About RAC

The Regional Arts Commission raises vitality, value and visibility art organizations and artists.

“The Regional Arts Commission leads, strengthens and gives voice to the creative community, where every citizen can be proud to live, work and play in a world-class region”.

Vision and Oath

RAC is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more dynamic, creative and economically prosperous community by enhancing the vitality, value and visibility of art.

Through cross-industry collaboration and partnership, RAC is a leader in providing innovation, access and creative solutions for economic and social development. RAC promotes respect, inclusion and recognition of the diversity of cultures of all people.

76 million U.S. dollars

5,800

art funds

grants granted

Since 1985, RAC has had a profound impact on St. Louis, supporting and promoting the arts. RAC’s visionary and dynamic work continues to revive St. Louis culturally and economically.

1 million dollars in the additional sale of tickets through DART, a collective marketing incentive.
11 million annual visits
  • Financing
    • consistent and stable
  • Training
    • for art administrators and artists
  • Public Arts
    • training institute
    • Learning to use art for social change
  • state policy
    • art support in every community
  • marketing
    • that attracts more audiences
  • art commando
    • community involvement
  • surrounding area
    • development
    • involvement of different communities through the arts
  • artszipper.com
    • keeping a cool calendar of cultural events

Mission and management

Mission

The Regional Arts Commission was founded in 1985 to promote, stimulate and develop cultural and arts institutions in the City and the District of St. Louis and to promote the economic development of the area through the active presence of the arts. The mission of the Regional Arts Commission is to create an environment that encourages the development of artists, arts and cultural institutions:

  • Provide funds to encourage, stimulate and develop arts and cultural institutions and activities within its borders.
  • Promoting and preserving cultural diversity
  • Assisting creative workers and organizations in the field of art and culture in improving quality
  • Creating equal access to cultural opportunities
  • Ensuring that aesthetic issues are taken into account when making decisions at the local level.
  • Continuing to engage in cultural planning

Management

Fifteen members of the commission, appointed jointly by the mayor and the county administration, shall serve for four years. The office of the Commission is headed by the Executive Director, assisted by a full-time staff of nine.

Newsletters

These documents are a good way to get a quick overview of some Regional Arts Commission programs:

  • Regional Arts Commission (RAC) – overview
  • art commando
  • Institute for Community Art Training (CAT)
  • Cultural Resources Center
  • Gallery of the Regional Art Commission
  • Internship program

Authorized and employees

Executive Committee

  • Donna Wilkinson, Chairman
  • Kevin Farrell, Vice Chairman
  • Sarah Burke, secretary
  • Michael Scully, Treasurer
  • Maria Nalogman, member of the club on the loose

Commissioners

  • Rachel Keller Brown
  • Timothy Vogerty
  • Eva Fraser, MD.
  • Noemi K. Neudorf
  • Thomas Purcell
  • Dennis M. Reagan
  • John Russell
  • Ann Scott
  • Cheryl Walker
  • Dr. John Wright

Staff of the Regional Art Commission

For more information on staff, please see our biographies.

  • Jill A. McGuire
    • chief executive officer
  • Daniel P. Tierney
    • alternate director
  • Carol Anthony
    • executive assistant
  • Lisette Dennis
    • Grant and Volunteer Manager
  • Diane Kline
    • chief marketing officer
  • Lynne Maupin
    • Director of Constitutional Relations
  • Rosanna Weiss
    • Director of public art programs and public art initiatives
  • Rebecca Raines
    • Program and Research Manager
  • Kenneth Views
    • Information manager
  • Wendy Walker
    • Manager of the Cultural and Resource Center
  • Sarah Weinman
    • gallery manager

Voluntary lawyers and accountants for art (314) 863-6930

  • Sue Greenberg
    • chief executive officer

Financing programs

Relevant funds are available to non-profit, qualified art and cultural organizations and community art councils:

  • Operational support (which covers basic operating expenses such as rent, salaries, utilities, etc.) or program support (which relates to specific costs associated with the program, such as artist fees, travel expenses, advertising or promotional materials, etc.) for the development or presentation of artistic or cultural programs.
  • Purchase of equipment that will streamline administrative activities or improve the artistic quality of the product.
  • Consultation with qualified experts in art management.
  • Grants for travel to attend conferences.
  • Special projects.

Grants can be applied for by contacting the Regional Arts Commission office or online through the Grants Program.

Annual Grants

In 2012, RAC provided more than $2.86 million to support non-profit organizations, consortiums and programs in the arts and culture area of St. Louis. The Commission awarded 114 grants to programs I and II, which together with 25 Operational Support Grants I and II and 47 Operational Support Grants III (for a two-year cycle starting in 2011), totaled more than $2.86 million. Since its inception in 1985, AAC has provided more than 5,800 grants totalling more than $76 million.

