The WHY of MY City is coming…


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Story Stitchers artists have been working throughout 2019 and into 2020 on The WHY of MY City. We’re excited and ready to share with all of you!!

The premiere of this new body of work will take place on Friday, May 1st, 2020 via live streaming.

Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Streaming live at storystitchers.org and other major streaming platforms.

Register for the event to receive notification. Tickets Free on Eventbrite: CLICK HERE

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.

Excerpt from the poem

Will They Remember

by Branden, Stitchers Youth Council

 

“What is the why of my city?”.

“What makes my city special?

If we jumped 1000 years,

What would they say about my city if my city’s no longer here?

Will they remember Jackie Joyner, Chuck Berry, Redd Fox?

Maya Angelou, Dick Gregory, Miles Davis, Dred Scott?

Will they remember how quickly St. Louis bodies filled cemeteries?

Or will they know my city birthed legends because my city is legendary?

Will they remember the struggle that kept my people in the slums?

Or will they remember my people used that struggle to overcome?

 

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 has been collecting stories from residents and encouraging them to share what their community means to them as part of The WHY of MY City.

The premiere of the new work of art will take place on line Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 7:00 PM at storystitchers.org and on other streaming platforms.

A Q&A with humanities scholars John A. Wright and Bobby Norfolk will follow the presentation.

Bobby Norfolk, a Story Stitchers featured artist in residence since 2017, three-time Emmy award winner and master storyteller; lives in St. Louis. Missouri and is committed to the project. In 1979, Bobby made his first appearance as a storyteller at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival. In television, Bobby won three Emmy awards as the host of the CBS TV show “Gator Tales”. Bobby was given the national Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, an honor presented by the National Storytelling Network, which recognizes the very best storytellers in the nation. Bobby has won the prestigious Parents Choice Gold Award. He has co-authored eight children’s books. He serves on the St. Louis Storytelling Festival Advisory Council and is a featured artist in festivals word-wide.  He lives in St. Louis, Missouri and joined Story Stitchers as an Artist in Residence in 2017.

John A. Wright, Sr. is a native of St. Louis, and holds a PhD from St. Louis University. Dr. Wright has had a long and distinguished career as a St. Louis academic leader and is an active member of the community, serving on numerous boards (e.g., the St. Louis World Trade Center and the Regional Arts Commission). He is the author of thirteen books about regional history, including Extraordinary Black Missourians (2013, Reedy Press).

The WHY of MY City is presented with support from Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, a state agency, National Endowment for the Humanities, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

Arm Chair Time Traveling


Hi everybody,

We hope all of you are staying in and staying safe and well.

Before we go Arm Chair Time Traveling, I’d like to share with you what’s going on at Story Stitchers during the pandemic.

Emeara Burns, the Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint LouisStory Stitchers, joined Stitchers Youth Council as a 10th grade student, serving since 2015, and is now 22 years old and quite a youth leader. In position she has brought significant changes in youth recruitment and empowerment to the program. Together with our audio engineers, Ntegrity and Chris Pendleton, we have a strong, young, tech-savvy staff. This has been especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working to move Story Stitchers programs into virtual realms, continuing to communicate with under-served youth, who are now even more isolated, to impact youth needs and mental wellness, and through them, to help our communities. We received a City of St Louis Youth at Risk Crime Prevention grant this year to create a series of youth-led podcasts. We have published a new trailer and three pilots for StitchCast Studio here: https://stitchcaststudio.podbean.com/

Don’t miss new episodes! Follow StitchCast Studio!!!

We will record 100 under-served youth and produce at least 10 new episodes before the grant is done. Youth earn $100 over 4-weeks of small group workshops, make new friends, and learn about journalism and audio engineering. These are all being done in a virtual room for now and are led by Emeara, Ntegrity, and Chris. We are working to continue the project into 2021. If you are or know a young person who is interested in Story Stitchers, please contact us at programdirector@storystitchers.org

And now I hope that you will Arm Chair Time Travel with us and watch this short, happy video, edited by Cali during his STL Youth Jobs internship at Story Stitchers last spring. It’s about the trip we took to Seattle to present at Change Philanthropy’s Unity Summit last fall. It was an incredibly fun and life-changing trip for the eight young people who went on the journey to share their work in social change through the arts with a national audience, with support from Missouri Foundation for Health and the Unity Summit.

