Collective Impact 2021–22
Collective Impact 2021–22

Collective Impact

Collective Impact was established in 2020 as a multiyear partnership between CAM and Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB). Collective Impact makes use of an Equity-Centered Community Design™ model to identify, develop, coordinate, and collaborate in artistic interventions that directly relate to the challenges faced in our shared neighborhoods.

In Spring 2021, the interactive exhibition A Sense of Home provided prompts that encouraged visitor reflection and action around three themes: Immigration & Citizenship, Housing & Health, and Abolition & Emancipation.

From Fall 2021–Summer 2022, Collective Impact deepened into a community-centered public art project developed for and with the neighborhoods in and around CRXLAB and the Museum: Covenant Blu/Grand Center, Vandeventer, and The Ville. Over the course of six months, a group of residents and stakeholders (“The Collective”) worked together to identify their shared interest of “safety,” collect input from the community, and explore how art could respond–including conducting an open call and request for proposals from artists. Collective members selected Juan Willian Chávez’s proposal to engage social practice art and gardening as tools for healthy self-expression. Chávez worked with members to develop the project “Growing Safe Spaces: CBVV Garden Collective.

From Fall 2022–Summer 2023, Collective Impact continues as a community-driven art project and expands to residents from the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. This year’s Collective has identified the common agenda of “Building Beautiful Community” and will work with the artist Mee Jey to create and site the project “US: United Sapiens,” a co-created figurative sculpture that uses colorful forms to represent and embody cooperation.

2022–23 Collective: Audrey Ellermann, Melita Harry, Ronald Jones, Alexis Merriweather, Ada Parker, DaZanni Smith, DeZha Smith, Mia Vance, and Quinton Ward. 

Past members of the Collective include: Thomasina Clarke, LM Flowers, Cynthia McCrea, Armenia Ratliff, Jayvn Solomon, Simiya Sudduth, and Aaron Williams.

Questions? Contact Michelle Dezember and Miriam Ruiz at

Collective Impact is organized in partnership with Creative Reaction Lab’s Robert Beckles, Programs and Education Coordinator; Antionette Carroll, Founder, President and CEO; and Tepra Wells, Fundraising and Communications Coordinator, alongside Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’s Michelle Dezember, Director of Learning and Engagement; and Miriam Ruiz, School and Community Partnership Manager.