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This spring has thus far proven to be a very busy and exciting time for the Indiana Arts Commission. We have just completed grant panel reviews for our Individual Artists Program grants, and this week completed the last of the panel reviews for direct grants to organizations including multi-regional organizations and those in Region 7.
In partnership with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, we have opened a call for designs for a Bicentennial Medal recognizing the 200th anniversary of our state. The competition is open to any legal resident of Indiana, 18 and older. Details of the project can be found on our home page.
An important activity coming up later this year will be the initial phase of our next Strategic Plan. Sherry Stark, our commissioner from Columbus, has agreed to chair the planning committee that will begin reviewing the goals and objectives of the current plan, and how we proceed on developing the next plan. While many organizations and agencies create strategic plans, all to often they simply take up space on some shelf. The Arts Commission places great value on our planning process and it guiding the direction of our agency and programs.
A major arts anniversary will be coming up later this summer. In July, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the enabling legislation that created the Indiana Arts Commission. The initial appropriation from the Indiana General Assembly for the Arts Commission was $12,500, and then Governor Roger D. Branigin appointed seven members to serve as the commission. There wasn't even a commission staff back then. We have come a long way in these 50 years, and over the next several months we will be sharing our history with you.
Another anniversary will be celebrated in September when the National Endowment for the Arts officially recognizes its own 50th anniversary. The federal agency is seeking public input on their website www.arts.gov sharing stories of how the arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts have had an impact on their lives.
Finally, I would like to recognize Indiana's Poetry Out Loud State Champion Emma Libersky for representing our state at the recent National Championships in Washington, D.C. Emma's dedication and hard work placed her among the nine finalists, and we could not be more proud of her.
Stay tuned. Exciting things are coming for the arts in Indiana.
All the best,