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. – Ebony Boyce Carter, MD, MPH –Wanda Wang – Hedy Lee, Ph.D. – Michelle Fleming

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 15-24, 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 and run a Storefront Studio for recording and 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 200 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000. Read more about IMPACT.

Story Stitchers has great momentum:

·       largest income in our history at $214,000

·       moving into a 2nd auxiliary space, pre-paid for 2021 in Kranzberg Arts Foundation

·       growing service to at-risk youth from 25 in 2019 to 75 in 2020

·       highly respected as a fine arts organization with growing national recognition

·       highly respected as a creative youth development organization with an impact on  youth crime prevention, racial justice, and community healing

Please contact Susan Colangelo, susanc@storystitchers.org for more information.

The Divided City


Saint Louis Story Stitchers is pleased to announce an award for The Divided City from Washington University in St. Louis.

StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The Divided City

StitchCast Studio is a youth-led podcast series launched by Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective in 2019. Episodes are recorded and published on topics determined by youth of color from St. Louis: gun violence, racial divisions in St. Louis, public health and safety issues, compounding issues, and more.

StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The Divided City will produce and publish four 1 hour unique podcast episodes featuring African American youth, ages 16 to 24 years old, that live in neighborhoods with high crime and poverty rates in St. Louis. The conversations with Story Stitchers’ black youth will be led by Stitchers Youth Council co-chair Branden Lewis and will also feature African American humanities scholars, master storyteller Bobby Norfolk, filmmaker and Washington University alumnus, B.D. Architecture, Jun Bae, author and educator John A. Wright, and Sowande’ Mustakeem, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Washington University, and LJ Punch, MD, President, Power4STL and an American Critical Care Surgeon.

The four unique conversations will bring historical context around recurring topics chosen by youth in the StitchCast Studio published podcasts, including: the culture of trauma caused by poverty and repeated exposure to violence amongst families of color in St. Louis, stories of disorientation and dislocation of black families, and the power of story as healer in black cultures through time. The series will be published in 2021 through storystitchers.org on major podcast platforms.

This project is funded by The Divided City initiative. The Divided City is a joint project of the Center for the Humanities and the Sam Fox School, College of Architecture and Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis. The Divided City is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Film and Media Series: Jun Bae


Image courtesy of Jun Bae

Film & Media Series

Join Story Stitchers to learn about the work of filmmaker and dancer Jun Bae with the artist himself. His latest film is Turf Nation (2020), will premiere online at Cinequest Film Festival this year. Turfing is an Oakland-born dance form that combines roots in gang culture with elements of tutting, gliding and bone breaking; Turf Nation follows the street dancers perform on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains, as they pave their own paths towards freedom and independence.

Special Guest: Filmmaker Jun Bae

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

7:00-8:00 PM Central

In Zoom

Please contact us for the Zoom meeting link.