Arts United STL Concert Raised $350,000 for RAC Artist Relief Fund

June 3, 2020

Categories Press Releases

Additional Donations Accepted through June 26

Money raised from the benefit will go to local working artists in emergency relief grants of $500 and $1,000.

Sixteen arts organizations came together on May 31 for Arts United STL, a free virtual benefit concert to raise funds for the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) Artist Relief Fund, which gives emergency grants to working artists whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Arts United STL set a goal of raising $250,000 and exceeded that with a total of $350,000, including gifts and commitments made during and after the May 31 broadcast. The Arts United STL benefit performance can be viewed in its entirety at
“The vibrancy, diversity, and strength of the St. Louis arts community were brilliantly displayed on Sunday evening,” said Andréa Purnell, RAC commissioner and host of the Arts United STL broadcast. “At this time when we need artists’ voices more than ever, St. Louisans responded generously with love, hope, and vital support for artists across our region.”

Thanks to Arts United STL, the RAC Artist Relief Fund recently re-opened applications for working artists in urgent need due to lost income resulting from the pandemic. Donations to the RAC Artist Relief Fund can still be made through June 26, by either visiting or texting “Artist” to (202) 858-1233. Artists interested in applying to the RAC Artist Relief Fund should visit The application will close on June 12.

“We can only offer our deepest gratitude to all the donors, organizations, artists, and individuals who made this incredible evening happen,” said Andrew Jorgensen, general director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. “We are so fortunate to live in a community that cares so deeply for the arts. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all our participants and supporters.”

Arts United STL gratefully acknowledges Presenting Sponsors Noémi and Michael Neidorff for their additional $50,000 challenge pledge to match any donations raised in excess of the $250,000 goal up to $300,000, and the Ferring Family Foundation for their generous donation of $25,000 towards that challenge. Sponsors include Edward Jones, Emerson, and Switch, with additional support from Karen & Mont Levy, the PNC Foundation, John Russell, Terry & Sally Schnuck, the Staenberg Family Foundation, Pam & Greg Trapp, and Wells Fargo Advisors. Additional media support was provided by partners HEC-TV, Guided: St. Louis, Curbside STL, Classic 107.3, St. Louis Public Radio, and WSIE 88.7 The Sound.

Arts United STL was produced by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in partnership with the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and was directed by Tom Ridgely. The broadcast featured performances from local arts organizations including The Big Muddy Dance Company, The Black Rep, Circus Flora, COCA, Jazz St. Louis, Metro Theater Company, The Muny, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Saint Louis Ballet, St. Louis Children’s Choirs, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Sheldon, STAGES St. Louis, the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, and more.

Arts and cultural events are waiting around every corner throughout the St. Louis region. Explore the abundant creativity our area has to offer. From gallery shows and performances to public installations, St. Louis is rich with culture and the arts in all forms. Browse these links to experience our arts community firsthand.


Due to the ongoing financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has been working diligently to adjust our annual grantmaking programs to ensure alignment with RAC’s strategic priorities, and in response to feedback from the arts community.


We have gathered a variety of news, information, and other resources to sustain the health and vibrancy of our arts community.


As the leading public catalyst for arts and culture in St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission leverages the power of creativity to strengthen and enrich our community. Read our commitment to diversity, racial equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and see our strategic plan for the next five years.


Covid-19 has impacted us all. But what it hasn’t changed is RAC’s commitment to finding innovative ways to support arts programming, arts organizations, and individual artists through the pandemic, and to resuming these programs as soon as conditions allow.


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