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History of the Agency

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In January 1964, Indiana's first arts commission, titled the Governor's Commission on the Arts, was created by Governor Matthew Welsh through executive order. Dr. Hertha Duemling was appointment by Gov. Welsh to serve as the executive director.

Shortly after the commission was created, Gov. Welsh appointed 16 individuals to serve as commissioners. At the time the commission was created, no state appropriations or available funds existed for program services or administrative activities. Limited funding was made available through a non-profit foundation created and financed by Commission Chairman James R. Fleming.

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  • 1960-1969


    In January 1964, Indiana's first arts commission, titled the Governor's Commission on the Arts, was created by Governor Matthew Welsh through executive order. Dr. Hertha Duemling was appointment by Gov. Welsh to serve as the executive director.

    Shortly after the commission was created, Gov. Welsh appointed 16 individuals to serve as commissioners. At the time the commission was created, no state appropriations or available funds existed for program services or administrative activities. Limited funding was made available through a non-profit foundation created and financed by Commission Chairman James R. Fleming.


    The Governor's Commission on the Arts ceased operation at the end of Gov. Welsh's term of office. After taking office in January 1965, Governor Roger Branigin extended the activities of the Governor's Commission on the Arts through executive order with Dr. Duemling retained as executive director, and Mr. Fleming retained as Commission Chairman.

    In July, 1965, enabling legislation creating the Indiana Arts Commission as a state agency became effective with a $12,500 annual budget appropriation. Seven members of the new Indiana Arts Commission were appointed by Gov. Branigin.


    In April 1966, with authorization from Gov. Branigin, the IAC received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to survey the arts and cultural resources in Indiana. In July of 1966, the IAC and the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society did a survey titled "The Vanishing One-Room Schoolhouse". After completion, the report and a lecture program were published by the IAC and received national attention.


    In January 1967, the IAC created and distributed the first issue of a calendar of major cultural activities and arts events in Indiana, titled "The Arts Mirror."

    In June 1967, the National Endowment for the Arts approved a grant application from the IAC in the amount of $50,000 on a matching fund basis.

    By establishing a fund in a like amount, the IAC potentially had a total of $100,000 available for future programs and services. However, budgetary concerns prompted the legislature to eliminate funding for the IAC. Following this action, the IAC ceased all operations. A group of concerned Hoosiers known as the Arts Underground quietly lobbied legislators to re-establish funding for the Indiana Arts Commission. The grassroots effort proved successful.


    During the 1968-1969 legislative session, new enabling legislation was introduced to establish the IAC as a state agency and restore funding for programs and services. Governor Edgar D. Whitcomb signed the new enabling legislation into law, and the IAC was once again set to pursue its mission to enrich the cultural lives of Indiana's residents.


    On July 1, 1969 the Indiana Arts Commission began operations with a paid professional staff under the leadership of newly appointed Executive Director Dr. Michael Warlum. Businessman Frank Thomas, founder of Burger Chef, was the new IAC Chairman.

    During the IAC's first year of existence, the 15 Commissioners sponsored three regional meetings and a state conference to learn the needs of various arts-related community groups, and make these groups aware of the IAC's existence and mission. The Commissioners also held conferences to better gauge the issues facing symphonic music, parks and recreation programs, and auditorium management.

    Supported by a staff of two, the Commission awarded a total of 42 grants in 1969 on an equal-match basis in one of four categories: Touring Programs, Technical Assistance, Special Projects and Organizational Support.

  • 1970-1979


    The number of grants awarded rose to 59. During that year, it is estimated that over 250,000 Indiana residents attended or participated in Commission-supported programs. Some of the Commission-administered projects at that time included Touring Art Exhibitions, Visual Artist in Residence, Poets in the schools, and Arts Council Community Service Programs.


    FY 1971-1972 saw the emergence of the IMPACT Arts in Education Project which was jointly funded by the US Department of Education, the NEA, Indiana Department of Public Instruction, IAC, and local participating school districts. During this year, 57 projects were funded through grants of $143,000.


    In 1972, the Indiana Endowment for the Arts was incorporated in order to accept gifts and contributions for the work of the Commission. The IAC was able to grant a total of $185,000 in 1972-73 and increase traveling exhibitions and school programs. The first Indiana Arts Awards were given during that year. Four recipients received this award. In late 1973 a fire broke out in the Thomas Building where the office was located, destroying most of the agency's records.


