History - 1990s

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In 1990-91, the IAC assisted artists, audiences and communities through $2.5 million in grant awards and services.

During 1990-91 (the first year of the new Arts: Rural and Multicultural Program) the IAC reached hundreds of new constituents with more than $75,000 in state and federal arts funding. The IAC reached 12 target areas with grants for touring, technical assistance and arts projects.


In FY 1991-92, the IAC's legislative appropriation was cut by 7.5 percent. Through administrative reductions and money-saving measures, the IAC managed to keep the majority of its grants intact.

The importance of IAC programs was recognized by Governor Bayh and the Indiana General Assembly, who despite the challenging 1993 budget process, restored three percent to the Commission's grants budget.

The IAC had a number of unique partnerships during this year, including a project for the 1992 National Conference of Lt. Governors held in Indianapolis. The IAC coordinated the Portfolio Project with the Lt. Governor Frank O'Bannon's office, the corporate sector and three Indiana artists to illustrate how business and the arts work together. The IAC collaborated with the Indiana Department of Revenue and a Bloomington graphic artist to create a design for the cover of the Indiana State Tax Return book. This helped to promote the arts to all 5.5 million Hoosiers.


In FY 1993-94, the IAC celebrated its 25th year anniversary. The Commission witnessed tremendous growth in the arts over the years. The state's culture resources included 28 orchestras, 20 dance companies, 75 community theaters, 9 major art museums, over 250 historic and contemporary visual art galleries, 46 local arts agencies, 62 statewide arts service organizations and hundreds of organizations that supported the traditional arts of ethnic and regional communities.

The IAC directly funded arts activities in 83 of Indiana's 92 counties. The Commission's $2.6 million in grants to almost 500 organizations, schools and community not-for-profits generated $61 million in matching private funds. Eight individuals received the Governor's Arts Awards for their contributions to the arts in Indiana.


The IAC celebrated its 25th anniversary with live performances at three locations within the Indiana Government Center Complex. A reception was held at the IAC office and Lt. Governor Frank O'Bannon assisted with the sealing of an IAC time capsule. PARTners for 25 Years: Creativity & Community was adopted as the general theme for the celebration.

Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, visited the IAC and toured Indianapolis. With a grant from the NEA, the IAC launched a new publication, "Art is a Verb," which examined how the arts could be integrated into basic school curriculum. Retired firefighter and former State Representative Hurley Goodall, along with Peggy Notebart and Sandra Neale were appointed as Commissioners. Julie Murphy was named interim director pending the appointment of Ray Tatar as Executive Director. Later in the year, Murphy resumed the interim director role.


In an effort to trim the federal budget, the 104th Congress made dramatic budget cuts, including funding for the NEA, which supported over 20% of the IAC's budget. The agency began a statewide strategic planning process, developed a new Technical Assistance program, and launched a campaign with over 20 other state agencies to increase awareness of drug abuse. The IAC sponsored an Artist in Education Showcase and Conference at the University of Indianapolis. The new IAC publication, artsINform, became the official newsletter. For the first time in the agency's history, computers were assigned to each staff work station in an effort to modernize communications.

Governor Evan Bayh presented Indiana Governor's Arts Awards to: Angela Pizzo, screenwriter/producer; Janos Starker, cellist; Norbert Neuss, arts patron; John David Lutz, arts educator; Thomas Schorgl, special recognition; The City of Fort Wayne; and First Source Corporation of South Bend, corporate patron.

Willis Clark and Marianne Tobias were appointed Commissioners. Dorothy Ilgen was appointed Executive Director.


The IAC adopted a five–year strategic plan which focused on its role in assessing future opportunities, mobilizing resources, serving as a catalyst for partnerships and cooperation, challenging and shaping public disclosure and joining people together to develop their community cultural identities and resources.

Planning for the Regional Partnership Initiative began the first of a series of monthly meetings with organizations that would become Regional Partners. Through the Access Indiana project, the IAC established its own website to provide browsers with a variety of information about programs, services and arts in general. A new monthly publication, Commission Notes, was launched to keep Commissioners up to date on IAC and arts industry news.

Donald Agostino, Jack Schriber and Anne Marie Sedwick-Galligan were appointed as Commissioners.


A key part of the Strategic Plan was the launching of the new Regional Partnership Initiative, designed to improve service to arts organizations in all of Indiana's 92 counties.

