The Arts and Education Council (A&E), the St. Louis region’s United Arts Fund, recently announced that Edward Jones has donated more than $766,700 this year in support of arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county, bi-state area. The majority of the funds were raised through Workplace Giving Campaigns at Edward Jones’ corporate headquarters and 371 branch locations.
“Giving back to the community where we live and work is important to our firm,” said Jim Weddle, Edward Jones managing partner. “Because we believe the arts are essential to the quality of life in our community, we are proud to have supported the Arts and Education Council for 20 years through our Workplace Giving Campaign, helping to ensure that our St. Louis arts organizations stay strong and vibrant.”
Edward Jones has consistently conducted A&E’s largest Workplace Giving Campaigns; this year’s effort resulted in a record high associate participation rate of 75 percent. A long-time supporter of the St. Louis arts community, Edward Jones has donated more than $6 million to the Arts and Education Council since 1978 with nearly $4 million coming from its workplace giving efforts. With this extraordinary philanthropic history, it’s fitting that Edward Jones partners and associates will be honored as “Corporate Champions of the Arts” at A&E’s 2014 St. Louis Arts Awards, Jan. 20, 2014.
“Edward Jones associates and principals recognize that arts and arts education enhance a region’s economic environment and greatly enrich lives,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council. “By enthusiastically supporting the Arts and Education Council, our region’s United Arts Fund umbrella organization, Edward Jones helps ensure the area’s legacy of artistic excellence and provides greater opportunities for everyone in our community to experience art and culture.”
Since its founding in 1963, the Arts and Education Council has raised and distributed more than $100 million in private funding to arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county, bi-state St. Louis region. A&E grants help provide millions of experiences in music, theater, dance, film, literary arts, visual arts and outreach programs for children and adults living in urban, suburban and rural areas. Many A&E-supported programs operate in underserved communities and serve at-risk youth.
Revenue generated from Workplace Giving Campaigns accounts for one-third of A&E’s budget and annually supports nearly 70 arts organizations of all sizes, disciplines and demographics, including established institutions such as the St. Louis Symphony, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Sheldon Arts Foundation, as well as community-based groups such as Metro Theater Company, African Musical Arts and Springboard. The Arts and Education Council also partners with local corporations in named grant opportunities that provide specific funding. These partnerships include the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers, the Boeing Arts and Education Collaborative Grant Program, the Monsanto Rural Community Arts Education Program and the PNC Foundation Project Grant Program.
*This article was originally posted at KeepArtHappening.org.