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Indiana Arts Emergency Relief Fund

The arts add vibrancy and depth to Hoosiers’ lives and are a significant factor in the health of Indiana’s economy. The arts sector contributes $8.4 billion to Indiana’s economy, and Indiana’s overall creative economy includes 160,000 jobs, over 87,000 of which are employees of arts organizations and businesses.* While the COVID-19 crisis threatens arts organizations and their associated jobs, programs, and services to patrons, the arts continue to be at the center of community life and economic recovery.

The Indiana Arts Commission announces the Indiana Arts Emergency Relief Fund to support Indiana’s arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indiana Arts Emergency Relief Fund program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC), and Arts Midwest with funding provided by the CARES Act.


Fiscal year 2020 Arts Organization Support (AOS) I, II, and III grant recipients of the IAC are eligible for funding and will be awarded fixed amounts of approximately $2,500 - $3,000. These funds were not competitive, and all eligible organizations will be awarded funds upon the successful completion of a required form assigned in the online grant system.


  • If personnel or facilities costs are already included in a current AOS grant can I request support under this program?

    Indiana Arts Emergency Relief (IAER) funds and Arts Organization Support funds cannot be used for the same thing at the same time. For example, IAER funds and AOS funds cannot both be used for the same expense during the same period of time.

  • Why is support limited to jobs and facilities costs?

    Narrowing support to jobs and facilities was mandated by the NEA.  Practically, it makes it possible to expedite the distribution of critical CARES Act funds. Complex projects and varied costs slow down the review and processing of support.

  • Why were only FY2020 IAC Arts Organization Support grant recipients eligible?

    This CARES funding is available through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  They’ve charged us to get these funds to arts organizations as broadly and as quickly as possible.  The NEA recognizes the there is an urgent need right now.

    FY20 Arts Organization Support award recipients are currently under contract with the IAC and its Regional Arts Partners and represent the largest, broadest, pre-vetted pool of eligible candidates for which this funding can be rapidly distributed.  The 199 FY20 AOS grant recipients represent a broad range of arts disciplines and fields, organizational sizes, and geographical reach.

    If IAC were to develop a new, competitive program, these funds would not hit grantee accounts until September 2020. Through this process, we are able to distribute funds months sooner at a time when funds are needed most.

Contact Information

Paige Sharp 
Deputy Director of Programs 
Indiana Arts Commission


(317) 416-8536