Local Artists Thriving
8:29 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Creativity Wins: It Was A Good Year For St. Louis-area Artists

From left: Van McElwee (Media Arts), Stan Chisholm (Visual Art), Richard Newman (Literature), Philip Boehm (Literature), Alice Bloch (Dance), Kathryn Bentley (Theater Arts), Deanna Jent (Theater Arts), Juan William Chavez (Visual Arts), Arny Nadler (Visual Arts)
Credit Regional Arts Commission

Whether they were on stage, leaning into the kiln or creatively advocating for justice, it was a banner year for many local artists.

The Regional Arts Commission this year began an unprecedented awarding of money
to St. Louis-area artists through its Artists Count program. Dozens of visual, performing and literary artists were given grants of between $500 and $3,000 for specific projects.

But the holy grail of RAC awards was the Artist Fellows grants. On Dec. 12, RAC handed out a hefty $20,000 to each of 10 winners, most of them artist-activists, including dancer-choreographer Alice Bloch, visual artist Juan William Chavez and actor-playwright Kathryn Bentley.

Another new program, “Soup Across the Delmar Divide” provided seed money for creatives who initiated “Wailing Wall” community-bridging and Timebank services-exchange projects. And in the local-play-makes-good category, “Falling,” the story of a family with an autistic teenager by Mustard Seed Theatre’s Deanna Jent, was nominated for three 2013 Drama Desk Awards, after it was staged Off-Broadway in 2012.

More 2013 Artist Success Stories

New African-American art gallery group seeks strength in numbers

24-hour play fest: Leaving chickens alone and collaborating on good theater

Inspired by Bob Cassilly, sculptor Noah Kirby pays it forward