MindsEye’s Arts and Culture Accessibility Cooperative is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 IDEA Awards.

These awards recognize institutions and individuals who made outstanding contributions to the inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility of the Greater St. Louis cultural landscape in 2022. The ACAC will celebrate the winners on Wednesday, January 18th at 9:00 AM via Zoom.


Gerald holds his award in his home. The lightbulb inside the award is lit.
Gerald holds his award in his home.
The lightbulb inside the award is lit.

Individual

Gerald Brooks, Board Member of the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Gerald S. Brooks is a retired Marketing, Public and Community Relations Director for the St. Louis Public Library where he worked for 24 years. He was a member of the Library’s senior management team, the media liaison and an official spokesperson for the organization. 

Mr. Brooks has been active in the St. Louis community for the last five decades. He has served on a number of Boards and committees. In addition to currently serving on the Board of the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired, he also serves on the boards of the St. Louis Community Credit Union (Chairman), the African Heritage Association of St. Louis, Inc. (Chairman), and The Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion.

For his many community efforts and contributions, Mr. Brooks has been honored with numerous awards and was repeatedly listed in Who’s Who in Black St. Louis. He is also profiled in best-selling author Gail Sheehy’s book Understanding Men’s Passages; a contributing author to Missouri Libraries: Your Lifetime Connection, a marketing manual for Missouri Library Staff and Trustees; and a contributing author to Family Affairs: What It Means to Be African American Today, a book of essays by Gil L. Robertson, IV.

Mr. Brooks has a bachelors degree in business administration. He resides in St. Louis Missouri with his wife of 43 years. They have two daughters, one son-in-law and one beautiful granddaughter.


A group photo of several young people wearing matching shirts next to a huge floor decal that reads Junior Theater Festival 2023. Bright graphics above read Thank You MindsEye and below are the logos for arts for all and Ignite. "Thank You" is in Braille across the bottom.
A group photo of several young people wearing matching shirts next to a huge floor decal that reads Junior Theater Festival 2023. Bright graphics above read Thank You MindsEye and below are the logos for arts for all and Ignite.
“Thank You” is in Braille across the bottom.

Organization

Ignite Theatre Company

Ignite Theatre Company’s mission is to develop great people first and great performers second through a unique blend of community service opportunities, traditional performing arts education, and inclusion of performers from all walks of life. Ignite Theatre Company’s core values are diversity and inclusion among the Ignite family, kindness in every interaction, service to others, lifelong love for the performing arts, and experience to build youths’ skills beyond the theater. Ignite provides Arts for All Performances, which are a judgment-free environment, for anyone who might benefit from a non-traditional theatre experience, with no cost associated with attending.


A white marble bust of a curly-haired man. The word “Closer” is in Braille on the base. A yellow soundwave behind him.
A white marble bust of a curly-haired man. The word “Closer” is in Braille on the base.
A yellow soundwave behind him.

Initiative

Staff Programming Opportunity Team (S.P.O.T.) at the Saint Louis Art Museum

SPOT is a new initiative created to encourage staff input and promote diverse thinking with fresh perspectives using cross-departmental collaboration. SPOT produced “CLOSER,” which was live interpretations performed by SLAM staff members inspired by artworks in the Museum’s collection. The auditory performances included performance art, vocal, instrumental, soundscape, and spoken word. CLOSER aimed to provide inclusive access to art.


Kyle Henke and Terri Johnson hold the City of Kirkwood's IDEA Award in the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center under the large LED Mural.
Kyle Henke and Terri Johnson hold the City of Kirkwood’s IDEA Award in the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center under the large LED Mural.  

Supporter

City of Kirkwood

Kirkwood spent a large portion of the COVID lockdown building the state-of-the-art Kirkwood Performing Arts Center. This less-than-ideal timing gave the city the opportunity to explore all of the options for safety, equity, and accessibility. Working with Terri Johnson, Kirkwood explored safety and accessibility beyond compliance and ensured that as patrons’ needs changed, Kirkwood PAC could also. From added (and removable) railings to additional lighting features, no idea was off the table, and no expense was spared. 


Saint Louis Art Fair Logo. The letter A in "fair" is an easel holding a framed blank canvas.
Saint Louis Art Fair Logo.
The letter A in “fair” is an easel holding a framed blank canvas.

Workplace

Cultural Festivals

Cultural Festivals strives to provide a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workspace, board of directors, and art fair. They have a diverse team of staff and interns who are learning more about what is needed to make the art fair more inclusive and accessible for everyone and believe it is imperative that everyone who attends the art fair get to experience all it has to offer.


Tim holds one of the IDEA Awards he created at MADE.
Tim holds one of the IDEA Awards he created at MADE.

IDEA Awards were created by Tim Varner at CustomMADE.


Ameren Illinois Logo
Ameren Illinois Logo

Thanks to the IDEA Award Presenting Sponsor – Ameren Illinois.

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