Sterling K. Brown Lends Support to St. Louis’ Lift for Life Academy | Arts Stories & Interviews | St. Louis

click to enlarge Katrice Noble, Sterling K. Brown and Alison Owens

Courtesy Katrice Noble

Katrice Noble, Sterling K. Brown and Alison Owens.

Emmy Award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown showed up to a special event at St. Louis’ Lift For Life Academy yesterday to give his support and encouragement.

Raised in Olivette, the This Is Us actor brought his star power back to St. Louis to shine a spotlight on a project the school is trying to finish. The Lift for Life Academy was the first independent charter school to open in the City of St. Louis, and it is currently in the process of building a theater in Soulard. In addition to providing a stage for the school, the academy plans to allow the community to use the building, too.

Finding funding for this project has been tough, though, so Brown came to the event to help motivate and inspire the gathered group, who put on a skit from A Raisin in the Sun for him and community donors. The students also showed off their skills in orchestra and drumline for the appreciative actor.

click to enlarge Sterling K. Brown at the podium. - Courtesy Katrice Noble

Courtesy Katrice Noble

Sterling K. Brown at the podium.

Katrice Noble, Deputy Director of Lift for Life Academy, told the Riverfront Times that Brown gave an impromptu speech about the importance of what theater, drama and acting did for him.

“You know, I am not a celebrity groupie — I never was — but this has been an awesome, awesome inspiring experience for me and the students and the staff,” Noble says. “He didn’t have a speech prepared, which made it so much more authentic. It was so eloquent. It was so real. It was down to Earth. It was honest. And it’s going to change lives forever, honestly.”

This isn’t the first time that Sterling K. Brown has gone out of his way to support St. Louis schools. Back in 2020, Brown made an appearance via Zoom at a virtual ceremony in which the St. Louis American Foundation awarded $1.95 million in scholarship and education grants.

If you’d like to help fund the theater, you can donate through the Lift for Life Academy’s support link. (Choose “other” under the drop-down menu labeled “Restrictions.”)

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