Intersect Arts Center – Saint Louis, Missouri
- Emerging Leader: Sarah Bernhardt
- Grant Program: Emerging Leader
- Amount of Grant: $10,000
- Dates of Grant Term: February 2018 – February 2020
Sarah Bernhardt is the executive director of the Intersect Arts Center in Saint Louis, Mo. The Center grew out of an effort to see a place where disparate people, ideas, institutions, and cultures could convene in a positive and creative way. After Sarah’s husband was placed as a pastor at a small, historic, struggling urban congregation in Saint Louis, she began an effort to interact with neighbors. She started a small arts class once a week for local children. It grew into after school programs, outdoor art projects, community meals, art exhibitions, concerts and conferences, music videos and photo essays, and handmade ceramic bowls filled with soup for the homeless. Sarah also serves as a professor of art at the University of Missouri in Saint Louis, and guest lecturer at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in visual studies from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis., and a master’s of fine arts from Washington University in Saint Louis. She maintains a working studio space and an active exhibition record. Sarah is an alumnus of Saint Louis Regional Arts Commission Community Arts Training Institute, serves on the board of Lutheran Development Group (a low-income housing and community organization), and is active in developing visual arts enrichment for worship and teaching at her church, Holy Cross.
Intersect Arts Center plans to run a new summer program for at-risk youth focused on conflict resolution skills taught through the arts. Thirty middle and high school youth will be invited to participate in a three-week camp that will include culinary arts, visual arts, dance, and drama. The culinary arts will instruct youth in fundamental health and nutrition, basic cooking techniques, and food justice. Youth will also learn about and prepare foods from different cultures with a focus on countries that have undergone significant conflict in the last 20 years. Additionally, youth will be exposed to concrete steps for conflict resolution and violence prevention through a dance curriculum. They will learn about positive and negative body language, self-soothing techniques, and, most importantly, forgiveness! Students will create music and choreography that expresses the concepts they learn throughout the three weeks. The visual arts curriculum will focus on helping students create photo- and video-based work that communicates the values of conflict resolution in their own lives as well as document the dance and culinary programs.
This Grantee in the News:
Intersect Arts Center was featured on St. Louis Public Radio. Read more and listen:
Kids remain the heart of Intersect Arts Center after $3 million renovation
Intersect Arts Center was featured on the Lutheran Church Extension Fund website. Read more:
Fine Arts Center: Brings Hope to a Broken Community