Local artists able to benefit from Lilly Endowment

POSTED AT 09:48 PM ON Jul. 9, 2008 


The Bloomington Area Arts Council is encouraging local artists to report all financial losses from recent flooding.

Local artists who submit damage reports could benefit from the recent Lilly Endowment of $50 million toward statewide disaster relief.

United Way of Monroe County will be leading a community-wide damage

assessment process that includes the arts sector, among others
United Way Executive Director Barry Lessow said the Bloomington Area Arts Council requested damage information from local artists to try to assess the financial impact of the flooding.

“(Economists) are finally recognizing that, particularly in our area, the arts industry is a huge part of the economy,” said Ed Vande Sande, director of development and marketing for the Bloomington Area Arts Council. “Last year, the arts industry contributed over $45 million to our local economy.”

Vande Sande said the lack of production from local artists, whose income relies on their work, could significantly affect Monroe County’s economy.

“It is really important to understand that when we talk about the arts we are not just talking about someone who makes stained glass,” Vande Sande said. “We are talking about musicians, photographers, graphic designers.”

It is not yet known how much of the $50 million will go toward the Bloomington community.

“At this point, it is unclear what funding might be available to artists or any other segment of the community,” Lessow said. “Our first step is to gather these estimates so that we are best prepared to develop a strong proposal.”

“United Way works every day with partners to improve people’s lives,” Lessow said. “In this situation, we are bringing organizations together to understand and address the needs of those impacted by the flooding.”

In order to estimate the amount of money that will be needed for relief aid, artists are encouraged to report all damages. 

“A person who registers is not taking money,” Vande Sande said. “They are raising the amount that the county is eligible for.”

Bloomington Area Arts Council Director of Arts Outreach Katherine Paschal said artists must have a FEMA registration number in order to be eligible to receive aid.

Individuals can register by calling 1-800-621-3362 or online at

To report damages, Vande Sande recommends contacting him by e-mail with all
information at


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