The Arts and Education Council today announced that the PNC Foundation has awarded the organization $45,000 and PNC Bank has awarded $5,000 to renew two partnerships – the groundbreaking stARTup Creative Competition for arts entrepreneurs and PNC Program Grants for arts and arts education initiatives.

“This renewed support from the PNC Foundation and PNC Bank will allow us to continue to offer St. Louis’ entrepreneurs the resources to develop their innovative ideas and the funding that organizations need to provide a diverse array of arts and cultural programs across our region,” said Cynthia A. Prost, A&E president and CEO.

Now in its third year, the Arts and Education Council’s stARTup Creative Competition encourages the development of great ideas with art at their core that strengthen and enhance the St. Louis arts community. To compete, entrepreneurs submit their original ideas for ventures that promote the arts or have arts education at the foundation. Winners receive a cash prize, one year of free office space in A&E’s Centene Center for the Arts incubator, free performance and meeting space, access to technology and Wi-Fi, mentoring, idea-sharing and professional development opportunities. The competition is one of only two of its kind in the country, along with MIT’s Creative Arts Competition.

Submissions for the 2019 stARTup Creative Competition are due by March 1 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of local arts and entrepreneurial experts, including: Cynthia A. Prost, Arts and Education Council; Deborah Marshall, PNC Bank; Kathleen Bauer, T-REX; Sheila Burkett, Spry Digital; Antionette Carroll, Creative Reaction Lab; Chris Dornfeld, Maritz; and Matt Homann, Filament. Finalists and winners will be announced in April.

Along with the stARTup Creative Competition, the PNC Foundation grant and PNC Bank sponsorship will also support the Arts and Education Council’s PNC Program Grants for arts and arts education initiatives that address community needs in the bi-state region. Since 2012, A&E, PNC Bank and the PNC Foundation have provided funding to more than 175 organizations serving 41 Missouri communities and six Illinois communities, increasing access to the arts for hundreds of thousands of adults and children in the region.

“At PNC, we have a 160-year tradition of enriching our communities through philanthropic support of the arts, as we recognize the important role they play in the success, stability and growth of our local community,” said Michael Scully, PNC regional president for St. Louis. “We are looking forward to seeing how this year’s innovative thinking and new programming can inspire people of all ages to experience and interact with the arts.”

Applications for PNC Program Grants are due March 8 by 5:00 p.m. CST. A volunteer grant panel convened by A&E reviews applications and determines grant awards. Grantees will be announced in April. 

Click here to learn more the stARTup Creative Competition and click here to learn more about PNC Program Grants.