Rooted in the deep traditions of the arts as a powerful means for social change, Arts as Civic Engagement is a platform for students to immerse in arts-based community engagement.

Launched in 2018, the program supports four Washington University undergraduate students in a Civic and Community Arts Residency at regional arts organizations. Participants receive a $5,000 stipend and work as embedded staff members at partner organizations.

The video below features our 2019 residents and partner organizations during a culminating event and reception at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Students illustrated their work through a creative presentation. The event included a conversation with St. Louis-based artist and activist Damon Davis.

Program Goals

Goals for Arts as Civic Engagement include:

  • Develop the talent, passion, and civic leadership skills of Washington University students, particularly those engaged in the arts.
  • Stimulate dialogue, mentorship, and the capacity for action around innovative ideas for the intersection of civic engagement and the arts in all disciplines.
  • Cultivate a lifelong commitment to civic engagement while strengthening networks between students, arts leaders, and civic leaders in St. Louis.
  • Support students’ interest in utilizing art as a powerful tool for civic and community engagement and help clarify career paths.

Learn about our 2019 residents below.


Arts as Civic Engagement is made possible by generous gifts from Sally Schnuck, OT ’78, Terry Schnuck, PMBA ’80, John Beuerlein, Trustee, MBA ’77, and Crystal Beuerlein.