In January, Adam Stanley takes the reins as the new president of the Arts and Education Council’s Young Friends of the Arts (YFA) affiliate group. We sat down with Stanley to learn more about his love for the arts and where YFA is headed in the coming year.

What is your arts story?

The arts have always been a big part of my life. I have a lot of artists in my family, so I grew up knowing that becoming an artist is possible. My Uncle Marty was a professional musician. He taught me my first chords on an old guitar when I was 13, then I started my first band at 15 and never looked back.

Every Christmas, my family would gather around and play music together. Aunt Tootsie played piano, Uncle Bud played guitar and the rest of the family sang multi-part harmony. We were surrounded by music.

At University of Missouri, I started playing music around campus, which led to professional gigs. I started playing five shows a week and touring. I got to live my dream of being a musician for 10 years, but then I was ready to take a break. I took a job working for Edward Jones, where there was an annual campaign for the Arts and Education Council (A&E). That campaign became something I looked forward to every year as a way to give back to something that has meant so much to me.

What is Young Friends of the Arts and why did you get involved?

I’m someone who wants to be involved in his community and make a difference. YFA is a group of people that come together to explore and support the arts in the St. Louis metro area. What better way to impact my community than connect with like-minded individuals, inspire the next generation of arts patrons and have an impact on fellow artists and arts organizations? I want to show our members that St. Louis is a better place because of the artists and arts organizations here.

What is on the horizon for YFA in 2018?

We are growing our numbers to create an even bigger impact. There are always more people who want to engage with the arts in St. Louis, meet new people and make a difference. My job as the president of YFA is to find a way to connect with them.

We are hosting events like A Midsummer Night’s Drink that bring together YFA members and arts lovers to connect over their shared appreciation for the arts while raising money for A&E and the good work they do. We will also meet at arts events throughout the year so our members can connect with each other and the St. Louis arts community.

Connect with Adam and other YFA members at the next YFA event. Become a member today!

Become a YFA member

For more information about YFA, click here. Interested in joining the YFA board? Contact Emily Hellmuth.