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Friday, May 4, 2012

Regional Arts Commission Conducting First-Ever Census of St. Louis Artists

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2012 at 7:34 AM

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Calling all St. Louis creatives: The Regional Arts Commission wants to know your needs and challenges. And the organization hopes to reach everyone out there -- be they a full-time pursuer of the arts or a weekend dabbler.

"If you call yourself an artist, then we want to hear more about you," says Jill McGuire, executive director of RAC. "Right now there are a lot of assumptions out there about what would help the art community thrive, but this is the first time we've gone directly out to individual artists to ask them specifically what they need."

McGuire says the results of the survey will help RAC determine how it funds artists in the future. Last year the agency, which receives money from an area hotel tax, awarded $2.7 million in grants to 180 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the St. Louis area.

"We're trying to adapt to the changing environment," McGuire tells Daily RFT. "For example, we haven't given to individual artists before, but perhaps that's a policy we'll change when we get the results of the survey. We're hoping we can also take this information to developers and building owners who may be looking at ways to incorporate art spaces into their properties.

Musicians, photographers, graphic designers, actors, filmmakers, dancers architects, writers, crafters and educators: all are encouraged to log in to Artists Count and take the online survey. RAC is using funds from a recent Kresge Foundation grant it received to pay for the study, which is expected to cost around $40,000 to implement. Results should be available by late summer.

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