On June 8th, local artists from across North St. Louis began work bringing color and joy to the doorways of Old North St. Louis. A project of the PEACE Weaving Wholeness in partnership with the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, the doors are meant to bring peace and joy during challenging times to communities that are not often seen in a positive light.

“The Doors of North St. Louis is a project of PEACE Weaving Wholeness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to get out positive messages to promote health and wellbeing and celebrate the rich arts culture in North City,” says Rev. Dr. Paulette Sankofa, founder of Peace Weaving Wholeness and the Sankofa Culture and Art Wellness Village. “Living well, and promoting a community of wellbeing is a way to resist the impact of the COVID19 and looking toward the future. In recent days of unrest, it’s taken on an even more important message.”

“When Paulette approached the board with her idea, we were all in support,” says Jessica Payne, Board President of the Old North St. Louis Group. “Our community really values celebrating our diversity and what better way to bring joy and wellness then through public art that everyone can enjoy.”

The Doors of North St. Louis artists are completing the first set of doors in Old North with plans to expand the project to more than 50 doors in the zip codes 63101, 63106, 63107, 631113, and 63115 with a focus on senior households. There are also plans to complete two murals in the neighborhood. The organization in partnership with the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group plans to host a fall walking tour of the doors once all are complete. This project is made possible with additional resources from the Deaconess Foundation Equity COVID19 Response Fund, Rise Community Development, Invest STL Neighborhood Connectivity Fund, ZUKA Arts Guild, Building Futures, and Sherwin-Williams.

Paulette Sankofa, EdD, is the Founder and Executive Director of Peace Education Action Compassion and Empowerment Weaving Wholeness. PEACE Weaving Wholeness for short. PEACE Weaving Wholeness sponsors the Sankofa Culture and Art Wellness Village which houses the Quilting Queens, as well as other art and culture-based programming. Paulette is a painter and fabric artist of new and repurposed materials.

We love to see positive messages through the arts in these uncertain and trying times!

We will post updates as the project progresses.