Pay it forward


Buzz Spector, professor of art, leads teens and artists from Story Stitchers in creating one of his trademark book installation at the Story Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N. Skinker. (Photo: Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos)
Buzz Spector, professor of art, leads teens and artists from Story Stitchers in creating one of his trademark book installation at the Story Stitchers Storefront Studio at 616 N. Skinker. (Photo: Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos)

Happy Memorial Day! 

Internationally recognized artist Buzz Spector has once again joined forces with the Saint Louis Story Stitchers, this time to help generate awareness of gun violence in St. Louis and to support the Weight of Words Cause in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist competition.

Please join us tonight as we celebrate the opening of the Stitchers Storefront Studio with this special work of art.

MON., May 25th

5:00-7:00 pm

616 N Skinker Blvd.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

The Cause is The Weight of Words. A book and a gun each weigh 2 pounds and each has the power to change the story of your life. Which one will you pick up?

Mission: Through the power of young voices, art and the Internet, The Weight of Words sees inner city teens put down guns for books.

St. Louis, Missouri is the 6th most segregated city in the United States, with the highest crime and poverty rates in North County where 95% of residents are African American. St. Louis recorded nearly 160 homicides in 2014 and is on pace to top that in 2015. Teenagers living in North St. Louis report that sleeping can be difficult due to the sound of gunshots and sirens on the streets at night.

In 2012 one in ten black 9-12th graders in St. Louis dropped out of high school. Literacy, avoiding guns and gang membership, and graduating high school are key to a young black male’s future and to staying out of jail. If he doesn’t graduate high school, his chances are 1 in 4 of being in jail on any given day. Literacy is key to graduation, employment and a longer, healthier and more prosperous life.

Funds will be used to create an outlet for powerful teen voices calling for literacy and unity in a city that is reeling from the effects of gun violence.

Please allocate all 10 of your daily votes to The Weight of Words and vote daily until June 4th. We need to surge into the top 40 to being home any funds to St. Louis. We are currently at #142 out of 200 causes. Please share with your friends and help us rise to the top!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE: https://apps.facebook.com/sf_neighbor_assist/desktop/3/causes/1406053

The City + The City


Through July 12

Saint Louis Art Museum

Saint Louis Story Stitchers are honored to take part in Mariam Ghani’s new work entitled The City & The City. Stitchers artists and Teen Council participated in an audio recording session with the artist that is included in her exhibition.

“Currents 110: Mariam Ghani” is curated by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs, with Molly Moog, research assistant.

Please place your 10 daily VOTES for Story Stitchers NOW and share with your friends!

Stitchers after audio recording session with artist Mariam Ghani for The City & The City, Lewis Center, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, March 22, 2015. Photo by Susan Colangelo
Stitchers after audio recording session with artist Mariam Ghani for The City & The City, Lewis Center, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, March 22, 2015. Photo by Susan Colangelo

Catch Buzz


Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective announces internationally recognized artist and writer Buzz Spector will join forces in promoting gun violence awareness by creating an onsite book installation in the new Story Stitchers Storefront Studio, 616 N Skinker. The construction will help generate votes for the Story Stitchers’ The Weight of Words Cause, one of the Top 200 causes in the national State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant competition and one that needs public votes now. Many of the books used were donated to Story Stitchers by the West County Book Fair.

The art work will be created by Buzz Spector with the aid of Story Stitchers artists and teens at Stitchers Storefront Studio.

Public viewings with the artist will be Monday, May 25th, 5:00-7:00 pm and Tuesday, June 2nd, on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, from 5:00-7:00 pm. On June 2nd, from 10:00 am to closing, the public is invited to put on an orange T-shirt and have their photograph taken and posted to #WearingOrange to participate in the national gun violence awareness social media campaign through a partnership with the St. Louis chapter of Moms Demand Action for Sensible Gun Laws.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Books donated by West County Book Fair await in the Stitchers Storefront Studio, 616 N Skinker Blvd. Photo by Buzz Spector
Books donated by West County Book Fair await in the Stitchers Storefront Studio, 616 N Skinker Blvd. Photo by Buzz Spector

The Weight of Words Cause


Please vote for Story Stitchers Weight of Words Cause everyday ’til June 4. Allocate all 10 of your daily votes to our cause. If we are in the top 40 of 200 causes we will bring home $25K from State Farm to help stop youth violence. Share with your friends. We need to generate about 50K votes to make it into the top 40!

