The St. Louis ArtWorks Board of Directors selects national strategic visionary Jacqueline K. Dace, to lead the organization serving young artists of St. Louis. As Executive Director, Dace will bring a results-oriented vision, inclusive leadership and strategic continuity to St. Louis ArtWorks, recipient of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program nonprofit arts organization that empowers teens through art apprenticeships from the St. Louis metropolitan area. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the team of such an esteemed organization as St. Louis Artworks. I can’t think of anything more timely and rewarding than to further the arts, while providing an opportunity to our youth to expand their minds and share their artistic expressions. I look forward to building upon this strong foundation and attract an array of diverse allies to support our efforts,” said Jacqueline Dace, incoming Executive Director. Prior to being named Executive Director, Dace served as the Deputy Director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH, where she provided organizational leadership and the administrative management of the museum; the Deputy Director and later Interim Executive Director of the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, MO, where she was accountable for overall management and operation with a $1.8 million dollar annual budget; the Project Manager of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum – the first state funded civil rights museum located in Jackson, MS; and the Producer of two award winning documentaries: Through the Eyes of a Child and Mandela: Prepared to Die. Dace is no stranger to St. Louis’ arts and culture community. In an eight-year project at the Missouri Historical Society, Dace birthed three projects that highlighted the diverse and broad scope of the arts and their impacts to St. Louis’ youth.
Through the Eyes of a Child, led her into a career and lifelong commitment to public engagement and personal growth. Dace also created and led the multi-media project, In the Voice of a Child, in which she worked with middle-school students to produce original research for products of their own. Her exhibit Katherine Dunham: Beyond the Dance allowed Dace to immerse herself into a variety of aspects of the importance of the arts, diverse cultures and broadened the scope of bringing together community members. “We are extremely excited to welcome Jacqueline Dace to lead this next phase of greatness for St. Louis ArtWorks. With her wealth of experience, both locally and nationally, along with her life-long and highly accomplished appreciation and dedication to the arts, culture, and history, we are eager to support her leadership in the next phase of arts and youth enrichment programming,” said Erika Wilson, St. Louis ArtWorks Board Chair. Founded in 1995, St. Louis ArtWorks, began as a collaborative partnership with Grand Center Inc., the City of St. Louis, and the Regional Arts Commission but since its founding has provided opportunities for more than 3,600 young people, successfully helping to prepare them for future education and employment opportunities, with over $2.2 million paid to youth apprentices. ArtWorks bridges economic, racial and social divisions by providing underserved youth with arts education, workforce development training, and 21st century life skills, including fiscal literacy and professional communication. In 2015, ArtWorks proudly celebrated 20 years of creating opportunities for St. Louis youth. Followed by the prestigious 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award.