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Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Unveils Five-Year Strategic Plan

Plan details priorities to address critical needs to grow the region’s arts and culture community

ST. LOUIS (March 11, 2020) – The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC), the area’s largest public funder of the arts, is announcing plans to further strengthen the region’s reputation as a thriving cultural hub.

On March 11, 2020, the organization released a five-year plan, titled Advocate, Partner, Catalyst: A Strategic Plan to Strengthen RAC’s Leadership Role in the St. Louis Region, which outlines priorities to build capacity, increase exposure to arts education, and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the arts and culture sector of St. Louis.

“We are focusing on bold new initiatives that are designed to address issues long-affecting the arts and culture community,” said Mont Levy, chair of the Board of Commissioners at RAC. “This plan is the culmination of years of research and community engagement that led us to clearly defined priorities and an implementation strategy to drive progress in the region.”

The strategic plan outlines four main priorities to respond to some of the most critical needs in the arts and culture community:

Grow and Develop Capacity of Artists and Arts Organizations

This priority focuses on arts management training for small budget and mid-sized nonprofit arts and culture organizations, as well as individual artists to create healthy, growing organizations and communities of artists that achieve a diversity of revenue sources.

Advance the Education of Young People in and through the Arts

This priority focuses on increasing exposure and access to arts education for every child, in every school, through collaborative programming.

Increase Equity in the Arts through Leadership and Collaboration

This priority focuses on supporting arts and culture organizations in a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and providing targeted management and infrastructure support for organizations of color.

Strengthen Key Organizational Infrastructure

This priority focuses on strengthening RAC’s internal organizational infrastructure to support the five-year plan including grantmaking, technology and data, and management and governance.

The plan is the product of a multi-year process involving stakeholders across the spectrum of St. Louis. In 2017, RAC launched EVOKE, the first-ever comprehensive cultural planning process for the region. Through EVOKE, RAC conducted individual interviews with community leaders and facilitated dozens of community discussions gathering input from artists of all disciplines, leaders of arts and culture organizations, arts funders, community organizations, and everyday St. Louisans.

Six community priorities were identified in the EVOKE process and described in ARTS &, a document that laid the groundwork for the strategic plan. RAC commissioned research studies and convened working groups, RAC grantees, individual artists, and other community stakeholders to engage around these priorities and provide feedback to inform the development of the strategic plan.

Over the next five years, RAC will fulfill its ambitious goals by leveraging the resources of the greater St. Louis region and encouraging collaboration to create a sustainable and diverse arts sector.

“We believe we can make St. Louis an even stronger cultural hub, bridge communities, advance economic development, and create an inclusive common ground where arts and culture advance equity and make St. Louis a better place,” said Levy.

For more information and to view the plan in its entirety, visit www.racstl.org/plan.

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