We appreciate your votes.

Toryon Dennis.Intensity.3.2015.DSC_0844

The mission of this cause.

Through the power of young voices, art and the Internet, The Weight of Words sees inner city teens put down guns for books.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

The community need this cause addresses.

St. Louis, Missouri is the 6th most segregated city in the United States, with the highest crime and poverty rates in North County where 95% of residents are African American. St. Louis recorded nearly 160 homicides in 2014 and is on pace to top that in 2015. Teenagers living in North St. Louis report that sleeping can be difficult due to the sound of gunshots and sirens on the streets at night. In 2012 one in ten black 9-12th graders in St. Louis dropped out of high school. Literacy, avoiding guns and gang membership, and graduating high school are key to a young black male’s future and to staying out of jail. If he doesn’t graduate high school, his chances are 1 in 4 of being in jail on any given day. Literacy is key to graduation, employment and a longer, healthier and more prosperous life. The Cause is The Weight of Words. A book and a gun each weighs 2 pounds and each has the power to change the story of your life. Which one will you pick up?

How will this cause use the $25K to address an unmet need?

Funds will be used to create an outlet for powerful teen voices calling for literacy and unity in a city that is reeling from the effects of gun violence. Through a partnership between the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, the University of Missouri’s Digital Storytelling Program and its Extension Office’s St. Louis Storytelling Festival, Collective artists and teens will create and disseminate art works that motivate youth to put the gun down, pick up a book and take control of their own life stories to create a safer community. Funds will be used to train teens in digital storytelling. Stitchers will purchase Ipads, cameras and computers and use the newly acquired technology to create original music videos that can help to generate a new image of young men of color and a greater acceptance of differences. Messages of anti-bullying, anti-guns and an understanding of implicit bias and the importance of literacy will help to prevent violence by and against youth.

How much of a lasting impact on the community will this cause have?

Teens will develop and utilize their own strong voices to express the anguish caused by gun violence and the path they see forward to safety through reading and education and away from pain, poverty and prison. Youth listen to one another and they listen to music. They are on the Internet. They will hear the message from voices that they understand and can believe. It’s time for lasting change in St. Louis. The Weight of Words has enormous potential for impacting education and community safety. By collecting, reframing and retelling local stories, Story Stitchers artists and teens can help people understand today’s youth and their neighbors, help erase negative biases – generating understanding through art and word. Through the power of the arts and the Internet, The Weight of Words can spread literacy and stop violence. Education leads to employment, better health, and safer and more prosperous communities.

VOTE HERE

Teen Reflections


Teen Council member during Black & Gold Days visit at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Teen Council member during Black & Gold Days visit at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Story Stitchers submitted The Weight of Words Cause which uses the power of young voices, art and the internet to see teens put down guns for books. Stitchers Teen Council members reflect on being in the top 200 causes in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant competition. Partners in the Cause are Digital Storytelling at the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri Extension Office’s St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Please remember to vote for the Weight of Words Cause today. Thank you!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

BIG HUG in a Bag


Stitchers Teen Council members applied for and received a $1,000 Youth Mini Grant from the Saint Louis Mental Health Board to create resource support backpacks for children attending Patrick Henry Downtown Academy Elementary School, Saint Louis Public School District. Bags will be stuffed with a sleeping bag, flashlight, toiletries, a poncho, and snacks.

Life Foundation and Ready Readers are partnering organizations supplying books and school supplies.
Additional funds are being collected by the Saint Louis Story Stitchers to create additional backpacks through June 1st, 2015. See storystitchers.org home page for details. Be sure to mark your check “Big Hug in a Bag.”

