Festival for Soulard Shooting Victim Moves to Grand Center After Huge Response


Rain Stippec will be the beneficiary of the first Community Arts Festival. - MEAGAN LEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Rain Stippec will be the beneficiary of the first Community Arts Festival.
The response to plans for a new arts festival benefiting St. Louis dancer and Soulard shooting victim Rain Stippec has been so big that the festival has already outgrown its original venue.

Stippec was ambushed and shot in February as she was sitting in a parked car in an industrial part of South 7th Street with a St. Louis fire captain. Two brothers have been charged in the attack.

Friends of Stippec, who studied dance at Webster University, organized the festival to raise money to aid in her recovery, which is ongoing. The Community Arts Festival will include workshops and performances in arts such as theater, dance, music, poetry and yoga.

Originally, the festival was scheduled from Thursday to Sunday across two weekends between August 31 and September 10, with seven performances and free community workshops to be held at Satori Theatre and a youth dance workshop at Webster University. Now, as the list of local artists performing has grown extensively, the performances are being condensed to two evenings and relocated to the Marcelle Black Box Theatre and the Grandel Theatre, which are both in Grand Center.

Thanks to sponsorship by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, the Community Arts Festival's performances are now scheduled for September 2 at the Marcelle and September 9 at the Grandel. Both shows will start at 7:30 p.m. Each show will have its own lineup of artists and companies performing their particular art. Tickets for each show are $20.

The location changes only pertain to the performances. The Young Artists Workshop, which will feature dance classes in contemporary, jazz, musical theater and hip hop, will still take place at Webster University on September 3. The community workshops, which are being presented in collaboration with anti-violence and arts organizations, will still be held at Satori Theatre on September 2 and 9. Keep an eye on the Community Arts Festival website for an official schedule.

The Community Arts Festival is spearheaded by a group of Stippec's friends and fellow St. Louis artists. Anyone interested in learning how they can help the festival grow can contact founder Paige Walden-Johnson at communityartsfestivalstl@gmail.com.

See also: Dancer Shot in Soulard Ambush to Be Beneficiary of New Arts Festival

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