What is the St. Louis Sloup Project?

People all over the world volunteer for a variety of reasons: to end poverty, to combat injustice, to educate children, to tackle environmental issues, to improve basic health or to fight social inequalities, violent conflicts and end the war. Volunteers are usually motivated by their values – equality, justice, freedom, passion, positivity. They see lack, and they believe volunteerism can contribute to others’ well-being.

When a group of physicians and journalists felt frustrated with the neutrality of the Red Cross, they took it upon themselves to provide medical intervention and provide assistance to those people beyond the national borders. That’s how international humanitarian groups, Doctors Without Borders started in 1971. Volunteerism can be as globally organized like Doctors Without Borders or as simple as providing service to the community.

Providing service to the art community they love was how founders, Maggie Ginestra and Amelia Collette Jones, started the crowdfunding group Sloup in 2010.

The idea of modern crowdfunding has its origins in 1997 when British rock band Marillion funded their reunion tour when fans clubbed together and raised $60,000. Crowdfunding is the method when businesses and people, usually online, ask for a small amount of money from a large group of people. Why crowdfunding works? Most people who donate to crowdfunding campaigns do so simply out of their affinity to the cause, and in the case of Sloup, it is to provide a platform for art projects in St. Louis to be funded and recognized.

St. Louis in Missouri might not have major internationally recognized museums and art galleries like in New York or Chicago but what you’ll find here is an authentic, innovative, and thriving arts community. St. Louis residents are proud of their City Museum which displays masterpieces of the late artist and local legend Bob Cassilly, their glorious landscaping and attention-grabbing flora in Market Street, and a dozen galleries and studios peppered around the city. Graffiti, which is usually covered up by most cities, are proudly displayed in the wall in Chouteau Avenue and South Leonor K Sullivan Boulevard. This just shows how St. Louis appreciates their gritty edge and vibrant artistic flare.