The WHY of MY City

 

Story Stitchers collected stories from residents and encouraging them to share what their community means to them as part of The WHY of MY City. Story Stitchers capture and document black history through written word and art by archiving oral history, story collection and storytelling. Audiences will gain insight into neighbors’ lives. The WHY of MY City seeks to collect positive stories of local heroes in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods that are struggling with decline.The WHY of MY City captures and documents pieces of black history through written word and art while training the next generation to become active, engaged citizens. Our goal is that programs become a force multiplier, rippling into families, schools, and neighborhoods, offering solutions to common urban problems. 

The premiere of the new work of art was streamed online, having moved from Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s new facility, The High Low due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 7:00 PM

The WHY of MY City was also streamed at:

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Youtube

Saint Louis Story Stitchers facebook

Q&A with humanities scholars John A. Wright and Bobby Norfolk followed the presentation in a Zoom Room.

The WHY of MY City is presented with support from Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, a state agency, National Endowment for the Humanities, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

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May 1, 2020, 7:00 PM

Streaming Program

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Emeara Burns at Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation in Wellston Loop / Wells Goodfellow

Our MC Tonight is Emeara Burns, the Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers

act 1

Bang in the Night

Written and performed by KP Dennis

Produced by Saint Louis Story Stitchers for The Why of MY City, 2020. Recorded by Preston Jones at Sawhorse Studios. Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

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KP Dennis
The Why and The Way
XX
Written and performed by KP Dennis

Produced by Saint Louis Story Stitchers for The Why of MY City, 2020. Recorded by Preston Jones at Sawhorse Studios. Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

Will They Remember

Spoken Word by Stitchers Youth Council member Branden

Wade

Lyrics written and performed by KP Dennis with Stitchers Youth Council members AnnaLise, Branden, Cali, Emeara, Rachel,  Shawn, and She’Kinah

Music by Ntegrity, KP Dennis, Branden, and Emeara

Urban Videography by Troy Anthony, water and editing by Susan Colangelo

Produced by Saint Louis Story Stitchers for The Why of MY City, 2020. Recorded at Stitchers Storefront Studio by Ntegrity and mastered by Preston Jones at Sawhorse Studios. Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

City Dance

Stitchers Youth Council members

Dance by Anthony, Drawings by Joshua

Editing by Susan Colangelo

Music by Ntegrity

why neigborhoods

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Antigone performing at St Louis  Community College, Forest Park

Vandeventer’s Got a Cavity

Spoken Word by Stitchers Youth Council member Antigone

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AnnaLise at Winslow’s Farm at the Good For Your Health music video shoot

Home

Spoken Word by Stitchers Youth Council member AnnaLise

The Why of MY City Is… YOU!

Neighborhood Field Interviews recorded by Stitchers Youth Council member AnnaLise, Antigone, Branden, Sharritta, LaShonda, Shawn and Emeara

Music the Why and The Way written and performed by KP Dennis

Produced by Saint Louis Story Stitchers for The Why of MY City, 2020. Recorded by Preston Jones at Sawhorse Studios. Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

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Bobby Norfolk and Ntegrity at Tillie’s Corner in JeffVanderLou

Talkin’ Bout the Ville

Bobby Norfolk, Master Storyteller

What’s Your Why?

Music written and performed by KP Dennis and Ntegrity

Produced by Saint Louis Story Stitchers for The Why of MY City, 2020. Recorded at Stitchers Storefront Studio by Ntegrity and mastered by Preston Jones at Sawhorse Studios. Copyright Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

City Beat!!

Beat, Dance and Video shoots by FLY BOYS — Shawndo, Cali and Tony, Stitchers Youth Council

Editing by Susan Colangelo

Q&A

Q&A following the performance

Hosted by Emeara Burns,

Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Saint Louis Story Stitchers

Featured discussants Bobby Norfolk and John A Wright

Audio Engineering

Ntegrity, Chris Pendleton, Superhood

Videography

Susan Colangelo, Troy Anthony, Superhood

Photography

Troy Anthony, Susan Colangelo, AnnaLise, Stitchers Youth Council

Historic Photographs

John A Wright

Drawings

Joshua, Stitchers Youth Council

Graphics

Susan Colangelo

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Download The WHY of MY City. Community Story Collection. docx

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Bios

Troy Anthony joined Story Stitchers as an Artist in Residence in 2018. Anthony started plays classical and bass guitar. He joined the Army at the age of 17 where he has achieved the rank of Sargent First Class and is currently retired from the 1st Infantry Division Band. He support Story Stitchers as both a visual artist and musician. He currently resides in East Saint Louis, Illinois and maintains a photography studio in St. Louis, Missouri.

