On any given day, the Arts and Education Council’s Centene Center for the Arts is bustling with creative activity. On one floor you might see actors running around in costume preparing for their upcoming production. In another room, you’ll find world-renowned musicians jamming with friends or practicing for an upcoming gig. Somewhere else in the building, a podcast is being recorded. But this time last year, the arts incubator was quiet as organizations worked remotely and in hybrid environments. Now, we’re thrilled that it has returned to the collaborative, upbeat environment where new art is constantly being created.

The Centene Center for the Arts is home to arts organizations large and small that represent many different mediums of art. The incubator fosters a community of growth for St. Louis arts organizations by offering facilities and services they need - from below-market rate office spaces to free rehearsal and event spaces to collaborative spaces for idea-sharing.

Keep reading to learn more about the upcoming arts activities happening in our arts incubator.

Actors, yogis and clowns – oh my!

YoungLiars will host their fifth Summer Acting Training Festival. The festival provides students of all experience levels 30 hours of intense physical training in four disciplines taught by St. Louis theatre artists over eight days. Students will explore four physical training styles: Suzuki Method taught by Chuck Harper, Neutral Mask taught by Jef Awada, Bouffon taught by Audrey Crabtree and yoga taught by Maggie Conroy.

The 2021 YoungLiars Summer Training Festival is taking place on July 17-24. Learn more at youngliarstheatre.org/stf.

Musicians jam to their heart’s content

Soul Shed University, the 2020 stARTup Creative Competition winner, hosts monthly classes for musicians to begin and sustain their music careers. But, that’s not all - every 3rd Tuesday of the month Soul Shed hosts lively jam sessions. Musicians of all skill levels are welcome to join the jam session – no lists, performance structure or rule books necessary – artists simply plug in and play. While jamming, they also have the opportunity to meet other musicians. If you’re not a musician, you’re welcome to attend and enjoy the music.

Get tickets for the July 20 Jam Session here.

Watch: Last month, Arts and Education Council Manager of Grants and Programs Jessireé Jenkins sat down with Soul Shed founder JerMarco Britton to talk about the business of art.

Returning citizens connect through the arts

Prison Performing Arts Alumni Theatre Company, one of the only prison alumni theatre companies in the United States, is currently made up of former inmates now living in the St. Louis area who worked with PPA while incarcerated. This program provides kinship, stability and a creative outlet as members re-establish themselves in the community. The Alumni Company is currently rehearsing for their fall production “Elsinore” written by company members as a prequel to Shakespeare’s classic "Hamlet".

Learn more about the alumni company and stay tuned for “Elsinore”  tickets at prisonperformingarts.org/alumni-theatre-company.

These are the types of activities that make St. Louis a wonderful place to live, work and play. The Centene Center for the Arts allows arts organizations to apply their resources to expand programming and outreach efforts and make a greater impact in our community.

To experience life inside our arts incubator for yourself, call 314.289.4000 and schedule a tour. We’d love to show you around!

Will you make a gift to the Arts and Education Council? Your support furthers our ability to invest in organizations like the resident organizations of the Centene Center for the Arts that make the St. Louis region a more vibrant arts community for all.

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