Give STL Day Spotlight: A Call to Conscience
By Ranen Miao
Community Investment Intern
French author Andre Maurois once remarked that “art is an effort to create, beside the real world, a more humane world.” A Call to Conscience: Interactive Theatre for Social Change (C2C) is a St. Louis nonprofit doing such work, channeling the power of art to discourse. Through challenging, original works, C2C engages audiences in thought-provoking conversations and exchanges regarding racism, police brutality, poverty, gender inequality and other civil and human rights.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, C2C had to cancel events such as their Summer Soiree and “A Night of One-Acts for Social Justice,” an event organized in collaboration with Missouri Jobs for Justice. As a result, they have had to find other ways of funding their work and found immense success through Give STL Day.
“Give STL Day has increased our visibility in the St. Louis community,” explained Linda Jo Smith, the founder and executive director of A Call to Conscience. This year, C2C raised $1,500 through Give STL Day, almost tripling their fundraising numbers a year ago.
Funds raised through Give STL Day will help C2C continue projects that advance racial justice, including presenting “The Three Not-So-Little Pigs: A St. Louis Story About Bullying in the Fall” in multiple schools across St. Louis and collaborating with UrbArts’ VerbQuake Poets to present “Justice Too Long Delayed: A Celebration of Letter From Birmingham Jail” and much more.
Smith hopes C2C will be able to “be the change they want to see” by continuing to advocate for social justice issues, including mental and physical health, criminal justice accountability and economic and social injustices against marginalized groups including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants and former prison inmates.
“In the future, we hope to be able to receive funding for paid staff and have a building where we would create a “black box” for rehearsals, performances and rentals,” Smith said. Beyond C2C, she hopes to create a continued workshop curriculum to train those interested in acting and theater and teach how this art form can invoke social change.