Please remember to VOTE for the Weight of Words Cause today and everyday until June 4th.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Youth Art & Writing Contest Awards and Recognition Ceremony


Saturday, May 16th we are honored to celebrate our local youth with the awards and recognition ceremony for the Youth Art & Writing Contest, Coming of Age in St. Louis. Thank you to the young people for participating and thank you to the parents, guardians, teachers and principals who helped them to submit their work! We thing you are all amazing!! Congratulations!!!

11:00 am  – 12:00 pm

Kranzberg Arts Center

501 N Grand Blvd. in the Studio Theater

Awards presentation and selected reading by young authors

Presented with support from the Regional Arts Commission.

The Weight of Words Cause


The mission of this cause.

Through the power of young voices, art and the Internet, The Weight of Words sees inner city teens put down guns for books.

Jaquan Williams.Focus.3.2015.DSC_0802

The community need this cause addresses.

St. Louis, Missouri is the 6th most segregated city in the United States, with the highest crime and poverty rates in North County where 95% of residents are African American. St. Louis recorded nearly 160 homicides in 2014 and is on pace to top that in 2015. Teenagers living in North St. Louis report that sleeping can be difficult due to the sound of gunshots and sirens on the streets at night. In 2012 one in ten black 9-12th graders in St. Louis dropped out of high school. Literacy, avoiding guns and gang membership, and graduating high school are key to a young black male’s future and to staying out of jail. If he doesn’t graduate high school, his chances are 1 in 4 of being in jail on any given day. Literacy is key to graduation, employment and a longer, healthier and more prosperous life. The Cause is The Weight of Words. A book and a gun each weighs 2 pounds and each has the power to change the story of your life. Which one will you pick up?

How will this cause use the $25K to address an unmet need?

Funds will be used to create an outlet for powerful teen voices calling for literacy and unity in a city that is reeling from the effects of gun violence. Through a partnership between the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, the University of Missouri’s Digital Storytelling Program and its Extension Office’s St. Louis Storytelling Festival, Collective artists and teens will create and disseminate art works that motivate youth to put the gun down, pick up a book and take control of their own life stories to create a safer community. Funds will be used to train teens in digital storytelling. Stitchers will purchase Ipads, cameras and computers and use the newly acquired technology to create original music videos that can help to generate a new image of young men of color and a greater acceptance of differences. Messages of anti-bullying, anti-guns and an understanding of implicit bias and the importance of literacy will help to prevent violence by and against youth.

How much of a lasting impact on the community will this cause have?

Teens will develop and utilize their own strong voices to express the anguish caused by gun violence and the path they see forward to safety through reading and education and away from pain, poverty and prison. Youth listen to one another and they listen to music. They are on the Internet. They will hear the message from voices that they understand and can believe. It’s time for lasting change in St. Louis. The Weight of Words has enormous potential for impacting education and community safety. By collecting, reframing and retelling local stories, Story Stitchers artists and teens can help people understand today’s youth and their neighbors, help erase negative biases – generating understanding through art and word. Through the power of the arts and the Internet, The Weight of Words can spread literacy and stop violence. Education leads to employment, better health, and safer and more prosperous communities.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Will you help us by voting for our Cause?


Great news! Story Stitchers are in the top 200 in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program with our Cause The Weight of Words asking teens to put down guns for books.

The Contest is LIVE as of tonight and finalists are competing for the top 40 spots by the highest accumulation of voting numbers. We will need to generate over 50,000 votes to be one of the 40 winners who bring home $25,000!

Can you help us get out votes? Use your social media accounts to support the Story Stitchers in making a positive change by voting for our Cause. Invite your friends local and national to vote for The Weight of Words.

We need everyone to vote once a day until June 4 and to allocate ALL10 of your daily votes to us every day each day when you go on facebook. It’s very exciting!!

Help us bring $25,000 from State Farm home to St. Louis to fight gun violence and promote literacy and education.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE !!!  Then please share with your friends!!