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Vanessa Cooksey

President & CEO

Serving as RAC’s third President & CEO, Vanessa has held marketing, communications and philanthropy leadership roles with various government, non-profit and for-profit organizations including Washington University, Wells Fargo, Anheuser-Busch, Cartoon Network, The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office, Save-A-Lot Food Stores and Mary Kay Cosmetics. A lover of the arts, Vanessa has championed funding for arts and culture in her previous roles.

Vanessa believes that her three decades of continuous community service is the foundation of her personal and professional success. She currently serves on the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations including the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education, Harris Stowe State University, Mercy Hospitals and The Deaconess Foundation.

Vanessa earned her bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Webster University. A student of governance and culture, Vanessa has studied in Europe, Asia, Central America and Africa.


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.

EXPLORE THE ARTS

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.

READ OUR MESSAGE

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

EXPLORE OUR RESOURCES

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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT RAC

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.

VIEW ALL OUR INFORMATION RELATED TO COVID-19

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