Louis creative and self-described jack-of-all-trades Kristen Elizabeth went out in late December 2021 hoping to see a poetry show, but by the end of the night she found herself reading to a live audience for the first time. before the start of the pandemic. The 25-year-old actress and model is no stranger to the stage, or the lens of the camera, but she’ll be the first to admit that she’s still a newcomer to the vibrant poetry community in St.
Under the moniker Money the Poet, Elizabeth has produced several written pieces and videos that address taboo topics such as body shaming, self-harm, and abortion, to name a few. The scope of her work also includes tackling disease awareness and distorted health care systems – topics that are almost universally related but often difficult to discuss. They aim to start conversations by encouraging readers and listeners to understand their concerns and educate themselves.
“I have always been interested in doing poetry, as far back as third or fourth grade. I was always afraid to share,” says Elizabeth.
She first faced that fear in February 2020 after being asked to read at a poetry event hosted by Molly P, a student at Harris-Stowe State University, where Elizabeth serves as assistant director of communications and marketing.
“I try to go to students’ events and I give them advice about school or life. It’s my favorite part of my job,” Elizabeth says.
Her role at HSSU includes running multiple social media accounts, editing the web, and writing a spotlight on graduates while providing support to current students. Elizabeth’s contribution goes so far beyond her job description that she was recently recognized for her work at the Salute to Young Leaders Awards reception, where she was recognized by the St. Louis American Foundation for 25 Outstanding African-American Professionals Under the Age of 40. One was named.
“Working at a university and encouraging students to pursue their wildest dreams all the time is what drives me to keep doing the same thing,” she says.
The pandemic broke out just a month after Elizabeth’s first public reading, so she pivoted to video making and even served as a panelist for UrbArts’ Poetry Showcase virtual event in April 2021 . She became deeply involved in the local pageantry on 2021 as Miss Spirit of St. Louis – a Miss Missouri USA contestant – running on stage for “Not Your Traditional Pageant Girl”.
R. In collaboration with the Whittington Foundation, Elizabeth used her platform to create the Spirit of St. Louis Scholarship, a fund that has helped many HSSU seniors clear the balance during their graduation. From running workshops to serving as a judge for HSSU’s 2021 Royal Pageant, Elizabeth has turned her passion for pageantry into significant community outreach. While she spent much of 2021 in a supporting role for others, another traumatic event changed Elizabeth’s artistic trajectory.
“I got into a really bad car accident earlier this year and it made me realize how short life was. I asked myself ‘You want to be a model?’ Like, we’re totally going to go for it this year,” says Elizabeth.
Whether she’s dreaming up ideas for a shoot or collaborating with a local photographer to help reveal someone else’s vision, Elizabeth takes a conscious, multidisciplinary approach to modeling. She has modeled for several publications including wedding day magazine, strength magazine And Celine Magazine, to name a few. If her face is starting to look familiar, it may be because she was part of a brand shoot for supermarket chain store Save a Lot, and she most recently appeared on KMOV 4 News earlier this month at Patrice J. Appeared as a live model for Bridal.
“Being a non-traditional model people are not used to seeing but still doing it and doing it well. It is an achievement for me,” says Elizabeth.
Elizabeth admitted that her acting career is just getting started, but she is excited to start her resume with future opportunities in commercials, print ads and TV. She is currently signed with three agencies and she most recently played a role in an anti-gun violence project with the city of St.
,[Acting] Also a great tool for poetry. I learned that being animated while acting and reading your poems gives the audience a chance to really engage and connect with you,” she says.
Since returning to the podium in late 2021, Elizabeth has won the Pen Up or Shut Up Poetry Battle and the Grand Slam event of the St. Louis Poetry Slam. She credits Gregory Maurice, a veteran member of the local poetry community, who convinced her to take the stage on that fateful night in December.
“ST. Louis has such prodigious talent. It’s the most brilliant city ever. If everyone really helped each other out with a shout-out and putting each other on the map, we could really be the next New York City.” Or there would be Atlanta or Los Angeles because a lot of great people move out of here,” Elizabeth says. She tops the list with her mother citing several members of the local community as important to her success.
“I remember my mother won the first Slam on February 27. And that was the first Slam I won,” she says. From driving to gigs to cooking and being at almost every event, Elizabeth describes her mother as her number one supporter.
when riverfront times Announced the inaugural edition of Art A’Fair earlier this year, Elizabeth arrived with a unique proposal: an Art A’Fair Poetry exhibition featuring 10 of St. Louis’ most stern, brilliant words including Shy the Poet, Lethal the Poet included. , Free, Louis Conflict, Ray Let Down the Truth, Who Is Ardimus, Grey, T-Spirit and Gregory Maurice.
“I am definitely new to the poetry scene in St. Louis. There are so many great poets out here so I personally felt the need to invite them along and pay tribute to them with the opportunity,” says Elizabeth.
suffice to say, riverfront times Had a chance to collaborate with K Money the Poet. As a result, poetry is now a special part of tonight’s Art A’Fair, our new celebration of St. Louis art and music taking place on Cherokee Street at multiple venues including Golden Record, Earthbound Beer and more. The poetry exhibition will take place at the Luminary, with two half-hour blocks starting at 8 pm and 9 pm, get your tickets for the event here.
“It seems like there’s a lot going on, but I’m so passionate about it all that I have to find ways to make it all work,” she says.
After Art ‘Fare, Elizabeth plans to build her momentum with a number of projects currently in the works, including a new book titled You’re not ready for that conversation, Keep up with all of Elizabeth’s artistic endeavors on Instagram and her website at @thekristenelizabethh.