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Community Engagement

Downtown Decatur with public art sculptures and people walking around

About Community Engagement

There is no magic formula for community engagement. Since every community has unique needs and opportunities, each organization participating in community engagement will be very different. It’s important to remember that audience development is different than community engagement.

The Indiana Arts Commission defines community engagement as consistent community relationships that are a step beyond conventional programmatic partnerships. Consistent community engagement is an integral and multilayered part of the work culture of the arts provider; it is not activity-based, such as in collaboration or marketing to diverse audiences, nor is it solely program-based.

Community engagement...

  • Aims to build a better community, not just a better organization.
  • Requires long term commitment.
  • Builds relationships outside the organization that benefit both parties.
  • Seeks to know what the community cares about.
  • Shares control with community groups.
  • Results in things that are meaningful to the community.
  • Involves risk and results in change in the organization and in the community.


Contact Information

photo of Paige Sharp

Paige Sharp
Deputy Director of Programs
Indiana Arts Commission


(317) 232-1279