Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: “It felt like freedom out here.”


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She’Kinah photographs Prairie Star Restoration Farm. Photographs in this blog by She’Kinah Taylor and Susan Colangelo. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

On October 20, 2018 Susan Colangelo, Cassandria White, She’Kinah Taylor drove to Bland, MO, to Prairie Star Restoration Farm, owned and cared for by Jan and Bruce Sassmann, for the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Meeting, Carol Davit Director.

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Prairie Star Restoration Farm

She’Kinah Taylor, age 17, Stitchers Youth Council, documents her reflections in the car on the way back to St. Louis after her very first exploration of a Missouri prairie.

“Today we went to Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Bland, Missouri and it was beautiful. The plants were very healthy looking. It was memorable. It felt like freedom out here.

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Photo Credit: She’Kinah Taylor. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

There’s a lot that you could learn about. The people here are really resourceful and know a lot about prairies.

It was lovely.

It was windy.

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Burnt prairie land. Photo Credit: She’Kinah Taylor. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

What impressed me the most was learning about the different sections of how they grow each of the plants and how they would burn parts of it down just for the rest of it to be able to grow up so it can be new plants on top of the surface.

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Bruce Sassman explains how to read buck markings on the ground. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

And then knowing about how the different animals such as a buck deer will mark their territory and leave a scent so you can trace back and see if they were here or not. I thought that was really cool.

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She’Kinah with Carol Davit, Executive Director Missouri Prairie Foundation, in front of a banner illustrating the actual size of a prairie grass with deep root structure.

And then how the plants are really deep inside and the roots are really deep in the ground and that they die usually but people don’t know that even if they’re dead they are actually growing another new plant on top of it so it’s kind of like reproducing the same type of plant on top of the surface so that’s why they have to put a fire out on it so that the dead one can go away and the fresh one can come on top of it. So I thought that was actually real neat.

Yeah this trip was really cool. I learned a lot about nature and how we should not take it for granted because we really basically need this in our lives a lot. I’m happy that I did come.

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Photo Credit: She’Kinah Taylor. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

I learned that nature is everywhere and we should take really good care of it. And there’s not a lot of prairies left in the world so we should be mindful about that.

Community and The Charity Pot


Story Stitchers is very pleased to announce that Lush Cosmetics, Inc., through its Charity Pot program, is providing a charitable grant towards programming for a youth-driven collaborative project called Community Conversations: Youth Council Development, that uses a mobile stage to drive public engagement and honest discourse on issues including gun violence, gangs, food insecurity, addiction, etc.

Through ongoing collaborative relationships in Dutchtown with Thomas Dunn Learning Center’s Southside Youth Council and on the West Side with the Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation and Communities Forward, LLC, Story Stitchers Youth Council leaders will join with area youth to create programming for two of St. Louis’s challenged districts to foster safe and supportive opportunities for youth to gather, socialize, and further develop leadership and vocational skills.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers extends a heart felt THANK YOU! to everyone at Lush Cosmetics, Inc. for your big hearts and open minds! We are grateful for this opportunity!

 

 

 

 

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!!!

COLLECT AND BRING NEW WINTER HATS, GLOVES, SCARVES, MITTENS, OR WARM SOCKS TO DONATE TO THE GIVEAWAY BOX!

Drop off donations:

During Prep Day

Friday, October 26, 2018

1:00-4:00

616 N Skinker Blvd.

OR

At the Block Party:

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

2:00-4:00

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.

 

Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: Grasses


On a walk at Shaw Nature Reserve naturalist James Trager of the Missouri Botanical Garden told Story Stitchers that prairie is a French word that means a meadow or grassland. There are different types of prairies, one of which is the tall grass prairie. There are many types of plants that make up a prairie. Three of the types of grasses are Turkey Foot, Indian Grass and Northern Drop Seed.

OPEN STORY COLLECTION: VIOLENCE AND PEACE

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 storystitchers@gmail.com, call 314-899-9001, or drop by the Storefront Studio during one of the Story Collection sessions. 

We’d like to hear from you.

Stitchers Storefront Studio

616 N Skinker Blvd in the Delmar Loop

Audio Recording Session: Wed., November 7, 2018, 3:00-7:00

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: Violence & Education


IMG_0755Excerpt from the Saint Louis Story Stitchers book,  Not Another One A Discussion on Gun Violence, 2015

Teen: How much gun violence is a problem caused by a lack of education?

