This week, The Lewis Prize for Music announced their 2021 award recipients. Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, an Arts and Education Council grantee, is the recipient of one of the 2021 Accelerator Awards, which includes $500,000. This funding will give young people access to music education, strengthen the well-being of their communities and put music at the center of efforts to establish equity.

Learn more about The Lewis Prize for Music Accelerator Award Recipients below.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is composed of professional artists and African American and BIPOC youth ages 16-24, working together to create social change with a focus on gun violence prevention. Stitchers collect stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational relationships and literacy. Projects create a platform for community engagement through an artistic lens and with it the Saint Louis Story Stitchers work to shift perceptions and realities and bring hope to the Saint Louis community.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers and its partners provide young people with platforms for turning their creative efforts into personal strengths and community transformations. Whether performing at neighborhood festivals, participating in mural and creative placemaking initiatives or podcasting from its Stitchcast Studio, the young artists of Saint Louis Story Stitchers translate the complexities of what they experience into accessible and affirming narratives.

Executive Director Susan Colangelo and Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective will use The Lewis Prize for Music to build toward the establishment of a youth music and technology center by growing its administrative and fundraising capacity.

Colangelo shared, "We are deeply honored to be a recipient of this transformational gift from The Lewis Prize For Music. Our youth are driving us towards their vision of a youth arts and technology center for teens and young adults that will provide meaningful activities in music and the arts, support learning and job skills in technology, provide a safe space to gather, build friendships, access mentors, and work on community service programs such as Story Stitchers' annual Pick the City UP Tour." 

To learn more about the important work Saint Louis Story Stitchers is doing in our community, visit

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a grantee of the Arts and Education Council. Click here to read about the first Pick the City UP Tour presented by Saint Louis Story Stitchers that was funded in part by the Arts and Education Council in 2017.