Beat Making 101

No Comments

DSC_0035STL Story Stitchers NEW Workshop Series!


Basic intro to hip hop beat making for 16-19 year olds with two of Story Stitchers leading rap artists—Emeara and Ntegrity!



November 14, 21, December 5 and 12, 2019

3:30-5:00 PM


Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd. 

St. Louis, MO 63130


Maximum Class Size: 8

Fee: $100 for 4 workshops

Financial Aid is available.


Registration is open!

Mid-America Emmy Awards Win!

No Comments
DSC_0186On October 5th, 2019 at the 43rd Annual Mid-America Emmy Awards, the best of the best in the region’s television broadcasting were honored for their talents and accomplishments.

Among the winners was the piece Julie Winkle produced for HEC Media about Saint Louis Story Stitchers! You can see the winning feature here:

The Mid-America Emmys set the standard for excellence in the television broadcasting industry, representing the most experienced and talented television professionals from the industry. We’re honored to be recognized.

Congratulations Julie and HEC!! Thank you for spending time with us!




Welcome Our New Program Director!

No Comments

We are very pleased to announce that the search for the Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers has concluded in spectacular fashion! Please welcome Ms. Emeara Burns!

Hello, my name is Emeara Burns. I’m a young performing artist from St. Louis City. I graduated from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in 2016. After high school I spent two years serving full time at the St. Louis Dream Center. I served as the worship and media intern for the full duration. Then I was fortunate to get a spot at Npower St. Louis as a full-time student. That then helped me land a position at World Wide Technology. I worked there for a short while as a Lab Tech before becoming the Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. I am very grateful to the board at Story Stitchers, to the Steward Family Foundation and Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, and to everyone who is supporting this position, for this incredible opportunity.

Story Stitchers couldn’t have come into my life at a better time. It was 2014 and I was a young high school student. I had started getting into trouble but some of my friends told me about Story Stitchers because they knew I was a decent writer. Being with this organization taught me the importance of being a role model, what that meant and how that looked. I’ve been with Story Stitchers for about 6 years serving as one of the leading youth on the Stitchers Youth Council.  I’ve had the honor to perform at over a hundred shows with the organization. I served as a summer intern through STL Youth Jobs in 2018. I have also helped build the diverse portfolio Story Stitchers is so proud of as a collaborating artist in poetry, theater arts and music.

Being in this new position is very exciting. My goal is to help Story Stitchers youth program grow in any way I can—whether that’s bringing new innovative ideas, recruiting youth, developing new youth programs, making new partnerships, or strengthening the ones we’ve accumulated up to this point. I want to continue to be a valuable asset to this organization but now in a broader spectrum. I believe the years to come will be some of the best for Story Stitchers, not just because of me, but because of the chemistry our team has developed. The drive, the passion and the dedication of this organization is unlike any other and I know we’ll reach new heights together.

Be sure to stay connected with us through our website and email. This will help you to stay up to date on any upcoming events. I hope you will stop by and lend support at our next event, a Halloween Block Party for children that we put on with our partners at the Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation!


October 26th, 2019

1:00-3:00 PM

1514 Hodiamont




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. A 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. Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artist Collective is working collaboratively to create an approach to public health issues affecting Missouri’s African American urban youth. The Collective brings the arts to the forefront through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes rhythm, rap and word to attract attention, build excitement, and communicate key concepts from public safety and health professionals to the public.

Story Stitchers will be collecting stories from residents and encouraging them to share what their community means to them as part of The WHY of MY City. Please visit the Storefront Studio and share your story.


We’d like to hear from you.

Drop in to the Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N Skinker Blvd in the Delmar Loop.

Public Audio Recording Sessions (or by appointment):

Wed., October 2, 2018, 4:00-7:00

Sat., November 9, 2018, 10:00-2:00

The WHY of MY City is created and will premiere at the 2020 St. Louis Storytelling Festival 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.




Prairie Therapy

“I wonder indeed if the people of this continental inland West know how much first-class art they have in these prairies—how original and all your own—how much of the influences of a character for your future humanity, broad, patriotic, heroic and new? how entirely they tally on land the grandeur and superb monotony of the skies of heaven, and the ocean with its waters? how freeing, soothing, nourishing they are to the soul?”

Walt Whitman, “The Prairies, and an Undelivered Speech,” from Specimen Days, Philadelphia: Rees Welsh, 1882. Public domain.


Story Stitchers had a wonderful and productive trip to the prairie this past weekend to Shaw Nature Reserve’s Dana Brown Education Center and we are grateful to the people who made our trip possible. This was or third overnight trip to this reserve. Nine youth 16-21 years old, three artists in residence, two board members, and two observers took the trip and we really loved it!

Thank you to Walmart Foundation, Walmart Community Grants Team and Facility #5927, Missouri Foundation for Health, Incarnate Word Foundation, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve and all of our friends who sent us out for some peace in the prairie.

