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Jul 15, 2013

This week: From our St. Louis series! We talk with Roseann Weiss the Director of the Community & Public Arts Department at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.

Roseann Weiss is Director of the Community & Public Arts Department at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC). In this position, she oversees the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute - an innovative program centered on the belief that art can amplify the voices of communities, be a key factor in regenerating neighborhoods and be an agent for positive social change. Roseann also leads RAC's artists' support programs and creative community initiatives, which include identifying resources for new projects. She has over 25 years of experience in arts leadership in both nonprofit institutions and gallery settings.

The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, now considered a national model, provides professional level, comprehensive cross training for artists of all disciplines, social service providers, community activists, educators and policy makers in order to develop partnerships for successful arts-based programs that impact the community at large, and particularly under resourced communities. The program provides skills as well as explores creative techniques to assure success in collaboration and community work.

Roseann has initiated the expansion of the Institute's scope, including the design of a graduate program and an alternate, place-based model for community arts training. These initiatives were underwritten by the Kresge Foundation.

In March 2010, the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute presented the first At the Crossroads: A Community Arts & Development Convening. This national conference in St. Louis, underwritten in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, attracted a cross section of leaders in arts-based community development. In April 2012, a second arts-based community development Convening, funded in part by the Kresge Foundation, attracted about 300 participants from as far away as Dublin and Singapore.

Before joining the RAC staff, she was Director of Education and Programming for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. In her ten year post at the Museum, she instituted programs such as New Art in the Neighborhood for teens, the critics and curators studio visit and lecture series, and a docent program designed to connect high school students with contemporary art, along with many community collaborations.

Roseann has curated contemporary art exhibitions in both commercial and non-profit galleries, served on arts panels, juries, committees and boards and has lectured about contemporary art and community. She is a founding member of The AIDS Foundation of St. Louis (now part of Doorways) and Critical Mass for the Visual Arts. In honor of her active involvement in the arts community, Roseann received a Visionary Award in 2009. The award is given to those who have demonstrated a unique vision to further the arts in new and innovative ways.