Header

Sub Navigation

  Close Menu

Central Indiana Highlights

Marion Community School of the Arts

The Community School of the Arts provides arts education and enrichment with excellence and fiscal responsibility. By making the arts available to all people, the Community School of the Arts is dedicated to serving the community through opportunities for creative expression.

The organization developed a card drive, providing an opportunity for CSA students and their families to create cards for First Responders in November. In reaching out to the community for participation, the organization was able to partner with the local Chamber of Commerce and United Way, as well as the Grant County Rescue Mission. The United Way and Chamber had existing plans to distribute gift cards and meals, and this partnership allowed for the handmade cards to be included with gift cards and meals. Additionally, the Grant County Rescue Mission offered to create Kindness Rocks to be included. Each of these programs provided a deeper connection with local organizations to expand capacity and future opportunities for partnership.


Marion Community School of the Arts is an FY22 Arts Organization Support Merit recipient. The IAC awarded $1,000 merit awards to 52 organizations receiving FY22 Arts Organization Support to recognize their innovation and dedication to providing public benefit in the last year.

Art Spaces – Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection

The mission of Art Spaces is to provide public art and the design of public places to enhance economic growth, enrich cultural experiences and build a legacy for future generations.

In early March, Art Spaces learned it was selected to receive a grant for a construction fence mural project. Initiated by a local construction company, this project aimed to beautify a construction fence around the new convention center in the center of downtown Terre Haute.

Unfortunately, the grant was rescinded in later in the month due to pandemic budget constrictions by the granting agency. Having already issued a call for artists for the project and knowing how important it would be to maintain this support for the artists in our community, Art Spaces rallied to identify funding partners.

Doing so enabled staff to still spearhead this collaborative arts and business project for the city and enlivened the downtown during a dark time for everyone. Seven local artists, a designer, and a photographer participated in the project. Arts Spaces has received strong positive feedback from businesses, residents, and visitors who have experienced the mural. It’s directly across from the Terre Haute Children's Museum which also allows children and parents easy visibility of the artwork.


Art Spaces is an FY22 Arts Organization Support Merit recipient. The IAC awarded $1,000 merit awards to 52 organizations receiving FY22 Arts Organization Support to recognize their innovation and dedication to providing public benefit in the last year.

Big Car Collaborative

As a nonprofit art and design organization, Big Car Collaborative utilizes tools of culture and creativity to build community and social cohesion — helping connect people as a way to boost quality of life.

Nearly all Big Car Collaborative’s work is designed to reach underserved populations: people of varied ages and backgrounds who don't typically have access to cultural programming due to cost, lack of exposure or awareness, or geographic inconvenience. One strategy for creating access is the Wagon of Wonders. The Wagon makes it easy to pop up in a parking lot or park — creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere where everyone can make art, enjoy music, and socialize. And the WQRT radio station extends our reach to people who may not be able to get or have access to the Internet.

In 2020, the organization strengthened its partnership with the TeenWorks program to bring arts-based experiences to 12 resilient Marion County youth through paid, on-site work and professional development. With TeenWorks monitoring health aspects, the teens took care of chickens and bees, helped prepare for upcoming renovations, and safely learned how to operate audio equipment and broadcast shows they created for the sixth year of this program.

Big Car is also working to build wealth and financial stability for artists in Indianapolis as part of the APLR program, offering long-term affordable rental and ownership housing for artists who work with the public. The staff know the importance of housing options for artists of color (and artists in general) who often face challenges with traditional lending. For Big Car, the affordable housing component acts as an investment in resident artists who then reinvest in additional underserved populations through their community-focused programs. For example, two APLR artists led a three-day food drive last fall – collecting food for families that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. With this, they were able to safely support numerous families in the Indianapolis area.


Big Car Collaborative is an FY22 Arts Organization Support Merit recipient. The IAC awarded $1,000 merit awards to 52 organizations receiving FY22 Arts Organization Support to recognize their innovation and dedication to providing public benefit in the last year.

Harrison Center for the Arts

The Harrison Center seeks to be a catalyst for renewal in the City of Indianapolis by fostering awareness, appreciation, and community for arts and culture.

The Harrison Center heard from its community. They were scared, lonely, and needed art more than ever. This center didn’t cancel. It pivoted.

Staff learned how to serve neighbors through input from old-fashioned phone calls (our elderly neighbors' preference), over-the-fence conversations, texts, emails, and social media posts. When folks were tempted to retreat, the Harrison Center used the power of art to combat social isolation. This included old-fashioned letter writing, over-the-fence conversations, meal delivery (to the “Greatriarchs”, long-term neighborhood residents).

The Harrison Center delivered over 400 quarantine art bags full of inspiring art and humanities materials to neighbors, built social distance hoop skirts and took performance art walks through neighborhoods modeling social distancing, and developed other engaging protest art and public art.

The organization continued its internship program and hosted 40 interns in 2020, some remote and some by social distance. One intern's sole job was to learn how to fly a drone and to use it to create safe art experiences for the center’s elderly neighbors.

And, as always, the center continued to address the cultural gentrification by using art to elevate the stories of the long-term neighbors. The Harrison Center created over 17 videos based on researching neighborhood history and interviewing neighbors.  These videos plus seven made previously were shown online and at a drive-in theater nightly in Martindale Brightwood, an underserved zip code.

First Fridays became virtual with WFYI and WTHR, Instagram live, and a new online gallery. And last, but certainly not least, the Harrison Center galleries became venues for blood drives to help the community.


The Harrison Center for the Arts is an FY22 Arts Organization Support Merit recipient. The IAC awarded $1,000 merit awards to 52 organizations receiving FY22 Arts Organization Support to recognize their innovation and dedication to providing public benefit in the last year.