Bread and Roses Youth Program 2010-2013

Bread and Roses Art Exhibitions 2005-2009
May 1, 2015
Larger Than Life Puppet Show at Greater St. Mark’s Church 2015
May 1, 2015

Bread and Roses Youth Program 2010-2013

A happy coincidence allowed JwJ to continue Bread & Roses under the direction of Joan Suarez,
a volunteer JwJ leader and 2010 CAT Alum, who agreed to coordinate the Bread & Roses program.
With funding from Kresge Arts in Saint Louis and a grant from the Regional Arts Commission, Suarez, along
with two of her CAT colleagues, created a 30-week pilot project called “Community Exploration:
Home, Family and Work” for Riverview Gardens High School students. After a second year at
Riverview, the program moved to the Wohl Recreation Center, one of seven City of Saint Louis
owned and operated recreational facilities, all located in low-income neighborhoods, and was
re-tooled for middle school students. In 2013, a successful twelve-week pilot program resulted
in an invitation from the Recreation Centers Facilities Director to Bread & Roses to return for a
seven-week summer program at Wohl and one additional center, the Gamble Community
Center. While at Gamble we delivered the basic program to 30 youth, at Wohl twenty-five
youth, about half of whom had participated in the earlier pilot program, chose to build three
larger than life puppets out of bamboo and paper Mache designed to resemble three iconic
Missouri African-Americans, George Washington Carver, Annie Malone and Percy Green. State
Representative Karla May, who represents the neighborhoods in which these centers are
located and who has a theater background, volunteered with the program over the summer
and offered to write a script for a “Larger than Life” Puppet Show. In the fall, seven of the youth
“tried out” for roles in the puppet show and after two months of rehearsals, the Puppet Show
came to life on January 23rd for an audience filled with Wohl Center families and other
members of the community.