The long-awaited 30th annual St. Louis Arts Awards took place at The Big Top event venue on Monday, May 24. A sold-out crowd gathered to celebrate the vibrancy of the St. Louis arts community as individuals and organizations were recognized for their contributions to the arts in St. Louis.

The Red and Black Brass Band opened the show parading down the aisle with “Lovely Day” and “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Vocalist Denise Thimes, 2015 Excellence in the Arts recipient, and the Denise Thimes Ensemble of Adaron “Pops” Jackson, John King, Demarius Hicks and Josiah Joyce performed “My Romance”, “Sunny Side of the Street”, “’S Wonderful” and “Just Found Out About Love”. Brian Owens, 2021 Excellence in the Arts honoree, closed the show performing “Better Days”, “I’m Not Tragically Colored” and “MLK” with Life Creative Group artists: Malena Smith, Joshua “Paco” Lee, Christopher Johnson-Mobley, Nick Ayala, Desiree Jones and Thomas Paden.

Honored at the May 24 event were: Amy Kaiser, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts; Kirven and Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Excellence in the Arts; Brian Owens, Excellence in the Arts; Lynne and Jim Turley, Excellence in Philanthropy; Antionette Carroll, Arts Innovator; “Such Sweet Thunder” presented by St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Nine PBS, Jazz St. Louis and The Big Muddy Dance Company, Arts Collaboration; James McKay Jr., Jennings School District, Art Educator of the Year; and John Nickel, 30th Anniversary Chairperson’s Award.

Learn more about the 2021 St. Louis Arts Awards honorees by watching their stories here.

Proceeds from the St. Louis Arts Awards benefit the Arts and Education Council, whose grants and programs reach more than 70 arts organizations and 1.6 million adults and children across the St. Louis region each year. Presenting sponsor of the 2021 St. Louis Arts Awards was Centene Charitable Foundation. Edward Jones and Emerson served as Principal Sponsors.

The event was hosted by Keith Tyrone Williams, Arts and Education Council board member and 2018 Art Educator of the Year, and and honorary chair Pat Rich, who founded the St. Louis Arts Awards in 1992.

The 31st annual St. Louis Arts Awards will be January 24, 2022 at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel. Nominations will open to the public this July here.

For more information about the 2021 St. Louis Arts Awards, click here.