RAC Announces First Artists Fellowships

St. Louis – The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has awarded ten fellowships totaling $200,000 to 10 artists as part of its inaugural round of Artists Fellowships. This initiative was created based on results of the RAC sponsored Artists Count survey conducted in 2012, the largest survey of its kind in the United States. The survey was funded by The Kresge Foundation. It indicated that the most pressing need of regional artists was financial support in order to pursue their art and their careers.

Each year, 10 St. Louis artists will each be awarded a $20,000 fellowship, which is a financial investment in the careers of the selected artists. The funds will allow for the advancement of the individual artist’s creative journey to include time and space to study, reflect, experiment, explore and create. These award amounts are not grants in the traditional sense but “fellowships” in terms of a financial endowment or investment in the careers of St. Louis artists. The RAC Artists Fellowships are the only known multi-disciplinary fellowship of its kind in the United States.

The commitment to directly support diverse artists is inherent in RAC’s vision to transform St. Louis into a more creative and economically thriving community through elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts.

“It’s critical to support artists in St. Louis so they can continue to work, live and thrive in our region. Their contributions are important not only to make our community more vibrant but also to help grow our economy,” said Jill McGuire, executive director of RAC.

RAC 10 Artists – $200,000 Artists Fellowship
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The recipients, representing the disciplines of dance, visual arts, theater, music, literature, and media arts, were selected from among 265 applicants after being reviewed by RAC commissioners, a community advisory committee, 22 expert readers, and staff. (A complete list of the artists and their bios is at (www.art-stl.com/rac/media.cfm.)

The 10 RAC Artist Fellows are:

Alice Bloch (Dance)
Arny Nadler (Visual Art)
Deanna Jent (Theater Arts)
Juan William Chavez (Visual Arts)
Kathryn Bentley (Theater Arts)
Peter Martin (Music)
Philip Boehm (Literature)
Richard Newman (Literature)
Stan Chisholm (Visual Art)
Van McElwee (Media Arts)

If you have any questions about the Artists Fellowships, please contact Roseann Weiss, Director of Community and Public Arts, at roseann@stlrac.org or 314-863-5811.

About the Regional Arts Commission

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts. As the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,000 grants totaling over $80 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, consortiums and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region.

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