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IAC > About the Commission > Agency Overview About the Commission


To positively impact the cultural, economic and educational climate of Indiana by providing responsible leadership for and public stewardship of artistic resources for all of our State's citizens and communities.


The arts everywhere, everyday, for everyone in Indiana.


  • The benefit of our activity is public, belonging to every individual citizen as we champion arts organizations, providers, and artists in our State.
  • Our activities will always be delivered in a transparent, fair, and ethical fashion.
  • Our programs and processes will have public ownership and will help to build community partnerships wherever and whenever possible.

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life. The Arts Commission encourages the presence of the arts in communities of all sizes while promoting artistic quality and expression.

The Arts Commission advocates arts development opportunities across the state, and stewards effective use of public and private resources for the arts. It stimulates public interest in, and participation with, Indiana's diverse arts resources and cultural heritage. The Arts Commission works to enhance public awareness of the arts, life-long learning opportunities, and arts education programs. Governed by a 15-member board of gubernatorial appointees, the IAC serves all citizens and regions of the state.

The Indiana Arts Commission is an agency of State Government funded by the Indiana General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Strategic Plan

Visit to view our current strategic plan.


The IAC consists of 15 gubernatorial appointments who establish the agency's policies and goals, plan its direction for the future, and approve all grant awards and programs. The commissioners serve up to eight years, without compensation. They are selected to represent various areas of the state and diverse arts, business and community backgrounds.

The Commission hires an executive director to administer the agency and implement the strategic plan. The IAC staff provide advice and counsel, develop and administer the grants making process, recruit and train panelists, maintain a website, develop and disseminate publications and other information, and convene groups to assist in issue identification and research.


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.

To read more about the IAC's history, click here.