Michael G. Tompkins, a St. Louis resident, wellness visionary, and executive recruiter with Hutchinson Consulting, has announced the inaugural St.ART Street Art Festival in St. Louis, MO, Sept. 30 through Oct. 1. The goal of the two-day festival is to encourage hope, healing, and positive dialogue through art—including large canvas painting, poetry, performance art, and “yarn bombing” trees. During the weekend, a group of inspired local and renowned street artists will convey the emotions of the underprivileged and silenced in the community on large canvases and through spoken word. Festival entry is complimentary and the proceeds of the canvas sales will fund resiliency programs for the inner city and public service sector. “The divide in St. Louis between those that have and those that have not is undeniable,” says Tompkins. “Not unlike the iconic St. Louis Arch, art has an ability to bridge the divide. Art brings various opinions together in a way where all opinions are valid. There is no black and white; right or wrong.” A recent transplant to St. Louis, Tompkins came up with the idea for St.ART after witnessing amazing street art following the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson. “The incident in Ferguson changed me from having rose colored glasses about St. Louis, to becoming aware of the distinct socioeconomic and racial divide, which has been palpable to both the black and white populations in our community for decades,” says Tompkins.