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FY 1971-1972 saw the emergence of the IMPACT Arts in Education Project which was jointly funded by the US Department of Education, the NEA, Indiana Department of Public Instruction, IAC, and local participating school districts. During this year, 57 projects were funded through grants of $143,000.
In 1972, the Indiana Endowment for the Arts was incorporated in order to accept gifts and contributions for the work of the Commission. The IAC was able to grant a total of $185,000 in 1972-73 and increase traveling exhibitions and school programs. The first Indiana Arts Awards were given during that year. Four recipients received this award. In late 1973 a fire broke out in the Thomas Building where the office was located, destroying most of the agency's records.
With the assistance of a staff of 10 and seven advisory panels, the IAC funded 82 grants for $201,000 during 1973-74. Through a pilot project called "Preview Performance", a large number of community arts councils were created during this year.
The number of funded grant applications increased again in 1974-75 to 114, although a lesser amount of money $195,000 was actually granted. During that year, the IAC received Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) funds for its staff to compile comprehensive statewide directories on crafts specialists/outlets and on arts organizations/support groups in Indiana.
Eighty-five of the state's 92 counties were reached through grants, programs or services, and over a fifth of Indiana's population participated in IAC-sponsored programs. The largest single group of persons reached were school children. In one year, Indiana leaped from 44th to 19th place nationally in per capita appropriations to the arts. The IAC awarded $521,000 in 208 grants to 68 counties that year. The IAC also administered the Artist-in-Schools, Preview Performance (Campus Arts to Community), CETA Working Artists Project, Dance Touring, and Affiliate Artists Programs. The Commission's Artists-in-Schools program was recognized nationally as a pattern of cooperation between government agencies in enriching school curricula with the arts.
Four arts awards were given, 239 grants for $720,000 were awarded and six arts programs were administered. Affiliate Artists, Inc. was established to promote the career development of American Performing Artists and to build new audiences in communities across the country.
All 92 Indiana counties were reached with a grant, program, or service from the IAC. The 16-member staff and 14 advisory panels aided the Commission in awarding 289 grants for $968,000 to 79 counties and in administering the five programs.
317 grants were awarded for nearly $1 million, a 10 percent increase over grants awarded the previous year. All 92 counties were again reached with a grant, program, or service. The first statewide survey of the arts was initiated to measure the economic impact of the arts and to assess the needs of arts and cultural organizations throughout Indiana. Forty-seven counties were reached by programs, including the newly-initiated Technical Assistance Programs and Arts in State Parks Program. Seven Indiana artists received 1979 Arts Awards.
The IAC held its first series of four news conferences around the state to announce the 478 grants of $1.1 million awarded that year. IAC-granted dollars were match 6-to-1 by funds from local business and individual citizens.