Arts Council of Indianapolis


The Arts Council of Indianapolis works each and every day to share the important work of the arts and cultural organizations with the community. The arts and cultural industry in Indianapolis is an economic force and a catalyst for enriching an already wonderful place to live, work, and play. As the chief arts advocate for the city, the Arts Council shares important statistics, information, and research about the arts and cultural community with our civic and corporate leaders.

But there is another important part of advocacy…YOU. We appreciate your time on our website, and your passion and interest in the arts.
Here’s a question for you: Have you shared your passion and belief in the arts to make a better Indianapolis with your elected officials?

Advocating for the arts is everyone’s responsibility.

This section of our website provides you with important facts, statistics, and information to share with your elected officials. Don’t know who they are? We can help with that, too.


The arts industry in Indianapolis:

    Generates $384 million in economic activity annually

          Supports 13,136 full-time equivalent jobs

          Returns more than $42.5 million each year in state and local taxes

Public support of the arts is made each year by the City of Indianapolis through an allocation of $1 million. An additional $300,000 comes from the Capital Improvement Board. The funds are allocated through a public grant adjudication process supporting the work of more than 50 arts and cultural organizations each year. The return on investment is phenomenal: $1.3 million is allocated to the arts and the arts generate $384 million in economic activity.

                        Watch a video on The Arts Mean a Stronger Economy from


Strong evidence exists that when we invest in the arts, we support programs that help address crime prevention, and provide positive alternatives for our youth and community citizens. According to reports from Harvard University, the Urban Institute, RAND Corporation and others, the arts lead community development in Indianapolis in other significant ways – including improving public safety, reducing crime, and increasing literacy, job skills and graduation rates. Through community-wide outreach programs, low and no-cost performances and exhibitions, and instructional courses provided in venues around the city, nonprofit arts programs in Marion County serve more than 1.6 million children, students, and senior citizens each year. The arts make a real difference in our community:

·      IMPROVED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE (a study of 25,000 revealed arts programs led to greater success in school – including lower dropout rates – regardless of socio-economic background)

·      REDUCED JUVENILE CRIME (STARS, a Ft. Myer’s-based program for at-risk youth, reported a 27% drop)

·      HIGHER GRADUATION RATES (the Boys Choir of Harlem reports 98% of its members graduate from high school and go to college) – From The Institute for Community Development and the Arts

Watch video on The Arts Mean a Safer City from



Safe and clean streets are not the only ingredients of a vibrant and healthy city. Cities need artists and arts experiences to enliven and beautify the environment, to provide opportunities for learning and exploration, and to celebrate our shared traditions and cultural differences. The Arts in Indianapolis provide all these opportunities and more. Indianapolis is home to hundreds of arts and cultural organizations and thousands of artists. Our arts community includes some of the world’s biggest and best museums, headquarters for national and international arts organizations, and critically acclaimed dance, theater and music performances. Cutting-edge galleries, unique festivals, and arts experiences for the young and young-at-heart make Indianapolis one of the nation’s finest and fastest growing arts destinations.

Indianapolis’ museums are home to more than 500,000 artworks and artifacts, occupying more than two million square-feet of exhibition space. Indianapolis’ performing arts venues contain nearly 20,000 seats in venues of all sizes throughout the city. There are more than 100 galleries, studio buildings, and exhibition spaces to buy art, meet local artists, and get involved in the local arts community.

Be Indypendent – is a campaign promoting the benefits of buying art produced by more than 600 local artists and supporting independently owned shops and restaurants. The arts serve as a cornerstone for the city’s six cultural districts that include 164 art galleries, theaters, museums, artist’s studios, and other cultural attractions. Citywide arts festivals in Indianapolis feature visual and performing arts, hands-on arts activities, and thought-provoking and engaging experiences.