ARTS &: Next Steps Presentations and FAQs


Thank you to everyone who was able to join us today for ARTS &: Next Steps. As promised, below are today’s presentations and a series of FAQs.


ARTS &: Next Steps from the Regional Arts Commission and the Rome Group, St. Louis (PDF)

St. Louis Arts Ecology from Michael Kaiser, chairman, the DeVos Institute of Arts Management (PDF)



What is ARTS &?

ARTS & is the title of the report that culminated EVOKE, the visioning and community engagement phase of the Regional Arts Commission’s cultural planning process.


Why the title of ARTS &?

The title captures a major theme in the report which suggests the additive power of the arts in St. Louis as a contributor to our quality of life. It also speaks to the need for the arts sector to become more collaborative, civic-minded and connected to the needs of the community.


Now that the first phase of the cultural planning process is complete, what’s next?

The ARTS & report revealed six broad priorities that the community identified as possibilities for the arts sector to pursue as agents of change. Our next step is to prioritize the priorities, assess our strengths and weaknesses around the priorities and brainstorm strategies to adopt as part of a complete plan of action.


RAC led the EVOKE process. Who is leading this next phase of cultural planning?

RAC remains at the helm and is overseeing ARTS &: Next Steps.


How will ARTS &: Next Steps different from EVOKE?

While EVOKE primarily engaged the broader community in conversation about the value of the arts in their lives as active and engaged consumers, ARTS & positions artists and the nonprofit arts sector — as the primary makers of the arts — at the center of this inquiry.


What types of activities will this next phase include?

This next phase will include a series of meetings with three small focus groups of artists, arts organizations and other stakeholders in St. Louis’ arts and culture sector. RAC has hired a consulting firm (the Rome Group) to facilitate the discussions that will enable the participants to brainstorm potential strategies that respond to the priorities.


How much will this phase of planning cost, and where will funding come from to cover the costs?

The budget for this process is approximately $175,000, which includes expenses for strategic plan development, strategic planning and constituent engagement consultants, community convenings, and meetings. Funding was derived from a generous grant of $150,000 from a private donor with the remaining funds from RAC.


When will this planning phase be completed?

The program officially launches on February 8, 2019, at a public informational event. Working Group sessions began in January and will continue through March. A public gathering will be held in April to share the findings from the process and culminate this phase of planning.


What will happen to the strategies that are developed with the arts community?

RAC will receive the findings in the form of a report and will share them with the consultants from the DeVos Institute. They, in turn, will use the ideas to inform RAC’s strategic plan and a final cultural plan.


As grantees with RAC, should we expect significant changes to derive from this planning effort that will impact how funding is currently allocated?

It is too soon to answer this question given that this phase of planning has just begun. While it is possible that RAC will make changes to any number of programs and policies it currently has, grantees will have an opportunity to learn about anticipated changes and provide input in advance. It is our commitment to keep all stakeholders in the loop every step of the way.


Not everyone is able to serve on the Working Groups and be at the center of the action. How do others stay apprised of what’s happening during the ARTS &: Next Step process?

RAC maintains the cultural planning website,, which will be updated with information as this phase of our planning process progresses. We also plan to activate social media to keep everyone informed. Staff is always available to field your questions via phone (314-863-5811) or email. Visit for staff contact information.