Mayor Lyda Krewson and Michael F. Neidorff, chairman, president and CEO of Centene Corporation joined A&E for official ribbon cutting November 13

On November 13, the Arts and Education Council (A&E) unveiled the Catalyst Innovation Lab, a place to gather, collaborate, learn and exchange ideas on creativity for more arts and cultural innovation. The 1,900-square-foot space inside A&E’s Centene Center for the Arts, an arts incubator in the heart of the Grand Center Arts District, is inspired by the arts and driven by the needs of a community in transition. Mayor Lyda Krewson and Michael F. Neidorff, chairman, president and CEO of Centene Corporation, which generously provided lead support for the Lab and subsequent programming, participated in the official ribbon cutting on November 13.

“The Arts and Education Council’s Catalyst Innovation Lab is inspired by the arts’ power to bring people together,” said Cynthia A. Prost, A&E president and CEO. “With this space, A&E will serve as the hub for the arts community as well as cross-sector engagement through programs and speakers that create a ripple effect of positive change through the arts across the bi-state region.”

“I have long maintained that a strong foundation in the arts is the heart of any thriving community,” said Michael Neidorff, chairman, president and CEO of Centene, which also served as a sponsor of the arts incubator in 2005. “We are honored to play a role in bringing the Catalyst Innovation Lab to life, which will promote creativity and innovation in the arts throughout the St. Louis region.”

Initial programming in the Catalyst Innovation Lab will include a regular series of cross-sector conversations around creativity, A&E’s bi-monthly Arts Marketers series, Arts Leadership Management Academy professional development sessions, as well as two monthly Executive Directors Roundtables for arts executives. The 20 tenant organizations of A&E’s Centene Center for the Arts incubator will have complimentary use of the Lab during business hours. The Catalyst Innovation Lab will be available for board meetings, brainstorming sessions, lectures, social and fundraising events beginning in Spring 2018.

The Catalyst Innovation Lab is made possible with lead support from the Centene Charitable Foundation. With this generous support, Centene’s cumulative giving to A&E through the Charitable Foundation, Corporation and employee workplace giving campaigns now surpasses $1.3 million since 2002. 

The official opening of the Catalyst Innovation Lab concludes Phase I of the renovation of A&E’s Centene Center for the Arts. Phase II, a renovation of the arts incubator’s entrance and lobby, is scheduled to begin in January 2018. The Catalyst Innovation Lab is made possible with lead support from the Centene Charitable Foundation and design support from HOK. For more information about the Arts and Education Council’s Catalyst Innovation Lab, click here. For information about events and programming in the Catalyst Innovation Lab, contact Matthew R. Kerns, A&E manager of programs and grants, at 314.289.4112.