    With the assistance of a staff of 10 and seven advisory panels, the IAC funded 82 grants for $201,000 during 1973-74. Through a pilot project called "Preview Performance", a large number of community arts councils were created during this year.


    The number of funded grant applications increased again in 1974-75 to 114, although a lesser amount of money $195,000 was actually granted. During that year, the IAC received Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) funds for its staff to compile comprehensive statewide directories on crafts specialists/outlets and on arts organizations/support groups in Indiana.


    Eighty-five of the state's 92 counties were reached through grants, programs or services, and over a fifth of Indiana's population participated in IAC-sponsored programs. The largest single group of persons reached were school children. In one year, Indiana leaped from 44th to 19th place nationally in per capita appropriations to the arts. The IAC awarded $521,000 in 208 grants to 68 counties that year. The IAC also administered the Artist-in-Schools, Preview Performance (Campus Arts to Community), CETA Working Artists Project, Dance Touring, and Affiliate Artists Programs. The Commission's Artists-in-Schools program was recognized nationally as a pattern of cooperation between government agencies in enriching school curricula with the arts.


    Four arts awards were given, 239 grants for $720,000 were awarded and six arts programs were administered. Affiliate Artists, Inc. was established to promote the career development of American Performing Artists and to build new audiences in communities across the country.


    All 92 Indiana counties were reached with a grant, program, or service from the IAC. The 16-member staff and 14 advisory panels aided the Commission in awarding 289 grants for $968,000 to 79 counties and in administering the five programs.


    317 grants were awarded for nearly $1 million, a 10 percent increase over grants awarded the previous year. All 92 counties were again reached with a grant, program, or service. The first statewide survey of the arts was initiated to measure the economic impact of the arts and to assess the needs of arts and cultural organizations throughout Indiana. Forty-seven counties were reached by programs, including the newly-initiated Technical Assistance Programs and Arts in State Parks Program. Seven Indiana artists received 1979 Arts Awards.


    The IAC held its first series of four news conferences around the state to announce the 478 grants of $1.1 million awarded that year. IAC-granted dollars were match 6-to-1 by funds from local business and individual citizens.

  • 1980-1989


    In FY 1980-81, the agency redefined its goals to make it a priority that each county be reached annually with a grant, program or service. Long-range plans were developed and funded for arts services, touring and outreach programs, and ethnic arts development; $1.2 million was awarded in grants that year.


    There was a serious decline in the state's economy in FY 1981-82 which resulted in a personnel hiring freeze (which eventually reduced the staff to half its normal size), a restriction on state travel, suspension of merit pay increases, and the threat of reduced federal funding. Despite these problems, the IAC awarded $1.2 million in grants and continued to administer a variety of special programs. The Artists-in-Education Program continued to receive recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts as a model for other states to emulate. Indiana's "Public Arts Policy" was drafted and submitted to the Governor. It covered such topics as business and the arts, economic development, education, art in public places, and private sector support of the IAC.


    The "Public Arts Policy" was approved by the Governor and adopted in FY 1982-83. After four years with no increase in state funding, the Indiana General Assembly raised its appropriation for the 1983-85 biennium by a quarter of a million dollars which was all earmarked for grants. Despite this increase, Indiana slipped from 40th to 42nd place in per capita funding of state arts agencies. During the year, the IAC held 10 focus sessions around the state to gather ideas from the arts community and awarded $1.2 million in grants in four basic divisions: Organizational Development, State and Local Partnership, Arts Project Support and Artists-in-Education. Groundwork was laid for a new Local Arts Agency Test Program that was instituted during FY 1983-84. The test program allowed 10 Indiana communities to fund new arts programs with state and municipal money. In several areas, such as Columbus, the money allowed the communities to increase and improve their local arts council's services and facilities.


    In FY 1983-84, the Commission continued its major service of awarding matching grants in each of its five divisions to arts and not-for-profit organizations. In total, nearly 400 groups received $1.3 million in IAC assistance. The Commission also strengthened its commitment to individual artists by initiating a Summer Fellowship Program, in which $36,000 was granted to 16 individual/solo artists. Nearly 300 artists applied for the program, demonstrating the number and quality of Indiana's individual artists and the need for continued support.

