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Spotlight Communities demonstrate outstanding commitment to quality of life through the arts. When the Creative Community Pathway program resumes, the next step of the process for these communities will be to apply for Indiana Cultural District Designation… a title only twelve communities in the state hold.

Key indicators of Indiana Cultural Districts:

  1. Arts and culture identity. When you step into each district, you'll find unique, authentic art, and cultural identity. The cultural district identity and experience is connected to the history and long-standing traditions and culture of the place and its residents.
  2. Cultural development and leadership. Organizations and programming in the cultural district empower residents and visitors to learn about the arts and culture and express themselves creatively. You won't have trouble finding artists in a cultural district. They are ever-present, offering programs, selling products, using studio space as well as using their creativity to make their community stronger.
  3. Community development. Every district has an existing community development plan that includes quality of life goals for those who live and work in or near the cultural district (i.e. access to workspace, housing affordability, access to public transportation, access to groceries, safety, access to a high-quality school, etc.). Creative communities know that arts and culture are resources for social benefit.
  4. Economic development. Local artists and arts and culture leaders are no strangers to being involved in the ongoing planning and implementation of economic development strategies that impact the local creative ecosystem. The key to making sure all cylinders are firing together is making sure that the creative ecosystem is working in tandem with local and/or regional tourism.
  5. Planning and management. Local partners keenly plan and tend to the creative people and places that make each district great. This involves intense planning with relevant partners to actively collaborate to move the cultural district's long-range plan forward. The team includes local artists and/or cultural sector leaders, key public, nonprofit and private sector leaders, tourism, community and economic development partners, and others as appropriate.

Indiana Cultural Districts represent the highest level of commitment to placing art at the center of public life and they see stunning results:

  • Cultural planning harnesses the power of creative people for community wellbeing. Creative people, artistic processes, products and skills are partnering with non-arts partners to contribute to public good in the community.
  • The cultural district is a spotlight for investment and revitalization. Indiana Cultural Districts reported over $785.5 million of investments and revitalization projects in or nearby the district boundaries in 2019.
  • The cultural district is a focal point for tourism with economic impact. In 2019, Indiana Cultural Districts reported over $1.5 billion in estimated tourism impact
  • The cultural district makes people feel connected to and proud of their community.
  • The cultural district generates energy, resources, and connection for local creatives.
  • The cultural district attracts and retains a diverse workforce.

And we’ve got proof. Read more about these outcomes in each Indiana Cultural District here.

Interested in learning more about Spotlight Communities, Indiana Cultural Districts, and the Creative Community Pathway? Click here.

Program Contact

Paige Sharp
Deputy Director of Programs
Indiana Arts Commission