Thank you for all the love and support. We are sending it right back to you.

Stay safe and be well,

Susan Colangelo, President, Saint Louis Story Stitchers

 

 

 

Social Justice Art and Violence


The discussion focuses on the social justice art of the Saint Louis Story Stitchers and gun violence in our communities.

Students in Dr. Sarah Gaby’s Sociology Class interview members of the Stitchers Youth Council and Emeara Burns, Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

Recorded live at Washington University in St. Louis on March 4, 2020.

Gun Violence is Everywhere


The focus of the discussion is in relation to gun violence and the resources needed to limit crime all around the globe.

A discussion led by Emeara Burns, Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers in collaboration with the following programs at St Louis Community College at Forest Park: Phi Theta Kappa-Xi Epsilon, Student Assistance Program, DisAbility Awareness Club and the Counseling Department.

Guest included Tamala Turner, M.A., Student Assistance Program Coordinator and Sophia Allen, Counselor. 

Recorded live at St Louis Community College at Forest Park on October 29, 2019.

Peace in the Prairie extended by Popular Demand!


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Due to popular demand Peace in the Prairie will remain open for public viewing an additional week through  April 5, 2020.

Thank you for your interest and please do enjoy!

CLICK HERE

Saint Louis Story Stitchers’ Peace in the Prairie supports the creation and public presentation of a new conceptual work of art exploring the juxtaposition of violence experienced predominantly by African American residents in St. Louis’s urban environment and the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes.

The project delves deeply into the exploration of the physical characteristics of the state of Missouri and possible effects of expanded knowledge of those geographic landscapes on its people. The project explores the concepts of peace and violence through research, artistic creation and presentation.

The program features St. Louis soul singer Roland Johnson, Master Storyteller Bobby Norfolk, hip hop artists KP Dennis and Ntegrity, soul vocalist Roland Johnson, and the videography of Troy Anthony, Demil Johnson, Meghan Kirkwood, and Susan Colangelo. Stitchers Youth Council including Emeara, Branden, She’Kinah, and AnnaLise are also featured this year on a new song. Please visit storystitchers.org for a link to the program.

Peace in the Prairie is supported in part by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Additional support is provided by Missouri Foundation For Health and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

Experience Peace in the Prairie NOW!


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RELEASED ONLINE

MARCH 19-26, 2020

Saint Louis Story Stitchers’ Peace in the Prairie supports the creation and public presentation of a new conceptual work of art exploring the juxtaposition of violence experienced predominantly by African American residents in St. Louis’s urban environment and the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes.

The project delves deeply into the exploration of the physical characteristics of the state of Missouri and possible effects of expanded knowledge of those geographic landscapes on its people. The project explores the concepts of peace and violence through research, artistic creation and presentation.

Peace in the Prairie is available as a video for public viewing for one week. 

March 19-26, 2020

Please visit storystitchers.org to watch the program and read more about Peace in the Prairie. 

The program features St. Louis soul singer Roland Johnson, Master Storyteller Bobby Norfolk, hip hop artists KP Dennis and Ntegrity, and the videography of Troy Anthony, Demil Johnson, Meghan Kirkwood, and Susan Colangelo.

Parental Warning: PG 13 for references to violence.

Peace in the Prairie is supported in part by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Additional support is provided by Missouri Foundation For Health and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

StitchCast Studio Youth Applications Open


 

STITCHCAST STUDIO APPLY BUTTON

StitchCast Studio is collecting stories from local youth for the greater good of our community. Topics are focused on public safety and youth crime prevention and are chosen by youth. You will learn about podcasting, recording equipment, scripting and create a youth-led podcast recording in 4 weeks!

You must be a resident of the City of St. Louis and between 16-24 years old to participate.

Programs enroll 5 youth per session and run 4 weeks on the same day each week with a podcast recording during the last session. Podcast recordings will be edited by Story Stitchers staff and published online. Participating youth will remain anonymous.

