Regional Arts Commission Launches St. Louis’ First Cultural Planning Initiative

June 18, 2017

A public engagement process to develop a regional cultural plan

A plan incorporating community input will be released in 2018

(Monday, June 19, 2017) – The Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the region’s largest annual funder of the arts, dedicated to the cultivation, promotion, and fostering of cultural programming in the St. Louis area, will announce on Thursday, June 22nd the launch of its cultural planning initiative. It is the first regional planning effort of its kind led by the Regional Arts Commission. Cultural planning initiatives help to identify community concerns and set a vision for the future and recommend actions to achieve long-term priorities.

“We are very excited about spearheading this regional planning effort. The arts are essential to our economy, our schools, and our vibrancy as a city. This multi-faceted cultural planning process will include one-on-one interviews, focus group sessions, surveys, asset mapping and a series of think-tank sessions that will bring people from all areas of St. Louis together to surface new insights about the role of the arts in our region,” stated Michael Scully, Chairman, RAC.

The outcome of the conversations, studies, data gathered and ideas shared will result in a cultural plan for the entire region designed to guide RAC’s work and realize a shared vision for a more vibrant and equitable future for St. Louis. The plan will be released and shared with the public in early 2018.

“Our region is challenged with many societal issues that infringe upon the quality of life for many.  As a regional institution, we touch the lives of thousands of people through the arts. We believe that arts and culture are among our most powerful assets. We want to help establish a community-wide vision that promotes collaborations among people and organizations to help achieve the region’s priorities,” said Felicia Shaw, Executive Director, RAC.

To help guide this nine-month process, RAC will convene a diverse group of civic and community leaders, Thought Leaders Forum for Culture, to advise the organization in developing the cultural plan.

RAC will announce to the public its launch of the cultural planning initiative on Thursday, June 22nd at 5:30pm in the Public Media Commons, 3653 Olive Street in Grand Center. The official name of the initiative will be revealed during the launch event along with the official website where information about the initiative can be found. The public will be able to access information about the initiative; find interesting articles and content related to arts advocacy, creative placemaking, social justice, cultural tourism, arts education and creative economies. Most importantly, the site shows how a person can get involved and what progress is being made throughout this community-wide, nine-month engagement.

Guest speakers at the launch event  will be St. Louis Poet Laureate Michael Castro, public officials from the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, and featured artist, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, an internationally acclaimed performance artist.

The public is invited, but RSVPs are encouraged. You may RSVP at:

For more information about this event or to schedule an interview, contact:
Sherry Sissac,, 314-863-5811.

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