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Biennial Report

A look to the future.

Good government starts with access for all citizens. The last two years have been exemplary for the Indiana Arts Commission as the agency has advanced its opportunities for artists, arts providing organizations and communities, and has helped our arts assets prosper, endure and ultimately pivot to engage and serve our citizens during an unprecedented pandemic. The demand for Arts Commission services has never been greater, with a record number of applicants to our granting programs and record participation in our education services. This helps our arts assets advance their abilities to produce public value by engaging with everyone, every day, everywhere in our state.

The Commission recently adopted a cultural equity statement which will serve as a springboard for advancing our ability to assure access for everyone, regardless of what community they might identify with or where they live. Our state’s rich fabric is strengthened by the cultures, ethnicity, races, colors, identities and variety of our people. The Commission will continue to intentionally break down barriers and provide enhanced opportunities so everyone can have the benefit from the arts in their personal lives and celebrate and communicate their uniqueness.

The arts are essential and central to our state being a welcoming place to live, work, and play. We are all life-long learners, and we want to both attract and retain citizens, giving them opportunities to grow and prosper economically and personally. There is no quality of life without the arts and creativity, as these provide both the fuel and the connectivity that our residents value: community, family, safety and health, opportunity and prosperity.

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In the last two years, the Indiana Arts Commission made 1,000+ grants, impacting 143 Indiana towns and cities.

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409 residents of Indiana participated in decision-making at the state level through the grant review process.

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More than 12,000,000 arts experiences were provided by grants funded by the Indiana Arts Commission.

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In the last two years, demand for Indiana Arts Commission resources has increased by 20%.

The decision-making process.

Public resources are invested on behalf of every taxpayer to produce public value for all. The Indiana Arts Commission makes these investments through grants, and at the heart of each grant are the following principles:

  • Excellence, because all should be able to have the highest possible artistic experience.
  • Authenticity, because all artistic endeavors have value.
  • Inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA), because all should feel welcome and have the opportunity to benefit.
  • Education, because all should be changed through the experience.

The Indiana Arts Commission places strategic priority on community engagement initiatives that are grounded in our principles, with an emphasis on inclusion, diversity, equity, and access work. We’ve found that this strategy brings these grant programs more in line with cultural development, community development, economic development, and social and civic engagement across a range of policy, programming, and funding agencies.

All grants from the Indiana Arts Commission are reviewed and scored by residents of Indiana and peers from across the country. The peer review process is critical to the Indiana Arts Commission’s transparent public funding process. Panelists represent diverse backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge in the arts, as well as reflect diverse geographic areas of Indiana.

No matter where you live in Indiana, you have access to the arts.

For over two decades, the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) has created intentional strategies to address access issues for rural residents. Through our Regional Arts Partners (RAP), community level programs and grant award policies the IAC has been able to provide direct, in-county access to its funded activities in all 92 counties.

Looking ahead, the IAC seeks to implement strategies to address cultural equity issues with the same intentionality in which it has addressed geographic access. Over the last several years, the agency has taken preliminary steps to better understand cultural equity and community needs through field surveys, focus groups, cultural competency training and formation of the cultural equity statement development committee. The IAC's recently adopted cultural equity statement will serve as a launching point for intentional policy and program development.

group of people with masks on in a gallery

Creative Community Pathway Support Team visiting Kokomo

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected artists, arts organizations and arts providers all over the globe. As the situation continues to evolve in Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission is closely monitoring how it impacts not only our grantees and partners, but the entire arts and culture ecosystem.

Since March, our agency has taken the following actions:

  • Encouraged constituents to participate in federally funded relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The sector reports accessing a robust $34M through PPP.
  • Released final FY20 Arts Organization Support grant payments early as an effort to support arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically this final payment (25% of the grant award) is released after receipt and review of final grant reports in July.
  • Produced a webinar series building the fields’ capacity to respond to the pandemic.
  • Administered over half a million dollars in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding through the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Awarded over $2.8M in FY21 dollars to community-based arts organizations and arts providers through existing grant programs.
  • Facilitated research with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Indiana University’s Public Policy Institute to assess the impact of the pandemic on Indiana’s artists and arts organizations.
  • Moved the 2020 Indiana Arts Homecoming conference online, providing a space for over 500 Hoosiers to continue to learn from each other and share best practices.
  • At the directive of the Governor, administered $10M in state CARES Act funding to support arts, cultural, and destination marketing organizations in partnership with the Indiana Destination Development Corporation and the Indiana State Budget Agency.