Governor Frank O’Bannon signed into law House Enrolled Act 1358, establishing the Indiana Arts Commission Cultural Trust Fund. Together with First Lady Judy O'Bannon, the IAC offered the “First Lady's Arts Series,” a series of exhibitions comprised of works by contemporary Hoosier artists and displayed at the Governor's Residence in the “State's Living Room.” In 1997, over 25,000 people saw the exhibits. Together with the Indiana University School of Public Policy and Environmental Affairs and as part of its strategic plan, the IAC oversaw a series of focus groups to examine the effectiveness of its communications efforts. The agency also began a 2–year study of individual artist needs through a statewide survey to determine grant programs geared to best serve these needs.

The Indianapolis Capitol Improvement Board Study reported that more that 3,000 people in Indianapolis alone were employed directly by the arts and entertainment industry. A similar study in Fort Wayne showed the arts industry as the third largest employer in the city. The U.S. Senate defied four attempts to eliminate or further reduce funding to the NEA.

Executive Director Dorothy Ilgen was the guest of President Clinton at a White House Ceremony for the National Medal of Arts. Jim Bodenmiller, Heidi Gealt and Ann Stack were appointed as Commissioners.


Governor Frank O’Bannon signed into law Bill 1145, creating the IAC Cultural Trust Fund License Plate as the initial funding mechanism for the Trust Fund. the IAC received a grant from the NEA to start a foundation for a folk and traditional arts program in Indiana, resulting in Traditional Arts Indiana, a partnership with the Indiana Folklore Institute.

William Ivey, who received a master's in ethno-musicology from Indiana University, was appointed chair of the NEA. Joan David and Louis Ortiz were appointed as Commissioners. Dorothy Ilgen was appointed to the Hoosier Millennium Task Force, a statewide partnership initiative.

The Communications audit resulted in several recommendations for improving communications efforts and finding new opportunities to reach constituents. A new publication, artsINnews, was developed as a monthly, faxed only newsletter. The target audiences were media and arts organizations desiring breaking or time-sensitive news regarding the IAC or Indiana's arts industry.


The Indiana Arts Commission celebrated the dawning of the new millennium with a 30th Anniversary Reception in the restored Indiana Repertory Theatre. The Masterpiece Celebration officially honored the dedication and service of Commissioner Hurley Goodall (who retired his position that year); the unveiling of the Indiana Arts Commission Cultural Trust Fun License Plate; and the unveiling of the agency’s new logotype.

The IAC exceeded the required number of petition signatures to qualify for the Cultural Trust Fund Licence Plate production by nearly 300 signatures. Indianapolis Artist Pat Starzynski’s design, Creative Spirit, was selected out of over 65 entries statewide as the image for the plate.  As a direct result of the communications audit, the agency undertook a plan to develop a new identity through redesign of the logotype and more artistic and professionally produced materials. The goal was to make a stronger statement about  the IAC’s role in serving the public interest in all aspects for the arts in Indiana. The Commission adopted “Connecting People to the Arts in Indiana” as their new mission statement.

Indiana Advocates for the Arts launched the Buck a Hoosier campaign. The organization initiated advocacy campaigns with Indiana legislators, raising awareness of the importance of the arts in educational and economic development, employee retention and cultural tourism. The campaign also called for Indiana’s per capita funding for the arts to significantly increase. The Indiana General Assembly responded by initially approving the proposed legislation (drafted by Reps. Sheila Klinker, Sue Scholer, Tiny Adams and Cleo Duncan). During the House Budget approval process, the funding level for the biennial appropriation to the IAC increased by $750,000 — the second largest single increase in appropriation in the history of the agency. The increase raised Indiana’s per capita arts funding to 66¢.

Governor O’Bannon’s office requested that the IAC organize and facilitate the Indiana Commemorative Quarter Design selection process. The U.S. Mint's quarter dollar coin project required that each state submit three to five designs emblematic of that state.

The fiscal year 2000 grant funding period marked the implementation of the Regional Partnership Initiative. For the first time, organizations applied directly to Regional Partner Organizations for grants. Regional volunteer panels reviewed the grants and awards were made regionally. The IAC implemented the Capacity Building Grant Program, providing an additional $100,000 in funding to Indiana arts organizations. The revised Individual Artist Grant Program provided $50,000 in funding to Indiana artists for career–enhancing projects and activities. Over 200 artists applied for support.

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