Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Deborah Stewart Stoddard

St. Louis , Missouri


Deborah, a 2011 CAT Institute graduate, a writer, and social justice advocate, has worked in community arts beginning in the 80’s with the St. Louis City Detention Center’s volunteer theatre workshop with Don Ellis.  Later projects include co Producing Peace Out!, a collaborative social justice and arts event that staged poems from around the world.  In Tennessee, she worked to pioneer the first agency based voter registration program.  After serving a congressional internship, being awarded a Truman Scholarship, she was able to complete graduate studies at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University.  Missouri highlights include developing a statewide public defender alternative sentencing program funded through a public/private partnership well before such innovations as “drug courts.”   Deborah served as past St. Louis Chapter Chair of the Missouri Coalition for Alternatives to Incarceration and Missouri N.A.S.W. PACE.  As a practicum instructor, she taught for both Washington and St. Louis Universities.


Meditations on gHOSTructures

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 10:30 am
Lower Level : Room A

As an introduction to the Open/Close panel, Meditations on gHOSTructures is a mixed media performance piece combining visual media, spoken word, and vocal music performance.  It focuses on: the parallels between decaying or “ghost” structures, in a variety of settings around the world and in the metropolitan St. Louis community; implications implicit in the process of neighborhood decay; and community revitalization and neighborhood renewal.  A series of visual images depicting abandoned, decaying, “ghost” buildings and landscapes will create a setting which evokes the memory of lives lived in such spaces.  A poetic spoken word narrative infused with smooth harmonies and ethereal vocals provide a powerful look at the process of decay; the dissolution of a community and finally offers a glimpse at the potential for the rebirth of urban spaces.