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Maritz awards Arts and Education Council $30,000 in Grants
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, July 9, 2017 - The Arts and Education Council (A&E) said that Maritz has generously renewed its support of $30,000 to underwrite the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers.

This distinctive granting program provides opportunities for teachers, schools and non-profit arts organizations to offer programs that encourage creativity in the classroom. It is one of only a few in the region that enable teachers and schools to apply directly for arts education grants. A community review panel evaluates qualified grant applications and the Arts and Education Council administers the funding on behalf of Maritz.

Maritz has served as the title sponsor of the Arts and Education Fund for Teachers for since 2009. To date, Maritz has provided nearly $220,000 for 61 impactful grants to schools across the region, including:

Poetry and pottery in Hazelwood Schools District
Illustrated stories in the St. Louis City Juvenile Detention Center
A piano lab in the Normandy School Collaborative
Art and gardening in Scope Alternative School in the Mehlville School District
Performing arts enrichment in East St. Louis, Ill.
New band instruments in Valley Park, Mo.

Since the fund's inception, data collected by A&E and local teachers has shown that increased access to the arts in schools has resounding, positive effects in students' overall academic achievement, standardized test scores, school attendance and college acceptance rates as well as students' personal growth.

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Arts and Education Council," said Debbie Schirmer, Maritz community affairs director. "In collaboration with the Arts and Education Council, we are able to provide individual teachers, schools and non-profit organizations the critical funding for art education projects that would otherwise go unfunded. Together, we feel our two organizations are making a difference in our communities."

"We know that when the arts thrive, our kids thrive - they perform better in the classroom when they are inspired and challenged by arts education opportunities," said Cynthia A. Prost, president & CEO of the Arts and Education Council. "A&E's partnership with Maritz has led to thousands of inspiring and impactful moments across our region, and sets a shining example of how corporate citizenship can lead to outstanding, tangible results for a thriving community."

Grant applications will open late summer 2017. For more information on A&E's grant programs, visit .

Missouri Homeowners, Renters and Businesses Have Four Weeks to Register for Disaster Assistance
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, July 3, 2017 - Missouri homeowners, renters and businesses that sustained property damage or loss caused by flooding and severe storms between April 28 and May 11, 2017 have four weeks left to register and apply for federal disaster assistance.

August 1, 2017 is the deadline to register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Eligible homeowners and renters may be able to receive money from FEMA for losses not covered by insurance to help pay for basic home repairs, temporary rental assistance and other needs such as replacing personal property. FEMA Individual Assistance is grant money that does not have to be repaid.

Here's how to register:

  • Call 800-621-3362 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. CST. Multilingual registration assistance is available. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585; MO Relay 800-735-2966; CapTel 877-242-2823; Speech to Speech 877-735-7877; VCO 800-735-0135. Multilingual operators will be available.
  • Go online to
  • Use the FEMA app for smartphones.
The federal disaster declaration covers eligible losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding between April 28 and May 11, 2017 in these counties: Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, and Texas.

SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

SBA also offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.

Survivors are encouraged to apply online using SBA's electronic loan application at

Survivors who are contacted by SBA regarding a low-interest disaster loan application should complete and submit the application as soon as possible. Returning the application does not obligate the survivor to accept an SBA loan, but it is a necessary step to be considered for other forms of disaster assistance.

For more information, survivors may contact SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA's website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Missouri's State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and FEMA are committed to ensuring services and assistance are available for people with disabilities or others with access and functional needs. People who have a need or a request for reasonable accommodation should let the staff know when they register.

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Archived St. Louis Community News and Information:
 Tackling Vacancy: St. Louis Land Bank Assessment
 City Secures $1 Million Federal Grant to Rapidly Re-house People Experiencing Homelessness
 Grand Opening Planned for Trojan Park
 City of St. Louis Launches Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
 Mayor Slay Launches St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway at Bellerive Park
 "Adinkra Tower" Sculpture Dedicated on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

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