NASAA Notes: March 2023

March 7, 2023

Indiana: For Everyone in Indiana

Three dancers in luminous white costumes gesture with open arms on a dimly lit stage.

Fort Wayne Dance Collective, an IAC grantee, makes dance classes and inspiring performances more accessible to the residents of Allen County, Indiana. Photo courtesy of Indiana Arts Commission and Fort Wayne Dance Collective

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) recently announced changes to its largest grant category, Arts Organization Support. This funding stream provides flexible resources that arts organizations use for community arts programming as well as operations.

Changes to the program stem from For Everyone in Indiana—a long-term, comprehensive effort to advance inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) to the arts for all Indiana communities. The process involved extensive community consultations that engaged more than 150 people through public forums, focus groups and interviews with geographically and culturally diverse groups. These conversations helped IAC and its stakeholders to better understand the arts ecosystem, community needs and impediments to support—especially for rural and historically underserved communities. In addition to qualitative outreach, the methodology included a grantee survey and extensive data analysis of past grant investment patterns. The findings were communicated transparently through an in-depth evaluation report and virtual briefing sessions.

Drawing on these insights, the new Arts Organization Support guidelines prioritize funding for rural areas, smaller/emerging organizations, and groups serving people of color and individuals with disabilities. Other salient features of the program include:

  • All organizations recommended for Arts Organization Support funding will go on a two-year cycle, to reduce application burden and increase the predictability of funding.
  • The evaluation criteria (and related rubric) emphasize community engagement practices and IDEA. Panelists in the grant review process will receive enhanced training to understand how the criteria can apply to many types of organizations.
  • Final report requirements will be stripped down to the bare essentials.
  • IAC and its Regional Arts Partners are developing outreach strategies to recruit smaller, emerging and first-time applicants into the Arts Organization Support program.
  • Due to the presence of more organizations in the funding pool—and in order to increase award sizes to have greater impact—the program is becoming more competitive, with approximately 75% of organizations expected to be funded and with funding preference given to smaller, under-resourced organizations.

For more information about the consultation process or the resulting grant policies, contact IAC Deputy Director of Programs Paige Sharp.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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