Regional Arts Commission Awards $3.9 Million in Grants for Arts and Cultural Organizations and Programs

St. Louis – July 7, 2016 – The Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the largest annual funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, has awarded 215 grants this year, totaling more than $3.9 million to support nonprofit arts and cultural organizations for arts programming in the St. Louis area. Since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,900 grants totaling over $97 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, and programs.

“The grants allocated through RAC this year enable dozens of nonprofit organizations to ensure that St. Louisans continue to enjoy an amazing array of cultural offerings of the highest artistic quality. We are pleased to provide one of the largest and most sustainable sources of funding for organizations doing great work in the arts in our region,” stated Michael Scully, Chairman of RAC.

Last year, RAC engaged its grantees and other stakeholders throughout the region in a series of discussions addressing funding challenges, emerging practices and leveraging resources to support the arts. Following those discussions, RAC instituted a new rating system as part of a comprehensive restructuring of its grants program.

“Our goal was to take a fresh look at our annual grantmaking program to address the growth and vitality of our small and mid-sized grantees. The improvements we made qualified more organizations to receive much needed unrestricted general operating support as well as increased funding. Overall, our application process is now more transparent, fair and easy to navigate which are benefits we hope all organizations appreciate, “said Felicia Shaw, Executive Director of RAC

In concert with the new grants program, all grant requests are reviewed and discussed for evaluation and assessment in an open, public forum by citizen review panelists.  The review criteria of Artistic Merit, Community Benefit, and Organizational Capacity provide a framework by which all RAC grant applications are evaluated.

RAC grant recipients represent the breadth and diversity of arts and culture in St. Louis, both in size and scope, from large arts institutions such as Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis to smaller arts and non-arts organizations providing arts programming such as the Show-Me-Sound Organization and Kingdom House.

The 2016 RAC Grant Award listing by organization name and discipline is attached to this release.

To view the 2016 Grants Award Listing go to: http://racstl.org/regional-arts-commission-2016-annual-grants-listing/

For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Sherry Sissac at 314.863.5811, ext. 1004 or sherry@racstl.org

About the Regional Arts Commission www.racstl.org

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. It is the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, and since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,900 grants totaling over $97 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 St. Louis County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region. Visit www.racstl.org for more information, or follow us on Facebook at Regional Arts Commission or Twitter @RACStLouis.

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