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Call 4 Submissions

STAND DOWN / RISE UP Respect and Redirect is an exploration of African Americans throughout Missouri’s history that have impacted gun violence today by young poets ages 16-24 who currently reside in St. Louis city or county. 



Open Call to: All 16-24 year olds living in St. Louis city or county.



 Email or call 314-899-9001 for a submission form

or attend the December 29th Writing Workshop.


Additional details coming December 22, 2018… stay tuned to STORYSTITCHERS.ORG.



Writing Workshop

December 29, 2018

2:00-5:00 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.


DEADLINE 4 Submissions 

January 4, 2019 at 11:59 PM



Create a NEW original spoken word piece.

Your own thoughts and words.

 Family-friendly language.

500-1,000 words or 2-4 minutes when performed.

Exploring one or more African Americans throughout Missouri’s history that have impacted gun violence.



Works will be blind juried. Juror will see only the poetry.



Six new poems will be selected.

Writers selected will be invited to come to the Stitchers Storefront Studio to register.

Writers must show proof of age. Under 18 must bring a parent or guardian.

New works must be completely original and in line with the Story Stitchers mission to promote a healthier and safer St. Louis region for all.

Works will be licensed for free use by Saint Louis Story Stitchers.



Writers will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform the new works at the following venues with Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

Youth may earn stipends for their work.



Performances with Q&A discussions:


Saturday, February 2, 2019

10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Forest Park Community College

St. Louis Association of Community Organizations

Annual Conference


Monday, February 18, 2019

President’s Day

City of St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center

10:00-11:00 AM

(Closed to the public.)

February 18, 2019

President’s Day

 Gateway Arch National Park

2:00-3:00 PM.

Free and open to the public.

STAND DOWN / RISE UP is presented with support from Missouri Foundation for Health, and with support from Incarnate Word Foundation, and Gateway Arch National Park.


For more information and to learn about upcoming opportunities please visit and follow the blog.

Open Auditions for the Pick the City UP Tour 2019 are January 5th, 2019 from 1:00-5:00 at 616 N Skinker.

To apply for Stitchers Youth Council email A limited number of paid summer internships are available. Apply through STL Youth Jobs.


Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: Editing

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Peace in the Prairie 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is creating an original work of art exploring the concepts of peace and violence, juxtaposing urban life as experienced by African American people living in the city of St. Louis, Missouri and the state’s  unique endangered prairie lands. Can we find peace in the prairie by exploring Missouri? 

Artists have been collecting audio stories about violence and peace from Missouri citizens. Artists have traveled to Shaw Nature Reserve, Prairie State Park, and to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Meeting at Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Bland, Missouri to experience and learn about prairies and capture images of prairie plants and animals.

Artists are now in the editing phase of the project and are creating the soundtrack and video for the new work of art.

Lead project artists are Troy Anthony, Susan Colangelo, KP Dennis, Ntegrity, Bobby Norfolk, and Superhood.

Save the Date for the performance and Q&A.

March 21, 2019 at the .ZACK, 3224 Locust

Peace in the Prairie is presented with support  from an Annual Discipline Minority Arts grant from Missouri Arts Council for the research and creation of a new conceptual work of art.

The project is also supported by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Foundation is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through a combination of partnership, experience, knowledge, and funding.

The performance is sponsored in part by Kranzberg Arts Foundation and the .ZACK.

Leadership in Community

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The circular symbol in the Story Stitchers logo comes from the West African Adinkra symbol called Adinkrahene, chief of the Adinkra symbols. It stands for greatness, charisma and the importance of playing a role in community leadership.

Adinkra cloth is hand-stamped in Ghana and worn by people in a variety of social and festive gatherings. Adinkra symbols express various themes related to the history, beliefs, and philosophy of the Asante people of Ghana. Sometimes they are related to wisdom as taught through traditional proverbs. Adinkra cloth has been called story cloth, as numerous symbols are stamped in blocks on one cloth, perhaps telling the story of a person’s life.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers board members met last night for the annual meeting and election at the .ZACK on Locust in Grand Center.