    The Commissioners and staff also wrote and approved the IAC's long-range plans, consisting of goals, objectives and strategies. The comprehensive plan addresses the present and future developments of the agency while meeting the needs of the arts community in Indiana.

    The IAC staff also continued its major services to the field in 1983-84, providing the arts community with grants consultations, workshops, conferences, artist directories, mailing lists, program brochures, newsletters and other publications. The Indiana Governor's Arts Awards was also a highlight of the year in which six prominent Indiana artists were recognized.


    In FY 1984-85 the Commission received nearly 400 grant applications requesting $4.3 million with the IAC funding $1.4 million.

    In addition, the Commission awarded $49,000 in the second year of its Individual Artist Fellowship Program. Nineteen artists from throughout the state received fellowships to create or complete projects or other activities related to their professional development. Six Governor's Arts Awards were presented.

    In addition to awarding grants, the agency made a number of important achievements that helped further the development of the arts throughout Indiana. The new Presenter/Touring Program was initiated to facilitate the presentation of high-quality art in all of Indiana's 92 counties and to increase the visibility and financial support of Indiana performing arts groups and visual arts exhibitions. Through this program, the IAC provided free support to presenters.

    The agency promoted the Folk Arts Program initiative project around the state to help identify and preserve the unique heritage of Indiana. The IAC launched the Folk Arts Media Project, a major undertaking to produce four slide/tape presentations on folk art in Indiana.


    The Commission was able to secure the second highest funding increase in its history in an attempt to reach all of Indiana's 92 counties with a grant or service.

    The IAC, the Indiana Business Research Center, I.U. and the Indiana Advocates for the Arts produced an economic impact report: "Indiana's Arts Economy." The research focused on only a small group of 77 cultural organizations out of a field of 600. This small segment defined an industry that was generating $53 million annually. Fifty-six percent of those expenditures went towards hiring Hoosiers.

    In the beginning of the fiscal year, the IAC introduced a two-year funding option for arts organizations in the General Operating Support and State and Local Partnership division. The pilot of regranting of funds through local arts agencies was introduced as part of the Commission's State and Local Partnership Program. The purpose of the programs was to decentralize state arts funds through local arts agencies.

    The Individual Arts Fellowship program was enhanced by an increase in the number of fellowships from 19 in FY 1984-85 to 24. In the two years since the program was started, the IAC has helped to support the artistic expression and training of 43 artists from 17 different counties.


    During FY 1986-87 the Commission strengthened the public process of arts support and focused on improving the public's access to its programs and services. A coordinated campaign to actively involve grant applicants was introduced. For the first time, grant applicants were invited to attend grants review panel meetings. This provided applicants with a first-hand view of how their applications were reviewed and interpreted.

    The Commission received a $75,000 increase in the Biennium Budget; Indiana ranked 43rd among all the nation's state arts agencies in per capita funding for the arts.

    The IAC received 647 applications requesting $4.9 million in funding. With current legislative appropriations, the Commission was able to fund only $1.5 million of the total requests with state funds; reaching 66 counties with direct funding and numerous other communities with services. Grants workshops reached more than 300 citizens at 14 sites.

    Through the Individual Artist Fellowship Program, $60,000 was awarded to 24 artists.


    During 1987-88 the IAC's first Multicultural Round Table met. Twenty-nine artists, educators and community leaders representing various races and ethnic backgrounds gathered to discuss how the Commission effectively serves multicultural groups in Indiana.

    The Commission awarded 402 not-for-profit organizations $1.57 million in state funds during FY 1987-88. An additional 24 grants were awarded to individual artists through the Fellowship program. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies ranked Indiana's per capita state arts funding 44th in the nation among the 50 states and six jurisdictional agencies.


    The state's arts community, in union with the IAC and the Indiana Advocates for the Arts, secured a $600,000 per year increase for the 1989-91 legislative biennium. The increase was the largest in the Commission's history.

    A record 232 artists ranging from painters to video artists applied to the Individual Artist Fellowship Program. Twenty-three craft, design, media and visual artists received either $3,000 master or $1,000 associate fellowships for activities that promote their professional development. The governor recognized six individuals and institutions with an Arts Award on February 6.

    In 1989 the Commission held its first round table discussion in June on how the IAC can better serve people with disabilities.


