Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Launches Two-Year Capacity Building Program

September 14, 2020

Categories RAC News

Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Launches Two-Year Capacity Building Program

The teaching and mentoring program aims to strengthen the St. Louis arts and cultural sector, promoting increased sustainability and organizational impact.

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) announced today a diverse cohort that will take part in its inaugural Capacity Building: St. Louis program. Facilitated by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, Capacity Building: St. Louis is designed to build a stronger arts ecosystem across all disciplines, providing 31 local cultural organizations with core arts management training and implementation support. The free, two-year program is made possible by the Centene Charitable Foundation.

“To make a difference in the region, we must address significant challenges, including the unprecedented circumstances facing the arts and cultural sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mont Levy, Chairman of RAC’s Board of Commissioners. “Through our generous partners, we’ve developed another strong support system that will allow RAC to positively impact the community at large and build a group of inspiring organizations that will become exemplary models for the region.”

The program will launch this fall, and will include arts leaders and board members from the following organizations:

The following organizations have been selected for the 2020/2022 Session:

  • A Call to Conscience
  • Artists First
  • Bread & Roses
  • Circus Harmony
  • Central Print
  • COCA-Center of Creative Arts
  • Consuming Kinetics Dance Company
  • Contemporary Art Museum
  • Craft Alliance
  • The Griot Museum of Black History
  • HEAL Center for the Arts
  • Ignite Theatre Company
  • Jazz St. Louis
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Life Arts
  • Metro Theater Company
  • National Blues Museum
  • Opera Theatre St. Louis
  • Perennial
  • Prison Performing Arts
  • Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
  • The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • That Uppity Theatre Company
  • The Sheldon Arts Foundation
  • The St. Louis Children’s Choirs
  • St. Louis Classical Guitar
  • St. Louis ArtWorks
  • St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • STAGES St. Louis
  • Stray Dog Theatre
  • Urban Artist Alliance for Child Development

Announced in early 2020 as part of RAC’s five-year strategic plan, the program quickly amassed applications from more than 40 interested organizations. From this competitive talent pool, RAC and the Institute selected candidates based on opportunity or need, while also considering artistic discipline, financial health, programming, communities served, and overall readiness and capacity to fully participate.

The program, which will consist of group training, one-on-one consultation, and peer-to-peer collaboration, is designed to position organizations for sustained success through revenue diversification, aggressive marketing and fundraising, and effective board governance.

Led by Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser, the group training sessions will focus on a wide array of disciplines:

  • The Cycle and Long-Term Artistic Planning
  • Institutional and Programmatic Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Board Development and Engagement
  • Strategic Planning

In addition to addressing core arts management topics, the program will engage meaningfully with issues pertaining to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in the St. Louis arts and culture sector.

“These are unexplored times for many organizations attempting to navigate new challenges on a daily basis,” said Kaiser. “We are excited to partner with RAC to bring St. Louis organizations the support they need to continue to grow financially and keep the St. Louis arts scene thriving.”

Capacity Building: St. Louis will help organizations stabilize and strengthen their artistic and financial planning, fundraising, board engagement and marketing practices, with a goal to produce a team of thriving organizations that serve as models of governance and financial sustainability for the St. Louis community.

For more information about the program, visit our Capacity Building: St. Louis page.

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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