CommUNITY Arts STL a 510(c)3 nonprofit organization that mobilizes the local arts community and their resources to aid Saint Louis's anti-violence efforts.
On February 6, 2017 a local dancer, Rain Stippec, and a local fighter were ambushed by two gunmen in Soulard, Saint Louis. The firefighter withstood gun wounds to the arm while Rain took eight bullets in the back. Just in the first week following the shooting, Rain underwent seven surgeries, most lasting upwards to 5 hours at a time.
In response to this tragedy, Rain's closest artistic friends decided to create a small concert to help offset the climbing medical costs. The concert to grew, to their surprise, to a two-weekend festival in Grand Center featuring local arts organizations such as The Big Muddy Dance Company, MADCO, and Saint Louis Symphony players. In addition to the performance, local organizations such as YogaBuzz, Alive and Well STL, Angel Band Project, Victim's Advocacy Center provided workshops at the festival.
Due to the overwhelming response of the arts community the team of artists vowed to continue using the arts to aid Saint Louis.