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Indiana to receive more than $1.3 million in federal funds for the arts

A person's hands hold a wood carving in the shape of the state of Indiana
Courtesy of Indiana University
The National Endowment for the Arts will provide just more than $1 million to the Indiana Arts Commission, with an additional more than $300,000 to various art projects throughout the state – including Traditional Arts Indiana.

The National Endowment for the Arts will provide just more than $1 million to the Indiana Arts Commission, with an additional more than $300,000 to various art projects throughout the state.

Miah Michaelsen is the executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission. She said the federal funding the commission receives goes toward supporting a variety of artistic interests throughout the state.

“We leverage those funds to support creativity in communities, strengthen the arts and provide access to the arts,” she said. “We support arts organizations and arts projects and creatives, as well as cultural districts and communities across the state.”

Michaelsen said this funding goes toward supporting arts organizations – of various sizes – in the state.

Those can be anywhere from organizations that have, that might have a total budget of, say, $50,000, to organizations that have budgets in the multi-millions,” she said.

The funding Indiana received was about a 13 percent increase over what the state received last year. The NEA must designate 40 percent of their annual appropriations to state and territorial arts agencies – as this appropriation increases, appropriations to each state can increase too.

Michaelsen said this funding is crucial for the arts in Indiana, as it is some of the only funding the Indiana Art Commission receives.

We don't receive any other funding except from the Indiana General Assembly,” she said. “So, what it does is that it extends our capacity to support. If we did not have these federal dollars, we would not be able to do the level of grants making and provide the level of support that we do.”

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Michael Orlove is the director of state, regional and local partnerships with the NEA. He said the NEA funds different states through a specific formula, but ultimately focuses on relevant investments to each state’s arts community.

“We see ourselves as investing in what the state has done throughout the year of creating a strategic plan of how to best meet the needs of communities across, in this case, across the state of Indiana,” he said.

Orlove said the NEA, along with two other federal groups, tracks how arts investment affects the economies and communities of different states.

“It really gives you a perspective at the national level, but also at the state level of what the arts are infusing and injecting into the economy in terms of jobs and employment compensation and all the things that are measured from this satellite account,” he said.

According to the most recent data from 2021, there was more than $8.6 billion in value added to Indiana’s economy from investment in the arts. In addition, there were over 81,000 employed in the arts field.

Orlove said there is also a one-to-one federal and state match for funds – meaning arts receive an even bigger investment. He said that any kind of funding is helpful in advancing arts in different states.

Whether it's $1 million or $10 million, the fact that the state is making available funding that can go to artists and arts organizations throughout the entire state is a win-win for everybody,” he said.

States receive this money each year. Michaelsen said the NEA also announces investments to states two to three times a year – which she said greatly helps to fund the arts.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.