The Arts and Education Council (A&E) announced today the names of six finalists in the 2018 stARTup Competition, a partnership between A&E and the PNC Foundation to foster innovative ideas for changing the fabric of the St. Louis arts community. The finalists are, in alphabetical order by startup name:

Campfire (Steven Harowitz), an organization that draws on storytelling, literary arts and narrative to provide tools and resources for everyday St. Louisans to share their stories;

Connect the Arts (Allyson Ditchey), a web-based social and employment-oriented platform designed to empower and connect artists, arts organizations and arts supporters;

Different Dynamics (Jessica Ingraham), a center for special music education based on a foundation of trained music educators working with students with special needs;

The Makers Program (Shayba Muhammad), an entrepreneurship community for under-represented artists and makers of color;

Tixxter (Angela Williams), a tool that allows for customizable arts subscription package across participating arts organizations; and

Who Raised You? (Treasure Shields Redmond and Jia Lian Yang), a listening collective that trains and partners with local residents in recording and sharing oral histories through digital media.

Finalists were selected from a pool of 34 proposals and will present their ideas to the panel in early May. Winners receive resources and support needed to accelerate their idea for how to change the world through the arts in St. Louis, including seed funding from a cash pool of $20,000, a year of free space in A&E’s incubator, the Centene Center for the Arts, and mentoring from A&E staff and the competition panel.

The stARTup Competition launched last year as a partnership between A&E and the PNC Foundation. 2017 winners were Creative Reaction Lab, a social equity nonprofit founded by 2018 Global TED Fellow Antionette Carroll, and FLOW, a writing community founded by Amanda Wells to foster meaningful writing and storytelling experiences.

For more information about the stARTup Competition, click here.