Arts For Learning Indiana

Setup Menus in Admin Panel

Getting to know the Arts Council of Indianapolis

By Joli Heavin, Director of Development

Arts for Learning is fortunate to receive generous support from the Arts Council of Indianapolis through its annual grant program. The mission of the Arts Council of Indianapolis is to foster meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations thrive. Its major programs include grant making to the arts and cultural community; workshops and technical assistance to artists and arts organizations; advocacy and research benefitting the entire arts community; public art programs; and programs at the Indianapolis Artsgarden and Gallery 924 to name a few.

Joli Heavin, Director of Development for Arts for Learning, recently posed the following questions to Arts Council President & CEO, Dave Lawrence:

1.      What should our readers know about the history of the Arts Council?

The arts council movement began in the late 40s in the USA. We are one of the younger arts councils for a major metropolitan area. After a couple of earlier efforts, Mayor Bill Hudnut in the mid 80s asked local community leaders to explore the pros and cons of re-establishing a new arts council. In October 1987, the Arts Council of Indianapolis was formally incorporated as the city’s local arts agency, and immediately began administering City of Indianapolis grant funding to local arts and cultural groups. Our programs and services have grown since that time, but our work to support the arts and cultural community of Indianapolis has remained.

2.      What are your major goals for the near future?

Our major goals for the near future include increasing the visibility of the entire arts community, enhancing public art efforts citywide, and to be a catalyst for advancing arts education in our schools through a collective impact model. We believe that through our leadership and partnerships that we can help guide policy creation, investments and assist in priority-setting for pre-K through 12th grade arts education.

joellen with mayor ballard3.      Is there anything that distinguishes you from arts councils in other cities?

Each arts council is unique to the community it serves. We are a private non-profit and work with a number of community partners to achieve our mission. Nationally, we are renowned for our grant making programs and our Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program. Other cities have taken note of our public art programs as well.

4.       Why do you feel arts education is important? Why do you support the work of Arts for Learning?

We believe that every student should be engaged and empowered through an excellent arts education, and we support the work of Arts for Learning because it has been an effective driver in transforming the lives of students and schools in the City of Indianapolis, and throughout the state.

Thank you, Dave, and the Arts Council for your ongoing support of our work!

You can learn more about the Arts Council of Indianapolis at


June 26, 2014
Copyright 2019 Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 35-1148812