Updated March 13 with revised event details
In light of the recent developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Contemporary Art Museum has postponed public programs and events through April 5 until further notice, including "STL Exchange." Visit http://camstl.org for updates.
Original story from March 12:
314 Day is this Saturday, and that means St. Louisans near and far are gearing up to show up and out for their city. The local holiday began as an informal celebration by residents — particularly in the black community. Within that community, people often gather for block parties, neighborhood barbecues and club events when the last numbers of their ZIP code or street number correspond with a date on the calendar. A day named for St. Louis’ main area code was a natural way to take the party city-wide.
St. Louis natives Ryan Escobar and Tenelle Winmore set out to formalize the celebration they grew up loving. The two make up the hip-hop duo Souls of Liberty, and last year, they teamed up with event coordinator Sierra Brown to throw a 314 Day party that takes things to the next level. To them, 314 Day is not only about celebrating St. Louis, but also the artists, musicians, businesses and products with roots in the city.
This year the trio is hosting their biggest 314 Day celebration yet. Called “STL Exchange,” the party will take place at the Contemporary Art Museum. Tickets are $3.14 ahead of time, but $5 at the door.
On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Escobar and Winmore joined host Sarah Fenske to share what makes them St. Louis-proud, preview the event and discuss how they hope to create a more united city.
The theme for this year’s event is "It's Bigger than the Area Code."
“The thinking is that we want this to be something that's beyond just through 314 Day. We want to create a platform to where we can literally exchange ideas, exchange money, exchange feelings and mood and become an intersection [of] the two sides of St. Louis and the cultures of St. Louis to come together in one kind of experience, or multiple experiences, and celebrate St. Louis,” Escobar said.
“This is a real cliquey place,” Winmore added. “You [can] just kind of get caught into what you're doing, and not experience the other parts of what’s going on in St. Louis … and also beyond the borders as well because we have a lot of people from St. Louis branching out and doing a lot of things. We have professional athletes, great entertainers, actors, lawyers, doctors.
“We want them to be able to come back home and experience the holiday.”
The event provides exposure for local fashion designers, musicians, artists, business owners and more. In addition, the organizers hope to expand resources for the community by connecting them with a space that isn’t often taken advantage of, and provide activities outside of the arts, such as a table encouraging people to register for the 2020 census.
“[The CAM] raises the taste level,” Winmore said. “We could just do it in a bar or a club, but we're trying to elevate the experience for everybody … expose people to things that they're not aware of.
“Like a lot of people don't know where the CAM is or know that it's free, that they do things for the children and have programs in high schools … a lot of people aren't in touch with their inner artist.”
“We’re going to be talking about the census, and we're gonna be dancing,” Escobar added.
Listen to the full conversation:
What: STL Exchange at CAM
When: 7-11 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2020
Where: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108)
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.
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