Arts roundtable: funding

February 6, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Last week, we at IBJ gathered a panel of local arts professionals to discuss funding issues. A story about that insightful talk will appear in the upcoming print IBJ while a video will appear on line. I'll give you more information when it is posted.

Here's a sneak peek, from IBJ reporter Kathleen McLaughlin: 

...The level of competition within the local arts scene quickly became apparent during the discussion. Jim Walker, who manages a youth-writing project called The Second Story and is a founding board member of Big Car Gallery in Fountain Square, complained that a few well-established organizations garner half the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ annual grant distributions, leaving grass-roots groups to compete for the rest. Noting that arts attract young professionals to live in the city, Walker said, “A lot of the funding goes to organizations that aren’t targeted at that younger population you’re talking about.”

Simon Crookall, CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, didn’t argue with Walker’s assertion, but said, “I hope the current constraint isn’t going to force us into in-fighting.

My questions: Are there fundamental differences between younger and older audiences? And, in the struggles for funding in tough times, is in-fighting destined to happen?Your thoughts?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Just like most governmental and financial systems these are due for major reform, so is the arts funding in Indianapolis. While I 100% support public funding for the arts, the current model is no longer relevant and does not foster growth and sustainability to small-mid size orgs. The larger institutions should still be part of the process, but their needs shouldn't take financial priority.

    One last thought...these small and mid size groups are the ones that really give this city life and personality. They are the ones that create buzz and generate new audiences. When they close there doors (and it's only a matter of when) Indy loses in a lot of ways.
  • I while agree with Jen's comments 100%, it is a good problem to have from my perspective. I am part of a suburban arts organization that receives no public funding whatsoever, so it will be interesting to see how the more cultured urban based groups deal with heightened competition for fewer dollars yet, than us hicks from the sticks.
  • All audiences - young and old - are seeking arts experiences that are entertaining and enlightening. In this age of DVRs and online TV shows sans commercials, arts organizations are going to have to become more audience-focused if they want to survive. Same old, same old will not suffice.
  • As Congress considers the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the arts and culture sector must be included. The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities. They enhance community development; spur urban renewal; attract new businesses; draw tourism dollars; and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and builds a robust 21st century workforce.

    As a major professional theatre organization in the Central Indiana area, one of the main reasons my colleagues and I chose Indiana over several other locations we were considering, was due to this great state's amazing potential for growth in the arts. I was told that if the State is successful in cutting the funding to the Arts, a grant that we were awarded in the Fall by the Arts Council of Indianapolis may be reduced or even eliminated!

    Mayor Ballard has already cut city funding making things extremely difficult for arts organizations.

    According to the Arts Council of Indianapolis the Arts in Indianapolis generate $468 million nearly half a billion dollars to the city's economy each year! $52 million of that activity is realized in state and county tax revenue. The arts support over 15,000 jobs, and make a good public investment for every $1 of local government support the arts generate $5 in return to the city's economy.

    According to reports from Harvard University, the Urban Institute, RAND Corporation and others, the arts lead community development in Indianapolis in other significant ways including improving public safety and reducing crime. Through community wide outreach programs, and low and no cost performances, exhibits and instructional courses provided in venues around the city, nonprofit arts programs in Marion County serve millions of children, students and senior citizens each year.
    Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations spend $181,936,937 annually on wages, supplies, vendors and asset acquisitions within the community.

    Nonprofit arts and cultural organization audiences spend $286,903,247 annually on parking, dinner, hotel rooms even childcare.

    Nonprofit arts organizations are proud members of the business community—employing people locally, purchasing goods and services within the community, and involved in the marketing and promotion of their cities. In fact, there are more full time jobs supported by the nonprofit arts than are in accounting, public safety officers, even lawyers and just slightly fewer than elementary school teachers.
    According to Americans for the Arts, a $50 million investment to the National Endowment for the Arts will provide critical funding to save 14,422 jobs from being lost in the U.S. economy. This is based on the ability of the NEA to leverage $7 in additional support through local, state and private donations, for every $1 in NEA support.

    There are approximately 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations, which spend $63.1 billion annually. Without an economic stimulus for the nonprofit arts industry, experts expect about 10% of these organizations (ranging from large arts institutions like museums and orchestras to small community based organizations in suburban, urban and rural areas) to shut their doors in 2009 a loss of 260,000 jobs.
    In a report released in mid January, the National Governor's Association stated, Arts and culture are important to state economies. Arts and culture related industries, also known as creative industries, provide direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.

    Then NEA Chairman Dana Gioia issued the following statement prior to his departure, Arts organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession. They've seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs, and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will support this important investment.

    These facts need to be communicated so that the general public is aware that support for the Arts is not and should not be considered pork in any public funding. Arts and cultural organizations are known for being able to make a dollar go a great long way! Please ask your legislators to reconsider their decision.

    Sincerely,

    Don Farrell
    Producing Artistic Director/Founder
    Actors Theatre of Indiana
    www.actorstheatreofindiana.org
    317-669-7983
  • There are frightening things happening to arts funding in local, state and national areas. Please write your legislators, and ask that your friends and colleagues do the same, and implore them to NOT cut funding to arts and cultural institutions.

    The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities. They enhance community development; spur urban renewal; attract new businesses; draw tourism dollars; and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and builds a robust 21st century workforce.

    As a major professional theatre organization in Central Indiana, one of the main reasons my colleagues and I chose Indiana over several other locations we were considering, was due to this great state's amazing potential for growth in the arts. I was told that if the State is successful in cutting the funding to the Arts, a grant that we were awarded in the Fall by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and should receive the end of February, may be reduced or even eliminated!

    Mayor Ballard has already cut city funding making things extremely difficult for arts organizations.

    According to the Arts Council of Indianapolis the Arts in Indianapolis generate $468 million nearly half a billion dollars to the city's economy each year! $52 million of that activity is realized in state and county tax revenue. The arts support over 15,000 jobs, and make a good public investment for every $1 of local government support the arts generate $5 in return to the city's economy.

    These facts need to be communicated so that the general public is aware that support for the Arts is not and should not be considered pork in any public funding. Arts and cultural organizations are known for being able to make a dollar go a great long way! Please ask your legislators to reconsider their decision.
  • I agree the current funding seems to favor the larger arts organizations,
    including those that already have sizeable endowments. So it’s not surprising
    that some of the smaller orgs are crying foul. But every organization,
    regardless of size or influence, is feeling the squeeze. And every organization
    adds something unique and vital to the city’s cultural landscape. Instead of
    in-fighting, this season of financial discontent should stir organizations
    to collaborate with each other and their patrons (of all ages) in unexpected ways.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

ADVERTISEMENT