Regional Arts Commission Seeks Applicants for 2016 Place-Based Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute

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, has announced a call for applications for 16 fellowships for  its 2016 Place-Based Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute.

Now in its 19th year, the CAT Institute is an innovative five-month curriculum for artists of all disciplines and social service professionals/community organizers who learn to collaborate across sectors of all disciplines and develop programs that can affect positive social change through collaboration. These programs take place in homeless shelters, prisons, at-risk schools, hospices, community centers, daycare facilities, social service agencies, as well as within neighborhoods. “With the Place-Based CAT Institute, participants delve deeper into arts, culture, and creativity as community development tools,” said Roseann Weiss, Director of Artist and Community Development at RAC. “We have seen the demonstrated power of the arts to change lives and change communities.”

The 2016 Place-Based CAT Institute will focus on four communities in St. Louis City and County: The Ville and Greater Ville neighborhoods; the Dutchtown neighborhood; the West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods (Delmar to Page, Skinker to Union); and Berkeley, Dellwood, and Ferguson cities in North St. Louis County.

A panel of community arts professionals will select eight artists from any discipline and eight social service providers/community organizers/social activists – that have strong relationships and commitments to this year’s selected communities of focus – to attend the 2016 Place-Based CAT Institute on a scholarship from July through October 2016.

Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, July 5. Selected applicants will be invited for interviews. The trainings will begin in July 2016. For an application, go to http://racstl.org/art-community/community-arts-training-cat-institute/. Or contact Liz Pund, Community Arts Manager, Department of Artist and Community Initiatives/Co-Director of the CAT Institute, at (314) 863-5811 x 1014 or liz@racstl.org .

About the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute

Created in 1997, the CAT Institute is an innovative, cross-sector training program based on the idea that art can be used as an agent of positive social change. The CAT Institute provides a professional level, comprehensive training program to prepare artists of all disciplines and their community partners to collaborate in creating and sustaining significant arts programs primarily in under-resourced community settings, such as neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, development initiatives, and education programs.  The fellows grapple with program planning and adaptability, partnership development, hands-on projects, teaching and situational strategies, and assessment tools. To date, over 300 fellows have graduated and are working in the community on a variety of projects, many designed during their fellowships.  In 2011, the Kresge Foundation awarded a grant to expand the CAT Institute to include graduate-level curriculum and to develop a new neighborhood/place-based model for community arts training. In 2014, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provided funding for two more Neighborhood-Based CAT Institutes. For more information about the CAT Institute, visit http://racstl.org/art-community/community-arts-training-cat-institute/.

About the Regional Arts Commission www.racstl.org

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 6,700 grants totaling over $93 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, or follow us on Facebook at Regional Arts Commission or Twitter @RACStLouis.




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