ST. LOUIS – Missouri American Water, a supplier of clean water and waste-water services to approximately 1.5 million customers across the state, has provided St. Louis ArtWorks with a $15,000 environmental grant. The funding is being used to support one of ArtWorks’ Summer Apprentice Programs called BloomWorks.

In a partnership with Great Rivers Greenway and Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge , St. Louis ArtWorks will be providing job training through a three-dimensional design program where teen Apprentices will create a wayfinding sculpture depicting the Missouri River Watershed that will be installed near Boone’s Crossing at the Katy Trail. Teaching Artists Hap Phillips and Stephanie Nelson Pondrom will be leading the BloomWorks group as they create this commissioned piece.

The grant marks the first time St. Louis ArtWorks has received funding from Missouri American Water. Executive Director Priscilla Block acknowledged “This is an exciting opportunity to bring like minded collaborators together to support job training and environmental education for area teens. We are grateful for this generous support from Missouri American Water.”

The BloomWorks program is one of four Apprentice programs running this Summer at St. Louis ArtWorks. Nearly 70 underserved youth from St. Louis City and County are participating in disciplines such as painting, sculpture, video and sound design. The Summer Apprentice Program will conclude with a public celebration and Summer Sale on Friday, July 21st from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at St. Louis ArtWorks on 5959 Delmar Blvd in the East Loop. Friends, family, and supporters of ArtWorks are encouraged to attend and view the original works of art created by the Apprentices throughout the Summer. In addition to the commissioned wayfinding sculpture, the BloomWorks group will be creating individual works of art such as wind chimes and decorative “Little Libraries” which will be available for purchase at the sale.

St. Louis ArtWorks was founded in 1995 as a 501c3 collaborative partnership with Grand Center Inc., the City of St. Louis, and the Regional Arts Commission. Since that time, ArtWorks has provided opportunities for thousands of young people, successfully helping to prepare them for future education and employment opportunities. ArtWorks bridges economic, racial, and social divisions by providing underserved youth with arts education, workforce development training, and 21st century life skills, including fiscal literacy and professional communication. St. Louis ArtWorks is currently funded in part by the Arts and Education Council.

For more information on St. Louis ArtWorks and its community partners, please visit ArtWorks online at Facebook and Twitter. #MakeArtWorkSTL