Groups roll out city-endorsed fund to boost local arts, culture

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The city of Indianapolis on Wednesday launched a fund to invest in local arts and culture that Mayor Joe Hogsett said was designed to strengthen the city’s creative industries and people “not just with recognition, but with resources.”

The Create Indy Fund, which was co-funded by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Visit Indy, and the Arts Council of Indianapolis, will invest in the city’s cultural districts and be a funding source for emerging cultural sectors through two new grant programs.

The fund will initially start with $350,000.

“Together, these efforts will drive further economic growth and investment in our community, for through art and innovation, a city creates its identity,” Hogsett said in a written statement.

One grant program, aimed at supporting “emerging sectors,” is focused on cultural economies in the areas of design, film, new media, music, and food and beverage. It will “support innovative concepts in these sectors that may not qualify for traditional funding sources.” The first found of grants will total $50,000, and organizations can apply for up to $10,000 apiece.

The second grant program is focused on strategic planning efforts in five Indianapolis cultural districts: Indiana Avenue, Fountain Square, Massachusetts Avenue, Broad Ripple and Market East.

These districts will be eligible for additional funding of up to $50,000 to support implementation of future planning to “advance the continued success of these areas as unique cultural destinations.”

The Create Indy effort will also assist in two strategic planning efforts, a “music city strategy” and “Film Indy.”

The music city strategy will seek to map the city’s music assets and built a strategy that “drives economic growth by uplifting the music scene and related industries.”

Film Indy is the city’s film commission, which was formed in 2016 by Visit Indy. Since the launch, more than 200 film and media projects have had an estimated economic impact of $9.7 million and created 800 jobs in the Indianapolis region.

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