The Board held the annual election and reviewed finances and programming. Susan Colangelo, President, gave the annual report and the group discussed fundraising, growth and the direction of the organization.

The board is pleased to welcome three new members.

Serving as Secretary, Sarah Gaby, Ph.D. is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology and the Wiedenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research and community interests focus on the ways organizations engage youth in social change work. Sarah received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sarah described her reasons for joining the board, “I am excited for the opportunity to serve an organization that uses the arts to help youth process their lived experience and better their communities.”

Hedy Lee, Ph.D., a new Member-at-Large, is a Professor at the Department of Sociology with a Courtesy Joint Appointment in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Hedy shared, “My research focuses on understanding the social determinants of health and health disparities, including gun violence. I am excited to work with an organization that actively engages with youth community members to address important issues, like gun violence.”

“I often find that my professional work identifies and examines social problems, but I want to do more to actively address these problems and I can do that through my volunteer work. I think actively working with my community is critical to being a good citizen and scholar.”

Chu (Wanda) Wang, a new Member-at-Large, is a staff accountant at Martz & Wilson, LLP. She received her MACC from Washington University in St. Louis. Wanda has worked on a consulting program to help not-for-profit organizations develop fundraising strategies. Wanda says, “I am ready to contribute my passion and professional knowledge to Story Stitchers and become part of the power to communicate the concepts and raise people’s attention on youth gun violence.”

These passionate people join the rest of the board – Susan Colangelo, Cassandria White, Maggie Wu, CPA, Donna Campbell, Ph.D., Ebony Carter, MD, MPH, Mary Chandler, Chris Hanson, Keisa Johnson, Esq., Eric F. Kayira, Esq., and Tim Portlock, to give freely of their time and resources in support of Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

We add Adinkrahene, symbol for leadership in community, to the stories of their lives.



Catch the Story Stitchers LIVE!



Harris-Stowe State University

Emerson Performance Center

Bank of America Theater

3031 Laclede Ave St. Louis, MO 63103

5:00-7:00 Resource Fair

6:30 Doors open to HSU Students

6:50 Doors open to All. Free. All ages.

7:00-8:30 Performance


Park free on campus or metered on street

Giving Thanks


Saint Louis Story Stitchers are thankful for…

our families and friends and for all of the people that we love,

all who care about and support our youth,

and for every single breath that we take.

PEACE y’all.

Peace in the Prairie Open Story Collection: Wed. November 17, 2018


Open Story Collection: Violence and Peace

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Open to the public. Add your voice.

Story Stitchers started an exploration of native Missouri prairie lands with photo shoots and overnight trips to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve in 2016 and again in 2017.

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

Peace in the Prairie supports the research, creation and public presentation of a completed conceptual work of art by artists exploring the juxtaposition of violence in St. Louis’s urban environment and the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes. The grant supports artists’ stipends, travel expenses and expenses for a public presentation.

The project expands the artistic body of work of African American artists in the Collective, addresses the community need of understanding violence while seeking peace, supports the exploration of new natural settings by both artists and audiences, and supports the greater understanding of Missouri’s unique natural heritage in its native prairie lands.

Leading artists in this project include Jamie KP Dennis, Reggie McNichols aka Ntegrity, Troy Anthony Swanson, Bobby Norfolk, Demil Johnson, and contributing artist Susan Colangelo.


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

Open Story Collection: Violence and Peace

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Open to the public. Add your voice.

We’d like to hear from you.


To become part of Peace in the Prairie contact the Collective.

Email or call 314-899-9001.


Support of Peace in the Prairie is provided in part by an Annual Discipline Minority Arts grant from Missouri Arts Council.

The project is also supported by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Foundation is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through a combination of partnership, experience, knowledge, and funding.

