Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives
Erika Fiola joined the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) as the director of Strategic Initiatives in June 2018. In that role, Erika oversees the Gyo Obata Fellowship, the Downtown STL Public Art Initiative, the St. Louis Canvass Project, the St. Louis Teaching Artist Institute, and 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. In November 2019, her role expanded as she became the interim director of Grants. In that position, Erika oversees RAC’s organizational and individual artist grantmaking programs.
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 of a long-range community vision with a specific focus on issues related to diversity, equity, and 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.