ST. LOUIS (June 20, 2022) – Ameren Missouri, together with the Arts and Education Council, is launching a new grant program to provide funding for nonprofit arts organizations. The AmerenCares Equity in the Arts Philanthropic Grant Program will award one-year gifts of at least $5,000 to historically underrepresented and underfunded nonprofit organizations that are racially and ethnically diverse.
“We believe in powering strong communities, and research shows that residents who are engaged in the arts have a stronger and more positive connection to their region,” said Gwen Mizell, vice president, chief sustainability and diversity officer at Ameren. “Our investment in underrepresented arts programs is an important step toward building stronger, more inclusive and equitable communities, as a strong, diverse arts community helps attract people to our region and bolsters new opportunities for the local economy.”
Small nonprofits, particularly arts and culture organizations serving local communities, were more severely impacted by COVID-19 than most other types of nonprofits, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute. Additionally, organizations serving urban areas were more likely to experience decreases in donations during 2020.
“Access to arts and culture programs that celebrate diversity have never been more important, and many of the regional nonprofits running these programs are still recovering from the challenges of the last two years,” said Jessireé Jenkins, manager of grants and programs for the Arts and Education Council. “The AmerenCares Equity in the Arts program is an intentional collaboration that has the potential to deepen our reach within communities and organizations that have not had the opportunity to develop a relationship with the Arts and Education Council."
The AmerenCares Equity in the Arts Grant Program application period runs through July 15, 2022. Primary focus areas for potential grantees will include music, dance, poetry, painting, writing, theater/drama, sculpture, drawing and photography. Only arts and culture organizations with racially and ethnically diverse leaders at the decision-making level that are both located in and serving Ameren Missouri’s service territory are eligible to receive a grant. To view the full eligibility criteria and apply, visit keeparthappening.org/amerencares-equity-arts.
The AmerenCares Equity in the Arts Grant Program is one example of Ameren’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). In total, Ameren has pledged to donate $10 million over five years to nonprofits working for racial equity and opportunity. For more information, take a look at Ameren’s latest DE&I report.
In addition, Ameren employees recently completed their annual internal fundraising campaign for the Arts and Education Council, raising more than $95,000 for the organization serving more than 70 nonprofit arts organizations in the bi-state region. Since 2012, Ameren co-workers have given nearly $1.1 million to the Arts and Education Council.
The Ameren Corporation Charitable Trust was established in 1944 to serve as a principal source of the company’s philanthropic investments in community projects and programs. Allocations from the Trust's AmerenCares program come entirely from corporate earnings – and are not charged to customers as a business expense.
About the Arts and Education Council: Keep Art Happening
The Arts and Education Council ensures the 16-county, bi-state region is rich with arts and cultural experiences for all through programs and services that support more than 70 organizations each year, including: general operating grants, arts incubation at the Centene Center for the Arts, PNC Program Grants, the Arts and Education Fund for Teachers, Bayer Fund Rural Community Arts Program grants, Arts and Healing Initiative, the Catalyst Innovation Lab, Leadership Roundtables, Arts Marketers, the Keep Art Happening Scholarship and the St. Louis Arts Awards.
The Arts and Education Council is entirely funded by individual donors, corporations and foundations in the St. Louis region. Since its inception in 1963 as the region’s only privately-supported united arts fund, the Arts and Education Council has raised and distributed more than $100 million in private funding for the arts – a significant contribution that directly impacts the quality of life in our region. The Arts and Education Council meets all 20 Better Business Bureau Charity Standards and has earned the Wise Giving Seal of Approval, a three-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Guidestar Exchange Gold Participant rating. Connect with us – Website: KeepArtHappening.org Phone: 314.289.4000. Facebook: ArtsandEducation Twitter: @ArtEdSTL Instagram: Arts_Education_Council
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 135,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
Opportunities at Ameren
Ameren is an industry-leading and innovative Fortune 500 company that is a vital part of the communities it serves, building a sustainable energy future for generations to come. Ameren currently has more than 600 open positions in Missouri and Illinois, including opportunities in IT, supply chain, human resources, skilled craft and engineering. Learn more about Ameren's job openings and comprehensive total rewards package at Ameren.com/Careers.