Start with Art 0099forAdvocacy

The arts are an essential part of our lives. The arts help us connect to one another, improve our quality of life, and create bridges to understanding amongst divergent points of view. The arts are a vital part of our economy and contribute to the individual identies of cities and local neighborhoods.

The purpose of this page is to give you updates on local and national trends in the arts and to give you the tools you need to communicate the importance of the arts in your community. Never miss an opportunity to show your support for the arts. 

Updates from Americans for the Arts:

October 1, 2018: Congress passes large funding bill

October 1, 2018: Congress passes large funding bill

Congress was able to pass a large funding bill on September 28th to avoid a federal government shutdown, which included final FY’19 funding for the military and several education-based agencies. The bill also included temporary funding in the form of a Continuing Resolution (C/R) for the balance of the federal government’s agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts. The C/R will provide flat funding at FY’18 levels temporarily until December 7, 2018, so that Congress has enough time to pass these remaining bills at hopefully the higher proposed FY’19 levels.

Even if there are major shifts in party control following the midterm elections, newly elected members will not be sworn into office until January 2019. However, we would still anticipate disruption in the legislative timeline and process.

-From Americans for the Arts

September 17, 2018: Arts Action Fund’s 2018 Congressional Arts Report Card

September 17, 2018: Arts Action Fund’s 2018 Congressional Arts Report Card

Election Day is November 6th and early voting in some states begins as early as late September. This year’s important federal midterm elections will see all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate up for election. Americans for the Arts has just released the Arts Action Fund’s 2018 Congressional Arts Report Card, your guide to voting for the arts.

This Report Card is a one-stop guide to learn if members of your Congressional delegation support (or not support) the arts and arts education prior to casting your vote. An impressive 148 House members received an A or A+ grade in our Report Card with a total of 307 House members receiving passing grades. On the Senate side, the majority of Senators (55) received a pro-arts Thumbs Up.

-From Americans for the Arts

August 1, 2018: Senate passes Interior Appropriations bill

August 1, 2018: Senate passes Interior Appropriations bill

The U.S. Senate has just passed their Interior Appropriations bill for FY 2019 including $155 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities! U.S. Senate Interior Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressed her full support for the NEA and NEH this morning on the Senate floor ensuring "that the National Endowment[s] for the Arts and Humanities receives the level of support that I believe is important."

Today's Senate vote comes after the U.S. House passed their version of the Interior Appropriations bill a few weeks ago which also included $155 million for both the NEA and NEH. These approved appropriations bills may then go to a bicameral conference in September where select U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives would negotiate the differences in the two bills and then send the final version to the President, hopefully to be signed into law. Congress hasn't progressed this quickly and efficiently through an Appropriations season since 2000.

-From Americans for the Arts

November 20, 2017: U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee releases long-awaited bill to fund NEA

November 20, 2017: U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee releases long-awaited bill to fund NEA

Today, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee finally released their long-awaited bill to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The committee proposes to maintain current funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) of $150 million for FY 2018! A large thanks goes to Chairman Lisa Murkowki (R-AK) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-NM) for their support throughout the year!

We have been waiting for this action since the Administration’s budget proposal was initially released back in March. Now, after eight months of your key advocacy work, today is a defining day.
  • Both the full U.S. House and the Senate Appropriations Committee have solidly rejected the Administration’s call for termination of our nation’s cultural agencies.
  • More than 187,000 messages have been sent to elected representatives in support of the NEA, reaching every congressional office (U.S. House and U.S. Senate). Thank you for being part of this #SAVEtheNEA campaign.
What Happens Next
The U.S. House and U.S. Senate recommended different funding levels. Congress has until December 8th to agree on funding levels for the federal government, including the NEA. Right now, current funding ($150 million) is in place until that deadline. The NEA also continues to accept grant applications for FY 2018 at their usual deadlines and will operate as usual until a new budget is enacted by Congress. -From Americans for the Arts

Arts as an Economic Driver

Start with Art 0192foradvocacyAccording to the Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity V study, the non-profit arts and cultural industry in America generate $166.3 billion dollars annually and employ 4.6 million Americans. These jobs generate $96.07 billion in annual household income and contribute $27.54 billion in Local, State, and Federal government revenue. While these national numbers are staggering, the impact the arts have on Indianapolis is equally impressive. Here are just a few of the number to know:


Randy Cohen, VP for Research & Policy at Americans for the Arts, Keynote for Start with Art 2018

$440 Million

In Indianapolis, the non-profit arts sector has an annual economic impact of $440,530,109.


The arts in Indianapolis support 14,729 full-time equivelant jobs and contribute $361,653,000 in annual houshold income.

$47.7 Million

The arts in Indianapolis generate $47,733,000 in annual revenue fo Federal and State government.

Thanks to the Americans for the Arts, we are able to understand the importance of the arts to the American economy. These facts and figures come from the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study. Visit the AEP5 website to learn more. 

The following arts organizations in central Indiana have received funding from the NEA:

Actors Theatre of Indiana
American Pianists Association
Arts Council of Indianapolis
Arts for Learning
Big Car
Center for the Performing Arts
Dance Kaleidoscope
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre
Harrison Center for the Arts
Heartland Film
Indiana Arts Commission
Indiana Repertory Theatre
Indianapolis Art Center
Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
Indianapolis Children's Choir
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Indianapolis Opera
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
Madame Walker Theatre Center
Music for All
Phoenix Theatre

Thank you to our funders

Indiana Arts Commission
Clowes Charitable Foundation