‘This is a show about gun violence’

Story Stitchers Artists Collective use podcast to find solutions

‘This is a show about gun violence’

  •  Updated 

Youth voices are often left out of important conversations about public safety and the public health crisis. But the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective — a mix of professional artists and minority youth — having been busy creating podcasts this year to encourage social change with a focus on gun violence prevention.

Read more by Rebecca Rivas…

Clip… Clop… Clip… Clop… Creeeeeeeeekkkk….

Ghost Storytelling with Bobby Norfolk

Stitchers Youth Council

September 2, 9, 16

Wednesdays 5-7:00 PM in Zoom

16-24 years old?

Join Stitchers Youth Council for ghost storytelling workshops!

Master Storyteller Bobby Norfolk will lead you through the process of creating and sharing a very effective scary tale!

We’ll add sound effects and publish the best ghost stories on line!!


Don’t be scared now… 

Apply today!


Supported in part by the City of St. Louis Youth at Risk Crime Prevention grant of 2020 and the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund.


RISE UP is a week-long celebration of often unheard voices.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers will present RISE UP with new youth-led podcasts and a performance celebrating the voices and rising power of Black youth.

RISE UP Who’s Ready?

Listen to the voices of Black youth to learn and grow your own awareness of the root causes of violence. Carry the torch forward to support at risk youth in your own community. Newly recorded StitchCast Studio Podcast releases will take place daily (except Sunday): Friday, August 28, 2020-Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 10:00 AM Central on PodbeanGoogle Podcasts, apple podcastsSpotify and Youtube.


The Special Edition StitchCast Studio RISE UP line up is…

August 28 – How to Eat an Elephant

August 29 – Gun Violence IS a Public Health Epidemic

August 30 – Creative Youth Development

August 31 – Power of Words

September 2 – Power of Music

September 3 – RISE UP Finale

RISE UP Finale is the release of the video of Story Stitchers February 17, 2020 live Black History Month performance at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. The live performance was sponsored by the Brown School of Social Work’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Streaming Performance on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 7:30 PM Central onto storystitchers.org, YouTube, facebook and Vimeo.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers programs are supported locally by the City of St. Louis’ Youth at Risk Crime Prevention Grant of 2020, Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, Steward Family Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Incarnate Word Foundation, Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri Arts Council, Regional Arts Commission, Arts and Education Council PNC, and nationally by the Lewis Prize for Music Covid-19 Community Response Fund, Lush Corporation’s The Charity Pot, and supportive individuals like YOU!

Story Stitchers a Featured Partner at The Charity Pot

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.22.11 PMLook who is partnering with Story Stitchers to raise awareness of the concerns of black youth!

Story Stitchers is one of eight Featured Partners on the Charity Pot webpage who are working toward racial justice and equality. Thanks for the lift! Check out all of the great organizations!

100% of the price of Charity Pot (minus taxes) goes to small grassroots organizations. And from July to September, LUSH  is giving that money exclusively to Black-led, community-based organizations fighting to end systemic racism.

We encourage you to listen to the voices of Story Stitchers youth leaders through StitchCast Studio and to support at-risk youth in your own community.



Story Stitchers Receives Youthbridge Community Foundation Grant

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is please to announce that we have received support from the Youthbridge Community Foundation through the Nonprofit Recovery and Resilience Fund. We are very grateful for the continued support from the Foundation which will help to keep our youth programs open and running. Story Stitchers currently holds youth programs for 16-24 year olds in podcasting, music, and design through community service.

The COVID-19 pandemic will have long-lasting effects on the operations and sustainability of nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis area. To that end the Youthbridge Community Foundation established a Fund to address medium- and long-term needs of nonprofits primarily serving children and families, including recovery assistance and ongoing risk preparedness.

Learn more about the Nonprofit Recovery and Resilience Fund.

In 2019, Story Stitchers received a Jump Start grant from the Youthbridge Community Foundation to help us develop a stronger communication platform and individual giving. It included a dedicated coach, who helped us learn to use the in-depth program from Network for Good. Learn more.

Learn more about Story Stitchers.

Reflections on StitchCast Studio

podcast art logoReflections on StitchCast Studio Episode XI “Decoding Racism”

By Jada, Story Stitchers STL Youth Jobs 2020 Intern

Several generations back, our African American ancestors fought and protected for our freedom. They took beatings, risked their freedom, and risked their lives for us to be able to be free. Dr. Martin Luther King once had a dream that black and white kids would one day be able to come together and be accepted by one another. Though we have made progress, we still have a lot of work to do.

Today, blacks no longer face the problem of segregation or seeing “whites only” signs, but we are still being killed because of racism. You can turn on the TV and hear about several cases where a black person has been killed due to police brutality, hate crimes, or discrimination. What saddens me the most is that we still face the problems that the generations before us fought to erase for us. We are taught to not trust the police and sometimes not trust people of other races— but it shouldn’t have to be that way.

The podcast “Decoding Racism” covered the current protests that are taking place in the year 2020. It highlighted some of the issues that blacks have been having for many years. “I really, really hope and pray that we can come to love ourselves enough that we will be able to fully love others the way they are”, someone stated in the podcast. I believe this is an important statement and I strongly agree with it. I really hope that one day our communities and different cultures will learn how to love, which will result in improving lives and this world that we live in.

After reading this and listening to the podcast I hope that people will see the importance of being more loving and understanding of others. With doing so there will be less hate crime and police brutality taking place. Even if this generation doesn’t get to see the results and benefits of this potential change, hopefully the next generation will.

