If someone were to tally the number of St. Louis area students participating in career training at arts institutions and compare that to the numbers in other local industries, the arts might possibly win. The Contemporary Art Museum, alone, draws hundreds of students into its pre-professional programming each year. And not only are the exciting, pre-professional youth programs at CAM and the St. Louis Art Museum free to participants, some pay a stipend.
Deo Deiparine is the founder, director, curator and whatever else is needed at the Free Paarking Gallery in South St. Louis. The 21-year-old Washington University architecture student exemplifies the multitasking art-worlder archetype. Such entrepreneurial art leadership may be the best and only way to enter and stay in such an underfunded field. His gallery is now hosting its fifth exhibition since opening in August 2012.
At its core, the St. Louis Outsider Art Fair is less about art insiders and outsiders than it is about belonging. Shana Norton has organized and grown this inclusive art event over the past three years. This year the fair is sponsored solely by the nonprofit organization Resources for Human Development – Missouri (RHD-MO).
Cinco de Mayo is one festival that can be counted on NOT to leave St. Louis, let alone the Cherokee Street neighborhood. Every year, St. Louisans have been adding new dimensions to this festival. In 2008, local artists began what’s become Cinco de Mayo’s official parade, the People’s Joy Parade.