Today the Arts and Education Council announced $247,000 in Operating Support Grants for 14 arts organizations across the bi-state region. The arts are integral to the social, civic and economic wellbeing and vitality of our region. As we work through the immediate and severe impact on the financial health of our arts sector that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the Arts and Education Council is pleased to continue this funding to organizations that demonstrably advance the mission of ensuring access to an excellent, diverse and sustainable cultural community for the bi-state region.

The Operating Support Grant program provides unrestricted funding in the general operations, administration and programs of eligible organizations. These grants are intended to supplement other revenue, both earned and contributed, generated by the organization. Funding for this grant opportunity is made possible through the Arts and Education Council’s annual campaign, which pools together resources from individual, corporate and foundation contributions across our region.

The 2020-2021 Operating Support Grant recipients are (in alphabetical order):

  • The Black Rep
  • Cinema St. Louis
  • Classic 107.3 (Radio Arts Foundation)
  • COCA
  • Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
  • Craft Alliance
  • Jazz St. Louis
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
  • The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
  • Sheldon Arts Foundation
  • St. Louis Shakespeare Festival
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • STAGES St. Louis

“We are grateful for our donors, whose generosity through this difficult time has made it possible for us to provide needed unrestricted operating funds to these organizations. Making unrestricted investments in our arts organizations is about ensuring access to an excellent, diverse and sustainable arts and cultural community,” said Cynthia P. Davis, Arts and Education Council director of grants and programs.

Grant applications were reviewed by a volunteer panel from the Arts and Education Council board of directors and evaluated based on community impact, particularly how the organization supports the goals of the Elements of a Vibrant Community, and organizational capacity to drive sustained impact in the community. These organizations demonstrate how the arts can foster innovation, inspire youth, build bridges between cultures, energize communities, forge connections and enrich lives.

These organizations are among more than 70 organizations across the bi-state region that benefit from Arts and Education Council grants and programs. For more information about the Arts and Education Council’s grants and programs, visit