Lieutenant Colonel Ronnie Robinson, Deputy Chief of Police, Commander of the Bureau of Community Affairs: We consistently see that individuals involved in gun violence are lacking in terms of education. The dropout rate is particularly high among individuals that are using weapons to commit criminal acts. Education is a big factor in the success of kids NOT being involved in criminal activity. There is definitely a relationship between lack of education and gun violence.

Rachel Smith, Chief Prosecutor from the Circuit Attorneys Office and the Community Affairs Bureau: I agree with the Colonel. The lack of education is heartbreaking. We see the results every day at the Circuit Attorney’s Office, parents of young men, mostly under the age of 20, who have been killed. Sometimes the parents will be armed themselves. Sometimes the mother will say, “I asked him not to carry, I TOLD him not to carry,” while others will say he had to carry.

Sadly, we believe that often that decision to carry a weapon made by that young man is what led to his death. It seems that the lack of information among some parts of our community as well as that of some family members is a significant factor in the gun violence problem we currently have.

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

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PEACE IN THE PRAIRIE

OPEN STORY COLLECTION: VIOLENCE AND PEACE

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

Audio Recording Sessions:

Tues., October 2, 2018, 11:00-2:00

Wed., November 7, 2018, 3:00-7:00

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 storystitchers@gmail.com, call 314-899-9001, or drop by the Storefront Studio during one of the Story Collection sessions.

We’d like to hear from you.

Tell a story that relates to violence or a peaceful experiences in a natural setting, share an original poem or rap, share a phrase or proverb, or share your thoughts on what steps the community or country can take to stop violence.

 

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

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.

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

Archiving African American Art


“Despite recent efforts, work by African American artists continues to be sidelined within American museums. The perception of progress is buoyed by a handful of important exhibitions, a—very gently—increasing number of acquisitions, and a smattering of headline auction prices.”

Since 2008, just 2.4% of all acquisitions and gifts and 7.6% of all exhibitions at thirty prominent American museums have been the work of African American artists, according to new research published by In Other Words and artnet News.

Read the article

What can YOU do?

Support local artists of color by attending events and exhibitions.

Take note of works of art by African American artists that you see hanging in museums and send an email to let curators know that you appreciate their selections.

Request private viewings of works of art, especially prints, photographs and drawings, by African American artists at museums and galleries you visit. (It’s free!)

Visit major exhibitions by African American artists – this fall in St. Louis be sure to see Basquiat Before Basquiat and Sanford Biggers at the Contemporary Art Museum and Kehinde Wiley at the St. Louis Art Museum.

Purchase original works by artists of color and encourage others to do the same.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age Portfolio, 2017, is a time capsule of voices collected in 2015, during the protests in Ferguson, available from Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis.

Donate to charities that support the education of African American artists and curators.

Donation

Support the educational programs of Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective.

$25.00

 

 

Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: Prairie Day


Story Stitchers took a big yellow bus to Shaw Nature Reserve on September 22, 2018 to explore prairie culture, plants and animals during the Reserve’s special event called Prairie Day. The Reserve is a part of the Missouri Botanical Garden. We saw animals, animal pelts, gun and bow makers, heard music, took a walk into the prairie with naturalist James Trager, walked into a tee pee, learned a Native American game, and much more. A great way to learn about Missouri’s natural landscapes.

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: Definitions


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Demil Johnson, one of the lead artists on Peace in the Prairie, at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Missouri during Prairie Day.  Photo by Cali Fleming, Stitchers Youth Council

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 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 aka Superhood, and contributing artist Susan Colangelo.

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

Story Stitchers at Prairie Day in Shaw Nature Reserve, Gray Summit, September 22, 2018

PRAIRIE

1: land in or predominantly in grass 2: a broad area of level or rolling land in the MississippiRiver valley that in its natural uncultivated state has deep fertile soil, a cover of tall course grasses, and few trees

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PEACE

1: a state of tranquility or quiet

2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

3: harmony in personal relations

4: a state or period of mutual concord between governments

5: used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm

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5 ON YOUR SIDE, Trending Stories, September 23, 2018

VIOLENCE

1: the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy

2: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation

3: a:  intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force b: vehement feeling or expression c: a clashing or jarring quality

4: undue altercation

Definitions from Merriam-Webster dictionary

 

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

Email storystitchers@gmail.com or call 314-899-9001.

 

 

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OPEN STORY COLLECTION: VIOLENCE AND PEACE


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OPEN STORY COLLECTION: VIOLENCE AND PEACE

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 storystitchers@gmail.com, 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 19, 2018, 3:00-7:00

Tues., October 2, 2018, 11:00-2:00

Wed., November 7, 2018, 3:00-7:00

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

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.