We are rejuvenated and had an incredibly productive time as well. In 24 hours of prairie time, Story Stitchers took hundreds of photographs, shot hours of video, created new choreography, began new poetry, and started recording a new song. We experienced focused collaborative creativity.

The prairie is gorgeous in September when the tall grass is in full height and will only become more stunning as the leaves turn. It is truly an inspiring landscape. We took a long hike with prairie specialist James Trager from Missouri Prairie Foundation, flew a drone to capture the grasses with guest artist, Professor Meghan Kirkwood from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University. Rain came through and brought with it a refreshing cool front and clear sky. We took a night hike, overcoming some serious panic attacks, to discover that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of in the night in the prairie. Instead we discovered amazing little glow worms, the larvae of fireflies, that light up the dark paths, a spider peacefully sleeping in her web, frogs, insects, and oh, so many stars. We built a campfire and savored the sweet stickiness of s’mores. Sunrise brought a new opportunity for photography, walks, and reflections.

Join the project and share a story about peace in nature or urban violence with the Stitchers. Come and record your story.

The next public story collection day is

October 2, 2019

4:00-7:00 PM

at the Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker.

Prairie Therapy was recorded and filmed on location at Shaw Nature Reserve by Troy Anthony and other Story Stitchers. Shown is KP Dennis recording a verse for the new song Prairie Therapy with Ntegrity on the board at the Dana Brown Education Center.


In honor of International Peace Day


In honor of International Peace Day —

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is pleased to announce a chapter about the organization’s humble beginnings written by Susan Colangelo in the new book entitled Speak Peace: Words of Wisdom, Work, and Wonder by Ms. Lynette Ford and Sherry Norfolk.

The authors and contributors—educators, storytellers, and peacemakers—discuss what each of us can do to promote a more peaceful community, country, and world.

The book is available on Amazon

or directly from Story Stitchers at the Storefront Studio for $15.

Parkhurst Brothers Publishers, 2019

Excerpt from Chapter 16, Pick the City UP #DROP THE GUN #KEEP THE PEACE

by Susan Colangelo:

To understand Story Stitchers, think back over time through the field of artistic practice in social justice. Think of children’s building blocks that form a growing tower. The words on the blocks include historic incidents which involve human tragedy, artistic movements, and social movements.

For example, in the history of the Civil Rights movement in the United States, there is a strong example of systemic change generated in part, through storytelling. It is well recognized that Dr. King was a skilled orator and a mesmerizing storyteller. So, we had blocks that said, Jim Crow Law, Segregation, Discrimination, Dr. King, Civil Unrest, Boycott, Vietnam, Military Draft, Marches. and Police Brutality. Added to the tower were blocks of art such as music, (“We Shall Overcome,” “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game”), works of photographers such as Gordon Parks and Bill Hudson, and videography of journalists showing dogs tearing at protesters’ flesh, and the blasts of fire hoses. These shocking and undeniable images entered the living rooms of American families through the evening news. Our art helped to tell the stories, solidified change in American hearts and minds and helped to bring about justice. The resulting pressure generated a toppling of the status quo and the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Another example is the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt was conceived in 1985 by Cleve Jones, a gay activist working in San Francisco. In 1987, Cleve and his colleagues encouraged survivors to create quilts three by six feet describing their loved one, and send them to the project. Today there are more than 48,000 quilts commemorating people who have died from AIDS. The NAMES Project Foundation cares for and exhibits the quilt and has raised over $3 million for AIDS service organizations. The quilts — a massive community effort and outpouring of grief —  helped Americans to visualize and understand the enormous number of lives lost to the AIDS epidemic. They helped put pressure on Congress to fund medical research and to create and enforce AIDS and illness-related anti-discrimination laws. The social consciousness of the country changed, one stitch, one tear, and one story at a time.

When people come together to work collectively for social justice they can create a strong impact. Artists can help to tell the stories that will move hearts and minds. These are lessons from history that Story Stitchers demonstrates. In this work, there is an inherent belief that art and word are essential ingredients to the creation of the social justice needed to create a peaceful society. There is also an understanding that the work must be grounded in the community it serves. For Story Stitchers, this is the African American community of St. Louis.

Mariana Parisca, Susan Colangelo and KP Dennis at the Story Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N. Skinker. (Photo: Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos)

Not Another One! is discussed in the chapter in Speak Peace. Learn more about this multi-year project below.

Not Another One! A Discussion on Gun Violence

Purchase the full color book today at LuLu HERE!!

Add to school libraries, utilize in high school and college classrooms, and for professional training for anyone working with youth or studying race relations, trauma and gun violence prevention.

Not Another One! is a youth-led discussion that opens communication and identifies commonality, greater understanding, and ways to cooperate and collaborate between city police and teenage youth as both work to lower the high rates of gun violence in St. Louis, Missouri. The discussion details citizen rights, police policies and procedures, trauma caused by gun violence, and possible solutions in a frank, honest, and respectful discussion.

The discussion was transcribed and a book and is now available with foreword by Jason Q. Purnell, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.


