When/where is Culture/SHIFT happening?

Thursday, November 17th - Saturday, November 19th in Saint Louis, MO. Check out our Schedule for more information.

Who should attend?

Artists, educators, activists, community organizers, arts administrators, social service workers, and anyone looking to become stronger community agents for change. In other words: YOU!

What is RAC?

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts. It is the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, and since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,900 grants totaling over $97 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, consortiums and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region. Visit www.racstl.org for more information, or follow us on Facebook Regional Arts Commission or Twitter @RACStLouis.

The Artist and Community Initiatives Department at RAC supports people who are working at the intersection of art and community through training, professional development, workshops and networking opportunities, and other programs including the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, the longest-running sustained training program of its kind in the United States.

The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute was founded in 1997 on the belief that art has the power to be an agent for positive social change and that cross-sector collaboration is the key to enhancing that power. Since its inception, the CAT Institute has trained about 325 artists of all disciplines and community activists of all kinds. These CAT Institute alumni continue to create relevant, impactful arts programs that serve under-resourced communities in a variety of settings, including neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, churches, and schools, as well as development initiatives. CAT Institute alumni create a powerful network of creative leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs, all focused on building a stronger, more vibrant St. Louis. Learn More.

What is the USDAC?

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is a people-powered department—a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape a culture of empathy, equity, and belonging.

The USDAC envisions a society that affirms the right to culture; that welcomes each individual as a whole, creative person; values each community’s history, heritage, contributions, and aspirations; creates conditions of care, reciprocity, and open communication across all lines of difference; and dismantles all barriers to love and justice.

To advance this vision of cultural democracy, the nation’s only people-powered department* instigates serious play at every level. Our local organizing activates social imagination, inviting communities to dream aloud and turn their dreams into reality. Our national actions invite everyone to perform a future infused with the transformative power of arts and culture. We connect people across regions in an ever-expanding creative learning community by sharing vital information, taking action together, and devising cultural policies and programs to catalyze profound culture shift in the service of social and environmental justice. Together, we’re creating new narratives of shared power and possibility and scaling up strategies for equity and belonging. Visit usdac.us for more.

*The USDAC is not a government agency.

Why is RAC hosting a Convening?

CULTURE/SHIFT 2016 is RAC's 4th convening. Our goals for this convening include:
∙Bringing together with St. Louisans some of the nation’s most creative thinkers and practitioners including USDAC’s National Cabinet.
∙Showcasing robust and progressive cultural programs, policies, and initiatives.
∙Serving as a catalytic launching pad for powerful new connections, collaborations, and campaigns for cultural democracy.
∙Convening 150 community arts and cultural practitioners along with their community partners for training/workshops/skill-shares including talks, panels, performances and art-shares showcasing work from St. Louis and beyond.
∙Creating an accessible, inclusive space with ideas leading to action, making cultural democracy real.
∙Finally, building on the momentum of RAC’s past Convenings:

  • At the Crossroads: A Community Arts & Development Convening - a national three day conference in 2010, underwritten in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, attracted a broad cross-section of 170 leaders in arts-based community development.
  • Rust Belt to Artist Belt/At the Crossroads - with funding from the Kresge Foundation, held in 2012 in collaboration with Cleveland’s Community Partnerships for Arts & Culture - bringing 300 attendees to St. Louis for three days from as far away as Dublin and Singapore.
  • Mind the Gap: Stepping into Arts-Based Community Action - An international one day-long seminar organized by the CAT Institute In 2014, with visiting community artists from Ireland and Lithuania and 95 regional participant.

How can I get involved?

There is lots of good work to be done, and we need passionate and committed volunteers. Click here to be considered for a volunteer position. If you are already registered for the convening, you can also apply to present a FREDTalk. Finally we will soon be opening a call for poster sessions for attendees to share more about their work. Stay tuned!

Is your location wheelechair accessible?

Absolutely! The Regional Arts Commission's Cultural Resource Center is a 4 story, completely accessible building with restrooms on each floor. For any other accommodations, please inquire with Tunde at 314-864-5811 at least 7 days in advance of the conference.

I have so many more questions!

Fantastic! We are busy planning and making the magic happen, but you can sign up for updates or check back here, as more information will be added in the coming weeks. If you have a specific and pressing question that you need answered now, just hop on over to our Contact page and let us know how we can help.