The IAC has been working alongside the creative sector to deepen our advancement of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) since the adoption of the agency’s 2017 strategic plan. Some of the highlights of that work include embracing community engagement to deepen the role, relevancy, and value of arts and creativity in communities; IDEA resources, trainings, and workshops; and most importantly, adopting a Cultural Equity statement to guide our work going forward. This has taken shape in changes in our grant programs, as well as in upcoming opportunities.
We are now taking the critical next step of looking more deeply at our programs, services, and operations, and started in 2022 with an evaluation of the Arts Organization Support program. The IAC engaged the consulting team of Anne Jin Soo Preston, Levon Williams, Kai Fierle-Hedrick, and Benjamin Alfaro to guide us through the first phase.
In June 2022, the Indiana Arts Commission gathered for a statewide address, For Everyone in Indiana: Living Our Vision, where we shared about our equity work and upcoming initiatives, and introduced the consulting team who shared how you can get involved to help inform our future. You can watch a recording of the address below.
Following the June address, the consultants led participants from around the state through a series of facilitator-led Funding Web Discussions to explore where influence, funding, and knowledge are concentrated in the arts ecosystem. From there, the consultants led Input on Grantmaking Sessions where participants gave input on the current system and shared thoughts on the future
In September, IAC met in Jeffersonville, Indiana for their Quarterly Business Meeting. At this meeting, Commissioners heard from the IAC’s equity consultants who shared findings from their study of the Arts Organization Support Program. Over 150 constituents provided input to this process.
- Read a summary of the Arts Organization Support Study findings.
- Read the full report of the Arts Organization Support Study.
- Watch the presentation about the consultants’ findings and the next steps of the IAC.
Based upon the recommendations, the following changes will be instituted for the FY24-25 Arts Organization Support (AOS) cycle:
- All organizations recommended for Arts Organization Support funding will go on a two-year cycle. AOS will be available every other year, not annually. On years when AOS is not offered, new applicants can apply for Arts Project Support funding.
- IAC and the Regional Arts Partners (RAPs) will increase service and access to smaller, emerging, and first-time AOS applicants. This will occur, in part, via increased communication and network efforts and tailored trainings and workshops.
- The guidelines, application, and final grant report will be redesigned to be easier to navigate.
- Panelists in the grant review process will receive enhanced training and support to ensure they have what they need to review applications and provide meaningful responses.
- The IAC will share the results of this work alongside larger program impacts, takeaways and stories with the field after final grant reports are submitted.
In December, a public webinar was held to discuss the changes to the application, panel, and funding process. You can watch a recording of that presentation below.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the review process and provided their input to make Arts Organization Support a more equitable program that best serves our state and the creative sector.
Have questions, feedback, or concerns about this work? Let us know.