Chesterfield Arts Receives $15,000 Grant from Monsanto Fund

ST. LOUIS – This summer, Chesterfield Arts in west St. Louis County received a $15,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund, which was directed to the Kaleidoscope Program, an arts education initiative enabling children with Down syndrome and autism to cultivate their creativity.

“Access to the arts should never be a privilege,” said Deborah Patterson, the Monsanto Fund president. “Everyone should have the opportunity to enhance their life through the arts, and I’m thrilled we’re able to support programs like Kaleidoscope which make it possible for young painters and sculptors to learn, create and inspire all of us.”

Chesterfield Arts' Kaleidoscope Program provides children with high functioning autism or Down syndrome the one-on-one attention needed to cultivate creativity and improve critical thinking and motor skills. Classes for the program include pottery and painting/drawing.

"Through generous grantors such as the Monsanto Fund, Kaleidoscope students can explore artful ways to engage with the world," said Stacey Morse, executive director of Chesterfield Arts. "Artists and gallery patrons are often inspired by the students' focus as well as the scope of their artwork. Chesterfield Arts is grateful to the Monsanto Fund for helping cultivate creativity in children with special needs."

Artwork by students in the Kaleidoscope Program was paired with that of local working artists and featured at The Gallery at Chesterfield Arts in an Aug. 16-30 exhibit entitled, Inspirations.

Kaleidoscope students were paired with a working artist and both created a piece of art inspired by the other. Both pieces of art were then showcased for purchase with exhibit, and proceeds benefitted Chesterfield Arts education programs, such as Kaleidoscope.