Recent Accomplishments of the Arts and Education Council
ince 1963, the Arts and Education Council (A&E) has raised and distributed more than $100 million to arts and arts education organizations in the 16-county, bi-state St. Louis region, solely through private donations. The Arts and Education Council is the third oldest United Arts Fund in the country and continues to be ranked among the top United Arts Funds by the Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization for advancing the arts.
A&E announced the awarding of nearly 70 grants to local arts and arts education organizations whose outreach serves children and families living in urban, suburban and rural areas. This funding, made possible
by the contributions of individuals, institutions, and businesses throughout the region, enables millions of
children and adults to experience music, theater, dance, film, literary arts and visual arts and to participate in outreach programs.
The recipients of the 2015 PNC Project Grants were announced, generously underwritten by a gift of $40,000 from the PNC Foundation. This unique collaboration between A&E and PNC provided support to arts and arts education organizations located within the 16-county, bi-state St. Louis metropolitan region. Grants ranged from $500 to $5,000 and helped fund specific projects in local classrooms, community centers and neighborhoods as well as outreach programs for at-risk youth and underserved populations.
The 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards was held on January 19, 2015 at the Chase Park Plaza. Presented since 1992, the St. Louis Arts Awards is the preeminent award ceremony honoring individuals who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence, and organizations and businesses that enrich St. Louis’ arts and cultural community. The honorees included: Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts; Warner Baxter and Tom Voss, Corporate Leadership in the Arts, Ameren; Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, Excellence in Philanthropy; Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Excellence in the Arts; Denise Thimes, Excellence in the Arts; Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer, Third Degree Glass Factory, Arts Innovators and Winifred Crock, Parkway Central High School, Art Educator of the Year. World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation were presenting sponsors for the 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards with a generous $50,000 contribution.
In March, the Monsanto Fund, in collaboration with A&E, awarded $25,000 in grants to 9 arts and arts education programs dedicated to bringing artists and entertainers into the classrooms and performance venues of the region’s rural communities.
Also in March, A&E received a $25,000 donation from Maritz to fund the fifth year of the award-winning Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers. Grants are provided for education projects in schools and nonprofit education organizations during the 2014-15 school year. Recipients included: Central Visual Performing Arts High School, St. Louis; Clark-Vitt Elementary School, Union, MO; Fort Zumwalt North Middle School Special Education, O'Fallon, MO; Katie Harper-Wright Elementary School, East St. Louis; McCluer High School, Florissant, MO; Normandy School District, St. Louis; Oakville Middle School, St. Louis; and Scope Alternative School, St. Louis. The Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers has a substantial effect on students. McCluer High School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District, a four-time recipient of the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers, found that the average school attendance rate increased by more than 10% and the average ACT score and grade point average increased by nearly 40% for students participating in the programs supported by the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers. Moreover, in the past five years McCluer High School students participating in the Maritz funded program received more than $300,000 in college scholarships.
In June, A&E launched a photo blog highlighting artists, patrons, students, donors, and volunteers – makers of art through contributions of talent, treasure or time. “Makers of St. Louis” - as the series is called - was born after A&E completed the concept and production of its annual fundraising campaign video, which premiered at the 2015 St. Louis Arts Awards.
In July, A&E announced that Edward Jones and its general partners, headquarters associates and home-based associates invested more than $891,000 in arts and arts education organizations through 2015 annual workplace giving campaign. Of that total, more than $586,000 was contributed by employees with the company providing a corporate contribution of $305,000.
In August, Wells Fargo Advisors and A&E announced an expanded partnership in the areas of arts and culture. Wells Fargo Advisors’ total investment of $100,000 will expand access to creativity and expression opportunities for underserved youth and help build capacity for local arts organizations in the bi-state, metropolitan region.
This fall, A&E entered its fourth year of the Arts Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA), a program offered in collaboration with the Nonprofit Services Center and generously funded by Wells Fargo Advisors. The goal of ALMA is to enhance St. Louis arts and cultural organizations through a series of workshops by providing professional development support. Launched in February 2012, the sessions focus on such topics as social media, grant writing, funding strategies and financial leadership. ALMA is also home to the Executive Director’s Roundtable, a professionally led program targeted to executive directors of arts and cultural organizations, and Arts Marketers, which provides educational programs geared to marketing staff.
The Better Business Bureau once again awarded the Arts and Education Council its Wise Giving Seal of Approval, assuring donors that A&E meets all 20 BBB Charity Standards and maintains high standards in the areas of fiscal responsibility, fund raising and governance. A&E also received the GuideStar Exchange Seal and a three-star rating from Charity Navigator, assuring donors that the organization maintains the highest standards of fiscal responsibility, fundraising and governance.
Workplace Giving Campaigns continued to be a major source of revenue for A&E, helping to fund extraordinary artistic and cultural experiences for children and adults throughout the region. Many A&E-supported programs operated in underserved communities and served at-risk youth. Some recent successes from the 2014 campaign, “Art Starts With You” included:
- Nearly 70% of the associates and partners at Edward Jones donated more than $800,000 to A&E through its 2014 Workplace Giving Campaign. A long-time supporter of the St. Louis arts community, Edward Jones has donated more than $7 million to A&E since 1978 with more than $4 million coming from its workplace giving efforts.
- Employees of Ameren Corporation donated more than $109,000 to A&E through its 2014 Workplace Giving Campaign. This brings the total for Ameren’s annual A&E Workplace Giving Campaigns to $2.7 million since the corporation’s first A&E campaign in 1986.
In honor of its 50th year, A&E established its Fund for the Future to help support special projects and needs of the organization in the years ahead.
In February, the Missouri Arts Council honored A&E with a Missouri Arts Award for Philanthropy at a ceremony in Jefferson City. Initiated in 1983, the Missouri Arts Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made profound and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state.