StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The WHY of MY City

StitchCast Studio Special Edition

The WHY of MY City

Created November 2022 – June 2023

The StitchCasts will be released June 2-14, 2023 on major podcast platforms.

In conjunction with The WHY of MY City, Story Stitchers artists are creating StitchCast Studio Special Edition podcast recordings focused on Black historic sites in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Youth leaders and artist mentors have been visiting important sites in African American history and podcasting with site caretakers.

Celebrate Juneteenth with The WHY of MY City, a new play by Saint Louis Story Stitchers, written by Mario Farwell and directed by Gregory S. Carr.

The story…Wanda, a young African American, returns to St. Louis after graduating high school.  She wants to explore opportunities, but Zoot Suit, a well-known gangster, entices her to come work for him. The community rallies to prevent Wanda from making a serious mistake and with the help of Scott Joplin, Madam CJ Walker, Cool Papa Bell and Tina Turner, they manage to save her from the clutches of Zoot Suit.

June 16 and 16 at 7:00 PM at the .ZACK Theater, St. Louis, MO. SOLD OUT!

StitchCast Studio Guests include:

John A. Wright, Sr

Author and historian

Lost and Disappearing Histories in Black Culture

Sowandé Mustakeem, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Lost and Disappearing Histories in Black Culture

Pastor Richard Ashley

from Lutheran Church in The Ville

Role of Black Churches in Historic Preservation

Doug Harding

Park Ranger, Gateway National Park

Preserving Local History through Public Lands Part I and II

Lois Conley

Director, The Griot Black History Museum

Preserving Local History through Caretaking

Angela da Silva

on Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing

Preserving Local History through Community Organizing Part I and II


Emeara Burns, heading up The WHY of MY City Special Edition podcasts, has been Story Stitchers youth leader since 2016 and served as Story Stitchers Program Director 2019-21. Burns is a performing and recording artist, poet and songwriter. She is a graduate of Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and is a featured leading youth artist at Story Stitchers since 2015, performing original work created at the Stitchers Storefront Studio at Washington University, Harris Stowe University, Annie B Casey National Conference at Union Station, Unity Summit in Seattle, Washington, Sheldon Concert Hall, .ZACK Theater, and 300 other venues throughout the City of St. Louis.  She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Emeara Burns will join cast members at a public Q&A after the June 15 performance.

Rochelle Caruthers, Director, African American History Initiative at the Missouri History Museum, Library & Research Center and Soldiers Memorial will join cast members at a public Q&A after the June 16 performance.

Podcasts and related research for these discussions is supported in part by Missouri Humanities Council, a state agency.

Additional support is provided by The Divided City. The Divided City is an urban humanities initiative, a joint project of the Center for the Humanities and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis. The Divided City is funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Angela daSilva talks about Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing at The Griot Museum during COUNTERPUBLIC.


StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The Ville with Paster Richard Ashley


SitichCast Studio Special Edition with Dr. John A. Wright, Sr, author and historian.


Story Stitchers takes a field trip to Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing, a historic site on the Underground Railroad.

Past work in Saint Louis Story Stitchers’ multi-year signature project:

Saint Louis Story Stitchers presents The 2021 edition of The WHY of MY City.

1 Album + 6 Podcasts

StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The WHY of MY City,

a series with conversations exploring St. Louis neighborhoods and Black culture.

Listen to the story by Jeremy Goodwin at St. Louis Public Radio HERE

The WHY of MY City Album

Released February 18, 2021 and Now available on all major music platforms!

StitchCast Studio Special Edition: The WHY of MY City


Percy Green II

The Ville – Release March 4

Paul Norfolk, Ntegrity, Bobby Norfolk, Percy Green II, Emeara Burns, Timoni Sherrod

St. Louis Music – Release March 11

Timothy McGimpsey, Ntegrity, Emeara Burns, Lamar Williams

The West Side – Release March 18

Otis Woodard, Jawwaad Spann, Branden Lewis, Emeara Burns

Tivoli Theater on Delmar Blvd, St. Louis

University City and the Delmar Loop – Release March 25

John A Wright, Sr, Esley Hamilton, Brent Roam, Cali Fleming

Ferguson – Release April 1

Mayor Ella Jones, KP Dennis, Emeara Burns, YC Bey, Shawn Taylor

This program is a Special Edition of StitchCast Studio, called The WHY of MY City and is funded by Missouri Humanities Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Funding for this grant is provided by the CARES Act and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views expressed in the product are not necessarily those of MHC or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Special thanks to Kranzberg Arts Foundation for providing the .ZACK Rooftop and Ballroom for our recording sessions.

StitchCast Studio Special Edition recording on the .ZACK Rooftop in Grand Center