Invest in the arts, invest in Indy’s future

I believe that we are of a generation that has the potential to show unprecedented support for the arts in Indianapolis and I hope you will consider joining the effort.

I moved to the Indianapolis area about a year ago and the most profound thing that has struck me is how accessible the arts are in our community. Every weekend and throughout the week, there is a show, concert, or opening that does not require one to be an expert but allows even the casual consumer to engage with, enjoy, and appreciate the arts.

Before moving to Indianapolis, I had no idea that I liked contemporary dance, but a few shows and the annual Dance Kaleidoscope Gala gave me the introduction that I needed. Now, I am a cultured fan!

In addition to being accessible and uniquely Indianapolis, the arts are an important investment in our financial futures. So if you are not sold on the arts as intrinsically valuable, you can’t deny that they are economically valuable.

This past weekend, the Americans for the Arts released Arts and Economic Prosperity 5, the most comprehensive study on the economic impact of the arts in the country.  The study surveyed arts organizations and audiences from 341 study regions across the U.S. to find that the nonprofit arts and cultural sector has an annual economic impact of $166.3 billion nationally.

In Indianapolis, the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $440 million industry, supporting 14,729 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $47.5 million in local and state government revenue.

This says to me that the arts are an investment into our economic prosperity and our quality of life. They are also a part of our collective identity, as evidenced by the way that we spend our money. By attending cultural events or supporting an arts organization that you love, you are investing in the future of Indianapolis both its finances and its character.

I believe that our generation has the potential to show unprecedented support for the arts in Indianapolis because not only do we understand the intrinsic value of the arts, but we also have evidence that an investment in the arts is an investment in our future.

I encourage young professionals to get engaged with arts and cultural organizations by attending events, giving their time, or making a donation where possible. If we continue to support the nonprofit arts and cultural sector in Indianapolis, we will continue to have a bright and prosperous city.  If we continue to support the arts, the arts will remain an integral part of the Indianapolis brand.

If you do not have an arts event on your calendar in the next month, start there. Find a show, buy a ticket, and bring a friend. Take advantage of the amazing offerings of your city’s cultural organizations. You can always check out the Indy Arts Guide for a full calendar of arts-related events in Indy and consider showing your support with over 1,200 arts and business people at the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Start with Art luncheon on September 1.


[Editor’s Note: Want 3 arts experiences rolled into one package? Our Passport to the Arts Season 9 | Fall Series goes on sale this July! Learn more about Passport. ]


Blog by Whit Bones
Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Advancement
Arts Council of Indianapolis

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