Announced in January 2018, the Strengthening Indianapolis Through Arts and Cultural Innovation initiative is a new grantmaking effort designed to encourage community building and celebrate creativity. The initiative, through which the Endowment will provide grants totaling up to $25 million, seeks to encourage ideas that uplift the unique and important role that arts and cultural organizations and projects play in building strong communities.

The application deadline for this initiative was March 30, 2018. Strengthening Indianapolis Through Arts and Cultural Innovation generated a tremendous response from the community, and the Endowment received 226 applications requesting more than $354 million in funding. The applications reflected a collaborative spirit in the nonprofit sector and an energetic desire to work toward making Indianapolis a more vibrant and engaging community.

Only a small portion of the applications the Endowment received have advanced to the initiative’s second stage, which remains highly competitive. These applications, which total approximately $91 million, include creative ideas to be implemented across Indianapolis with funding requests that range from $49,000 to $10 million. Collaboration has been encouraged throughout the competition, and the applications that have been selected to advance include partnerships involving a total of nearly 100 organizations.

The Endowment expects to make final grant announcements in December 2018. Organizations whose applications remain in the competition include:

  • American Cabaret Theatre (dba The Cabaret)
  • Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Big Car Media
  • Central Indiana Community Foundation
  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • City of Lawrence
  • Eagle Creek Park Foundation
  • Harrison Center for the Arts
  • Indiana Black Expo
  • Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation
  • Indiana Historical Society
  • Indiana Humanities Council
  • Indiana Symphony Society (dba Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra)
  • Indianapolis Cultural Trail
  • Indianapolis Downtown Inc. (dba Downtown Indy)
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art (dba Newfields)
  • Indianapolis Parks Foundation
  • Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center
  • Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival (dba IndyFringe)
  • John H. Boner Community Center
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
  • Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
  • Phalen Leadership Academies
  • Tourism Tomorrow Indy
  • Young Audiences of Indiana (dba Arts for Learning)


Questions regarding this initiative can be emailed to the Endowment at