Director of Strategic Initiatives and Community Partnerships
Erika Fiola joined the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) as the director of Strategic Initiatives and Community Partnerships in June 2018. Her primary focus is building and launching new programs for RAC to include the St. Louis Canvass Project, the St. Louis Teaching Artist Institute, the Downtown St. Louis Public Art Plan and Initiative, the St. Louis Art Place Initiative, and the Gyo Obata Fellowship. Erika also oversees the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, an innovative program centered on the belief that art has the power to be an agent for positive social change.
Previously, Erika served as the Impact Advancement Officer for ArtsWave in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she guided the strategic direction of a $10 million grantmaking portfolio to align with ArtsWave’s Blueprint for Collective Action, a ten-year, data-driven plan to build a more vibrant economy and connected community. She also led efforts to measure and communicate the impact of the arts, advised grant recipients on ways to expand their impact, and facilitated capacity-building opportunities.
Erika also served as the Strategic Initiatives Manager for Agenda 360, an effort of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber that led the implementation a long-range community vision with a specific focus on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, talent attraction, and public transportation. While in Cincinnati, she also co-founded Cincy Sundaes, a delicious way to raise money for people with innovative ideas to improve their community.
Erika earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a master’s in urban planning and real estate development from Saint Louis University.
Although not an artist herself, Erika is passionate about the ways that the arts can build vibrant and inclusive communities. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband, Colin, and four-year-old son, Pascal. She is also trying to learn how to keep the plants in her yard alive.