Over the past three years, the Arts and Education Council’s Creative Impact Fund has provided support to St. Louis-area arts organizations addressing community needs, with a focus on new programs or projects which show promise for creative new directions. Some past projects include the Saint Louis Story Stichers’s “Pick the City UP” program, The Black Rep’s “Letters to Harriet Tubman” and African Heritage Association of St. Louis’s Soweto Gospel Choir Concert.

The Creative Impact Fund, with lead support from Bayer Fund, supported four programs in 2019. Let’s look back on their successes over the past year.

Broadway came to St. Louis in the summer of 2019 through New Line Theatre’s production of “Be More Chill”. The hit rock musical wowed audiences with its heart, humor and astounding vocal performances. New Line Theatre secured the rights to the musical while “Be More Chill” was still on Broadway and presented the musical’s regional premiere.

Humans of St. Louis’s  book will feature hand-selected pictures and stories from the Humans of St. Louis’ five-year archive in addition to some never-before-seen content. Humans of St. Louis hopes that the book will serve as a historical record of the city during a pivotal time in its history. Right now, readers can reserve a copy through pre-order, but following publication, the book will be available at many local bookstores as well as libraries in the greater St. Louis area.

The Arts as Healing Foundation’s “Family Moments” program continues to foster a welcoming environment for chronically ill patients and their loved ones to explore the arts. The organization offers free art lessons, as well as a variety of other artistic and educational activities. With the permission of the artists, artwork created in the program was displayed and sold at their annual gala in October and will be included in several permanent art installations across St. Louis including Siteman Cancer Center.

LIFE Arts Inc.’s “A Night for Life” concert in September, was a resounding success. The event featured the talents of St. Louis natives Brian Owens, five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald and Kennedy Holmes, who rose to fame on Season 15 of NBC’s The Voice. Several student groups and local artists were also showcased. Between their incredible performances, LIFE Arts presented its first Champion for Life award to Todd Shelton, a coach and youth mentor paralyzed in early 2019. LIFE Arts hopes that Shelton’s continued service will inspire others to value unity and that the concert will serve as a beacon of these values for years to come.

Your gift to the Arts and Education Council furthers our ability to invest in organizations like these that make the St. Louis region a more vibrant arts community for all.

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