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State, city agencies get new round of federal arts funding

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Indiana and Indianapolis arts agencies will receive more than a half-million dollars in federal stimulus money to help save jobs at local organizations, the National Endowment for the Arts announced today.

The NEA said a second round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding includes $250,000 for the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

The NEA also announced today a $50,000 grant for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Arts Council spokesman Mike Knight said his group plans to use $50,000 of the funds to help pay its own staff salaries and pool the remaining money with $323,000 granted to the Indiana Arts Commission.

The Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, reviewed about 85 applications for emergency funding earlier this summer. The IAC will distribute grants of $15,000 to $20,000 specifically to preserve key paid positions, said Louis Ricci, executive director of the IAC.

“Without an artistic director or executive director, you don’t have professional arts organizations,” he said.

Depending on their size, arts organizations applied directly for federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts or through the state agency. Altogether, about $650,000 in federal stimulus money will go to preserving arts jobs in Indiana, Ricci said.

The IAC has not yet released the list of grant recipients, but Ricci said about half the grants will be in Marion County.

The NEA announced stimulus funding for three other Indiana organizations: Elkhart Centre Inc., $50,000; South Shore Arts Inc., Munster, $50,000; Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, Notre Dame, $25,000.

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