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This is where you can find information from our newsroom and reliable community sources on reaction to the police-involved fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

‘Cut & Paste’ podcast: Collage of thoughts from year of artists responding to #Ferguson

Clockwise from top left, Damon Davis, Freida Wheaton, Michael Castro, Brian Owens, Lee Patton Chiles, De Nichols
St. Louis Public Radio file photos
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Clockwise from top left, Damon Davis, Freida Wheaton, Michael Castro, Brian Owens, Lee Patton Chiles, De Nichols

For the past year, a tragic and powerful muse has fed the energy and work of St. Louis-area artists.

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the unpeeling of issues that followed have inspired a bounty of work with a social-justice mission. As we near the Aug. 9 anniversary of Brown’s death, we talked with a number of arts professionals about their work in the wake of the turmoil:

Mourning in America, by Freida Wheaton, is a tribute to Michael Brown's mother and all families touched by violent death.
Credit Freida Wheaton
Mourning in America, by Freida Wheaton, is a tribute to Michael Brown's mother and all families touched by violent death.

Brian Owens’ album “Preach.” De Nichols’ sticky notes. Michael Castro’s words of healing and provocation. Lee Patton Chiles’ stories of fear and policing. Damon Davis’ hands. Freida Wheaton’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” art exhibit, and her own piece, called "Mourning in America."

We had conversations with these arts professionals for a story looking back on a year of post-Ferguson art, to be posted next Wednesday. But they had so much to say that we’re “Cutting and Pasting” in a different way this time, scooping up off the cutting-room floor unexpected words, ideas and emotions that emerged from these interviews, including sorrow, frustration — and hope.

Cut & Paste

Here are some bits and pieces of the podcast:

  • St. Louis Poet Laureate Michael Castro, from his poem, “We Need to Talk”: “I am more than your idea. I am tangible, touchable, a human being like you.”  Tweet #cutpastestl
  • Artist Damon Davis on being in the public eye: "A lot of us are very self-centered and I'm probably no different in certain settings. But I also think we've got an obligation to speak for the people." Tweet #cutpastestl
  • Playwright Lee Patton Chiles, on the responsibility of artists: “I think it’s their job to touch and change the world.” Tweet #cutpastestl

Look for new "Cut & Paste" (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts, which focus on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to “Cut & Paste” through this link.

Follow Willis Ryder Arnold on Twitter: @WillisRArnold

Follow Nancy Fowler on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL

Please help St. Louis Public Radio find artists to feature on "Cut & Paste." Tell us which artists deserve a closer look.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.