With state Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) and state Rep. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute) handing out four-figure checks almost like they were Halloween candy, 16 organizations became more financially secure during the 2017-18 Regional Initiative Grants awards presentation Thursday evening in the Deming Lobby.
“These are funds designated from the Indiana Arts Commission [along with the National Endowment for the Arts] to go to regional arts organizations and arts projects support,” explained Arts Illiana executive director Jon Robeson, who served as master of ceremonies Thursday.
“This is money that comes directly from the state legislature.”
These awards are for Region Six, which consists of Vigo, Clay, Vermillion, Parke, Sullivan and Putnam counties. The amount awarded is based on an organization’s cash revenue average over the last three fiscal years.
This money goes toward the organization’s programs, services and operating expenses. To be eligible for this category, the organization must have all or the majority of its mission to be the arts and have a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status.
The organizations that received the largest checks were the Sheldon Swope Art Museum and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. Each received $9,724.
“We are so committed at the Swope to community engagement,” said Swope Art Museum executive director Susan Baley, who said attendance at the museum has increased 35 percent in the past year.
“We are very happy to try to think of more ways that the Swope can be engaged in the community. And with that in mind, we have recently changed our hours. ... We are trying to be more accessible to people who work a traditional schedule.”
Later, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra board treasurer Lisa VanReed said that the orchestra’s next concert will be Dec. 2.
“Since 1926, the Terre Haute Symphony has been providing the best music that one can hear in Vigo County and Terre Haute,” added former Terre Haute mayor Jim Jenkins, who assisted Van-Reed in representing the orchestra.
Also during Thursday’s festivities, Arts Illiana recognized Nancy Nichols-Pethick of ISU as a 2017-18 Individual Artist Grant recipient.