Arts, Culture, and Creativity

In partnership with the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission and their efforts with the EVOKE Cultural Plan, FoodSpark is convening creative thinkers and community members to spark conversations about arts and cultural assets and needs of the St. Louis creative community.

Working Definitions

  • EVOKE | A cultural planning process sponsored by the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) to engage, inspire, and explore how the arts can help make St. Louis a more vibrant and equitable place to live.  

  • Cultural Planning | A place-based approach to planning and development; a process for identifying and leveraging a community's cultural resources, strengthening the management of those resources, and integrating those resources across all facets of local planning and decision making.

  • The Arts | When we say “the arts” we mean all if it! Music, visual art, acting, dance, writing, architecture, cooking, storytelling, anywhere that inspires creativity and contributes to culture.

  • Culture | the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group of people; the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively; the foundation for ideas, expressions, individuals, and communities. As USDAC describes “everything human beings do is rooted in and sustained by culture.”

  • Cultural Resources | assets that embody culture such as as places, people, organizations, and institutions.

Guiding Questions

  • How would you define the current “State of Arts & Culture” in St. Louis?

  • What are some of the places that make St. Louis shine? Venues, outdoor spaces, organizations, etc.

  • How do you find out about things to see and do in St. Louis? These could be arts, cultural, entertainment events and activities. Is there anything that keeps you from going to these things?

  • Wha oul o ik e change i our neighborhood, community, and/or the city i h uture? he Evoke plan is omplet uccess, ha oes tha utur oo ik t. ouis?

  • Describ ou isio o rts, ulture, n reativit t. ouis. ou hav uggestion o o chiev hi ision?

  • Now that you’re a part of developing this plan with RAC, what would be the top 2-3 priorities you would want the cultural plan to address/accomplish?

  • Do you see arts education as a valued part of curriculums in local schools? If not, what can we do as a community to support arts education for young people across the region?

  • In what ways do you see arts and cultural events actively uniting communities and embracing diversity?

Useful Resources

  • EVOKE website -

  • New York City Arts & Culture Plan

  • Standing for Cultural Democracy: The USDAC’s Policy and Action Platform -

Food themes to consider when gathering on this topic: Dishes that remind you of St. Louis.

These could be the standards such as gooey butter cake or toasted ravioli, Imo’s pizza, a dish taken out from your new favorite restaurant. Or, if you grew up in St. Louis, your favorite dish from when you were growing up—dare we attempt to recreate mama’s home cooking