Community Resident Spotlight: Philip Slein, Owner, Phillip Slein Galleries

Phillip Slein

As the first tenant of 1627 Washington Avenue, Philip Slein got to witness first-hand how one building can change an individual’s entire life.
In 2000, Slein had just graduated from Washington University and was beginning his career as an artist. After being introduced to Rise while in school, Slein jumped on the opportunity to start his studio in one of their renovated spaces at University Lofts on Washington Avenue in Downtown St. Louis. The affordable space not only allowed him to grow as an artist, but enabled him to pursue a dream that may not have been possible otherwise. Today, Slein credits the building with being an enormous part of his gallery’s success.

“Rise gave me the opportunity to grow my business, providing me with a great chance to succeed – and it worked. Literally, I rose to become a successful resident and member of the community revitalization in Downtown, and I’m proud to say my gallery started on Washington Avenue. I was the first tenant in our building, and I’ve personally watched this area ‘come to life’ with both residential and business growth. The vitality of the area is great, and with support and partnership from Rise, my business success was made possible,” said Slein.

Slein had moved into the renovated space at a time when St. Louis was just beginning to evolve and reinvent itself. In a city he once referred to as a ‘bombed out area’, Slein has been able to see organizations such as Rise have a profound impact on revitalizing the city. Buildings that were once uninhabitable are now a dynamic part of the community. Businesses, retailers and restaurants have popped up all over, awakening an area that once seemed hopeless. And as a historic and important city on a global scale, Slein believes people are just starting to get a sense of what St. Louis has to offer.
Slein’s story is just one example of the success Rise has seen throughout the St. Louis area. By creating affordable spaces, individuals receive a head start and an opportunity to reach their full potential. “Talent can bubble up anywhere and Rise gives people that are ambitious enough to work hard, a chance to become successful,” said Slein.

Slein’s current studio is located in the Central West End at 4735 McPherson Avenue. To learn more about the gallery, visit

NNIP Elects Eleanor Tutt to Executive Committee


In January we were pleased to announce that one of our own, Eleanor Tutt, Data Management Coordinator for Rise, was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP).

NNIP is a collaboration of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research center, and local partners in 37 cities to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems for community building and local decision-making. NNIP partners focus on democratizing information – facilitating the direct practical use of data by city, community and neighborhood leaders.

Eleanor has actively represented St. Louis at NNIP partnership meetings as an attendee and presenter since 2008. These meetings aim to strengthen NNIP’s peer learning network and advance the agenda of the partnership as a whole. They include presentations on individual partner work on a variety of topics, updates on cross-site projects, in-depth workshops on new data sources, and discussions about the direction of the partnership.

As a partner, Rise is hosting the next NNIP meeting, which will be held in St. Louis at the Drury Plaza Hotel, April 2-4, 2014. For more information about Rise’s important data democratization work, and our role in the NNIP partnership, please contact [email protected] or visit

CBN Awards Event Includes Rise CDC Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant Program Recipients

Jim L Award at CBN_NL

The Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis recognized outstanding individuals and organizations for excellence in community building at the 2014 Community Builders Awards Presentation March 6, 2014 at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Establishing itself as a premier community development event, recognized honorees included Fred Bright, the Mayor of the Village of East Alton, Melanie Dileo, Vice President of Community Affairs for Citi Bank, Jim Lutz, Rise Community Development Housing Development Project Manager and long-time community development notable, Sts. Joachim & Ann Care Services, Jason Deem, Rodney and Juanita Norma, Tim Barry, Executive Director of Horizon Housing Foundation and past-President of the St. Louis Equity Fund, as well as the Skinker-DeBalivere Community Council.

Realizing a need for capacity building as an important component of community building, a portion of the event was dedicated to Rise to announce our 2014 Community Development Corporation (CDC) Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant recipients. Loura Gilbert, Vice President of Community Development at Commerce Bank and a member of the Collaborative Oversight Committee announced the recipients.

The 2014 awardees and their grant-funded projects are:

DeSales Community Housing Corporation– Property Management system upgrades
Dutchtown South Community Corporation– Data and Neighborhood Indicator Tracking
Lemay Development Corporation & Lemay Housing Partnership – Broadway & Ripa Intersection Redevelopment Planning
Mt. Sinai Development Corporation – Sinai Village and Winstanley Neighborhood Reading and Vocabulary Skills Development Program
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group– Crown Square and Old North St. Louis Marketing Program
Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council and Citizens for Modern Transit – Wabash Station Planning

The event had over 200 people in attendance. The presentations, the socializing and the food were spectacular!

Emerald Ridge Groundbreaking and Construction

Emerald Ridge Groundbreaking 02102014_NL

In partnership with Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA), the Village of East Alton and Madison County, Rise has begun developing 46 new single-family homes in East Alton, Illinois. The Emerald Ridge project is scheduled to be completed in early 2015 and will be occupied mainly by existing neighborhood residents.

These homes will be affordable to families earning sixty percent of the area median income, making nearly two-thirds of the population of East Alton eligible. Tenants will also be given the opportunity to own the homes after 15 years. Residents can expect reduced utility bills as a result of the energy efficient design and construction, including increased insulation, ENERGY STAR appliances, reflective roofing and high-efficiency systems. Our goal is to provide sustainable, energy-efficient, universally-designed workforce housing for families in East Alton.

The project is a part of the Village of East Alton’s effort to revitalize the community, and will replace obsolete apartments in a community formerly known as the ‘Defense Area.’ The ‘Defense Area’ was built by the Federal government as temporary housing in the early 1940’s to accommodate workers at the nearby Olin ammunition plant that was gearing up for the war effort. After the war, these barracks-style buildings were not dismantled as originally planned, but were sold off to private owners. The rigorous commitment of the Village of East Alton to rejuvenate the area has now come full circle with the Emerald Ridge residential redevelopment. At Rise, we plan to play a significant role in transforming this community by surrounding the existing park and recreation center with new, attractive homes.

The official groundbreaking for Emerald Ridge was held on a very cold (5 degrees!) February 10, 2014. The event was well attended at the Keasler Recreation Complex and included esteemed guests State Senator Bill Haine, State Representative Dan Beiser, Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, Mayor of East Alton Fred Bright, SWIDA Chairman Robert Lombardi, Acting IHDA Board Chair Karen Davis and IHDA Treasurer Mary Kane.