Story Stitchers receives Annual Grant from Missouri Arts Council

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is pleased to announce that our program, Peace in the Prairie, has received an Annual Program Grant from Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Peace in the Prairie is an original presentation 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 endangered prairie lands.

Is the path towards peace through Missouri’s native prairies? 

Peace in the Prairie be presented for public viewing June 15-29, 2021 at Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills, Missouri.

Peace in the Prairie 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.

“An unusual and creative juxtaposition between social issues and nature.”

YES! The poets and the video intertwining gun violence and nature captured me, intrigued me and made me crave for more!”

“Much more than an artistic outlet, but a therapeutic, healing oasis!”

“One of the most appealing aspects of Peace in the Prairie is the unfolding nature of the project over time. This enables room for reflection at each stage and for the creation of a refined final piece of art. This approach has clearly been thought out and is being led well.”

For Missouri citizens, Peace in the Prairie gives voice to citizens suffering from the effects of gun violence, bridging rural and urban cultures. “Gun violence includes homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings resulting in injuries and death. In 2017, Missouri had the fifth-highest firearm death rate in the nation (per capita). The homicide rate in St. Louis continues to be far higher than the national average and roughly double the rate of cities of comparable size and geography. In addition, suicides have increased 36% from 1999 to 2018 in the state (the 19th highest rate in the nation). Firearms account for 61% of suicide deaths in Missouri, making it the leading means of suicide by a wide margin. Gun violence in all its forms leaves lasting scars on communities, affecting overall health and well-being,” explained Jessi LaRose, a Senior Strategist for Initiatives at Missouri Foundation for Health. https://mffh.org/our-focus/gun-violence-prevention/

This July, 2020, St. Louis has suffered 50 homicides and the deadliest July in two decades.

For Missouri’s prairies, Peace in the Prairie brings exposure and greater awareness of the intrinsic natural beauty of the region, historically and currently, to new audiences. According to the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a tall grass prairie is an ecosystem dominated by grasses, with some non-woody, flowering herbaceous plants in the mix, and 10 percent or less of tree cover. “More than one-third of Missouri was prairie once upon a time,” says Doug Ladd, director of conservation science for the Missouri Nature Conservancy. “Fifty percent of St. Louis city and county was prairie, managed largely by Native Americans.” Less than one half of 1 percent of the original tall grass prairies remain in Missouri, making them one of the most endangered habitats in the world” (‘Restoring the prairie, Missouri’s endangered habitat’, by Hilary Davidson from St. Louis Public Radio, 2013).

During Covid-19 and beyond, our natural environments become our safe spaces. Peace in the Prairie explores protection of each other and the planet that we all share.

Reflections on StitchCast Studio

podcast art episode II

Reflections on StitchCast Studio Episode II “Gun Violence is Everywhere”

By Jada, Story Stitchers STL Youth Jobs 2020 Intern

Growing up in the city of St. Louis, you constantly hear about gun violence and trauma, so much so that I find myself feeling helpless and feeling like maybe there will never be a change or solution to this problem. Unfortunately, I’ve lost a couple of friends to gun violence, some brought more pain than others, but it hurts every time I have to receive another phone call or text saying someone I love or once loved has been killed due to gun violence. After listening to the “Gun Violence is Everywhere” podcast on the Story Stitchers website, I’ve heard more of other people’s opinions about gun violence and how they respond to it. They spoke about what they think the communities can do to prevent gun violence. Someone on the podcast said that they were taught as a child the consequences of killing. I think that needs to be taught more within this generation as the gun violence crime numbers increase.

Story Stitchers receives Arts and Education Council PNC Program Award

Saint Louis Story Stitchers is pleased to announce that we have received an Arts and Education Council Award for a PNC Program Grant for Pick the City UP which broadens and deepens participation in and access to the arts in underserved, predominantly African American neighborhoods, with podcasts and Zoom activities.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers documents St. Louis, Missouri through art and word to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy. A core creative group of professional artists and African American youth, ages 16-24, 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 current body of work focuses on gun violence prevention and topics related to public health issues.

To learn more about the PNC Program Grant please visit this article by the Arts and Education Council.

To learn more about Story Stitchers program, please visit storystitchers.org.

Saturday Studio: A Film about StitchCast Studio

Saturday Studio 

A Film about StitchCast Studio

Join Story Stitchers artists and youth leaders to discuss the focus areas of a short documentary film about StitchCast Studio.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

2:00-4:00 PM

In Zoom

Please email storystitchers@gmail.com for more information including Zoom meeting link.

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 7.59.25 AM

Special Guest: Jimmie Briggs

For the last two decades, this award-winning journalist and human rights leader has been revealing the struggles of children and youth, domestically and abroad–especially boys navigating the journey to manhood in the world today.

A National Magazine Award finalist and recipient of honors from Barnard College, National Association of Black Journalists, Women’s eNews, and the Carter Center for Mental Health, Jimmie has produced seminal reporting from across the globe on the lives of war-affected youth, children soldiers, and survivors of sexual violence. He revealed even more in his 2005 book, Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War, after which he was named United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and Special Envoy to Children in Armed Conflict. He also serves on New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Commission on Gender Equity. Quoted from Fresh Speakers.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

2:00-4:00 PM

In Zoom

Please email storystitchers@gmail.com for more information including Zoom meeting link.

Youth 16-24 years old are encouraged to APPLY.