“To The Prairie” helps to connect all people, including communities of color, to the natural world and explores the healing effects of exposure to nature on urban citizens, issues of environmental equity, and topics related to climate change that effects all life on earth.
Presented with support from Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health and Incarnate Word Foundation. Thank you!!
Saint Louis Story Stitchers has been selected as an organization for the City of St. Louis’ Youth at Risk Crime Prevention Grant of 2020. The amount offered to the organization is $50,000.00.
Story Stitchers are honored by the trust placed in us by the City of St. Louis’ Public Safety Committee, President of the Board of Alderman Lewis Reed and Mayor Krewson. We are ready to expand our work with the youth of the city that we love! Thank you!
We want to express our appreciation to the Public Safety Committee including Chairman and Alderman Joe Vaccaro of Ward 23, Alderman Jeffrey Boyd of Ward 22, who served as Prop S Committee Chairman, Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard of Ward 5, Alderwoman Carol Howard of Ward 14, Alderwoman Shameem Hubbard of Ward 26, Alderman Larry Arnowitz of Ward 12, Alderwoman Pam Boyd of Ward 27, and Alderman John Collins-Muhammad of Ward 21.
We also want to acknowledge the support of two of our partners, Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation and Forest Park Community College Honor Students, who helped us develop our proposal, better understand government processes, and create two trial podcast recordings. We look forward to continuing our work together.
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.
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 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!
The grant, which runs through December, 2020, also supports more regular access to Story Stitchers programs and facilities through the addition of regular hours of operation:
Wednesdays and on Saturdays, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
The space, a storefront in the historic Delmar Loop, welcomes 16-24 year old youth with technology, Wi-Fi, a community table, audio and video editing, and space for small audiences up to 20. Some podcast sessions will be recorded in alternative spaces including High Low Listening Room at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in Grand Center, to welcome additional public audiences.
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.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers Youth Council will share their impressions of Missouri’s endangered prairies in their upcoming performance entitled, To The Prairie.
Created and presented by Stitchers Youth Council exploring the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes.
It’s interactive and family-friendly so bring the kids!
Sing along to a hip hop song, dance to a bug beat, take a selfie with a bison, and more!!
To The Prairie expands the artistic body of work of young African American artists in the Collective, expands the exploration of new natural settings by both artists and audiences, and supports the greater understanding of Missouri’s unique natural heritage in its endangered prairies.
Join the Saint Louis Story Stitchers for To The Prairie on Saturday, March 7th at 1:00 pm inside High Low. Doors open at 12:00 for Community Activities. Tickets are $10 and available at MetroTix or at the door.
After the performance, Story Stitchers artists and prairie specialist James Trager will offer a Q&A. He’s led us on two hikes so far and we think he’s amazing!
James Trager is an insect scientist who early in his working life realized how habitat loss was impacting insect life and all the other life connected to them. James worked in management, restoration, and interpretation of prairies, woodlands and wetlands at Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve for 28 and 1/2 years, and is a technical advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation.
Sponsored by Incarnate Word Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers will share their impressions of Missouri’s endangered prairies through spoken word and photography in their upcoming performance “To The Prairie.” This performance is original works of music, dance, photography, and poetry created and presented by Stitchers Youth Council exploring the peacefulness of Missouri’s natural prairie landscapes. It’s interactive and family-friendly so bring the kids!
To The Prairie expands the artistic body of work of young African American artists in the Collective, expands 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.
Join the Saint Louis Story Stitchers for “To The Prairie” on Saturday, March 7th at 1:00 pm inside High Low. Doors open at 12:00 for Community Activities. Tickets are $10 and available at MetroTix or at the door.
After the performance, Story Stitchers artists and prairie specialist James Trager will offer a Q&A. James Trager is an insect scientist who early in his working life realized how habitat loss was impacting insect life and all the other life connected to them. James worked in management, restoration, and interpretation of prairies, woodlands and wetlands at Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve for 28 and 1/2 years, and is a technical advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation. He’s led us on two hikes so far and we think he’s amazing!
This project is supported by the Missouri Foundation for Health, Incarnate Word Foundation and Kranzberg Arts Foundation. Thank you to Missouri Prairie Foundation for opening the prairies to us.
Is the path towards peace through Missouri’s endangered prairies?
