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As 2016 draws to a close, the Indiana Arts Commission is also closing out its 50th Anniversary year. We had an amazing celebration of our history at the Governor's Arts Awards in April, including the unveiling of a 50th Anniversary video which has been enthusiastically received both here at home and outside our state. You can view the video here. While it is normal to reflect nostalgic, there are exciting times ahead for the Arts Commission and the arts in Indiana.
We will kick off the New Year on February 2, with a day-long, multi-media presentation at the Indiana State House designed to highlight our direct grantees and the community impact they have in our state. Much of this self-contained program will be stories told by the artists and organizations themselves through images, video, and audio. Our goal is to emphasize to elected officials and the thousands of visitors to the State House the very real impact the arts have in all regions of Indiana. Grants and program impact of the IAC will also be reflected in our recently published 2015-2016 biennial report which can be found here.
At the same time we host the State House event, we will be releasing a new statewide economic and employment impact report on the arts in Indiana. This report will dig deeper than any previous research of its kind and share data on the number of Hoosier workers and their families employed in our creative economy. Indiana markets itself as “a state that works.” The Indiana Arts Commission wants people to also know Indiana is a state that creates.
We have concluded an intensive strategic planning process that will fundamentally shift our primary goals and key objectives in the next five years and beyond. We will be focused on reaching new audiences, increasing our impact on existing ones, and leveraging new partnerships. Our goals will be making the arts more central to community life, and promoting the value of participation in the arts on each individual citizen’s life. A draft copy of the strategic is posted on the IAC website here and includes a link for public input on the plan. We want to hear from you, and we will be accepting feedback through January 31, 2017.
Last, but certainly not least, is the initial survey of our Partnering Arts, Communities & Education (PACE) program. Purdue Professor Robert Sabol has taken an in-depth study of the program and its impact. According to his summary review, the PACE program has “provided a glimpse of what focused education in the arts could provide over time.” The study concluded that data collected demonstrated growth and a positive impact on the education and attitudes of young people. The Arts Commission is committed to investing in nurturing an educated population that is literate in the arts.
The next year will be the first step in the next 50 year journey of fulfilling our vision of the arts everywhere, every day, for everyone in Indiana. We invite you to continue on the path with us. There are exciting times ahead.
All the best,