Indy Arts Council

 2021 Annual Report:

A Creative Comeback


"We cannot create what we can't imagine." - Lucille Clifton, poet

2021 was a year of resilience and momentum. Indy’s arts and cultural community staged a “creative comeback” to reconnect audiences through experiences that brought hope and healing. By the end of the year, 100% of nonprofit arts organizations were reopened–a remarkable achievement, considering that a year ago, we were facing 30,000 event cancellations and $8.6 million in financial losses per month.

Since March 2020, the Indy Arts Council has been honored to serve the Indianapolis community through some of the most rewarding work we’ve ever done. I've often turned to this quote from poet Lucille Clifton, shared with me by Keesha Dixon, executive director of the Asante Art Institute: “We cannot create what we can’t imagine.” Artists and organizations are helping us to imagine a more inclusive, equitable city. And they are calling us to action.

Thank you for responding to that call, because Indy’s creative comeback would look very different without all of you. The stories in our 2021 Annual Report are a reflection of our gratitude for your service, dedication, and support.


$13.2 million

Investments in artists and organizations to continue serving in ways that advance equity, inclusivity, safety, and innovation.


Relief grants given to artists/cultural workers to ensure #IndyKeepsCreating.


Organizations funded through grant programs. 


Percent of all funding administered that supported artists of color and/or POC-focused organizations.


Percent increase in funding to organizations focused on underserved populations.


Central Indiana artists served.



The 9th annual High Art Billboards inspires drivers to look up at 10 original artworks. 

A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) Committee, led by Orson Mason, is added to Indy Arts Council's Board of Directors.


The 25th annual Art & Soul festival, celebrated virtually, reaches 1.5 million viewers. 

The Madam C.J. Walker mural by artist Tasha Beckwith debuts at the Indianapolis International Airport. 

Indy Arts Council convenes the first Indy Arts & Culture Equity Task Force, attended by 80 arts leaders.


The SWISH arts & culture festival welcomes men’s college basketball fans to Indy. 


Indy Arts Council hosts an online public panel review for the 2021 City of Indianapolis Annual Grants Program. New evaluation criteria centers on racial equity. 

The first Public Art for Neighborhoods Community Connections grants infuse $50,000 into Indianapolis neighborhoods.


Welcome Race Fans, hosted in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, shifts gears, with artists creating GIFs for the first time.

The 2021 Jiffy Lube Mural Series, an Indy Arts Council partnership, launches with a mural on Shadeland Avenue by Dan Handskillz. 

Rokh launches the Public Art for All census, in partnership with Indy Arts Council and Art Strategies. 


Gallery 924 reopens with Art + Activismexploring how art drives awareness of complex social issues.

The KIND gallery opens at Indianapolis International Airport, organized in partnership with Indy Arts Council and the Harrison Center. 

Channie Jones joins Indy Arts Council as the first Director of Equity Partnerships. 


Indy Vax Pass, created in partnership with the Indiana Independent Venue Alliance, supports COVID-19 vaccine and negative test verification by arts & culture venues. 

69 nonprofit arts & culture organizations receive $1.2 million through the City of Indianapolis Annual Grants Program. 

In partnership with the Capital Improvement Board and Pacers Sports & Entertainment, 22 Indiana artists are selected to create artworks for the newly renovated Gainbridge Fieldhouse


700+ arts and community leaders celebrate the city's "Creative Comeback" at Start with Art, our annual fundraiser.

#VaccinateIndy enlists artists to encourage residents to get COVID-19 vaccines. 

The #IndyKeepsCreating Series welcomes residents back to public arts and cultural spaces. 


The city’s first Bicentennial Legends mural, featuring cycling champion Marshall “Major” Taylor, unveiled downtown. 

The 2021 DeHaan Artist of Distinction group exhibition opens at Gallery 924.

IndyChamber recognizes Indy Arts Council, along with artists and community partners, with three public art Monumental Awards.


Latinx artists celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a special exhibition, curated by Arte Mexicano en Indiana, at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.


Indy Arts Council facilitates Racial Equity Institute-led Groundwater Training for staff and board members at 70+ arts and culture organizations.

The Explore Indy Arts holiday campaign, supported by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, inspires residents to return to their favorite traditions.


The 10th annual TINY exhibition, featuring 500+ original works by 120 artists, breaks Gallery 924 sales records.

Final grants are awarded to nonprofit arts & culture organizations as part of the $10.2 Indy Arts & Culture Restart and Resilience Fund made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc.


