Indiana Arts Commission to implement new regional block grant funding plan

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today the implementation of a new regional funding formula designed to more equitably distribute public arts funding throughout the state.

“This new funding formula was developed with the input of all 12 of our Regional Arts Partners, and represents their joint recommendations,” explained Lewis C. Ricci, IAC executive director. “The purpose was to adjust our regional block grant distributions in such a way to more fairly reflect the geographic size and population of each region, as well as its unique cultural needs.”

Early this year the Regional Arts Partners formed a taskforce to tackle the problem of under-funding in some of the more rural IAC regions. The primary challenge was to redistribute the available funds – regardless of any future changes in the IAC’s budget allocations.

“The Regional Arts Partners all agreed some regions were severely under-funded,” said Jeff Kuehl, chair of the Regional Arts Partner Consortium and Regional Coordinator for the Columbus Area Arts Council. “With the limited funds available the Partners knew some regions could experience a modest reduction in their block grant, but they also recognized that for the future health of the partnership initiative and the cultural interests of all 92 counties, something needed to be done to level the arts funding in Indiana.”

Recommended jointly by the 12 Regional Arts Partners and ratified by the Indiana Arts Commission at its June meeting in Fort Wayne, the new funding formula is almost totally based on region population as documented by the U.S. Census.

“The Regional Arts Partners really took the initiative in trying to resolve this issue knowing that in some cases it could mean a slight funding reduction to some regions,” Ricci said. “The Partners agreed that a more equitable funding formula was not only needed, but should be maintained regardless of what may happen with state budget allocations.”

The resulting formula will be applied each year based on available state funding for the Regional Block Grant. The new regional funding formula will be introduced in stages to allow for a period of budget adjustment. Fifty percent of the funding change will occur in Fiscal Year 2010 (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010) with 100 percent of the change taking place in Fiscal Year 2011.

For more information on the Regional Block Grant revisions, please visit: www.IN.gov/arts/3047.htm.
For more information about the Regional Arts Partnership, please visit www.IN.gov/arts.

The Tippecanoe Arts Federation is the Region IV Arts Partner. Region IV serves 14 surrounding counties. Activities of the Tippecanoe Arts Federation are provided, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, with funds from the Indiana General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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