Super Heroes Rock the West Side

Story Stitchers had a great time with our friends at the Super Heroes of the West Side Halloween Block Party.

Thanks to our community partners Don, Karen and Antwan at Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation and Communities Reconnect, LLC, and Stop the Bleed, Metro Market, The Link, Tigerlili Resources, Inc, Operation Food Search, Good Will and Ready Readers.

Thanks also to Super Heroes US Attorney Jeff Jensen, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden, and Judge Jimmie Edwards, Director of Public Safety for stopping by! Thanks for all you do.


It’s TIME! In STL 11/5/2018!


TIME magazine: <>

Click on the Stitchers Youth Council members photographs to hear their voices:

Emeara, AnnaLise, Anthony, Cali, Tylea, Chris. (upper left corner)

Hard copy of the November 5th, 2018 Guns in America TIME Magazine is on sale! 

See a screening of the full video mural in St. Louis!

Date: Monday, November 5, 2018


Regional Arts Commission

6128 Delmar Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63112

RSVP Link:


Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: Force Continuum


From the Saint Louis Story Stitchers book, Not Another One A Discussion on Gun Violence, 2015:

Teen (female):  Is there a protocol for policemen when there are assailants in front of them? Is their first instinct to shoot them?

Lieutenant Colonel Ronnie Robinson, Deputy Chief of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Commander of the Bureau of Community Affairs: We have what we call “Force Continuum” that we are trained in, where we use the least amount of force in order to get a situation under control and we do have to make split second decisions that can escalate from the matter of life to death. We’ve constantly trained our hands, we have batons, Tasers, and then we ultimately have our choices, we have a weapon, we have a gun, and they are all choices that a police officer has to make within a matter of seconds. Hopefully, we try to do it right every time and I understand what you are saying about “why are people asking the question why do we shoot to kill?”

Well, we are trained to shoot to stop movement.

Some people say, “why didn’t you shoot him in the leg?”, if it gets to that point, we are not trained that way, we are trained to shoot to stop movement and we train on a target and you are trained to shoot center mass.

There have been instances when, and I have friends that are police officers, they have been in gun battles and situations where they have been fired upon, and they shot at the suspect and hit the suspect in the leg and the suspect eventually shot them. I had one officer that was shot in the forehead and killed because he didn’t hit his target. I have had another officer move to shoot an individual and the individual hid in an alley and shot him five times in the lower extremities and he still chased that individual because of adrenaline. You know you can shoot someone and they can still act aggressively and still carry out an act of violence. So we know all of these things and all these things are in our mind and when we come to self-preservation and going home. I want you to go home, I want you to go home as a policeman, after any police encounter, and I want to go home to my family also.

In all, 89% of deaths by police in 2015 were caused by gunshot, 4% were Taserrelated, 4% were deaths in custody following physical confrontations and 3% were deaths of people struck by police officers driving vehicles.[1]


To become part of Peace in the Prairie contact the Collective.

Email or call 314-899-9001.


Open Story Collection: Violence and Peace

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Open to the public. Add your voice.


[1] Lartey, Jamiles, Oliver Laughlhand, Ciara McCarthy, Jon Swaine. “Young Black Men Killed by US Police at Highest Rate in Year of 1,134 Deaths.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 31 Dec. 2015. Web.

Super Heroes of the West Side

Join Story Stitchers and help support our young Super Heroes of the West Side!

Donate to Light UP Halloween Smiles!!!


Drop off donations:

During Prep Day

Friday, October 26, 2018


616 N Skinker Blvd.


At the Block Party:

Saturday, October 27th, 2018


1514 Hodiamont,

Corner of Hodiamont and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. 

Catch the LIVE Performance featuring

KP Dennis, Ntegrity, and

Stitchers Youth Council’s

Branden, Anthony, Cali, AnnaLise, She’Kinah Tylea, and Shawn!

Community support from the Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation, Community Reconnect, LLC, Metro Market Bus and Saint Louis Story Stitchers.