    For the first time in the Commission's history, the agency received supplemental funding during the short session of the 1989-90 Indiana General Assembly to finance a new program, Arts: Rural and Multicultural (ARM), designed to nurture long-term arts development in Indiana's rural and multicultural communities.

    The agency's fiscal year 1990 $1.8 million state grants budget was the largest in its history. The increased grants budget enabled the Commission to expand the reach of its programs to 71 counties. Three hundred and fifty organizations received the IAC fiscal year grants.

    For the benefit of panelists and grant applicants with visual impairments, applications were available in Braille, large type and audio tape. American Sign Language Interpreters were available for the Commission's 1989-90 panel meetings to better serve panelists with hearing disabilities. The installation of a TDD at the Commission's office enabled the Commission to communicate directly with the deaf arts community.

  • 1990-1999


    In 1990-91, the IAC assisted artists, audiences and communities through $2.5 million in grant awards and services.

    During 1990-91 (the first year of the new Arts: Rural and Multicultural Program) the IAC reached hundreds of new constituents with more than $75,000 in state and federal arts funding. The IAC reached 12 target areas with grants for touring, technical assistance and arts projects.


    In FY 1991-92, the IAC's legislative appropriation was cut by 7.5 percent. Through administrative reductions and money-saving measures, the IAC managed to keep the majority of its grants intact.

    The importance of IAC programs was recognized by Governor Bayh and the Indiana General Assembly, who despite the challenging 1993 budget process, restored three percent to the Commission's grants budget.

    The IAC had a number of unique partnerships during this year, including a project for the 1992 National Conference of Lt. Governors held in Indianapolis. The IAC coordinated the Portfolio Project with the Lt. Governor Frank O'Bannon's office, the corporate sector and three Indiana artists to illustrate how business and the arts work together. The IAC collaborated with the Indiana Department of Revenue and a Bloomington graphic artist to create a design for the cover of the Indiana State Tax Return book. This helped to promote the arts to all 5.5 million Hoosiers.


    In FY 1993-94, the IAC celebrated its 25th year anniversary. The Commission witnessed tremendous growth in the arts over the years. The state's culture resources included 28 orchestras, 20 dance companies, 75 community theaters, 9 major art museums, over 250 historic and contemporary visual art galleries, 46 local arts agencies, 62 statewide arts service organizations and hundreds of organizations that supported the traditional arts of ethnic and regional communities.

    The IAC directly funded arts activities in 83 of Indiana's 92 counties. The Commission's $2.6 million in grants to almost 500 organizations, schools and community not-for-profits generated $61 million in matching private funds. Eight individuals received the Governor's Arts Awards for their contributions to the arts in Indiana.


    The IAC celebrated its 25th anniversary with live performances at three locations within the Indiana Government Center Complex. A reception was held at the IAC office and Lt. Governor Frank O'Bannon assisted with the sealing of an IAC time capsule. PARTners for 25 Years: Creativity & Community was adopted as the general theme for the celebration.

    Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, visited the IAC and toured Indianapolis. With a grant from the NEA, the IAC launched a new publication, "Art is a Verb," which examined how the arts could be integrated into basic school curriculum. Retired firefighter and former State Representative Hurley Goodall, along with Peggy Notebart and Sandra Neale were appointed as Commissioners. Julie Murphy was named interim director pending the appointment of Ray Tatar as Executive Director. Later in the year, Murphy resumed the interim director role.


    In an effort to trim the federal budget, the 104th Congress made dramatic budget cuts, including funding for the NEA, which supported over 20% of the IAC's budget. The agency began a statewide strategic planning process, developed a new Technical Assistance program, and launched a campaign with over 20 other state agencies to increase awareness of drug abuse. The IAC sponsored an Artist in Education Showcase and Conference at the University of Indianapolis. The new IAC publication, artsINform, became the official newsletter. For the first time in the agency's history, computers were assigned to each staff work station in an effort to modernize communications.

    Governor Evan Bayh presented Indiana Governor's Arts Awards to: Angela Pizzo, screenwriter/producer; Janos Starker, cellist; Norbert Neuss, arts patron; John David Lutz, arts educator; Thomas Schorgl, special recognition; The City of Fort Wayne; and First Source Corporation of South Bend, corporate patron.

    Willis Clark and Marianne Tobias were appointed Commissioners. Dorothy Ilgen was appointed Executive Director.


