Get Involved: Passion & Philanthropy

 In Culture, Feature

Put your talent to good use! These three arts nonprofits seek volunteers to share their expertise, from writing, to storytelling to teaching tango.


One-time, weekend-warrior-style volunteer opportunities are important to be sure, but it’s the sustained philanthropic endeavors—the ones we dedicate more than a couple of hours to that mean the most. St. Louis is a city that prides itself on its rich arts and culture community, and much of that is a testament to the passions of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the passions of their staffs and volunteers. After all, it’s when passions and interests are shared between an individual and a cause or organization that volunteerism is sustained over the long haul. Here are three local arts orgs that benefit from volunteers’ talents, and where you can channel your love for the arts to create lasting change.

Over the past 20 years, the Center of Creative Arts has positioned itself as the largest multidisciplinary arts institution in St. Louis. Within this historic building, visitors can do everything from watch a performance, take a class, check out the art galleries or enroll in a workshop. Volunteers can help with projects such as planning special events, theatre ushering and gallery assisting. Those with specialized skills in the can get involved with COCA as a faculty member who teaches classes or workshops in dance, visual arts, theatre and voice, music, and even circus and magic skills or video production (

This organization encourages and empowers students age 6 to 18 who are interested in writing, publishing and performance. Writers and mentors in the publishing community are invited to lead after-school, weekend and summer writing programs to help young authors see their works published in books, magazines and newspapers. In fact, over the past five years, mentors with StudioSTL have helped 1,000 young writers. StudioSTL creates literary magazines from submissions provided by writers of all ages and needs editors and designers to help with the publishing of their upcoming “StudioSTL Anthology III” (

Want to volunteer in the arts, but not sure where? Join the Arts Commandos, a special project of the Regional Arts Commission. For 20 years, this program has mobilized an army of dedicated volunteers who complete projects for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in St. Louis. Arts Commandos are a group of professionals and community volunteers who use a hands-on approach to get up close and personal with the arts community in their city. What’s attractive to many volunteers is, with each new project the Arts Commandos takes on, they are able to support the unique missions of each organization (



An instructor works with a young dancer at COCA.

An instructor works with a young dancer at COCA.


Photo credit: Photos courtesy of American Red Cross St. Louis Area Chapter

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