power2give helps St. Louis Poetry Center heal survivors

Poetry has long been a way for many to express emotions and to put feelings into words that otherwise wouldn’t be shared. The St. Louis Poetry Center is doing just this, and has brought healing to dozens of women who have been abused through workshops at Safe Connections, a center for survivors of domestic violence.

Last fall, the St. Louis Poetry Center sought funds on power2give.org to expand their schedule of poetry workshops to a monthly program at Safe Connections.  The workshops are part of the social activities for the survivors; through poetry and writing the participants can find a path through their emotions of anger and fear. The successful project allowed Jennifer Fandel, a poet educator and former St. Louis Poetry Center board member, to go to Safe Connections and facilitate workshops with the survivors.

The power2give project helped to cover the costs of the workshops and the cost of printing a culminating poetry book at the end of the year comprised of work by the  participants in the poetry workshops.

“Safe and Strong was an amazing project for us. It connected us with supporters we may have not met otherwise and they were passionate about what we were bringing to these women in terms of hope, self-esteem, and community,” said Nancy Hughes, Executive Director of the Poetry Center.

Here is an example of a poem written by a survivor who went through the workshop:

Striving for Inner Peace

by T.

Striving for inner peace,
love, courage. On a spiritual
journey. Awakening
the strong woman
inside. She is ready
to come out and
play. She is ready
to take on the

The St. Louis Poetry Center is a diverse organization with a variety of programs. Beginning in 1946 when Mrs. Fred Armstrong saw the need to establish a place for writers as a way to stimulate the writing of poetry, the Poetry Center has expanded from not only being a place to stimulate the creation of poetry, but as a place for workshops, readings, and poetry lessons. The organization also teams with the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation, an A&E PNC Project Grant Recipient, to lead seventh graders in poetry writing workshops. In addition to Safe Connections, another of the St. Louis Poetry Center’s many programs includes IMPACT STL, which provides educational youth development programs and activities to children who have limited access to community and social service programs. Other programs through the center include Poets in Prison, Poets in the County Schools, and Edgewood Children’s Center Poetry Workshops. For a complete list of programs, click here.

The St. Louis Poetry Center will be posting another project on power2give.org soon, so check the site in early 2015 for updates!

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COCA gains “BACK” Support with help from power2give

COCA (Center of Creative Arts) is known for having some of the area’s finest programs and classes in dance, theatre, voice, and art and design. Keeping these programs running takes a lot of resources. In 2013, COCA launched a project on power2give.org called, “Give BACK [support] to COCA.” The project sought funding for lobby furniture so COCA would not have to direct money from their core programs to building amenities and comforts.

New furniture has found a home in COCA's lobby and is enjoyed by parents, guests and observers alike.

New furniture has found a home in COCA’s lobby and is enjoyed by parents, guests and observers alike.

The goal of the power2give project was to secure comfortable, commercial grade furniture for observers and parents, some of whom are at COCA upwards of 10 hours per week, to use while their children are in classes. Before taking on this project, the only seating COCA offered parents and guests were hard benches, with no back support. Now, with the help of power2give, couches, chairs and tablet arms fill what was previously an open observation space.

Though COCA didn’t fully fund their project on power2give, having the project posted created the awareness of their need in the community. When this awareness was brought to light, in-kind donors were able to step in and supply the furniture COCA needed. Now, couches, chairs and tablet arms fill what was previously an open observation space.

“Power2give gave COCA the outlet and opportunity to share a specific need we had to obtain appropriate lobby furniture for our parents and students.  A&E’s power2give platform helped create awareness in the community for a need we have had for a very long time.  Because of this visibility, we connected with a few generous people and their companies – namely CI Select and Cannon Design – who were able to donate brand new furniture to COCA, making our lobbies and community areas much more comfortable for families and visitors,” Sophia Garner, Director of Development for COCA, said.

COCA is an Arts and Education Council grantee. Keep checking power2give.org, updated constantly with new projects to support this holiday season!

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Springboard launches new website with help from power2give

Springboard posted a power2give.org  project in late 2013 to raise funds to create a new, more accessible and interactive website for their patrons.  Their project, “Put the ‘YES!’ in Tech-No,” was a big success allowing the organization to launch its new and improved site in 2014.

Springboard's new website

Springboard’s new website

The overall mission of Springboard is to provide innovative educational resources to develop children’s critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills through the arts, sciences and humanities. With over 100 years of combined history in the area, since its inception, Springboard has been focused especially in helping economically disadvantaged children.

The goal for the power2give.org project was to create a website that teachers, administrators and parents alike could use to connect with Springboard’s education and professional development programs. Springboard also wanted to create a way for contributors to create timely blog posts with news and information for schools and parents, and for donors and funding partners to see Springboard in action in the community. The new website also allows program staff to update the online program catalog to keep the community informed on offerings as they change. The website is also a way for others in the community to discover collaboration opportunities.

“Springboard’s power2give campaign ‘Put the Yes in the Tech-no’ really got the ball rolling on our website rebuild project. While we did not meet our campaign goal, the funds provided ‘seed’ money that enabled us to secure the remainder of the necessary funds from an individual benefactor. As a result, Springboard achieved its goal to launch a new and improved website in 2014,” Jane DiCampo, Springboard Marketing Coordinator said.

The first step in the process in creating the site was reaching out to St. Louis area WordPress website developers to get proposals, and then choosing a developer to be a partner based on the proposals. Once the developer had created a master template including a homepage and supporting pages, the new site was tested, tweaked and reviewed before its official launch. That entire process took about six months, and Springboard now has a brand-new, fully functioning website.

To view Springboard’s new website, click here. Keep checking power2give.org as new projects are always being added! Springboard is an Operating Grantee of the Arts and Education Council.

