Local organizations receive $64K in arts grants

The Indiana Arts Commission has awarded 10 local organizations and entities, ranging from orchestras to cultural festivals, grants totaling more than $64,000 for the 2020 fiscal year.

The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, with an annual budget of $1 million, landed the largest amount with $16,876, to be used as part of its general operating budget. Margaret Powers, Philharmonic executive director, said the funds are significant not only in dollars, but in acknowledging the challenge of arts-related fiscal health.

“It’s a recognition that arts organizations sometimes have a difficult task raising money for general operating expenses,” Powers said.

She pointed out that orchestral concert ticket sales account for only about 25 percent of the organization’s operating expense.

The professional orchestra’s budget and funding story is significant, especially at a time when many orchestras have struggled or disbanded.

The Columbus Area Arts Council will receive $11,042, which goes toward general operating expenses and general program support, according to Kathryn Armstrong, arts council executive director.

“One of the things we particularly appreciate about our partnership with the state (agency) is its effort in bringing more awareness that we’re a state filled with strong interdisciplinary arts programs with very creative people making Indiana even more interesting,” Armstrong said.

Our Hospice of South Central Indiana will use its $5,000 grant partly for fees for performers for its Broadway memories concert it successfully launched last summer to help patients with dementia via the national Music & Memory program. The 2019 concert is scheduled in September.

According to the arts commission, the Bartholomew County Public Library will use its $2,000 grant related to expenses for two art classes in conjunction with its 50th anniversary celebration of the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library building that is a part of the Bartholomew County Public Library.

In one class, participants will make fabric dolls in honor of late librarian Cleo Rogers. In another, participants will sketch the building and its surroundings.

Other agencies and their grant totals are:

Dancers Studio Inc., $7,356

Columbus Symphony Orchestra, $6,383

Columbus Scottish Festival. $5,000

Ethnic Expo, $5,000

Columbus City Band, $5,000

Ivy Tech Community College, $500

Lewis Ricci, a former executive director of the Columbus Area Arts Council, is executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission.

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To view the complete listing of organizations statewide that received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, go online at in.gov/arts/2337.htm.

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