INDY ARTS AND CULTURE RESTART & RESILIENCE FUND: Frequently Asked Questions

We hope you find these answers helpful as you prepare your application. If you have additional questions, please email our Grants Services Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What is the Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund?

The Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund is designed to help Indy’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations address new, unexpected capital and operating expenses due to COVID-19 so they can safely reopen and deliver their missions. The $10 million Fund is made possible by the support of Lilly Endowment Inc

Will grant awards be made on a first-come, first-served basis, until funds are gone?

This is a noncompetitive process, and eligible organizations should apply for funding when they are ready to present a reopening plan. These one-time grants will be distributed over 17 months to help offset the new, unexpected capital and operating expenses organizations are facing as they reopen safely and deliver their missions. 

To support the development of an appropriate plan, the Arts Council is providing weekly consulting with experts in grant writing, safety guidelines, and scenario planning. See the website timetable for more details.

Is it possible that the largest organizations will use up all the funding in the first months before smaller organizations have access?

No. There is no rush to apply with concern that funding will run out. The Fund is designed to help Indy’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations of all sizes and disciplines address new, unexpected capital and operating expenses due to COVID-19 so they can safely reopen and deliver their missions. All recipients of the Arts Council of Indianapolis Annual Grants Program are pre-approved for eligibility.

Does the board-approved reopening plan require a board vote as documented in the organization’s minutes?

The spirit of this condition is to ensure that the board or board leadership is fully engaged and has endorsed the reopening plan. If it is impractical to secure a board vote, please contact the Arts Council staff to schedule a meeting to discuss other options at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Are arts and culture programs, or departments, affiliated with a college, university, or a larger non-arts and culture nonprofit eligible for funding through the Restart Fund?

No. The total 501(c)(3) must be dedicated principally to the performance, exhibition, and/or presentation of arts and/or cultural programming.

Will I have to keep an accounting of purchases and submit receipts?

No. You do not need to submit receipts. However, awarded programs must comply with the requirements of the grant agreement, including providing a final report and an accounting of the expenditures.

How much funding can I receive?

One-time grants of $5,000 up to $500,000 per organization, based on the organization’s total operating budget for the previous fiscal or calendar year. These grants are designed to address new, unexpected capital and operating expenses that organizations are facing due to COVID-19. 

Tier 1: Operating budget of $20,000 - $99,999 (may apply for up to $5,000)
Tier 2: Operating budget of $100,000 - $249,999 (may apply for up to $20,000)
Tier 3: Operating budget of $250,000 - $499,999 (may apply for up to $60,000)
Tier 4: Operating budget of $500,000 - $899,999  (may apply for up to $85,000)
Tier 5: Operating budget of $900,000 - $1,499,999 (may apply for up to $110,000)
Tier 6: Operating budget of $1,500,000 - $4,999,999 (may apply for up to $195,000)
Tier 7: Operating budget of $5,000,000+ (may apply for up to $500,000)

Can other organizations or individuals contribute to the recovery effort?

The Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund does not accept outside donations. It is already fully funded through the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc. But, the Arts Council invites other organizations and individuals to help support organizations and artists in a variety of other ways. If interested in contributing, please contact Ernest Disney-Britton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Does this grant allow for administrative costs to help support the grant?

Yes, eligible organizations will be able to request new, unanticipated capital and operating support to safely reopen and reimagine their mission in a new world informed by the realities of COVID-19. 

  1. Equipment, supplies, and materials necessary for restart (i.e., PPE, virtual technologies, signage, etc.)
  2. Professional Services (i.e., increased cleaning, safety planning, video production, consulting services)
  3. Physical Environments (i.e., venue changes and adaptations, touchless fixtures, flexible seating, partitions, etc.)
  4. Programming Modifications (i.e., more performances, expanding hours, changing locations, increased access to serve more underrepresented audiences in response to increased community need)
  5. Staffing (i.e., new models that minimize exposure, training needs, additional hires to cover volunteers) 
Can these funds be used to prevent layoffs or rehire staff who were either furloughed or laid off?

Any use of these grant funds to support staffing needs must address new, unanticipated expenses due to COVID required to reopen and/or adjust your operating model. These funds are not intended to cover expenses that were part of your pre-COVID planned general operating support. We know organizations have had to make excruciating, difficult decisions about staff in order to sustain and survive during the pandemic. PPP and other relief funds were designed to help bridge and support lost income resulting in some of those decisions. This fund is designed to address the unexpected investments required to support future mission delivery based on your reopening plan, including staffing investments.  

Can these funds be used to support racial equity and diversity training for staff and/or volunteers?

Possibly, but only if the racial equity and diversity training is a new, unanticipated expense required to reopen and adjust your operating model in a new world informed by COVID-19 realities.

Can these grants be used to reimburse COVID-19-related reopening expenses incurred prior to the release of this Fund?

In general, any expense incurred prior to the May 1 announcement of the Back On Track Indiana plan will not be considered eligible for funding. Those expenses incurred following May 1 must be new, unexpected, and directly related to your organization’s reopening/recovery strategy in order to be considered eligible for funding.

Are applicants required to attend a grant-writing workshop?
If you are not a current participant in an Arts Council grant program, you will be required to attend one of the Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund grant-writing workshops.  Arts Council staff will review the application materials and walk participants through the online process. 
 
Additionally, all applicants - new and current - are encouraged to register for Office Hours: Reopening Plans with Sara Peterson, held Thursdays through September 2020.
 
Learn more and register by visiting the Workshops & Resources section of the Applications & Details page
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Thank you to our funders

City of Indy logo
Lilly
Indiana Arts Commission
CICF
Clowes Charitable Foundation