ST. LOUIS, MO (October 9, 17). The Arts and Education Council (A&E), in partnership with the Monsanto Fund, has awarded six arts organizations a combined total of $25,000 in funding through the Monsanto Fund Rural Community Arts Education Program.

The program, which has provided more than $200,000 in arts funding since its inception in 2007, brings artists and entertainers into classrooms and performance venues so people and families living in the rural communities surrounding the St. Louis metropolitan area have greater access to the arts and leaves a lasting impact on the individuals within these communities.

Organizations receiving the funding are Highland Arts Council (Highland, Ill.), Looking Glass Playhouse (Lebanon, Ill.), Raintree Arts Council (Clarksville, Mo.), Sullivan Area Arts Council (Sullivan, Mo.), The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (Lebanon, Ill.) and Warren County Fine Arts Council (Wright City, Mo.).

“Monsanto Rural Community Arts Grant recipients have shared with A&E that the program has played an integral role in providing a collaborative support system among artists, art educators, the business community and local community leaders,” said Cynthia A. Prost, A&E president and CEO. “This grant program helps children, teens and adults in these outlying communities gain life-enriching arts experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. The expense of field trips into the city can be exorbitant – the Monsanto Rural Arts Fund brings the music, theater and visual artists to their doorstep.”

“Access to theater and school-based arts programs helps to strengthen communities and improve academic performance,” said Michelle Insco, program officer for the Monsanto Fund. “The Monsanto Fund is proud to support the Rural Community Arts Education Program to ensure initiatives such as this will continue to provide enriching experiences for youth and adults in our rural communities.”

For more information about A&E’s Monsanto Rural Arts Fund and these grantees, visit