Artists of Color Council

Providing guidance to design, promote and implement art and engagement opportunities along the Chouteau Greenway

The Artists of Color Council is comprised of eight visual, literary and performing artists. Together, they are tasked with providing guidance to design, promote and implement art and engagement opportunities along the Chouteau Greenway.

Artists were selected to represent a diversity of mediums, demographics, experience and geography within the City of St. Louis. The goal is to make the Chouteau Greenway representative of the community and welcoming to all!

Many thanks to the Whitaker Foundation for their support of the Artists of Color Council.


Meet the Artists of Color Council:

Pacia Anderson
Literary, Visual and Performance Arts
Written, spoken, visual and teaching Word Artist, exploring line and language through various visual and performance modalities.
Syrhea Conaway
Literary and Performance Arts
Performing musician of original works, music, soundscapes and songs.
Miles Dela Cruz
Performance and Visual Arts
Teaching artist with visual and music arts, primarily focusing on painting (graffiti/street art) and percussion.
Tre’von Griffith
Performance Arts
Producing Director, TLT Productions
Chinyere E. Oteh
Visual Arts
Photography
Sahara Sista S.O.L.S.
Literary and Performance Arts
Writer recording narratives of the underrepresented and marginalized through poetry, plays and short stories. Performance includes spoken word artist, actor and director.
Jerry Stewart
Visual Arts
Pen and inks, watercolors and oils to create scenic cityscapes and landscapes through paintings and murals.
Diana Zeng
Visual Arts
Oil, acrylic, china markers, charcoal, pastel and non-traditional mediums.

Background & Overview of the Artists of Color Council:

When 19 teams submitted their qualifications for the Chouteau Greenway Design Competition, the jury had a robust discussion about many topics, most notably:

  • The importance of representation and ties to St. Louis to fully understand the complicated history and context of the project
  • How this project can be a model for building a just city
  • Which teams had the capacity to implement such a complex infrastructure project

While the jury felt confident that the four teams chosen had the capacity to bring this vision to life, they also issued the following challenge:

“The Jury looks forward to the creative energy implied in the proposals, but encourages the four finalist teams to bolster their local St. Louis representation, community engagement, and racial diversity. If ever there was a time or a project to reveal what a ‘just city’ looks like, this could be it. Great Rivers Greenway and the Project Partners have begun the difficult and uncomfortable conversations, and the Jury would like to see the design teams carry forward and build upon that courage.”


Council Responsibilities:

Unless otherwise stated, all items are related to the Chouteau Greenway

As projects prepare to move forward, council will continue to collaborate with the Design Team and Great Rivers Greenway (GRG), reviewing the conceptual plan for any given segment and, if appropriate, providing guidance to design a local art program for that segment. This will include recommending:

  • Partnership opportunities
  • Engagement/community consultation opportunities
  • Mechanisms to solicit local art (commission, call for art, thematic direction, etc.)
  • Promotional and channels for all of the above
  • Feedback on any non-local elements of the overall art program

Great Rivers Greenway and/or consultants will take on the work to compile feedback and draft plans for the Artist Council to review before implementation. It is the intent of Great Rivers Greenway to follow the Artist Council’s directives as closely as possible, doing due diligence for any feasibility or legal concerns and bringing any concerns to the Council to discuss alternatives.

For other non-local elements of the overall art program, this Council will review and offer feedback to GRG and partners in their decision making.

Outside of meetings, assist in the promotion and distribution of opportunities such as calls for art, engagement opportunities such as programs and events, including targeted outreach to the council’s networks.

During implementation, review responses to calls for art, feedback from the community and provide recommendations to move forward with implementation.

Continue to recruit new Council members to maintain a strong, diverse group to carry out this mission.


Council Criteria, Expectations & Compensation:

The Artists of Color Council shall represent a diversity of the following:

  • Medium or mediums for art work or installations,
  • Demographics (reflecting the demographics of St. Louis City – investigate how to involve and pay youth)
  • Geography (within St. Louis City)
  • Experience (institutional, individual, community)

Members of the Artists of Color Council shall:

  • Possess a deep and genuine commitment to the advancement and evolution of communities in the St. Louis region
  • Respect and honor the voices of fellow Council members
  • Commit to a one, two or three year term (several members of each term length to begin, to stagger the board turnover) with three year terms being the standard of any new members after the first year
  • Commit to spend up to 10 hours per month:
    • Including (projected) six two-hour meetings and six one-hour phone calls in a calendar year
    • Including time spent independently promoting, passing info along, getting the word out to and gathering feedback from artists and community leaders
    • This can and should take many forms, meeting the community where they are. The Council and Great Rivers Greenway will create a plan that helps to reach underrepresented artists and even those who may not identify as artists.
    • This does not include on the ground work, meetings or time commitments outside of the above, running community programs or events. That work is not expected of this group and will be completed through Great Rivers Greenway and/or consultants.
    • Note: Members of the artist council could work with Great Rivers Greenway on these efforts through their normal procurement process, it is just not expected within the scope and stipend for the Artist Council position.

The conceptual plan for connecting Forest Park to the Arch, with meaningful connections to the neighborhoods north and south and the multitude of destinations in between is currently in the refinement stage. Once complete, it will be broken down into greenway projects that are part of the larger conceptual plan. As those projects are ready to move forward (might be a mile or two at a time), Great Rivers Greenway will collaborate with this Council before and also during the design, engineering and construction phases.

Council Members will receive a stipend of $7,000 for each year that is served in good standing. Members that attend 75% of the 12 annual meetings (in any format) are in good standing.


Defining Terms:

An “Art program” is the integration of art into any given project, can include:

  • Integration into design plans, such as artistic elements in the design of infrastructure or accommodation of amenities and features that champion future art and programs, such as performance spaces, lighting and power
  • Solicitation (in many forms) of public art (many disciplines) from local artists
  • Development of programs and events that take place along the greenway
  • Engagement of the community in the planning, creation and implementation of pieces and/or programs