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Indiana arts organizations receive NEA grants


The National Endowment for the Arts announced February 7 it awarded a total of $205,000 to nine nonprofit art organizations in Indiana for the 2018 fiscal year. 

This year, $25 million in NEA grants went to nonprofit organizations of all artistic disciplines throughout all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

In Indiana, among the organizations the NEA awarded grants to were Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Heartland Film Inc., the Indiana Repertory Theatre Inc., the Indiana State Symphony Society, Indiana University, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation.

"The Indiana Arts Commission congratulates these organizations for the outstanding programming recognized and supported through the NEA's investment in our state," said Lewis C. Ricci, Executive Director of the Indiana Arts Commission, in a press release.

IU’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures will use its $35,000 Arts Works Folk and Traditional Arts grant to support its “Traditional Art Indiana” program, said program director Jon Kay in an email. 

The TAI program uses traditional arts – such as old-time fiddling, net making, ballet folklorico and Chinese calligraphy – to improve the quality of life for elderly people. 

Traditional Arts Indiana was started 20 years ago to address widespread mental health concerns for the elderly, Kay said in an email. He added in 2015, Indiana placed 46 out of 50 states in Gallup Healthways ranking of health and wellness of older adults.

NEA’s $35,000 Arts Works Presenting and Multi-Disciplinary Works grant to the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation will support the annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in the fall in Bloomington, according to an IAC press release.

NEA’s $10,000 Arts Works Media Arts grant to Heartland Film Inc. will support the 27th Heartland International Film Festival Oct. 11-21, 2018, in Indianapolis and similar programs, according to IAC’s press release. It is Indiana's largest and longest-running film festival, featuring 213 independent film, 215 visiting filmmakers, and 300 film screenings. It was listed by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the "Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee 2017," according to its website. 

According to an IAC press release, the NEA’s Arts Works Museum $55,000 grant to the Indianapolis Museum of Art will support their exhibition “Pictures in Ink, Color in Gold: 700 Years of Japanese Painting.”

NEA’s $20,000 Arts Works Theatre grant to the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Inc. will support the Exploring Stages education program for three to eight year-old children. It will specifically be used to expand its inclusion program, whereby an inclusion specialist works with kids who have cognitive, physical and other disabilities, said IRT Director of Development Jennifer Turner.

“Without this support, we would be unable to serve the over 40,000 students we serve each season from 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties with our education programming and create a season that will engage, surprise, challenge and entertain our audiences,” Tuner said in an email. 

The $10,000 Arts Works Art Education grant to the Indiana State Symphony Society will fund the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, an instrumental music education program, according to a press release.

The Fort Wayne Dance Company houses a professional dance company and a non-competitive school. The $20,000 Art Works Arts Education grant will go toward further its Dance for Education program, which produces in-school and after-school programs in creative movement for students of all ability in kindergarten through high school, said Executive Director Elise Alabbas. 

"These NEA-supported projects are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu in a press release. “At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities, and connections the arts bring.”

A previous version of this article said that the Mathers Museum of World Cultures received $55,000, rather than the correct amount of $35,000. The IDS regrets this error.

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