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Art Heals Violence Initiative

The Art Heals Violence (AHV) Initiative is underway to be launched in the summer/fall of 2021. Exhibitions, program development, and community engagment opportunities are currently being finalized and will be announced here. Any individuals or organizations interested in becoming involved with the AHV Initiative programming, those looking to learn more about this project, and media inquiries are asked to email the Arts Chamber directly: at

A note about our logo. The colors chosen have specific meanings. Purple is the color of the awareness ribbon for domestic violence and elder abuse. Royal Blue is the ribbons for child abuse awareness. These are all combined in the Blue shade. The reddish orange stands for gun violence awareness. Greenish teal represents anti bullying, sexual assault or sexual violence awareness.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has considered violence to be a widespread public health problem since 1979. The AHV program seeks to promote the healing, safety, and well-being of anyone who has experienced or been impacted by violence of any form. 

The St. Louis region has been consistently identified as one of the most violent regions in the United States on multiple parameters, especially north of the Delmar Divide. As evidenced in the 2018 Washington University report Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide, the region has been shaped by an extensive history of segregation driven by policies at multiple levels, resulting in segregation that systematically excludes African American families from areas of opportunity that support positive economic, educational, and health outcomes.

According to annual crime statistics in the region, while overall crime has trended downward, violent crimes have remained ever present. This initiative specifically intends to serve those who have been impacted by violence including victims, family and friends, first responders, trauma workers, and perpetrators with programs evenly focused on both healing and mitigation in violent areas.

By collaborating with leaders and residents of many underserved and high risk areas, the StL Arts Chamber is supporting artists to participate in the public policy discussion as well as the implementation of projects to influence the long standing effects of violence, decreased property values, and individual development to create a true community. In addtion to working with individual neighborhoods, we are working with the St. Louis Cure Violence Initiative. The global Cure Violence Initiative has demonstrated that utilizing the methods in public health, violence can be decreased. See some of our current projects below.

The Initiative

The AHV Initiative is a collaborative program facilitated by the St. Louis Arts Chamber of Commerce combining performances and exhibitions with neighborhood participation to address the pervasive issue of violence in the region.

This initiative is designed to utilize skill and creative imagination to address the local interactions that often lead to or facilitate violence in our region’s high risk neighborhoods.

    In partnership with local, regional, and national violence awareness and prevention organizations, as well as through collaborations with local neighborhoods, artists, and businesses, the AHV Initiative seeks to: 

    • Create dialogue around the epidemic of violence in its many forms
    •  Highlight participation in the arts as a constructive alternative means of communication to violence, as well as a mechanism for healing from trauma related stress
    • Develop ongoing community-based local arts opportunities in partnership with programs working to decrease violence
    • Provide an additional revenue-generating opportunity for local artists through marketing and supporting individual artists/arts organizations to further build a patron base
    • Cultivate and facilitate community, corporate, and artist relationships/intersections.

    To accomplish our ambitious program we have partnered with arts organizations from around the nation and locally to build local artist practice as part of the solution to violence in the St. Louis Metropolitan Region. On the following pages you will find more information about the established partnerships and how you can participate.

    Violence is an epidemic and everyone is affected. Everyone is part of the solution. Join us today!

    We are adding new projects to the Art Heals Violence Initiative.

    Check back often or email us to suggest a project. 


    Announcements coming soon! Live in the area and want to participate? Let us know!


    Violence is a complex issue. Creating effective strategies to ameliorate violence is even more complex and requires multiple perspectives.

    Our research team developing our assessment and addressing issues includes perspectives from criminal justice, social services, public policy, education, medicine and, of course, the arts.


    Phone: (314) 275-0888

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