Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute


The intersection of Art & Community


2017 Neighborhood-Based
Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute

Location: The Ville and The Greater Ville Neighborhoods


Deadline: Thursday February 9, 2017 at 11:59PM

Apply Online:  Click here to go to the online application system, or
Apply via email, fax or US mail: Click here to download the application form (PDF)


The CAT Institute is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017 and this year’s Neighborhood-Based CAT Institute will be the fifth training based in local neighborhoods. It was held in Pagedale in 2012; in the Cherokee Street neighborhood in 2014; in Old North St. Louis in 2015; and in four communities in 2016: The Dutchtown, Ville/Greater Ville, and the West End in the City of St. Louis; and in Berkeley, Dellwood, and Ferguson in North St. Louis County.

For the 2017 session we are seeking 16 participants who live, or work, or volunteer, or worship, or otherwise are involved in the Ville/Greater Ville neighborhood. (Note that it is not required to live in the neighborhood.) Artists of all disciplines (amateur or professional), community leaders and organizers, social workers, educators, block leaders, and others who are committed to contributing to the success of the Ville/Greater Ville are invited to apply.

The training sessions provide an environment for artists of all disciplines and people involved in the community (who often have no arts experience) to come together and strengthen their skills to use arts-based, creative community building tactics in their neighborhoods.

Arts-based neighborhood initiatives take on many forms. A few examples include community-created murals, arts programs for youth, neighborhood oral history projects, community concerts or dance performances, dramatic theatrical works, and sculptures in community gardens.

We’re grateful to the Ville Collaborative and many community members for welcoming us to the neighborhood, including many graduates of the CAT Institute. There are a lot of collaborative efforts in the neighborhood and it is our hope and expectation that the CAT Institute model of arts-based programming will complement and support that ongoing work.

The successful CAT fellow will be an active person with a commitment to working in community settings, particularly in the Ville/Greater Ville. This person will also be involved in future CAT Institute initiatives and is expected to continue to make a positive impact in diverse community and civic projects. This program is for adult learning and while there are no degree requirements, the program entails extensive reading and some group research.

How To Apply
Deadline: Thursday February 9, 2017 at 11:59PM

The program is provided on scholarship basis to all participants and the only cost to participants may be some books if they choose to buy them.

More information about the program and the selection process is included in the application form. If you know someone who might be a good fit for this CAT Institute we encourage you to nominate them and send them a link to this page to download the application form. Anyone can apply for the CAT Institute, with or without a nomination.

Questions? We’d love to talk to you. Contact Liz Pund at or (314) 863-5811 x1014.

Introduction to the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute

IMG_1129The Community and Public Arts Department at RAC supports people who are working at the intersection of art and community through training, professional development, workshops and networking opportunities, and other programs. RAC’s commitment to community led to its founding the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, the longest-running sustained training program of its kind in the United States.

IMG_1273The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute was founded in 1997 on the belief that art has the power to be an agent for positive social change and that cross-sector collaboration is the key to enhancing that power. Since its inception, the CAT Institute has trained over 300 artists of all disciplines, social workers, educators, community and social activists, and policy-makers. These CAT Institute alumni continue to create relevant, impactful arts programs that serve under-resourced communities in a variety of settings, including neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, churches, and schools, as well as development initiatives. CAT Institute alumni create a powerful network of creative leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs, all focused on building a stronger, more vibrant St. Louis.

Continue reading more about the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute.

2016 Report: Webs of Connection: Impacts of the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute

In 2015-16, RAC partnered with LS Associates on the latest study of the CAT Institute to continue identifying its impacts and opportunities for further development. More than 150 CAT Institute graduates participated in the study. Click here to view the report.