Art House STL
Our mission: We are working to destroy the oppressive systems of larger culture, to dismantle our internalized oppressions, and to build an example of community that transcends those oppressive systems.
Founded in direct response to the Ferguson uprising, ArtHouse is a housing cooperative for activists and artists, as well as a hub for grassroots organizing, community building, movement gatherings, and art builds . ArtHouse believes we must build the world we want to live in as we dismantle the oppressive status quo.
Located in the Greater Ville neighborhood of North St. Louis City, the current work of the house as a whole includes programming for neighborhood children, community mental health support, celebrations of music, dance, and storytelling on our backyard stage, a visiting artist/activist program, and a Food Share/Community Lunch hosted six times a month.
In addition to our collective projects, individual ArtHouse residents are working on social justice and community projects throughout the region and around the country. ArtHouse founder, Elizabeth Vega, has been instrumental in creating a nation-wide coalition of activists demanding rights for asylum seekers. She has gathered activists from around the country to internment camps and border crossings. In St. Louis, Vega and the artivists continue to be at involved in much of the direct action activism in the region. Derek Laney has been instrumental in bringing the Cure Violence program to St. Louis, revisioning what public safety means to our region. Derek is also about to begin a reading group, based at ArtHouse, for Black men to read Black women authors, exploring feminist/womanist critiques of patriarchy. Steve Houldsworth is in the middle of a year long collaboration with the Missouri Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) to design and implement a curriculum to assist the white leaders and key volunteers of MTUG in addressing structural and individual racism within the organization. Steve is also one of the founders of St. Louis’ new LGBTQIA+ Helpline, which will be starting operations this summer.