Youth will receive a $100 stipend via a check upon completion of the 4-week program.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers has been selected as an organization for the City of St. Louis’ Youth at Risk Crime Prevention Grant of 2020.

Thank you for your interest!

Prairie Therapy Released


Prairie Therapy, a new single appearing in Peace in the Prairie featuring Story Stitchers Artist in Residence KP Dennis with Stitchers Youth Council’s Emeara, Branden, She’Kinah, and AnnaLise released! Produced by Story Stitchers Artist in Residence Ntegrity at Saint Louis Story Stitchers. Take a listen!

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Available on iTunesapple music, and spotify and major music platforms

Saint Louis Story Stitchers’ Peace in the Prairie supports the creation and public presentation of a new conceptual work of art exploring the juxtaposition of violence experienced predominantly by African American residents in St. Louis’s urban environment and the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes.

The project delves deeply into the exploration of the physical characteristics of the state of Missouri and possible effects of expanded knowledge of those geographic landscapes on its people. The project explores the concepts of peace and violence through research, artistic creation and presentation.

Due to safety concerns and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Saint Louis Story Stitchers has canceled its live performance of Peace in the Prairie on March 26th, 2020 at the .ZACK.

Peace in the Prairie will be released as a video for public viewing March 19-26, 2020.

The program features St. Louis soul singer Roland Johnson, Master Storyteller Bobby Norfolk, hip hop artists KP Dennis and Ntegrity and the videography of Troy Anthony, Demil Johnson, Meghan Kirkwood, and Susan Colangelo. Please visit storystitchers.org for a link to the program March 19-26, 2020.

Peace in the Prairie is supported in part by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Additional support is provided by Missouri Foundation For Health and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

StitchCast Studio Seeks City Youth!


 

 

Saint Louis Story Stitchers has been selected as an organization for the City of St. Louis’ Youth at Risk Crime Prevention Grant of 2020.

This grant will facilitate expanded Studio hours, expanded youth contact hours, expanded youth recruitment, build out of community partnerships, and begin to build an archive of available conversations of and by youth on gun violence and public health topics important to them.

Podcasts, a format popular with youth, will be created by 16 to 24-year old youth in the program to draw in larger numbers of peers. Information on access to social services will be intertwined with arts programming in the podcasts. Monthly podcast episodes of 30 minutes in length will be created and published.

Watch for the launch of StitchCast Studio, an amazing trip into the world of podcasts for 16-24 year olds living in St. Louis city neighborhoods! Earn $100 while you learn. We all want to hear from you!

The hours for StitchCast Studio programming will take place on Tuesday and Friday evenings, 5-8:00pm. The program will cycle small groups of youth through a month long experience that ends with a live podcast recording session.

Interested? Youth can reach out to us starting NOW! 

APPLY TODAY!

314-899-9001

podcasts@storystitchers.org

Peace in the Prairie Live Performance Canceled


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Saint Louis Story Stitchers’ Peace in the Prairie supports the creation and public presentation of a new conceptual work of art exploring the juxtaposition of violence experienced predominantly by African American residents in St. Louis’s urban environment and the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes.

The project delves deeply into the exploration of the physical characteristics of the state of Missouri and possible effects of expanded knowledge of those geographic landscapes on its people. The project explores the concepts of peace and violence through research, artistic creation and presentation.

Due to safety concerns and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Saint Louis Story Stitchers is canceling its live performance of Peace in the Prairie on March 26th, 2020 at the .ZACK.

Peace in the Prairie will be released as a video for public viewing March 19-26, 2020.

The program features St. Louis soul singer Roland Johnson, Master Storyteller Bobby Norfolk, hip hop artists KP Dennis and Ntegrity and the videography of Troy Anthony, Demil Johnson, Meghan Kirkwood, and Susan Colangelo. Stitchers Youth Council including Emeara Burns, Branden Lewis and AnnaLise Cason are also featured this year on a new song. Please visit storystitchers.org for a link to the program March 19-26, 2020.

Peace in the Prairie is supported in part by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Additional support is provided by Missouri Foundation For Health and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.