Did you know?
  • As economic development focuses on attracting residents and retaining a mobile workforce, it’s projected that the dollars which were once used to attract out-of-town visitors will now be invested in hyperlocal unique experiences.
  • As a response to the isolation of the past several months, the education community has focused on the social and emotional wellness of students through Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives which have a robust connection with the arts.
  • 82% of artists surveyed say their creative practice has been used to create community cohesion in the past nine months.

Crowd of people outside in the summer time at a arts/famers market

group of elementary students dancing in a school gym

Elementary students in South Bend demonstrate what they’ve learned with teaching artists from the Robinson Community Learning Center

The Indiana Arts Commission helps strengthen arts education in Indiana by providing assistance to enhance arts education delivery, support, access, and resources for educators, artists, and arts organizations. Our goal is to increase public awareness of the value of whole-child education and life-long learning in the arts.

Artists in classrooms unlock student success.

The Partnering Arts, Communities, & Education (PACE) program was established in 2014 to create long-term, in-depth, and sustainable partnerships between elementary schools with high poverty/low performing populations and arts organizations. The goal? To impact student growth and achievement through extended arts and literacy experiences. During the three-year partnership, the partner school receives support from a teaching artist that reflects the in-classroom curriculum.

“Over the three years we have seen connections to literary genres, social studies, science, and more. This is crucial for so many of our students who do not learn in a traditional way.” – Participating Principal

The research tells us that through this arts integration model, students not only gain knowledge, skills, and comprehension in the arts and English Language Arts, but they also retain that knowledge over the three years. This demonstrates that the arts create important pathways to learning for students, and learning through the arts produces long-lasting, positive impacts.

As a result of this arts integration model:

  • Students improved their vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
  • Students think that the arts are an important part of school.
  • Students can find meaningful connections to careers in the arts.

group of people performing music on an outdoor stage in the summer

Taste of Tippecanoe, Tippecanoe Arts Federation

Sometimes the role of an artist looks like a dancer working with residents of long-term living facilities to increase stability and confidence through rhythmic movement. Other times, it looks like a muralist completing a masterpiece made of chalk on a sunny day while families pass by in awe and pick up a piece of chalk themselves.

Recently, it’s looked like showing up at food drives and handing out art activity packs to youngsters stopping by with their grandparents. It’s also looked like socially distanced dance parties on sidewalks and living room concerts streamed through Zoom. No matter where you look in our state, it’s clear the pandemic has taken a toll on us, and artists are stepping up to help meet a most basic need – remembering we’re in this together.

Artists that participated in small business training provided by the IAC’s On-Ramp Creative Career Accelerator are more resilient as entrepreneurs compared to artists across the nation.*

*Nationwide sister survey deployed by Americans for the Arts.

  • Among several other key business skills, On-Ramp taught artists how to save for an emergency. On-Ramp alumni retained more of their savings in the midst of the pandemic compared to artists across the nation.
  • They are actively managing and tracking expenses, identifying new allies and partners, and adjusting their business plans.
  • Compared to the national survey, this group is more likely to continue to create in new virtual ways after the pandemic passes, in addition to their live businesses.

Did you know?
  • Creatives want to be part of the solution. Artists see the arts as a community benefit/unifier/force for positivity and advancement.
  • Their most important need? Living expenses. To creatives, meaningful support looks like contract, project commission, gig, and other paid opportunities.
General Assembly State Appropriation$3,878,898
Federal Funds (National Endowment for the Arts)$766,300
Arts Organization Support I$598,883
Arts Organization Support II$960,130
Arts Organization Support III$548,804
Arts Project Support$681,004
Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites$215,000
Individual Advancement Program$82,836
Regional Arts Partners$181,884
Cultural District Projects$50,000
Partnering Arts, Communities, and Education (PACE)$36,637
On-Ramp Creative Career Accelerator$60,000
Poetry Out Loud$17,500
Poet Laureate$3,000
Dues and Memberships$30,000
Traditional Arts Indiana$50,000
General Operations and Shared Overhead$1,129,520
General Assembly State Appropriation$3,842,081
Federal Funds (National Endowment for the Arts)$774,700
National Endowment for the Arts - CARES Act$473,900
National Endowment for the Arts - One time carryover$352,927
Arts Organization Support I$613,072
Arts Organization Support II$1,082,629
Arts Organization Support III$436,076
Arts Project Support$728,330
Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites$215,000
Individual Advancement Program$109,750
Regional Arts Partners$191,894
Cultural District Projects$50,000
Partnering Arts, Communities, and Education (PACE)$45,000
Indiana Arts Emergency Relief Fund$504,000
Poetry Out Loud$17,500
Poet Laureate$3,000
Traditional Arts Indiana$50,000
Dues and Memberships$53,000
Additional 1% State Budget Agency Holdback $39,205
General Operations and Shared Overhead$1,305,125

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