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. And, if you happened to visit last July, even the building itself became a piece of art as St. Louis native and street artist fnnch painted the delightful and gigantic “St. Louis Honey Bears” on the east exterior wall.

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.

For instance, in 2019, Youth Excellence on Stage Academy St. Louis, a program of Association of American Voices, brought 28 students from the United Arab Emirates for further accessibility and understanding of American performing arts and culture.

Students spent their time in our incubator exploring the arts and venturing out into St. Louis for activities and performances, including a concert at Jazz St. Louis, an Arts and Education Council grantee.

These are the types of activities that make St. Louis a wonderful place to live, work and play. The generosity of people like you empowers the Arts and Education Council to ensure the arts are there for our community on the other side of this pandemic.

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. This type of support will be even more important when arts activities begin to resume as arts organizations, large and small, are struggling as earned income from canceled galas and performances have threatened their survival.

The arts are an essential tool in both economic recovery and reconnecting our communities. This is what the arts do. They create social and economic opportunities.

We can’t wait until we are able to walk through the blue doors of the Centene Center for the Arts to see that bustle of creative activity again. And we know you can’t wait to enjoy the arts in person and support the people and organizations that contribute to our community through their art.

Until then, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as your one-stop resource for fun and engaging performances, art demonstrations, activities for kids and so much more from arts organizations across the bi-state region including tenants of the Centene Center.

Please consider making a gift to the Arts and Education Council. Your gift furthers our ability to invest in organizations like the tenants of the Centene Center for the Arts that make the St. Louis region a more vibrant arts community for all.

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