Mayor Tishaura O. Jones Celebrates St. Louis’ Historic $10.6 Million Investment in Local Arts and Culture Through American Rescue Plan
Jones et al celebrated the passage of Board Bill 66, allocating $10.6mil in ARPA funding to assist the art and culture industry’s recovery efforts.
Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, joined by the Regional Arts Commission, Alderman Dan Guenther (9), Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard (26), and local artists, celebrated the passage of Board Bill 66, allocating $10.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to assist the art and culture industry’s recovery efforts after devastating revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic – the third highest allocation of ARPA funding toward the arts from any municipality in the country and a historic commitment to St. Louis artists.
“The arts support the development of our youth and bring our communities together,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “At both of my American Rescue Plan town halls, I heard from residents who emphasized how more art in their neighborhoods would make them proud and help transform their communities for the better. St. Louis is the cultural heart of our region, and this historic investment will help support local artists and beautify our neighborhoods while strengthening this critical industry after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The arts are a major economic driver in the St. Louis region, generating more than $600 million in economic activity and sustaining more than 19,000 full-time jobs, hundreds of small business enterprises, and countless union jobs in the St. Louis area. Youth in the City of St. Louis are one of the biggest benefactors of arts programming, which often has a remarkable impact on students’ academic, social, and emotional outcomes.
“It is truly an historic day, and we are so proud to be a part of it. St. Louis City residents have spoken, setting the stage for the arts to continue to be an ongoing priority in our incredible City.” said Vanessa Cooksey, Regional Arts Commission President and CEO. “RAC will make a tangible, positive and lasting difference that continues to move our City forward.”
The Regional Arts Commission, which is supported by a portion of the region’s hotel/motel sales tax, aims to administer funding annually through 2025 as it replenishes its existing revenue source. The funding will be split among general operating support grants, artist support grants, and program support grants to help arts organizations and individual artists continuing their work in communities throughout St. Louis.
Last year, nearly 110 arts organizations throughout the region signed on to a letter urging City government officials to allocate this funding to assist in the recovery of this critical industry. After multiple community town halls, more than 5,000 survey responses as well as roundtables with community stakeholders and leaders, many residents expressed their desire to have more beautification measures – including murals – in their neighborhoods.
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