Want to get involved? Volunteers are gathering at the Storefront Studio, 616 N Skinker today, Saturday, September 21st, 2019 at 10:00 AM to work on planning the Super Heroes of the West Side, a health-themed Halloween Block Party for children and families. Come on in!




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?

If you would like to contribute a story to the Peace in the Prairie 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 one of the Story Collection sessions.

We’d like to hear from you.

Drop in to the Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N Skinker Blvd in the Delmar Loop.

Audio Recording Sessions:

Wed., September 18, 2018, 11:00-1:00

Wed., October 2, 2018, 4:00-7:00

Sat., November 9, 2018, 10:00-2:00

Peace in the Prairie is supported 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.

Peace in the Prairie is supported by Kranzberg Arts Foundation where Story Stitchers is a resident organization.




Take a Hike. Keep the Peace.



Story Stitchers Youth Council is creating a new public presentation involving prairies for 2020. We are very happy to be welcomed back to Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve as part of this project.

Story Stitchers has been fundraising but we are a little bit short, just $2,000, of the funds needed for the annual prairie trip.

Will you help us reach our goal to make this trip happen as it has for the past 3 years?

“Being able to experience an environment of peace is different than what I am used. I live in the city of Saint Louis, Missouri where I hear ambulances along with gunshots near my home every night. The trip allowed me to know that there is more to life then what I’ve been used to. I would like to change my mindset by being more adventurous and trying new things to expand my horizon.”


Story Stitchers is where it’s at

Emeara at the Good For Your Health music video shoot, Winslow’s Farm, 2019

Shakira — Emeara’s mom, shares her thoughts…

I have watched Story Stitchers grow for the last 5 years I want to say… no, 7 years!

Emeara and a group of her friends started in Story Stitchers when they were in high school, I want to say they were sophomores, juniors in high school. Now Emeara’s 21 and Story Stitchers has taken off from a group of small friends to a group of 20 and the support that I’ve seen, the events I’ve seen them at, the interactions with the crowd, with the children, the talent that has been coming through here.

Watching my own daughter grow has been so awesome. Watching the organization itself grow from just a group of friends to actually a storefront in Delmar, that is, like so awesome. Watching the growth in the community around them. Whenever they come to an event everyone is excited to see them. When they’re leaving an event I just see people stop and say hey, great job, y’all were just so wonderful. Great talent. You really gave me something to smile about. It’s just so awesome. I really really love Story Stitchers and I am thankful for Story Stitchers coming into my daughter’s life, coming into our lives, you know I’ve seen her do a really big change—not only on her walk with God, but just her interaction with Story Stitchers and how she pours into Story Stitchers. I am just so thankful and I think it’s so awesome that.. I’m just so thankful.

You have to check out Story Stitchers if you ever get the chance. Please, please, please, check out Story Stitchers, it’s one of the greatest things that has come out of STL and this is just the beginning. Story Stitchers is going to blow up from here and it’s going to be worldwide! They’re already worldwide but it’s going to get bigger and better!

Story Stitchers is where it’s at.



Stitchers Youth Council

Open to 16-24 year olds

Saturday, August 31

12:00 -4:00 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Come learn about creative opportunities at Saint Louis Story Stitchers and meet some of the artists. It’s Wash U Day so pick up a freebie give away!

Share your artistic work in spoken word, hip hop or music, photography or videography.

Volunteer to help with our next big event, Super Heroes the West Side on October 26th and get to know the Lou through our eyes!

Free parking in the City lot behind the building.



Program Director

Apply via INDEED

Position Summary

We seek a professional for the position of Program Director in St. Louis, MO. The ideal candidate has a solid track record managing all aspects of programs for a nonprofit arts organization and strong familiarity with the fine arts.

The Program Director is responsible for the coordination and administration of youth programs and youth recruitment through engagement with schools and local community organizations.

The Program Director works with artists and youth in the organization and supports their work through planning, organizing, administering, attendance, and advocacy.

The Program Director reports to and works directly with the President of the Board of Directors who also serves as the CEO.

The Program Director works full-time for a minimum of 40 hours per week at Story Stitchers designated locations with minimum of 20 hours per week for youth contact.

Program Director Job Description




Yeah, we talkin’ 2 U!


UP This Week:

Stitchers Youth Council


Open to 16-24 year olds

Saturday, August 24, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Free parking in the City lot behind the building.

Discussion and application / registration session for creative opportunities for youth at Saint Louis Story Stitchers. B in the know 🙂


UP Next:

Stitchers Youth Council


Open to 16-24 year olds

Saturday, August 31, 12:00 -4:00 PM

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd.

Come learn about creative opportunities at Saint Louis Story Stitchers and meet some of the artists. It’s Wash U Day so pick up a freebie give away!

Share your artistic work in spoken word, hip hop or music, photography or videography.

Volunteer to help with our next big event, Super Heroes the West Side on October 26th and get to know the Lou through our eyes!


Free parking in the City lot behind the building.