RAC Announces Spring 2020 Grant Recipients

June 22, 2020

Categories RAC News

More than $53,000 awarded to 21 local artists while 74 nonprofit organizations receive support for programs

ST. LOUIS – The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) has awarded 21 Artist Support Grants of up to $3,000 each to local artists, totaling over $53,000, as part of its latest round of Artist Support Grants. This is RAC’s eighth year to offer this category of funding. In addition, 74 nonprofit organizations will receive funding through RAC’s Program Support Grants.

Artist Support Grants provide direct funds for St. Louis area artists’ projects, needs, and creative opportunities in all artistic disciplines. The funds can be designated for (but not limited to) equipment and materials, rental space, arts-related travel, conference fees, project completion, salaries, professional and artistic development, training, and other resources.

The Artists Count survey conducted in 2012 by RAC and funded by the Kresge Foundation determined that one of the most pressing needs for regional artists is to receive financial support in order to pursue their art form and further their artistic careers. This finding supports RAC’s commitment to providing a financial investment in the form of the Artist Support Grants and the Artist Fellowships.

The Artist Support Grants are designed to be flexible and accessible, encouraging creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustained commitment to artistic work. This direct support, which enables artists to complete creative projects and advance their careers, is a significant part of the platform for St. Louis to be recognized as a hub for arts and creativity.

The recipients, representing the disciplines of dance, design, literature, media arts, music, theater arts, and visual arts, were selected from among 161 applicants after being reviewed by a pool of 24 readers made up of knowledgeable volunteers from the local and national arts community and RAC staff. A complete list of the artists and past grant recipients can be found at racstl.org/explore-grants/awarded-grants/ under Artist Support. 


  1. Pacia Anderson (Literature)
  2. Diadie Bathily (Dance)
  3. Philip Boehm (Theatre Arts)
  4. Nicole Cooper (Visual Art)
  5. Melissa Bauer and José Guadalupe Garza (Social Practice)
  6. Kahlil Robert Irving (Visual Art)
  7. Mary Lamboley (Visual Art)
  8. Graham Lane (Visual Art)
  9. Lindsey Lieu (Visual Art)
  10. Arny Nadler (Visual Art)
  11. Bobby Norfolk (Theatre Arts)
  12. Mark Pagano (Music)
  13. Katarra Parson (Music)
  14. Christopher Phillips (Media Arts)
  15. Olivia Rae (Design)
  16. Ben Reece (Music)
  17. Chris Renteria-Mooshido Films (Media Arts)
  18. Allana Ross (Visual Art)
  19. Bwayne Smotherson (Music)
  20. David Werfelmann (Music)
  21. Tarcea Willis (Music)

RAC also announced the organization’s Program Support Grants, which provide funding to nonprofit arts and culture organizations that broaden participation and increases access to the arts. RAC, the largest funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, awarded Program Support Grants to 74 organizations this year for the 2020-2021 grant cycle. Program Support Grant applications are reviewed by members of the St. Louis community and consistently evaluated upon the following three criteria: artistic merit, community benefit, and organizational capacity.

For questions about Artist Support Grants, please contact Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, Associate Director of Artist Programs, at olivia@racstl.org for more information. For questions about Program Support Grants, please contact Emily Parker, Program Manager, Grants, at emily@racstl.org.

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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