Emeara Burns, serves as the Steward Family Foundation Program Director at Story Stitchers Stitchers since 2019. Burns is a performing 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, Sheldon Concert Hall, .ZACK Theater, and 60 other venues throughout the city of St. Louis.  She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Susan Colangelo, the Story Stitchers President & CEO, MFA, LSU ‘83, is the founding president of the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Stitchers Artists Collective and currently serves as president and CEO. Susan brings 30+ years of social justice arts practice experience and work with six school districts as an artist and consultant to the organization. Specializing in large scale community-school-university programs, she developed WOW! World of Wonder for West Virginia University, bringing the arts to 20,000 school children, and coordinated the first contemporary African music and dance concert at the University of Georgia. Susan is an advocate of literacy and a proponent of reading aloud to the young. She brings creative work in photography and videography to the project as a contributing artist (pro-bono). Colangelo lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

K.P. Dennis, Story Stitchers Artist in Residence and co-founder, and serves as the lead rap artist. He is the multi-talented director of Save Our Sons, Urban League of St. Louis, with over 22 years of professional music recording and performance experience and 7 years as a teaching artist. Dennis has a background as a professional touring rap and recording artist. “Mr. K.P. (Killa Poet)” was the lead artist in the group Out of Order in the 1990’s, has served as an educator for the Missouri History Museum. Dennis has received awards including the United States Congressional Award Bronze Medal and the Outstanding American Youth Foundation Award. Dennis lives in St. Louis. Missouri.

Branden Lewis, Stitchers Youth Council leader, is leading performing artist, poet and songwriter. Lewis is a graduate of Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and is a featured leading youth artist at Story Stitchers since 2017, creating and performing original work created at the Stitchers Storefront Studio at Washington University, Harris Stowe University, Annie B Casey National Conference at Union Station, ZACK Theater, and 50 other venues throughout the city of St. Louis. He lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.

NtegrityXjoined Story Stitchers as an Artist in Residence and part-time employee in 2018, lives in St. Louis. Missouri and is committed to the project. Ntegrity is a recording artist, songwriter, producer. Ntegrity has been professionally recording, engineering and producing for over twelve years. In December 2015 Ntegrity graduated from Extreme Institute as valedictorian with a degree in Recording Engineering, and Production with management & Avid Pro Tools 110 certified. He released his album, View from the Inside Out, in November, 2018 at Harris Stowe University. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bobby Norfolk, a Story Stitchers featured artist in residence since 2017, three-time Emmy award winner and master storyteller; lives in St. Louis. Missouri and is committed to the project. In 1979, Bobby made his first appearance as a storyteller at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival. In television, Bobby won three Emmy awards as the host of the CBS TV show “Gator Tales”. Bobby was given the national Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, an honor presented by the National Storytelling Network, which recognizes the very best storytellers in the nation. Bobby has won the prestigious Parents Choice Gold Award. He has co-authored eight children’s books. He serves on the St. Louis Storytelling Festival Advisory Council and is a featured artist in festivals word-wide.  He lives in St. Louis, Missouri and joined Story Stitchers as an Artist in Residence in 2017.

Superhood is an audio engineer, photographer and videographer with over 25 years of experience in the hip hop world. Super was the editor of the Who’s Ready? music video
produced by Story Stitchers in 2018 and was audio engineer for the Pick the City UP song, produced by Story Stitchers in 2016. He edited To The Prairie music video in 2019 for Peace in the Prairie. He is based in Atlanta, St. Louis and Chicago.

John A. Wright, Sr. is a native of St. Louis, and holds a PhD from St. Louis University. Dr. Wright has had a long and distinguished career as a St. Louis academic leader and is an active member of the community, serving on numerous boards (e.g., the St. Louis World Trade Center and the Regional Arts Commission). He is the author of thirteen books about regional history, including Extraordinary Black Missourians (2013, Reedy Press).

Acknowledgements

Story Stitchers would like to express our sincere thanks to the many friends and contributors who care deeply about St. Louis’ people and neighborhoods. Thank you for sharing your stories and memories, your knowledge and opinions, and your support and friendship. We look forward to continuing our work together and with new friends and supporters in the coming years. To get involved please email us storystitchers@gmail.com.

Thank you to Chris Hansen, Executive Director of Kranzberg Arts Foundation, and the all the magical staff at Kranzberg Arts Foundation for helping us prepare and then pivot with the pandemic to present The WHY of MY City to you.

Thank you to Julian Keaton for working on marketing and helping us get the word out with the changes.

The WHY of MY City is created and will premiere at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival with support from Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Humanities Council, a state agency, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Kranzberg Arts Foundation.

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About Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective

STORYSTITCHERS.ORG

The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a non-profit organization engaged in urban storytelling. The mission of Saint Louis Story Stitchers is to document St. Louis through art and word to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy.

Collective artists work alongside twenty 16-24-year-old urban youth to collect stories, reframe and retell them using the arts to promote a better educated, more peaceful and caring society. Saint Louis Story Stitchers are a resident organization at Kranzberg Arts Foundation where members rehearse, present and perform in the Foundation’s first-class spaces. The Collective also maintains the Stitchers Storefront Studio in the historic Loop District for recording, editing and publishing. Current projects focus on public health issues including gun violence.