The Arts Council of Indianapolis has announced a new program designed to help Marion County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations reopen and reimagine their mission delivery in a world informed by the new realities of COVID-19. The Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund is made possible by a $10.2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Through the fund, the Arts Council will provide eligible arts and cultural organizations of all sizes and disciplines with one-time grants ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 to support the extraordinary and unanticipated costs required to restart operations in accordance with public health guidelines while continuing to deliver high-quality, inclusive, accessible programming and experiences.
Applications will open on Monday, July 13. Details on the Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund, including eligibility requirements, can be found here.
“Arts and cultural organizations play a vital role in our community, and we know they are under tremendous strain as they navigate challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the Arts Council’s tireless efforts to support the sector during this difficult time, and we hope the Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund will provide resources for many arts and cultural organizations to safely reopen and adapt to our new environment,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indianapolis was experiencing exciting momentum in the arts and culture sector. According to research by Americans for the Arts, nonprofit arts and culture organizations in central Indiana provide some 30,000 jobs in the region; serve 8 million residents and visitors; and generate more than $440 million in annual economic impact. However, surveys and assessments conducted by the Arts Council confirm that the sector has experienced nearly 20,000 arts and culture closures and cancellations from March through June, and that number is projected to grow to 30,000 by September.
As a result, the city’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is experiencing $8.6 million in financial losses per month. Earned income losses are estimated at more than $50 million by September and additional, necessary restart and recovery costs are estimated at well over $20 million.
“We are deeply grateful for Lilly Endowment’s leadership and generous support to help catalyze reopening and resilience across our sector,” said Julie Goodman, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “This fund represents a crucial investment in our arts and cultural community to imagine a new world that is safer, stronger and more inclusive, equitable and accessible. It also represents our unwavering belief in the role of arts and culture to help us emerge from this pandemic as a more compassionate, just and united society.”
Eligible organizations will be able to apply for funds to cover capital and operating expenses required to adapt operations in line with public health guidelines and best practices. Categories of expenses to be funded by these grants include new equipment, supplies and materials; additional professional services; changes to physical environments; programming modifications; and staffing.
In addition, the Arts Council’s management of this fund will be informed by four guiding principles that expand on the organization’s Equity Statement adopted in 2016.