    The IAC adopted a five–year strategic plan which focused on its role in assessing future opportunities, mobilizing resources, serving as a catalyst for partnerships and cooperation, challenging and shaping public disclosure and joining people together to develop their community cultural identities and resources.

    Planning for the Regional Partnership Initiative began the first of a series of monthly meetings with organizations that would become Regional Partners. Through the Access Indiana project, the IAC established its own website to provide browsers with a variety of information about programs, services and arts in general. A new monthly publication, Commission Notes, was launched to keep Commissioners up to date on IAC and arts industry news.

    Donald Agostino, Jack Schriber and Anne Marie Sedwick-Galligan were appointed as Commissioners.


    A key part of the Strategic Plan was the launching of the new Regional Partnership Initiative, designed to improve service to arts organizations in all of Indiana's 92 counties.

    Governor Frank O’Bannon signed into law House Enrolled Act 1358, establishing the Indiana Arts Commission Cultural Trust Fund. Together with First Lady Judy O'Bannon, the IAC offered the “First Lady's Arts Series,” a series of exhibitions comprised of works by contemporary Hoosier artists and displayed at the Governor's Residence in the “State's Living Room.” In 1997, over 25,000 people saw the exhibits. Together with the Indiana University School of Public Policy and Environmental Affairs and as part of its strategic plan, the IAC oversaw a series of focus groups to examine the effectiveness of its communications efforts. The agency also began a 2–year study of individual artist needs through a statewide survey to determine grant programs geared to best serve these needs.

    The Indianapolis Capitol Improvement Board Study reported that more that 3,000 people in Indianapolis alone were employed directly by the arts and entertainment industry. A similar study in Fort Wayne showed the arts industry as the third largest employer in the city. The U.S. Senate defied four attempts to eliminate or further reduce funding to the NEA.

    Executive Director Dorothy Ilgen was the guest of President Clinton at a White House Ceremony for the National Medal of Arts. Jim Bodenmiller, Heidi Gealt and Ann Stack were appointed as Commissioners.


    Governor Frank O’Bannon signed into law Bill 1145, creating the IAC Cultural Trust Fund License Plate as the initial funding mechanism for the Trust Fund. the IAC received a grant from the NEA to start a foundation for a folk and traditional arts program in Indiana, resulting in Traditional Arts Indiana, a partnership with the Indiana Folklore Institute.

    William Ivey, who received a master's in ethno-musicology from Indiana University, was appointed chair of the NEA. Joan David and Louis Ortiz were appointed as Commissioners. Dorothy Ilgen was appointed to the Hoosier Millennium Task Force, a statewide partnership initiative.

    The Communications audit resulted in several recommendations for improving communications efforts and finding new opportunities to reach constituents. A new publication, artsINnews, was developed as a monthly, faxed only newsletter. The target audiences were media and arts organizations desiring breaking or time-sensitive news regarding the IAC or Indiana's arts industry.


    The Indiana Arts Commission celebrated the dawning of the new millennium with a 30th Anniversary Reception in the restored Indiana Repertory Theatre. The Masterpiece Celebration officially honored the dedication and service of Commissioner Hurley Goodall (who retired his position that year); the unveiling of the Indiana Arts Commission Cultural Trust Fun License Plate; and the unveiling of the agency’s new logotype.

    The IAC exceeded the required number of petition signatures to qualify for the Cultural Trust Fund Licence Plate production by nearly 300 signatures. Indianapolis Artist Pat Starzynski’s design, Creative Spirit, was selected out of over 65 entries statewide as the image for the plate.  As a direct result of the communications audit, the agency undertook a plan to develop a new identity through redesign of the logotype and more artistic and professionally produced materials. The goal was to make a stronger statement about  the IAC’s role in serving the public interest in all aspects for the arts in Indiana. The Commission adopted “Connecting People to the Arts in Indiana” as their new mission statement.

    Indiana Advocates for the Arts launched the Buck a Hoosier campaign. The organization initiated advocacy campaigns with Indiana legislators, raising awareness of the importance of the arts in educational and economic development, employee retention and cultural tourism. The campaign also called for Indiana’s per capita funding for the arts to significantly increase. The Indiana General Assembly responded by initially approving the proposed legislation (drafted by Reps. Sheila Klinker, Sue Scholer, Tiny Adams and Cleo Duncan). During the House Budget approval process, the funding level for the biennial appropriation to the IAC increased by $750,000 — the second largest single increase in appropriation in the history of the agency. The increase raised Indiana’s per capita arts funding to 66ยข.

