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$10.2M fund to help Marion County arts and cultural organizations

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Posted at 12:27 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 12:37:59-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A new fund will provide grants of up to $500,000 to help local arts and cultural institutions as they reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund is made possible by a $10.2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the Arts Council of Indianapolis announced Wednesday. Organizations that are headquartered in Marion County can apply beginning July 13.

“Arts and cultural organizations play a vital role in our community, and we know they are under tremendous strain as they navigate challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic," Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development said.

The fund will provide arts and cultural organizations with one-time grants ranging from $5,000 to $500,000. Organizations must have an operating budget of at least $20,000 to apply, and those with larger budgets will receive larger grants.

Grants will be used to cover capital and operating expenses that are needed to adapt to public health guidelines. Organizations will be expected to use the funds on new equipment, professional services, changes to physical environments, modified programs and staffing.

Eligibility requirements for the Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund also include:

  • Being dedicated principally to the performance, exhibition, and/or presentation of arts and/or cultural programming. The focus on arts and cultural programming must be reflected in the organization’s mission statement.
  • Being aligned and compliant with public health guidelines and best practices.
  • Being committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and access as a core priority in the organization’s mission delivery.
  • Complying with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances, including those that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

“We are deeply grateful for Lilly Endowment’s leadership and generous support to help catalyze reopening and resilience across our sector,” Julie Goodman, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis said. “This fund represents a crucial investment in our arts and cultural community to imagine a new world that is safer, stronger, and more inclusive, equitable and accessible."

Arts organizations experiencing hardship

Marion County's arts and cultural institutions have struggled throughout the pandemic.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis conducted surveys and assessments that found there have been nearly 20,000 arts and culture closures and cancellations from March through June. The number is projected to grow to 30,000 by September.

The nonprofit arts and culture sector in Indianapolis is experiencing $8.6 million in financial losses per month, according to the council. Earned income losses are estimated to reach more than $50 million by September, while restart and recovery costs are estimated at more than $20 million.