Pictured at Start with Art 2021. From left to right:

Jeff Mountjoy, Indianapolis Artsgarden Production Coordinator 
Mike Prusa, Indianapolis Artsgarden Director 
Shannon Linker, VP of Artist Services & Engagement 
Jennifer Delgadillo, Marketing & Communications Coordinator 
Kate Oberreich, Artist Engagement Coordinator
Khaled Khlifi, Grants Services Manager 
Amanda Kingsbury, Director of Marketing & Communications
Lindsey Lord, Director of Artist Services and Gallery 924
Julie Goodman, President & CEO
Ernest Disney-Britton, VP, Community Impact & Investment 
Lauren Gendron, Accounting Manager 
Bailey Peycha, Equity & Impact Coordinator
Alexis Sanford, Indianapolis Artsgarden production support
Channie Jones, Director of Equity Partnerships

Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art
Candy Marshall, Executive Assistant 
Shawn Jones, Website & Network Manager 



Tanya Stuart Overdorf, Chair - President, Tanya S. Overdorf, P.C.
Brenda Horn, Vice Chair - Community Volunteer
Greg Wallis, Interim Treasurer/Immediate Past Chair - Virtual CFO, Summit CPA Group
David Nie, Secretary - Partner, Ice Miller LLP
Orson Mason, DEIA Chair - Community Volunteer


Karen Alter - CEO/Partner, Borshoff
Dr. Virgil Chan - Physician, OrthoIndy
Inez Evans - President and CEO, IndyGo
Deseri Garcia - President, Vida Aventura
Heather H. Harris - Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Sarah Hempstead - Principal, Schmidt Associates, Inc.
Michael Hulka - VP and Deputy General Counsel, Eli Lilly and Company
Aleesia Johnson - Superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools
Karen Kennelly - Owner and President, k-squared
Monika Mala - COO, Foster Success
Lucia Mar - Senior VP and Market Executive of Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America
Shawn Mulholland - VP, Corporate Development, Shiel Sexton
Jason Noyan - Executive Director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Jill Hauser Robisch - VP & Sr. Business Development Officer, The National Bank of Indianapolis
Adrienne Sims - VP of Talent Management, OneAmerica
Ryan Vaughn - President, Indiana Sports Corp


Dan Appel - Gregory & Appel Insurance
Frank Basile - Community Volunteer
Bryce Bennett - Partner, Riley Bennett & Egloff, LLP
Barbara Branic - Community Volunteer
Adam Chavers - Senior VP, Browning Investments
Ted A. Givens - President, TAG Consulting, LLC
Michael Huber - President/CEO, Indy Chamber
Stan Hurt - Community Volunteer
Erik Johnson - Community Volunteer
Krista Skidmore - President and Co-Founder, FlashPoint
Mark Varnau - Community Volunteer
Susan Williams - Community Volunteer

Partners & Funders

We are grateful to the following organizations and businesses for supporting our mission to achieve “A Full Creative Life for All” in Indianapolis.

General Operating Support

  • Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation
  • City of Indianapolis
  • Glick Family Foundation
  • Indiana Arts Commission
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis
  • Lilly Endowment Inc.
  • Messer Construction Co.
  • Noyes Foundation
  • One America Financial Partners

Program Partners

  • Art Strategies LLC
  • Barnes & Thornburg
  • Capital Improvement Board
  • Christel DeHaan Family Foundation
  • Circle Centre Development Corporation
  • City of Indianapolis
  • College Football Playoffs / Indianapolis Host Committee
  • Glick Philanthropies
  • Herbert Simon Family Fund
  • Hoosier Automotive Services LLC
  • Indiana Sports Corp
  • Indianapolis Airport Authority
  • The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
  • Kroger
  • Lilly Endowment Inc.
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Populous, Inc.
  • Visit Indy

Start With Art 2021

  • Presenting Sponsor: Schahet Hotels
  • AES Indiana
  • American Cabaret Theatre
  • American Structurepoint
  • Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • Borshoff
  • Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
  • Brenner Family Foundation (aka First Person Advisors)
  • Buckingham Foundation, Inc.
  • (CICF) The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate
  • Christel DeHaan Family Foundation
  • Conrad Indianapolis
  • Curran Architecture
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • FlashPointGlick Philanthropies
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • Indiana Sports Corp
  • Indianapolis Airport Authority
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Indy Chamber
  • Indy Star
  • IndyGo
  • Katz, Sapper & Miller
  • Lacy Foundation
  • Lilly Endowment Inc.
  • Lumina Foundation
  • Messer Construction
  • National Bank of Indianapolis
  • OneAmerica
  • Pacers Sports & Entertainment
  • Pile CPAs
  • RATP Dev USA
  • Republic National Distributing Company
  • Ritz Charles, Inc.
  • Schmidt Associates, Inc.
  • Shiel Sexton & Anova
  • Strada Education Network
Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Thank you to our funders

City of Indy logo
Indiana Arts Commission
Clowes Charitable Foundation