Approach & Philosophy

For St. Louis’ arts and culture sector to grow and thrive, RAC must be more than a funder — RAC must be a strategic leader, an advocate, and a true partner with arts and culture organizations and individual artists.

We envision a full creative life for every St. Louisan. This guides us as we prioritize being a thoughtful grantmaker and work to ensure our community is rich with opportunities and resources that promote and sustain the arts. This intentional approach takes shape in specific, tangible ways.


Being a catalyst for change starts by making sure artists and arts organizations across St. Louis City and County are aware of funding opportunities. With each grant cycle, we emphasize clear, consistent communication and collaborate with partners to help get the word out. From first-time applicants to former grantees, we want everyone to feel welcome, aware, and encouraged.


We strive to set grant applicants up for success and support them in feeling as prepared as possible. From publishing detailed grant guidelines prior to the application opening date to offering free, accessible workshops on a variety of helpful topics, we think it is important take the guesswork out of the process. Each grant category has a dedicated webpage (General Operating Support, Program Support, and Artist Support), which includes a “RESOURCES” section that lists a number of helpful must-see links.


The grant application should not be a barrier to seeking funding but rather an opportunity to showcase creative projects and impactful programs. Of course, there are specific requirements and restrictions, but RAC’s grant application places deliberate focus on only gathering information that helps an artist or arts organization tell their story and make their case.

In addition to some required documentation, the application includes nine questions pertaining to how your work is culturally and artistically significant, how you demonstrate community benefit, and how you intentionally plan for sustainability. That’s it. No extraneous details. And we publish the specific questions and rating scale in the grant guidelines document ahead of time, so you know exactly what to expect.  


Starting in 2023, we have implemented a new rating system. The new ratings are directly correlated to the application criteria and are designed to simplify the review process.

We also recruit grant reviewers. Based on their experience and interest, St. Louis City and County residents who nominate either themselves or someone else may be selected to review and score RAC grant application submissions, intentionally encouraging community involvement and adding relevance and resonance to the process. Eligible reviewers receive an honorarium of $200 for contributing their time and expertise. Click here to fill out and submit a form to nominate yourself or someone else as a grant reviewer.


Our core values embody our culture, spirit, and dedication to living our mission. They keep us grounded and help us make informed, equitable decisions about everything we do.

We seek to make our review process as transparent as possible. Grantees can learn about the process in great detail through our grant guideline documents, grantee workshops, and our website. Grant review meetings are also recorded and shared through our website. Grant reviewer names are kept confidential until the review meeting but are listed on our website once grants are announced. Only the names of applicants that receive grants are announced and posted on our website. Applicants not recommended for funding are notified in a timely manner.

RAC is committed to openness in government and, as a quasi-governmental agency, abides by the Missouri Sunshine Law. Once applications are approved, they become public record. To obtain records of grant applications, please email Please allow RAC two weeks’ notice to fulfill requests.

we welcome your questions

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