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Exterior of the Arts Garden.

How does the Indy arts scene get its funding?

The Arts Council of Indianapolis distributes city funding to arts organizations through a fair and equitable grant program that allows small, start-up organizations funding opportunities, while also offering substantial support for large legacy organizations. The arts from around the Indy region sustain nearly 15,000 full-time jobs and produce more than $440 million in annual economic activity. The arts are diverse and inclusive, and help create a sense of shared cultural identity across Central Indiana. 

430 established artists have been awarded over $3.5 million dollars since 1999 through the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Creative Renewal Fellowship Program and 22 emerging artists have been awarded nearly $80,000 through the Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artists Fellowship since 2007.

The Transformational Impact Fellowship has awarded two artists $100,000 each to transform a community through the arts and the newly launched DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award will, each year, award five artists of exceptional caliber up to $10,000 to pursue ambitious projects and opportunities to expand their artistic vision and impact Indianapolis audiences. The Central Indiana Community Foundation has granted more than $1 million to 50 Contemporary Midwestern artists since 2004 through their Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship.

Sculpture on the Cultural Trail.

In 2015, Lilly Endowment Inc. contributed an unprecedented $100 million across 14 arts organizations representing the incredible corporate and foundational support for the arts in Indianapolis. Then, in 2018, the Endowment launched a new, competitive grant initiative that strives to uplift the unique and important role that arts and cultural organizations, and projects, play in building strong communities. The initiative is designed to enhance the quality of place in Indianapolis, and foster a creative, energized, and forward-thinking community.