Other programmes of the Commission

  • Art Commandos: This is a volunteer division of the Regional Art Commission was established in 1990. More than 500 members of the community volunteer to assist arts/cultural organizations in the implementation of projects, from painting and caulking to receiving guests and mailing letters. During 15 years of work, they have implemented 450 projects in the community.
  • ArtsZipper Calendar: “Hot Calendar for Cool Culture”! Check out all the cultural events the St. Louis region offers and sign up for a free weekly email newsletter with upcoming events.
  • Institute of Community Art (CAT): Since 1997, the Institute of Community Art Education (CI) at the Regional Arts Commission has continued to be an innovative program based on the belief that art can be an agent of social change. The CAT Institute, a national model, is designed to provide professional excellence, comprehensive training for artists in all disciplines, as well as social service providers/community workers for the development and implementation of partnerships.
  • Regional Arts Commission Gallery: Located on the first floor of the Cultural Resource Center, the Gallery seeks to exhibit works by local artists and create opportunities for curators living in the St. Louis area. Upon special invitation, visiting curators organize group exhibitions, each of which presents works dedicated to a specific discourse. The RAC accepts proposals for exhibitions on a rotational basis.
  • Internship Program: Designed to provide current students and recent graduates with valuable work experience in the nonprofit arts field.
  • Seminar Programs: The RAC provides technical assistance to non-profit organizations in the form of seminars that focus on art management issues such as fundraising, marketing, grant writing, and board development.
  • Resource Library: The commission has a library of books and periodicals on art management.
  • The Resource Library of St. Louis Voluntary Lawyers and Accountants in the Arts (VLAA) and the Regional Arts Commission is housed in the FIAC office and contains over 500 books and periodicals on a wide range of legal and business topics related to the arts. Through collaboration with the St. Louis County Consortium of Municipal Libraries, the VLAA library catalog is searchable online.
  • Special Projects: The Commission sponsors projects aimed at increasing popularity, building an art audience, and employing artists.
  • Outreach: Commissioners and staff regularly assist organizations with special management needs and act as intermediaries to integrate the arts into all aspects of community life, including community planning.
  • Voluntary attorneys and art accountants provide free legal and accounting assistance to artists and arts organizations and sponsor a wide range of educational programs available.

Historical perspective

Until 1985, in St. Louis and the District of St. Louis, art was supported in various ways. In 1979, the Mayor of Conway formed the St. Louis Arts and Humanities Commission. He appointed 11 members of the board of the commission and appointed an executive director. The commission was funded by the city government and the executive director worked in the mayor’s office. The budget was approximately 300,000 dollars.

The County supported the arts by providing funding for the Laumeier Sculpture Park, the Historic Sites Commission and the Transportation Museum, in addition to concerts by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the Queenie Park and other park concerts. Financial support was included in the county’s parks and recreation budget. Then, in 1982, the county executive and the mayor developed a 5/8-cent sales tax proposal in an effort to create a regional tax base to finance economic development, tourism, and cultural and artistic institutions. After a region-wide campaign, in August 1982, the tax did not pass with a small margin in the county.

The county leadership and the mayor then decided to try to fund each area separately, and in 1983 four institutions in the zoo/museum area (the Saint-Louis Zoo, the Saint-Louis Museum of Art, the Science Center and the Missouri Botanical Garden) succeeded in raising the property tax. (A fifth institution, the Museum of History, was added by vote in 1987) In addition, an economic development area was established at the state level.

The rest of the districts that are not part of the Zoo/Museum District and tourism had to be decided. In 1984, with support from the Association of Hotels/Motels, a plan to create a Convention and Tourism Commission and a Regional Arts Commission was developed. The tax on sale of hotels/motels was increased from 3% to 3,75%, thus the Convention and the Commission on tourism received 11/15 of the total amount collected in the city and the district, and the Commission on arts – 4/15 of the total amount collected. After passing the permitting legislation in spring ’84, the regional strategy of the campaign with a modest budget was implemented. With the help of almost all cultural institutions, large and small, and more than 300 volunteers, an increased tax on hotels and motels was adopted in November 1984. In January 1985, both the Convention and Visitors Commission and the Regional Commission for the Promotion of Culture and the Performing Arts (called the Regional Commission for the Arts) were established.

The Regional Arts Commission was formed to support and promote art and culture in the City and County of St. Louis and to promote the economic development of the area through the active presence of the arts. The Commission was formed with fifteen members appointed jointly by the mayor and the county administration to oversee the funds received from the 4/15 hotel/hotel room sales tax levied in the City and County of St. Louis. The Regional Arts Commission may spend only 15 percent of its income for administrative purposes. The remainder is used to support qualified nonprofit organizations that produce or present art or cultural programs for the St. Louis region, special programs, and Commission initiatives.

Freedom of expression and cultural diversity policy

Policy on Freedom of Expression

The Regional Arts Commission is firmly committed to preserving and strengthening freedom of speech, thought, investigation and artistic expression. The Commission’s responsibility and commitment to ensuring an environment in which freedom of expression can flourish extends to all forms of artistic expression, including fine arts, design, literature, media, and theatrical, musical and dance performances.

The Regional Arts Commission recognizes that the right of artists to exhibit or perform does not exclude the right of others to make exceptions for specific works of art.

Cultural Diversity Policy

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) advocates for respect, inclusion and recognition of the diversity of cultures and backgrounds of all people. The Commission is committed to working through the arts to eliminate prejudices and prejudice based on race, ethnic origin, socio-economic status, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or disability. The Commission promotes, supports and reinforces arts organizations and programs that reflect these values. The RAC also partners with other organizations to address diversity issues.

Programs requiring funding from the Commission are subject to rigorous evaluation, including review by citizens with knowledge of the arts, artists, Commission staff, and the 15 members of the governing body of the Regional Arts Commission. The Commission is solely responsible for the final determination of program funding.

Where to Find Us

We are located on Delmar’s Loop, one block east of Skinker Boulevard.

Regional Arts Commission
6128 Delmar Boulevard.
St. Louis, MO 63112-1204.