    Governor O’Bannon’s office requested that the IAC organize and facilitate the Indiana Commemorative Quarter Design selection process. The U.S. Mint's quarter dollar coin project required that each state submit three to five designs emblematic of that state.

    The fiscal year 2000 grant funding period marked the implementation of the Regional Partnership Initiative. For the first time, organizations applied directly to Regional Partner Organizations for grants. Regional volunteer panels reviewed the grants and awards were made regionally. The IAC implemented the Capacity Building Grant Program, providing an additional $100,000 in funding to Indiana arts organizations. The revised Individual Artist Grant Program provided $50,000 in funding to Indiana artists for career–enhancing projects and activities. Over 200 artists applied for support.

  • 2000-2009


    The IAC was asked to take the lead role in collecting, reviewing and selecting preliminary design concepts for the Indiana Quarter. Part of the U.S. Mint's 50 State Commemorative Quarter Project, the process garnered more than 3,000 design entries from throughout the state. The design committee convened by the IAC included artists, arts educators, historians, coin collectors, and graphic designers.

    In association with the Indiana Quarter project, the IAC partnered with Access Indiana, the state government Internet service provider, to develop a method by which the public could register votes on-line for their favorite design from 17 semi-finalist designs chosen by the committee. Nearly 160,000 on-line votes were recorded during the two-week voting period. While this project marked the first time Access Indiana had developed such an on-line voting system, the process was replicated later in the year by another state agency seeking public input on a logo design project.

    Governor O'Bannon appointed Ms. Lee Marks, Shelbyville; Kathleen Beeler, Granger; Ronald J. Stratten, Indianapolis; William Hopper, Vincennes; and Steven L. Tuchman, Esq., Indianapolis to the Commission. The governor also re-appointed Willis S. Clark, Fort Wayne, to a second term.

    The Cultural Trust Fund license plate entered the special issue plate sales market. Each plate purchased resulted in a $25 contribution to the Cultural Trust Fund which was designed to provide financial resources to augment funding for community-based arts providers. A total of 743 plates were sold during this first year of availability generating $18,575 toward the trust fund.


    Direct granting to Indiana arts organizations from the NEA once again increased from the previous year. A total of seven Indiana arts providers shared $650,000, an overall decrease from the previous year. However, the annual partnership grant to the IAC actually increased by more than $40,000 from the previous year. The career development of 67 Hoosier artists received a boost as the result of grants from the Individual Artist Project program. The Commission approved a resolution of response to the events of September 11, 2001.


    The IAC partnered with Americans for the Arts (AFTA) in a national public awareness campaign on the importance of arts education. "Art. Ask for More!" involved a two year campaign of print, television, and radio public service announcements encouraging people to review statistics on the impact of art on academic achievement. Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Lafayette were part of an economic impact study by AFTA that concluded that the arts were responsible for over 12,000 full-time jobs, and $269 million in household income in these communities. The arts contributed more than $36 million into local and state tax revenues.

    Governor O'Bannon appointed Bloomington native Sandra Clark to the Commission. Commissioner Leonard Pas was named to the board of directors of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).

    The Indiana Humanities Council unveiled its Internet-based Smart Desktop initiative developed with funding support from the IAC. The program provided on-line resources for teachers to view student classroom-based assessment data, and identify areas of need that could automatically be linked to resources within a lesson plan design tool. The system was publicly demonstrated for the first time at the Community Arts Conference.

    The IAC launched ArtsEye, an e-newsletter targeted to Indiana artists listing information on opportunities.


    The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies announced that for the second consecutive year legislative appropriations to state arts agencies were on the decline due to state budget crises resulting from a sagging economy. Indiana experienced a budget reduction of 8 percent.

    Dorothy Ilgen, IAC executive director, joined Ballet Internationale on a tour of China.

    The IAC presented the 2003 Governor's Arts Awards as the luncheon program for the annual Community Arts Conference.

    The first statewide arts economic impact survey was released by the Indiana Arts Advocates at its annual legislative appreciation breakfast. According to the survey, more than 3,735 full-time jobs were directly related to the arts in Indiana.

