Story Stitchers uses a collaborative model to create social justice art. Story Stitchers’ Studio is a living laboratory where youth lead and build the nonprofit organization alongside adult mentors.
Youth bring raw experiences and are supported by regionally and nationally recognized black artists and scholars who work alongside the young activists through collaborative learning experiences inviting dialogue and generating raw, authentic works of art. Story Stitchers use music, spoken word, photography, videography, and dialogue to highlight stories related to trauma such as gun violence, life transitions, and mental health. The work promotes mutual respect for diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, and fosters understanding across the racial, socioeconomic, and age divisions of our region.
112 youth met with mentors 175 times including 40 1:1 mentoring sessions
• $14,000 stipends were earned by youth
• 0 Zero youth became justice involved after joining Story Stitchers
• Public performances reached 5,000 virtual @storystitchers followers with 161,000 views
“For me, it was just a pretty cool experience to be on a podcast for the first time and just to meet new people. It helped me with my listening skills. Like just to listen what others have to say and not debate opinions but listen to others and see their perspective from different points of view.” – 17 year old male
Organization’s 3 – 5 year vision: The goal of Story Stitchers is to promote a better educated, more peaceful, and more caring region through storytelling.
We are driven by the guiding principles that:
- Artists can be catalysts for social change
- Youth are the future of humanity and
- Active learning through collaborative experiences promotes thoughtful creativity.
To achieve these goals, Saint Louis Story Stitchers engages youth in educational activities including research, writing, collaborative learning with peers and adults, public speaking, presentation and discussion, writing, recording and editing, and various business skills related to building a nonprofit. These activities also provided opportunities to engage with the public in community building through art exhibitions, concerts and performances, and media interviews.
Story 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. Gun violence continues to be a pressing public health crisis that consumes the attention of the engaged youth, and artistic expression helps youth work through the pain and loss they have experienced.
You can have a great impact in 2021! Your generosity will support more than 75 youth who need:
• To find a safe place to meet and find mentors
• A positive future removed from the world of guns and gangs
• To be all they can be—academically, socially and culturally
As you reflect on the impact you want to make with your year-end giving, please remember Story Stitchers youth need you!
President and Executive Director
Saint Louis Story Stitchers is a 501(c)(3) public charity.