Over the past four years, Stitchers Youth Council members have explored and recorded native prairie landscapes via trips to Missouri prairie reserves, including Missouri Prairie Foundation at Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Osage County and Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve.
On October 20, 2018 Susan Colangelo, Cassandria White, and She’Kinah, a member of Stitchers Youth Council, 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.
She’Kinah documented her reflections in the car on the way back to St. Louis after her very first exploration of a Missouri prairie.
She has since visited additional prairies and has joined other Story Stitchers to create new music at the Stitchers Storefront Studio about her experiences. Some of these pieces will be featured in the March 7th performance, To The Prairie.
This is She’Kinah singing the chorus to Prairie Therapy, written during our overnight trip to Shaw Nature Reserve in September, 2019.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clark-Fox Forum in Hillman Hall at the Brown School of Social Work
Washington University in St. Louis
STAND DOWN / RISE UP Respect and Redirect
is an exploration of African Americans throughout Missouri’s history that have impacted gun violence today by Black artists and young poets ages 16-24 who currently reside in St. Louis city and county.
Join the Saint Louis Story Stitchers on February 17th, 2020 in the beautiful Clark-Fox Forum for an unforgettable and moving experience!
Free and open to the public.
Parking is available for a small fee in the underground garage off Forsyth Blvd on Wrighton Way.
STAND DOWN RISE UP Hoodies available for a limited time!
Order through February 18th with delivery around March 5th.
Proceeds support Saint Louis Story Stitchers. Thank you!
The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization, is professional artists and inner-city youth grades ages 16-24, 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 artists-in-residence at Kranzberg Arts Foundation in the vibrant Grand Center Arts District and run a Storefront Studio for publishing at 616 N Skinker Blvd. in the historic Loop District.
Meet Joshua, a member of the Stitchers Youth Council…
“My art is a mish-mash of different styles. I read and watch a lot of films to try to gather visual information. I spend five to six hours a day drawing. My favorite artists are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Egon Schiele, and Trenton Doyle Hancock. I enjoy being around other creators at Story Stitchers. I like when our different ideas and work come together through collaboration. I was looking for other artists to work with so this came at a perfect time in my life. It’s been fun- making friends, talking about art and learning from each other.
“I’ve been working with some of the dancers and I photograph them and draw them.
I am taking my skill of figure drawing and putting it to use here. The process would normally be that I photograph and film them while they are dancing and then I go back and draw them on my own. I use pencil, water color and ink. I also work in pastel and collage. The video below is a collaborative piece that shows some of my drawings with another youth named Anthony dancing.
I think Story Stitchers can build a large enough audience to start doing installations in art spaces. We are becoming better known in the region. Our work is something that’s desperately needed in the current political and social climate with the rising fear of gun violence and racial disparity that exists here.”
The goal for all Story Stitchers projects is to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring region through storytelling. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth generate original work through a unique form of “urban storytelling” that includes hip hop, spoken word, photography and videography and disseminate new works through public presentations and performances. The Collective’s body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.
Story Stitchers’ programs are driven by the interests and concerns of low-income, black youth and as a result have focused on gun violence since 2014. Gun violence is a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth. Youth have the opportunity to work through their pain and loss and be a force multiplier, impacting families, schools and neighborhoods.
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. We are proud that our primary method for recruiting new youth is word of mouth from their peers.
The Collective meets with youth year-round and has presented publicly over 150 times, engaging a diverse audiences of over 18,000.
Together, we can do so much more for our at risk youth in Saint Louis. Please make a gift today to support Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the New Year—and beyond.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers is being featured December 31st, 2019 by a non-profit called Givable that offers individuals, businesses, and families a new way to raise funds for other local non-profits.
Through a monthly membership program Givable creates a group giving program whose members can make a big impact in the St. Louis region. Members learn about local and trustworthy charities making a difference in our community, and lend their support. Givable shares information about all of the amazing non-profits in the St. Louis area, including us, and members have an opportunity to chip in alongside hundreds of others to support their good work.
Givable makes giving easy, affordable, and impactful to support our community, and we encourage you to consider signing up at givable.org.
We are grateful to the good people at Givable for helping to spread the word about Saint Louis Story Stitchers to their followers and friends!
We are grateful to our Saint Louis Story Stitchers volunteers and donors for joining us in supporting our youth, artists, communities, and our beautiful city! You are an important part of every step we take and we thank you for joining us in building a safer and healthier region.