Monsanto Rural Community Arts Education Program

Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, in collaboration with the Arts and Education Council, has awarded $16,000 in grants to eight arts and arts education programs dedicated to bringing top-quality artists and entertainers into the classrooms and performance venues of the region’s rural communities. Thanks to the generous support of the Monsanto Fund, people living in the counties and rural communities surrounding the St. Louis metropolitan area have the opportunity to enjoy quality arts and cultural performances and programming, ensuring that the arts remain accessible to all. Click here to see the 2011 Monsanto Rural Community Arts Education Program grantees.

“The funds from the Monsanto Rural Community Arts Education Program are invaluable to these communities, providing them with access to arts and cultural events and programming that may otherwise go unfunded,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council.

With these grants, the Monsanto Fund and the Arts and Education Council will provide direct support to arts and arts education projects whose reach extend to rural communities within the bi-state, 16-county reach of metropolitan St. Louis, bringing life-enriching arts experiences and opportunities to children, teens, and adults; including at-risk, disadvantaged, economically-challenged and underserved populations.

“The Monsanto Fund is pleased to collaborate with the Arts and Education Council to provide cultural experiences and quality arts education to students in rural communities, where many of our area farmers live,” said Deborah Patterson, president, the Monsanto Fund. “We believe in supporting farmers and their families and in providing unique educational opportunities to students in these communities.”

The following programs have received a 2012 Monsanto Rural Community Arts Education Program Grant:

Gateway Center for the Arts
Located in Washington, Missouri, the Gateway Center for the Arts, a community based organization, offer individuals of all ages, abilities and socio-economic status the opportunity to participate in the visual and performing arts.

The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts -
The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois strives to nurture creative and critical thinking by exposing students and the greater Southern Illinois community to influential, diverse and innovative artists and speakers.

Highland Arts Council
The Highland Arts Council in Highland, Illinois actively promotes the arts in and around the community of Highland, through a variety of activities and projects. The Council provides a showcase for local artists and an educational opportunity for many members of the community to be exposed to the arts.

Arts Center - The Jacoby Arts Center located in Alton, Illinois fosters the artistic development and economic success of artists and expands accessibility to the arts through programs that promote education, participation and exploration. One of their annual events is ARTEAST where over 150 working in a wide range of disciplines including collage, painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking, sculpture, glass and digital media show their work and demonstrate their craft.

Looking Glass Playhouse The Looking Glass Playhouse, taken from the Looking Glass Prairie which lies to the east of Lebanon and mentioned in Charles Dickens' book, American Notes. Since 1972 the volunteers, casts, crews and audiences have remained dedicated to the core concept of community involvement and to the continuing effort to broaden the awareness of the arts in southern Illinois.

O’Fallon Arts Commission - The Arts Commission in O’Fallon, Illinois was established to promote and encourage public programs; to further the development and public awareness of and interest in the fine and performing arts; to facilitate the identification and preservation of the cultural heritage of the city, and to act in an advisory capacity to the city in connection with the artistic and cultural development of the city. Events sponsored by the Commission include performances by the Missoula Children’s Theatre and the annual Strangefolk Art and Craft Festival.

Raintree Arts Council
The Raintree Arts Council is a community arts organization serving Pike and Lincoln Counties in east central Missouri.  The Council believes that the arts enhance self-expression, self-confidence, and provide opportunities to celebrate who they are as a community.  The Council creates programs and services that provide experiences for every person to be able to participate and experience the arts.  Many of these programs are held in the Apple Shed that the Council owns and operates.

Strange Folk Festival -Strange Folk Festival is the Heartland’s largest outdoor indie arts and crafts show. Featuring 150 vendors from across the country along with plenty of eco-friendly craft activities, exhibits, live bands, and local cuisine under a canopy of beautiful trees! Over 15,000 folks attended 2011, and Strange Folk was declared “BEST OF 2008″ in the craft show category by The Riverfront Times.

Sullivan Patrons of the Arts - Located in Sullivan, Missouri the mission of the Sullivan Patrons of the Arts is to support and promote the visual, fine, and performing arts in the community, to increase the cultural opportunities in the area, and to provide scholarships and other opportunities to local youth and area artists.

County Fine Arts Council - The Council’s mission is to provide all of the citizens of Warren County, Missouri with the opportunity to experience a variety of arts both in schools and throughout the community.


 “Participating in the arts is one of the joys of childhood that leads to higher academic achievement. Monsanto Fund supports the Monsanto Fund Rural Community Arts Education Program because this outstanding initiative is helping strengthen rural communities with the arts, cultural events and educational programming. These areas might otherwise go unfunded, and they can do so much to enrich the lives of the next generation.” - Deborah Patterson

Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. Incorporated in 1964, the Fund’s primary objective is to improve the lives of people by bridging the gap between their needs and their resources.

The Monsanto Fund is focused on grant-making in three main areas: nutritional well-being through agriculture; science education, primarily on professional development for teachers; and improving the quality of life in communities where Monsanto employees live and work.

Visit the Monsanto Fund at