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State Arts Advocates Celebrate First Arts Funding increase in Six Years

INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday, April 26, 2013, the Indiana General Assembly approved a two-year, $30 billion budget that includes a funding increase for the Indiana Arts Commission. After steady budget cuts each session since 2007–2008 (from a $4,002,959 appropriation to $2,722,013 in the 2011–2013 biennium), this increase is very much welcome and needed. President of the Indiana Coalition for the Arts, Jeff Kuehl, states, “Arts advocates went into the 2013 session having endured arts budget cuts of more than 30 percent since calendar year 2008, looking at a proposed budget from the governor’s office outlining an additional 3 percent reduction. Lawmakers avoided the reduction and found $250,000 in additional funding for arts projects support grants, designated primarily  for rural and underserved areas across the state. The reprioritization of grant funding over the last few years had created a gap in providing public dollars to these communities without formal arts organizations. INCA felt emphasis on gaining funding in these areas would make the most meaningful impact. ” Total appropriation for the arts is $2,965,353 for each year of the biennium.

Throughout the session, Hoosiers from across the state contributed to this effort by expressing the impact the arts have on their communities. Dozens of individuals participated in the 2013 Arts Day at the Statehouse and hand delivered Arts Advocacy Packets to all 150 state officials. In addition, the Indiana Coalition for the Arts provided testimony on behalf of the arts which strengthened the case for the role of the arts in Indiana.

The Indiana Coalition for the Arts is the statewide arts advocacy organization in Indiana. The mission of the Indiana Coalition for the Arts (INCA) is to assist in grassroots and direct lobbying to promote public funding, legislation and policy favorable to the arts.