Upstart: College Outreach

Our teaching artists are available to speak to university and college classes throughout the bi-state metropolitan area. The artists discuss their experiences and careers, show samples of their work, provide a basic introduction to copyright, contracts and financial matters and describe our services. Upstart is made possible by the Emerson Charitable Trust.
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For Artists

We provide quality direct legal and business services and ongoing educational programs for artists at every career level and across all arts disciplines.
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Need legal or accounting assistance?
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For Nonprofits

We provide sound accounting and legal advice and affordable educational programs that help our region’s cultural organizations thrive.
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Need legal or accounting assistance?
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Creating a new nonprofit?
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These volunteers recently accepted assignments: Thomas Bassett, Commerce Trust; David Crawford, Crawford IP Law; Dennis Donahue, CreatiVenture Law; Joe Dreyer, Leritz, Plunkert & Bruning; Jason Flower, Husch Blackwell; A. Fuller Glaser, Herzog Crebs; Travis Gray, Evans & Dixon; Kenneth Heinz, Curtis, Heinz, Garrett and O’Keefe; Scott Hunt, Armstrong Teasdale; Michael Kahn, Capes Sokol; Michael Lane, Thompson Coburn; Jay Link, Ernst & Young; Rick Lawton, Thompson Coburn; Joe Marchbein, Rice, Sullivan; Gregory Minana, Husch Blackwell; Thomas Mug, Greensfelder; Denise Pisciotta, UHY; Fred Rusche; Brian Sabin, Capes Sokol; W. Bevis Schock; and Jonathan Wolff, Armstrong Teasdale.

Arts Space

Our arts space listings help artists find affordable live/work and studio space and help artist-friendly landlords promote and rent their spaces.

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Free Guides

Written in an easy-to-understand style, our publications provide and overview of copyright, taxes, contracts and more.

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Sample Nonprofit Policies

Our sample policies should be tailored to reflect your organization’s culture and discussed to ensure that they are embraced by everyone involved in their implementation.

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SmithBrianOur art students were introduced to some of the most important and basic tools for surviving in the art world, be it commercial or fine art. And our students have enjoyed the opportunity to learn something that is not often discussed in the classroom.


Brian D. Smith, professor, St. Charles Community College

GainesI find myself referring folks to the VLAA website quite often. And we in greater Missouri are glad to have a resource to reach out to when we have legal and accounting issues.

Michael Gaines, executive director, Hannibal Arts Council and Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies

MosleyMartyEvery seed planted needs water to grow. Thank you VLAA for watering Show Me Arts Academy with your expertise. Because of you, SMAA is growing daily.

Marty Casey Mosley, founder

I joined the VLAA board because I have enjoyed providing services to the St. Louis arts community as a volunteer for the organization for the past 10 years, and being a board member will allow me to become even more involved.

Jennifer Visintine, attorney

AshThe volunteers from VLAA have been super helpful. I, for one, am indeed “sleeping better!”

Bill Ash, president, St. Louis Classical Guitar Society

Having access to supportive organizations and resources like VLAA allows us to be and remain focused on bringing forth our creative vision to the world community.

David A.N. Jackson, artist

BuhlePaul Artspace is very happy to announce that it has been granted tax-exempt status! A big thank you to VLAA, Attorney Nichole Wren for her expertise and generous help in taking Paul Artspace through this process and, of course, the IRS.

Michael Behle, director, Paul Artspace

TurekVolunteering at the copyright clinic gives me the opportunity to address the questions and concerns of local artists who may not otherwise seek the advice of an attorney.


Morris Turek, attorney


I had an amazing experience working at VLAA. I was able to both further develop my legal skills and be involved in impacting my community.


Alexandria Williams, J.D. Candidate, Washington University School of Law


The in-person support with health insurance enrollment made the process feel less like searching for discount airfare. Thank you to VLAA and their partners for creating opportunities to simplify the process and to air out the questions.


Regina Martinez, organizer, Pink House neighborhood art space