News Release

Arts and Educational Council Announces 2016 Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers Applications Now Open

August 26, 2016

St. Louis – The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis (A&E) announced today that applications for the 2016 Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers are now open. The Fund, generously underwritten through a $30,000 lead contribution from Maritz, provides opportunities for teachers, schools and non-profit arts organizations to offer programs that encourage creativity in the classroom. This distinctive granting program is one of only a few in the region that enable teachers and schools to apply directly for arts education grants. A community review panel evaluates qualified grant applications and the Arts and Education Council administers the funding on behalf of Maritz.

Maritz has served as the title sponsor of the Arts and Education Fund for Teachers for the past seven years. To-date, the Fund has provided nearly $190,000 to support 50 impactful grants to schools across the region: from poetry in Florissant, MO to guitar composition in Imperial, MO; from performing arts enrichment in East St. Louis, IL to video production in Union, MO. In that time, data collected by A&E and local teachers has shown that increased access to the arts in schools has resounding, positive effects in students’ overall academic achievement, standardized test scores, school attendance and college acceptance rates as well as students’ personal growth.

“Maritz is committed to bringing out the best in people, and studies increasingly show the positive impact of a strong arts education on academic performance,” said Debbie Schirmer, Maritz community affairs director. “The Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers provides schools with the support needed to offer essential arts programs that stimulate creativity, critical thinking skills that widen students’ horizons and build futures full of opportunity. By partnering with A&E, Maritz is able to support programs that meet the needs of our community.”

“The students in programs supported by the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers are experiencing the arts – and their classrooms – in new and exciting ways,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president and CEO of the Arts and Education Council. “A&E’s partnership with Maritz has led to thousands of inspiring and impactful moments across our region, and sets a shining example of how corporate citizenship can lead to outstanding, tangible results.”

Grant applications are open now and will close on Friday, September 16. Interested educators or nonprofit organizations operating in direct collaboration with individual schools are encouraged to apply online at keeparthappening.org/apply. A&E will announce the 2016-17 grant awardees Monday, October 10. For more information on Arts and Education Council grant programs, contact Susan Rowe Jennings at 314.289.4004 or Susan-R@KeepArtHappening.org.

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Arts and Education Council: One Gift. A Million Returns. – The Arts and Education Council (A&E), is the St. Louis region's United Arts Fund providing financial, technical and educational support for arts organizations. A&E’s mission is to build appreciation, participation and support for arts and arts education throughout the St. Louis community. A&E is the only privately funded arts umbrella organization that serves the 16-county, bi-state St. Louis region. Since its inception in 1963, 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. With funds raised, the Arts and Education Council annually assists approximately 70 nonprofit arts and arts education organizations. Additionally, the Arts and Education Council provides office, rehearsal and performance space for 17 nonprofit arts organizations in the Centene Center for Arts and Education, a unique arts incubator located in the Grand Center Arts District. A&E 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 Silver Participant rating.

How to find us – Website: KeepArtHappening.org Phone: 314.289.4000. Facebook: ArtsandEducation Twitter: @ArtEdSTL YouTube: ArtsandEducSTL Instagram:Arts_Education_Council

Maritz Holdings Inc. – St. Louis-based Maritz is a sales and marketing services company, which helps businesses achieve their full potential through inspiring and motivating employees, channel partners and customers. Maritz companies provide market and customer research; customer loyalty, sales incentives and employee rewards and recognition programs; and meeting, event and travel incentive services to Fortune 500 companies and beyond. For more information, visit maritz.com or contact us at 1-877-4MARITZ.

Follow Maritz on Twitter: @Maritz_MHI