Regional Arts Commission | St. Louis Public Radio

Regional Arts Commission

Felicia Shaw, new executive director of St. Louis' Regional Arts Commission, said she had a sense that this community would now "be open to change" after the events of Ferguson.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

The Regional Arts Commission envisions a more ambitious agenda for the St. Louis area’s cultural community. In a plan released late last week, the grant-making organization set out a series of priorities for the immediate future of the region’s arts scene.

Among the plan’s recommendations is that arts groups work with local organizations to help solve community problems. Arts groups can play a role with efforts to build affordable housing, improve public safety and other civic initiatives, RAC executive director Felicia Shaw said.

Felicia Shaw is the executive director of the Regional Arts Commission.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The Regional Arts Commission is trumpeting what it claims is the first comprehensive regional planning effort of its kind in St. Louis.

Among other things, the 90-page report calls for more arts education and collaborations among groups that have previously not worked together.

The focus of the report is “how can the arts play a larger role in making St. Louis a better place to live,” explained Felicia Shaw, executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC).

Shaw was St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh’s guest on Friday.

Former Mayor Raymond Tucker (at right) and then-civic leader and bond issue chairman Sidney Maestre look out over an area of Mill Creek Valley slated for clearance in this photograph from 1956.
Missouri Historical Society

Lois Conley of St. Louis grew up in Mill Creek Valley, where everything was in walking distance, and neighbors kept a close eye on each others’ children.

“You felt safe; You felt protected. Everybody knew everybody,” Conley said.

But in the late 1950s, the area between Union Station and Saint Louis University was condemned in the name of urban renewal. Families moved away and lost touch.

Now St. Louis is a finalist in a national contest that would help fund a public art project documenting the destruction of Mill Creek.

Felicia Shaw, new executive director of St. Louis' Regional Arts Commission, said she had a sense that this community would now "be open to change" after the events of Ferguson.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

The Regional Arts Commission will award $3.8 million in grants to 125 arts organizations in St. Louis, the organization announced Wednesday.

But a shift in the commission’s priorities means many established groups are now shut out. The commission, which receives a portion of the city’s occupancy tax on visitors to hotels and motels, will not fund 40 arts organizations that received RAC grants in 2017.

Reviews of top shows: at RAC and Mad Art

Oct 8, 2017

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 4, 2008 - If you missed the incredible opening of "Screwed In" -- and even if you saw it -- it's highly, highly recommended that you visit the exhibition, even though it's a completely different (and quieter) animal than it was on that opening night.

(L to R) Michael Donovan, Robert Lynch and Sherry Sissac
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

In Missouri’s big cities and in its rural area, the arts have a big impact – not only for their inherent value – but economically as well.

“It’s a billion dollar story [in Missouri],” said Michael Donovan, Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council, an organization that has funded the arts in communities across the state for more than 50 years.

Donovan along with Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Sherry Sissac, Deputy Director of the Regional Arts Commission, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday.

Love and the city

Aug 12, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2011 - With all the pens, sharpies, post-its and large sheets of paper scattered across a dozen tables where small groups busily work creating, one might think Peter Kageyama is running an art seminar as he paces the front of the room.

Of course, in a very real sense that's what he's doing. But Kageyama's canvas is a more abstract landscape than most -- a very urban and very personal one that rests somewhere at the nexus of marketing, art, civics and ... well ... love.