History - 2000s

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The IAC was asked to take the lead role in collecting, reviewing and selecting preliminary design concepts for the Indiana Quarter. Part of the U.S. Mint's 50 State Commemorative Quarter Project, the process garnered more than 3,000 design entries from throughout the state. The design committee convened by the IAC included artists, arts educators, historians, coin collectors, and graphic designers.

In association with the Indiana Quarter project, the IAC partnered with Access Indiana, the state government Internet service provider, to develop a method by which the public could register votes on-line for their favorite design from 17 semi-finalist designs chosen by the committee. Nearly 160,000 on-line votes were recorded during the two-week voting period. While this project marked the first time Access Indiana had developed such an on-line voting system, the process was replicated later in the year by another state agency seeking public input on a logo design project.

Governor O'Bannon appointed Ms. Lee Marks, Shelbyville; Kathleen Beeler, Granger; Ronald J. Stratten, Indianapolis; William Hopper, Vincennes; and Steven L. Tuchman, Esq., Indianapolis to the Commission. The governor also re-appointed Willis S. Clark, Fort Wayne, to a second term.

The Cultural Trust Fund license plate entered the special issue plate sales market. Each plate purchased resulted in a $25 contribution to the Cultural Trust Fund which was designed to provide financial resources to augment funding for community-based arts providers. A total of 743 plates were sold during this first year of availability generating $18,575 toward the trust fund.


Direct granting to Indiana arts organizations from the NEA once again increased from the previous year. A total of seven Indiana arts providers shared $650,000, an overall decrease from the previous year. However, the annual partnership grant to the IAC actually increased by more than $40,000 from the previous year. The career development of 67 Hoosier artists received a boost as the result of grants from the Individual Artist Project program. The Commission approved a resolution of response to the events of September 11, 2001.


The IAC partnered with Americans for the Arts (AFTA) in a national public awareness campaign on the importance of arts education. "Art. Ask for More!" involved a two year campaign of print, television, and radio public service announcements encouraging people to review statistics on the impact of art on academic achievement. Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Lafayette were part of an economic impact study by AFTA that concluded that the arts were responsible for over 12,000 full-time jobs, and $269 million in household income in these communities. The arts contributed more than $36 million into local and state tax revenues.

Governor O'Bannon appointed Bloomington native Sandra Clark to the Commission. Commissioner Leonard Pas was named to the board of directors of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).

The Indiana Humanities Council unveiled its Internet-based Smart Desktop initiative developed with funding support from the IAC. The program provided on-line resources for teachers to view student classroom-based assessment data, and identify areas of need that could automatically be linked to resources within a lesson plan design tool. The system was publicly demonstrated for the first time at the Community Arts Conference.

The IAC launched ArtsEye, an e-newsletter targeted to Indiana artists listing information on opportunities.


The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies announced that for the second consecutive year legislative appropriations to state arts agencies were on the decline due to state budget crises resulting from a sagging economy. Indiana experienced a budget reduction of 8 percent.

Dorothy Ilgen, IAC executive director, joined Ballet Internationale on a tour of China.

The IAC presented the 2003 Governor's Arts Awards as the luncheon program for the annual Community Arts Conference.

The first statewide arts economic impact survey was released by the Indiana Arts Advocates at its annual legislative appreciation breakfast. According to the survey, more than 3,735 full-time jobs were directly related to the arts in Indiana.

Traditional Arts Indiana hosted its inaugural State Fair Fiddle Contest to showcase Indiana's heritage of traditional fiddling, string band and bluegrass music.

Sales of the Cultural Trust Fund license plate set a record monthly sales total of 1,008 plates in October, a 500% increase within a year. The plate ranked eighth in total sales out of 48 special issue plates available in Indiana.


Governor Joe Kernan appointed Jeanne Mirro, Fort Wayne; Irene Smith-King, Gary; and Richard Q. Stifel, South Bend each to four-year terms. The IAC converted ArtsINform newsletter to a monthly e-newsletter for grantees. The IAC launched Arts:92, a quarterly e-newsletter that features news about the arts in the state, the IAC and its Partners, and success stories from grantees.

Nearly 200 Hoosier artists applied for Individual Artist Project grants. A total of 86 artists received grants to assist with career development projects.

Governor Joe Kernan appointed Judy Hess of Corydon to a four-year term with the Indiana Arts Commission. Former IAC Commissioners Willis S. Clark, Jack B. Schriber, along with current Commissioner Steven L. Tuchman, Esq., and Executive Director Dorothy Ilgen were recipients of Indiana's highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis was named as a Regional Arts Partner.

The IAC announced that over the next two years it would be converting all of its grant programs over to an electronic application process. The first part of the process would focus on direct grant programs where application is made directly to the IAC. The agency launched a series of training workshops around the state to review the new process with individual artists and organizations.


For 2006, the Indiana Arts Commission received an NEA appropriation of $623,100, an increase of $37,900 from 2005. The NEA designated $69,700 of the appropriation be allocated for its American Masterpieces program. A national survey provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) ranked Indiana 35th in per capita public arts funding. 

Lewis C. Ricci is hired as the new Executive Director of the Indiana Arts Commission.


The Indiana Arts Commission received a 2007 appropriation from the NEA of $632,100. A modest increase in state budget appropriations increases the agency’s total budget by nearly 10%, but this is subject to a 7% reserve in state funds. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies survey, Indiana ranked 47th nationally in per capita public arts funding.

The 2007 Governor’s Arts Awards presentations were held in Bloomington, marking the first time in the event’s history the program was held outside Indianapolis. The move was strongly encouraged by Gov. Mitch Daniels as a way of sharing the event with the whole state.


In early 2008, the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation directing the IAC to develop a program for designating official state cultural districts. No funding appropriation was provided for the project. The legislature also approved modification of the Cultural Trust enabling legislation lowering the threshold amount from $50 million to $1 million dollars. The result of this action enabled the IAC to begin arts education grant awards in 2009.

The Indiana Arts Commission partners with the Office of the Lt. Governor, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and Office of Tourism Development in launching the new Indiana Artisan project. The program will research, judge and designate official Indiana Artisans.


In 2009, the Indiana Arts Commission eliminated two grant programs and scales back four others to address a 20% reduction is state budget allocation to the agency marking the first budgetary impact on grants and programs. The reductions would impact grants in 2010. Previous state budget reversions were addressed through internal administrative reductions.  

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