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RAC Celebrates National Arts and Humanities Month

Downtown Public Art Display, Gallery Exhibition, and Community Events Part of RAC’s Efforts to Highlight Role of Arts and Culture in St. Louis

National Arts & Humanities Month logoST. LOUIS (Oct. 1, 2019) — This October, the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) joins thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month. RAC will host activities, including a public art display, gallery exhibition, and community events, that honor the efforts of artists, historians, teachers, and cultural groups working to make the arts and humanities an influential part of everyday life.

“National Arts and Humanities Month gives St. Louis a chance to celebrate the impact of arts and culture in our daily lives,” said Felicia Shaw, executive director of RAC. “The arts allow us to explore ideas, express emotions, and better understand our culture. At the Regional Arts Commission, we are dedicated to driving progress through the arts, and this celebration shines a light on the valuable role the arts and humanities play in advancing our region.”

As part of the country’s largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities, RAC will host the following events and activities in October:

“In Search of the Truth” (“The Truth Booth”)

Photo of the Truth Booth, which is a white, inflated speech bubble with the word "TRUTH" written on it.The Downtown STL Public Art Initiative — a partnership of RAC, Downtown STL, Inc., and Explore St. Louis that is reshaping the Downtown St. Louis area through vibrant art — will host an outdoor, public art piece titled, “In Search of the Truth,” on October 17 through 19. The global interactive transmedia project, also known as “The Truth Booth,” is an inflatable, portable, public sculpture of an iconic 16-foot-high speech bubble. Inside is a recording booth where people create a two-minute video of themselves completing the statement, “The truth is ….”  The videos are then selected, edited, compiled, and filed onto the website with other participants from around the world.

“In Search of the Truth” aims to represent and celebrate the world’s diverse people, cultures, and locations and capture as many definitions, representations, confessions and thoughts on the truth as possible. The collaborative project – created by Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks and Hank Willis Thomas, all members of Cause Collective – has toured Afghanistan, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.

“The Truth Booth” will be in St. Louis the following dates and locations:

  • October 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Poelker Park at Market Street & Tucker Blvd
  • October 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Kiener Plaza
  • October 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Louis Public Library – Central Library at 1301 Olive Street

“The Truth Booth” is free and open to the public during hours of operation. Tickets are not required.

To learn more, visit https://racstl.org/event/truth/. Photo courtesy of Cause Collective.

 “Confluence: Professor Laura Strand with MFA Graduates from SIUE”

Collection of images of different types of threadsRAC presents “Confluence: Professor Laura Strand with MFA Graduates from SIUE” on view at the Gallery at RAC (6128 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63112). The exhibit, a part of Innovations in Textiles STL 2019, features works by 11 Master of Fine Art graduates from SIU Edwardsville (SIUE) from 2000–2019 and mentor and professor, Laura Strand. The artwork demonstrates the depth and breadth of textile focus and multimedia work provided by the art faculty at SIUE.

The exhibit runs September 30 through November 8. The Gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during this time.RAC will host a “Meet the Artists” open house at the Gallery from noon to 4 p.m. on October 6. The exhibit and open house are free and open to the public. RAC will be closed on October 14 in remembrance of Indigenous Peoples Day.

400 Years of Inequality Workshop

400 Years of Inequality, a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to dismantling structural racism and building strong, healthy communities, has called upon cities across the country to join in the observance of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the United States in 1619.

RAC is pleased to join the nation in commemorating this milestone and serving as the host of a workshop featuring members of 400 Years of Inequality in St. Louis. The workshop will be held on October 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at RAC (6128 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63112).

Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to meet members of 400 Years of Inequality and receive a toolkit with recommendations of ways to connect to the national commemoration and involve their communities.

The workshop is free and open to the public. RSVP for this event.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workshop

Diverse group of people discuss topics on colorful sticky notes on a wallAs part of its strategic planning process and ongoing commitment to diversity, racial equity, accessibility, and inclusion, RAC will host a gathering for RAC grant recipients. Rebeccah Bennett, founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom, will present and discuss the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion statement. Bennett will facilitate an interactive discussion, and participants will have an opportunity to provide feedback and inform RAC’s final statement, which will be published in January 2020.

While the gathering is closed to the public, RAC’s diversity, racial equity, and inclusion statement will be available for public comment from October 31 through November 8 via the RAC website. All feedback will be compiled and submitted to RAC for consideration.

About National Arts and Humanities Month

National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to the arts for all people. This month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, which was started in 1985 by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.

For more information about RAC events and activities, visit racstl.org. To learn more about National Arts and Humanities Month, visit AmericansForTheArts.org/nahm.

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