Regional Arts Commission Awards 125 Grants to Organizations and Programs in 2018

July 13, 2018

St. Louis Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations Receive $3.8 Million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ST. LOUIS, July 13, 2018 — The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC), the largest annual funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, has awarded 125 grants this year, totaling more than $3.8 million to support nonprofit arts and cultural organizations for arts programming in the St. Louis area. Since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 7,000 grants, totaling more than $100 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, and programs. In 2015, RAC engaged its grantees and other stakeholders throughout the region in a series of discussions addressing funding challenges, emerging practices, and leveraging resources to support the arts. Following those discussions, RAC instituted a new rating system as part of a comprehensive restructuring of its grants program. RAC Executive Director Felicia Shaw said that this grant cycle represents the third year in a multi-phased effort to make their annual grants program more impactful. “These changes enable more small and mid-sized arts organizations to receive increased funding to help them grow and thrive. By rewarding those doing great work, we set new standards of excellence which strengthens the arts and culture sector and results in higher quality programs for all of St Louis,” said Shaw. In concert with the new grants program, RAC continues to offer four types of funding: General Operating Support, Program Support, (Individual) Artist Support, and Artist Fellowships. All organization grant requests are reviewed and discussed for evaluation and assessment in an open, public forum by citizen review panelists.

The review criteria of Artistic Merit, Community Benefit, and Organizational Capacity provide a framework by which all RAC grant applications are evaluated. Individual artist grant requests are read and reviewed by discipline readers and citizen review panelists. All individual artist grants are reviewed based on a set of review criteria, specific to either Artist Fellowships or Artist Support Grants. The fall round of Artist Support Grants will be announced in December 2018. Artist Fellowships will be announced in January 2019. RAC grant recipients represent the breadth and diversity of arts and culture in St. Louis, both in size and scope, from large arts institutions such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Center of Creative Arts (COCA) to our small and mid-sized and community based organizations such as Stray Dog Theatre and Gene Slay’s Boys and Girls Club. The 2018 RAC Grant Award listing for General Operating Support and Program Support links are below. Artist Support grants and Artist Fellowship information will be released later this year because each type of support is on a different cycle. To view the 2018 Grants Award Listing go to: http://bit.ly/RACAwardedGrants OR https://racstl.org/explore-grants/awarded-grants. We also have a FAQ section for grants that provides additional information: http://bit.ly/RACGrantFAQs OR https://racstl.org/grant/grants-faqs/. The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts. It is the largest annual funder of non-profit arts in the region, and since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 7,000 grants, totaling over $100 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, consortiums, and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region. Visit www.racstl.org for more information.

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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.

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

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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.

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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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