This month we talked to Jordan Bauer, moderator and founder of the Instagram account @stlouisgram. By utilizing the hashtag #stlouisgram, Jordan has created a network of local creators, movers and shakers, innovators and artists, highlighting the vibrant creativity that makes St. Louis...well, St. Louis. Read on to learn Jordan's motivation behind the ever-growing Instagram account with almost 18,000 followers. And don't blame us if you spend your whole lunch break lost in the @stlouisgram feed :)
What is stlouisgram?
Stlouisgram is a catalyst. It exists to precipitate inspiration, community, and restoration in the city of St. Louis. I want people to be inspired to do more with their lives, and to realize that much more is happening around them. People can be blinded by the bubbles and walls they have built up around them, and miss the bigger picture: the beautiful, complex, diverse, hurting, thriving city we call home.
Why did you start stlouisgram?
I started it, ironically enough, while living in Phoenix. I was there working for a year at a church and, to be honest, I truly missed St. Louis. I started it to live vicariously here in STL through pictures.
What do you think Stlouisgram represents now?
I want it to represent the minority. The minority artists, hole in the wall restaurants, starving creators, the homeless, and the individual. Many of the people bigger mainstream media misses.
Why are you most proud to call St. Louis home?
It is a town for the local. It thrives off of small town business, and has a lot of hidden pride. Let’s bring that to the surface and recognize why we love this city.
What are some of your favorite local place to shop/eat?
I’m a sucker for BBQ. So Bogart’s and that whole family of restaurants is some of my go to places to eat. I also love all of the sweet print shops we have like Firecracker Press, and coffee joints like Sump and Rise.
What's something that you think outsiders don't realize about St. Louis?
You can’t just Google where to go. You have to ask. Get a local’s point of view of the hottest spots, because there is actually a ton of places that don’t get press.
How can art impact our city?
It’s urban development. It’s fact. Art transforms and restores cities. We need to harness it and embrace it. Let’s bring art to the areas in our city that need it the most and restoration is bound to happen.
Are there any issues that have been featured in some of the photos submitted that you have found particularly compelling?
Mmm yes. I love the passion and reasons behind people’s convictions. The #blacklivesmatter movement is so much more impactful here than in other cities for obvious reasons, and it’s really compelling.
I also was deeply moved by a photo of a small child in East St. Louis holding a sign that says “Give my parents a living wage,” during the teacher strike over there. I saw the hurt and pain in that child’s eyes. I saw how he wasn’t able to experience life like many children in America, and how even though he didn’t understand all of the details his parents were going through, he just wanted people to get along. The most innocent and pure request.
Where would you like to see Stlouisgram go?
I want to collaborate with more organizations, businesses, and people. Let’s find those areas of influence that we each have and capitalize on it!