    Traditional Arts Indiana hosted its inaugural State Fair Fiddle Contest to showcase Indiana's heritage of traditional fiddling, string band and bluegrass music.

    Sales of the Cultural Trust Fund license plate set a record monthly sales total of 1,008 plates in October, a 500% increase within a year. The plate ranked eighth in total sales out of 48 special issue plates available in Indiana.


    Governor Joe Kernan appointed Jeanne Mirro, Fort Wayne; Irene Smith-King, Gary; and Richard Q. Stifel, South Bend each to four-year terms. The IAC converted ArtsINform newsletter to a monthly e-newsletter for grantees. The IAC launched Arts:92, a quarterly e-newsletter that features news about the arts in the state, the IAC and its Partners, and success stories from grantees.

    Nearly 200 Hoosier artists applied for Individual Artist Project grants. A total of 86 artists received grants to assist with career development projects.

    Governor Joe Kernan appointed Judy Hess of Corydon to a four-year term with the Indiana Arts Commission. Former IAC Commissioners Willis S. Clark, Jack B. Schriber, along with current Commissioner Steven L. Tuchman, Esq., and Executive Director Dorothy Ilgen were recipients of Indiana's highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.

    The Arts Council of Indianapolis was named as a Regional Arts Partner.

    The IAC announced that over the next two years it would be converting all of its grant programs over to an electronic application process. The first part of the process would focus on direct grant programs where application is made directly to the IAC. The agency launched a series of training workshops around the state to review the new process with individual artists and organizations.


    For 2006, the Indiana Arts Commission received an NEA appropriation of $623,100, an increase of $37,900 from 2005. The NEA designated $69,700 of the appropriation be allocated for its American Masterpieces program. A national survey provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) ranked Indiana 35th in per capita public arts funding.

    Lewis C. Ricci is hired as the new Executive Director of the Indiana Arts Commission.


    The Indiana Arts Commission received a 2007 appropriation from the NEA of $632,100. A modest increase in state budget appropriations increases the agency’s total budget by nearly 10%, but this is subject to a 7% reserve in state funds. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies survey, Indiana ranked 47th nationally in per capita public arts funding.

    The 2007 Governor’s Arts Awards presentations were held in Bloomington, marking the first time in the event’s history the program was held outside Indianapolis. The move was strongly encouraged by Gov. Mitch Daniels as a way of sharing the event with the whole state.


    In early 2008, the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation directing the IAC to develop a program for designating official state cultural districts. No funding appropriation was provided for the project. The legislature also approved modification of the Cultural Trust enabling legislation lowering the threshold amount from $50 million to $1 million dollars. The result of this action enabled the IAC to begin arts education grant awards in 2009.

    The Indiana Arts Commission partners with the Office of the Lt. Governor, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and Office of Tourism Development in launching the new Indiana Artisan project. The program will research, judge and designate official Indiana Artisans.


    In 2009, the Indiana Arts Commission eliminated two grant programs and scales back four others to address a 20% reduction is state budget allocation to the agency marking the first budgetary impact on grants and programs. The reductions would impact grants in 2010. Previous state budget reversions were addressed through internal administrative reductions.

  • 2010


    In 2010, the IAC was one of four state arts organizations in the nation to receive follow-up grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant was in support of the IAC’s continuing efforts in arts accessibility. The grant was used to help launch satellite programs with the ArtsWORK Indiana initiative.

    After more than 18 months of review and planning, the IAC announced significant realignment of much of its grants and service delivery system. The restructuring came as the result of continued reductions in state budget appropriations which totaled approximately 30%. The realignment was made to preserve grant levels to the smallest arts organizations and cultural providers to pre-budget reduction levels.

    The IAC announced the first community designations of Cultural Districts. Carmel Arts & Design District, Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District, and Tippecanoe Arts and Cultural District in Lafayette/West Lafayette were selected as the state’s first official cultural districts.

    The Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) was selected as a new Regional Arts Partner for Region 8. The Community Arts Program at Hanover College was selected as the new Regional Arts Partner for Region 12.

    The Indiana Arts Commission received an appropriation from the NEA totaling $801,400. The federal appropriation, coupled with the agency’s state budget allocation, places the state of Indiana 43rd in NASAA’s annual ranking of per capita public arts funding.