By: David Stiffler, Equifax
St. Louis Artworks, a non-profit that provides work experience through apprenticeships in the arts, opened the doors to their new office in Old North St. Louis this week! If you were to peek inside (ideally after a delicious lunch at Crown Candy Kitchen) you’d find the office festooned with your coworkers generosity. The Artworks office is a real milestone for them and for us because we funded them to move down there which is not only awesome, but it’s strategic! Can something be both awesome and strategic, you ask? You betcha! Here’s how:
Equifax funding + Collective Impact Partners = increased likelihood that we achieve results
We have finite financial and human resources at our disposal. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon us to invest wisely which is why we are moving away from funding single non-profits who offer the most promising results to funding a group of high-performing non-profits that work together towards shared outcomes or, as I like to call it, the Equifax Collective Impact Partners. Phonetically, the acronym (and here you thought this would be an acronym-free email) sounds something like “Eck-e-Pee.” How does that awesome strategy work? Two ways:
- Artworks will draw its apprentices primarily from the Old North Community and engage the young men and women during traditional down time – after school and summer time
o They earn a wage during the process and have opportunities to improve their employment skills
- Apprentices earn a wage will embarking on a series of arts-related projects, some of which will go to beautify the Old North neighborhood while other commissions are filled for corporate buyers like us!
- Other agencies in the Equifax Collective Impact Partners will use the Artworks services for their own needs as well as provide candidates to intern within the Artworks office which functions as an art gallery
- Matt Semrad, our intrepid IT leader and current Artworks board member – with his authentic Texas twang which makes you think of BBQ and quality marksmanship, has marshaled his IT troops behind Artworks as part of our internal strategy that sees one COE/bu leader and their group behind one agency in the Equifax Collective Impact Partners
- The IT team owns the support of Artworks with such early leaders as Blake Rundell, Shuma Chuadhuri and Tammi Johnson bringing to bear a variety of human and material resources with remarkable passion and ability
- Support of an agency or effort, however, is not limited to just those who work in IT and there will exist chances to volunteer open to all who are interested – stay tuned
So, poke your head into the St. Louis Artworks office (2703 N.14TH ST LOUIS ) While you do, check out the paint job. Blake Rundell was one of the high rollers on that project. Sit in one of the 30 chairs or 6 tables that Susan Lenzen and Facilities, through vendor connections, helped procure. Or check out the fabulous new refrigerator purchased by one of our premier sales leaders who prefers to keep his name out of the press. So, in order to preserve his anonymity I will misspell his name. Thank you Curt Joans. Your true identity is safe!
We have a number of projects in motion right now for Artworks including but not limited to film making. Members from media and marketing will teach to 4-5 apprentices; the product of their efforts will be shown at Artworks annual fundraising event! Last but not least, the lovely email banner above was created by one of our graphic designers! “IT Works.” Sure, it’s a double entendre! Zero reason there can’t be a bit of word play whilst doing good work in the community.
For more information please contact the following people: