Each January, the Arts and Education Council presents the St. Louis Arts Awards where we gather to celebrate the individuals and organizations whose contributions to our artistic community make the bi-state region more vibrant.

Proceeds from the St. Louis Arts Awards help A&E invest in the people and organizations that create diverse performances, exhibitions, workshops, art education programs and so much more for 1.6 million adults and children in our community each year.

At the 2019 St. Louis Arts Awards, we’ll celebrate seven honorees, including Champion for the Arts Sue Greenberg, who encourage our kids to be more creative thinkers, build bridges among cultures, energize our communities, foster our economy and enrich lives.

She may prefer to fly under the radar, but ask any artist or arts organization working in St. Louis within the last three decades and they likely know Greenberg.

As executive director of St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts and company manager for The Muny, Greenberg has spent thirty years advocating for and providing services to artists and arts organizations across our region.

Her introduction to the arts started young. Growing up in New York, her mom took her to museums in the city. Greenberg ended up majoring in art history at Washington University and coupled with her interest in urban studies, it is perhaps not surprising that she has spent her professional career ensuring that artists and arts organizations succeed.

“They are an important part of the ecosystem of St. Louis,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg got her early start at Channel 9 and then found her way to Theatre Project Company with Fontaine Syer. By the mid-1980s, she was looking for a part-time job and discovered VLAA. Co-founded in 1982 by Saint Louis University School of Law and the city’s Arts and Humanities Commission and housed within the Regional Arts Commission, VLAA needed its first executive director.

More than thirty years later, Greenberg has grown the organization to over 300 volunteers. They receive 200 new artist referrals annually and have helped nearly 100 arts organizations start with incorporation, secure tax-exempt status, establish bylaws and bookkeeping and adopt sound business practices through workshops and training programs.

“What I do is nurture the creative spark. VLAA has helped just about every [St. Louis arts] organization along the way in one way or another,” Greenberg said.

Her talent for detail and passion for supporting artists also took her to The Muny, where she has served as company manager for decades.

“Everybody goes to Sue,” said Denny Reagan, president and CEO of The Muny and 2018 Lifetime Achievement in the Arts honoree. “If you have a question and don’t know where to go, you go to Sue.”

Greenberg is a woman who never set about her career for the accolades, but with a deep-rooted commitment to furthering our region by championing artists and arts organizations.

Tickets for the 2019 St. Louis Arts Awards start at $300 and are on sale through Saturday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m. Learn more about the event here.

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