Regional Arts Commission Awards $4.2 Million to St. Louis Nonprofits and Local Artists Through Annual Grant Programs

July 2, 2019

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From Yahoo! Finance


The nonprofit grantmaking institution is providing $3 million in funding to 40 different local nonprofit arts organizations to help with general operating support

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) announced today the recipients of the organization’s General Operating Support (GOS) grants, which provide unrestricted, renewable funding to support the day-to-day operations of nonprofit arts organizations that produce and present year-round programming. RAC, the largest public funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, has awarded a total of $4.2 million in grant funding to 151 organizations and 47 individual artists this year.

Forty local nonprofit arts organizations will receive a combined $3 million from RAC in the form of GOS grants to support artistic activities that engage the diversity of residents in St. Louis. To be eligible for a GOS grant, an organization must have been a previous recipient of RAC’s Program Support grants, be an arts and culture mission-based organization, employ at least one permanent full-time employee, and have an annual operating budget of at least $150,000.

“Our grant programs are designed to support a range of arts and culture activities to ensure that we continue to grow the quality and diversity of the arts in St. Louis,” said RAC Executive Director Felicia Shaw. “The arts play an integral role in the cultural vibrancy and economic development of our region. The artistic output from these organizations and artists contribute to the enrichment of the St. Louis arts scene, our communities and our lives.”

RAC administers four competitive grant programs. In addition to GOS, RAC provides grant funding through:

  • Artist Fellowships: In January, RAC awarded 10 Artist Fellowships, which provide seasoned and developing artists each with a $20,000 grant to nurture and advance their work.
  • Program Support: In May, RAC awarded 111 organizations a combined total of $978,400 in Program Support grants, which provide aid for a one-time project or ongoing program that broadens and deepens participation in or access to the arts.
  • Artist Support: In May, RAC awarded a total of $97,677 to 37 individual artists through its Artist Support grant program, which encourages creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and sustained commitment to artistic work by providing funds for an artist’s projects, needs and creative opportunities.

GOS and Program Support grant requests are reviewed and discussed for evaluation and assessment in an open, public forum by citizen review panelists. All applications are consistently evaluated using the following three criteria: artistic merit and quality of the programs, community benefit and organizational capacity. Individual artist grant requests are read and reviewed by discipline readers based upon an established set of review criteria, specific to either Artist Fellowships or Artist Support grants.

To view the full list of 2019-2020 RAC grant recipients, visit:

For additional grants information, visit:

About the Regional Arts Commission

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 the 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, 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 for more information, or follow us on Facebook at Regional Arts Commission or Twitter @RACStLouis.

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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.


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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