Regional arts commission

Fred "Fred-O" Onovwerosuoke

Last November, African Musical Arts was awarded a $50,000 Innovation Grant from the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) to fund a two-year pilot project, “The African Performing Arts Exchange.” In addition to producing concert performances and music engravings of works by African-descent composers, the exchange will offer a web-based platform to share these resources. The Exchange is the dream of African Musical Arts founder Fred “Fred-O” Onovwerosuoke. He and development director Wendy Hymes joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the Exchange and a concert to benefit the project.

William Burton Jr.
Stephanie Zimmerman

Originally published Tuesday, May 13. Updated Friday, May 16 to include audio from Cityscape. Look for more STL Art Game-Changers in an upcoming series.

St. Louis artist and activist William Burton has a history of helping teenagers from unstable environments. Now Burton’s own outreach efforts are facing homelessness.

(Courtesy: Regional Arts Commission)

St. Louis native Michael Drummond is a fashion designer.  You may recognize him from his appearance a few years ago on the Lifetime television series Project Runway.

Drummond is the curator of a new exhibition at The Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission.  The exhibition, Dressed, features the work of four local residents, Bob Trump, Laura Kathleen, Marie McInerney and Deborah Pontious.  It’s meant to highlight the combination of fashion and art as well as the growth of St. Louis fashion.

More than 3,000 St. Louis area artists filled out a survey called Artists Count, which helped inform the Regional Arts Commission’s (RAC) strategic plan.

The RAC has not previously funded individual artists, rather opting to fund nonprofit organizations and consortiums since 1985, when the organization was created.

Jill McGuire, Executive Director of the Regional Arts Commission, said “After reading this survey we made a commitment that the results of the study will affect our policies.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis art institutions continue to grow despite the down economy. 

That’s according to a report issued by Wells Fargo which found that economic activity tied to St. Louis arts and culture increased by 4 percent since the last study five years ago.

Donna Wilkinson is the Chairwoman of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, which contracted the study.

“The big takeaway is really that the arts do mean business here in St. Louis,” Wilkinson said. “That on an annual basis, close to $600 million is generated in economic impact.”