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In 1999 the Clayton Art Commission spearheaded the organization of a St. Louis-based public art consortium, a grass-roots group, made up of seven local municipalities and arts organizations including: Arts in Transit; City of St. Louis; Chesterfield Arts; Clayton Art Commission; Grand Center; Laclede’s Landing Foundation; and University City Arts and Letters Commission.

The consortium’s mission is to promote public art and public art education in the St. Louis region.

The group’s first project, completed in 2001, was to produce a regional public art brochure that was distributed through the St. Louis Visitor’s Center, at art fairs, art conferences and at city halls, libraries and schools in the consortium members’ own municipalities. Funding for the brochure came from each consortium member, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council.

The brochure was so well received and generated so much interest that the consortium, with the addition of St. Louis University, Laumeier Sculpture Park and Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, decided to proceed with the second phase of the project: to produce a St. Louis Public Art Curriculum Kit for use by area teachers featuring public art from the metro area. Funding for the second phase came from each consortium member, the Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council and the Arts and Education Council.

In order to assure that the Kit was teacher-friendly and that the interdisciplinary teaching suggestions coordinated with existing curricula areas, teachers from a variety of city and county schools were invited to join a Teacher Advisory Committee. As members of the Committee, the teachers participated in two workshops - one to learn about developing object-centered curricula and another to assist in producing teaching suggestions for inclusion in the Kit.

The organizations that sponsored the St. Louis Public Art Curriculum Kit hope that their coordinated effort and the resulting Kit will focus students’ attention on specific public art works; provide motivation for deep engagement in all content areas; generate community interest and support for art; and inspire young artists who might someday produce a work of public art themselves.