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Stray Dog Theatre has Pups

Stray Dog Theatre’s newest program, Stray Pups Youth Theatre, provides children the opportunity to perform in professional theatrical productions. The theatre sought funds on power2give.org to launch their first-ever main stage performance for this group titled, “Bring Oz to the Tower Grove Abbey,” which  immersed 65 students in a production of The Wizard of Oz in May.

STRAY PUPS Group-PhotoThe performance was an intense, four month immersive experience for children ages 7-18. Funds were needed for things such as set construction, lighting, sound, costumes, props, performance rights and production materials. Students involved in the production were led by area professionals and learned everything that it takes to put on a performance.

Stray Dog Theatre secured more than half of the costs of production, which in total was $29,000, before putting their project on power2give. The organization used the crowdfunding site to get a final push in funds needed to complete their project. Stray Dog Theatre enticed donors by putting flyers in their play bills, making announcements at shows, talking to parents while their kids were in classes and having a laptop out at special events to make donating convenient.

“Power2Give STL was instrumental in Stray Dog Theatre raising the funds needed to produce its first ever Stray Pups Youth main-stage performance.  Sixty-five young actors and their families’ lives were enlightened by the transformative experience of the theatre, in part because of the Power2Give campaign,” Artistic Director Gary Bell said.

The Stray Pup Youth Theatre will be staging another performance in 2015, this time of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. Auditions will be held in January. Stray Dog Theatre is an Arts and Education Council 2014 PNC Grant Recipient.

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Holiday Arts Guide

A Winter Fable at the St. Louis Symphony

Circus Flora performs A Winter Fable at the St. Louis Symphony

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by taking in a holiday-themed show or event? Luckily, you’ll have plenty to choose from this season; here are just a few of the holiday highlights:

Family-Friendly Theater

The Rep's Imaginary Theatre Company presents Bah! Humbug!

The Rep’s Imaginary Theatre Company presents Bah! Humbug!

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ Imaginary Theatre Company presents “Bah! Humbug!” a hilarious, updated musical take on the Charles Dickens holiday classic. The family-friendly show runs Dec. 13-23 at the Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall High School. 314.968.4925 or repstl.org.

Circus Flora and the St. Louis Symphony team up in high-wire  holiday fun for the whole family in  “A Winter Fable.” Performances take place Dec. 12-14 at Powell Hall.  314.534.1700 or stlsymphony.org


All is calm and bright with holiday beer until the local Scrooge is stricken by a freak bout of amnesia, putting neighborly love to the test in Stray Dog Theatre’s “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical.” This regional premiere runs Dec. 4-20 at Tower Grove Abbey. 314.865.1995 or  straydogtheatre.org.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre kicks off their holiday shows with “Manheim Steamroller Christmas” Dec. 9-10. Next is the seasonal classic, “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 12-14. The holiday shows wrap up with “A Christmas Story” run-ning Dec. 16-Jan. 4. 314.534.1111 or  fabulousfox.com


Go Tell It On The Mountain: the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show at The Sheldon

Go Tell It On The Mountain: the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show at The Sheldon

The Sheldon Concert Hall has several holiday concerts, including Brian Owens performing “A Motown Christmas” Dec. 4; “Go Tell It On The Mountain: the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show” Dec. 13; “Winter Wonderland,” a morning “coffee con-cert” featuring holiday music new and old Dec. 16-17; and “Christmas in the Kitchen,” billed as a Celtic holiday music experience set in a Christmas kitchen Dec. 16. 314.533.9900 or  sheldonconcerthall.org

The St. Louis Children’s Choirs will perform their holiday concert Dec. 6. They will also join the Bach Society in their annual Christmas Candlelight Concert Dec. 23. Both shows take  place at Powell Hall. 314.993.9626  or slccsing.org and 314.289.4029 or bachsociety.org

“A Very Manley Christmas featuring Jim Manley’s Mad Brass and Rhythm” comes to Jazz St. Louis’ Ferring Jazz Bistro Dec. 12-13. This seven piece group will be sure to bring holiday cheer! The Jazz St. Louis Big Band will also play Ellington’s “Nutcracker” as part of the Jazz at the Bistro Series Dec. 22-23. Shows are 7:30 and 9:30 pm at the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz located in Grand Center. 314.289.4030 or go to jazzstl.org.

Enjoy a “Gospel Christmas” when gospel sensation Oleta Adams joins the St. Louis Symphony and IN UNISON® Chorus for a night of soul-stirring Gospel music to celebrate the joyous holiday season Dec. 18. In addition, the Symphony offers a visit from Santa and holiday music Dec. 19-21 inside  beautifully decorated Powell Hall. 314.534.1700 or stlsymphony.org


The Nutcracker at Saint Louis Ballet

The Nutcracker at Saint Louis Ballet

Nothing says holiday season quite like “The Nutcracker” and luckily Saint Louis Ballet keeps that tradition alive and well with 10 performances of the classic ballet Dec. 18-23 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. It also hosts a Sugar Plum Fairy Lunch Dec. 20, 22-23 before each matinee performance. 314.516.4949 or stlouisballet.org

Little Dancer at COCA

Little Dancer at COCA

COCA is bringing back Ballet Eclectica to present “Little Dancer,” the tale of Degas’ famous statuette that comes to life and finds herself dancing among various works of art. Performances are Dec. 12-14. 314.725.6555 or cocastl.org.

Visual Art

Every year, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design arranges a dazzling dis-play of glass ornaments hand crafted by local and national artists to cele-brate the holiday season. This year’s event runs through Dec. 24 at the Delmar Loop location. 314.725.1177 or craftalliance.org

Check out the Arts and Education Council’s Know and Go Discount Calendar for deals on performance and events!


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