2011 : “St. Louis Doesn’t Suck” article written by Aaron Perlut hits the news and the streets of St. Louis, resulting in hundreds of thousands of views. A wake-up call if you will, sparking conversation about how to change the negative perception of St. Louis.
2012: Rally St. Louis campaign kicks off. A platform that will enable St. Louis to change the perception by offering 1. a place to share ideas for positive changes in St. Louis and 2. funding from the region’s residents and businesses to put those changes into motion. Once those ideas become a reality, they can be used as a way to positively promote St. Louis.
2013 – Present Day: What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking (#WTHSTL) is all over the social media channels. What is this? How can I join? Those who are not involved are not exactly sure WTH it is, but we can tell it’s going to be big.
Here’s what I can tell you so far:
1. What The Hell STL is pretty much the coolest name for a project one can come up with.
2. It was created by Henry Golkamp, a rogue poet…hold up, I didn’t even know that existed!…and creator of Fresh Poetry, Ink, which while I’ve never seen out and about, is one of the coolest things I’ve read about in St. Louis. Forget tourist attractions like The Arch and Science Center. Is it not way cooler to come back from vacation with a one-of-a-kind poem from a St. Louis street poet that you passed by on your way to lunch?? Read what he does here. It’s examples like this or STL Improv giving away hand-made Valentine’s cards to strangers throughout the streets of STL that make St. Louis special.
3. It won the Sloup #36 project idea to help gain funding. Don’t know what Sloup is? Check it out here. And follow them on Facebook to find out when and where the August Sloup meeting will take place.
4. The idea is to place typewriters all over St. Louis, let St. Louisans go to town typing poems, complaints, loves, hates, drunken rants, or whatever it is they’re thinking. Then everything collected from the project will be compiled and edited into a book of the same name to answer the question: What the hell is Saint Louis thinking? Currently there are 27 locations throughout STL that will be equipped with paper, a typewriter, and a drop box for the final products.
5. Current locations that have joined the project: Mangia Italiano, Local 36 Sheet Metal Workers, Chico’s South Broadway Tattoo Shop, CBGB, Handlebar, Contemporary Art Museum, Vintage Vinyl, Upper Limits, Apop Records, 10 Denza and Libby’s.
6. You need to find your inner creativity, then find one of these typewriters and get your 2-cents documented, because my guess is this is going to be big and you’ll want to look back and say you were a part of it.
7. *New*: The project is asking for volunteers to take a typewriter home for 1 or 2 days, share their thoughts, and then pass it on to friends and family to do the same, in hopes to get a more diverse collection?
What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking officially begins in August, which is today, so like any day now. You can follow the project on Facebook and Twitter to find out all of the locations where you can get your thoughts on paper. Or if you’re a business who would like to be added to the list of places where people can type. Or maybe they’re looking for typewriter donations and you can help. Just follow them; it’ll be worth it.
Sasha’s on Shaw was the first to experiment with a typewriter station. Here’s a video from Fox 2 News with what they’ve seen so far and some insight from Henry.
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