Friday, November 27, 2015

$100M grants from Lilly Endowment a 'game-changer' for arts in Indy

By Wei-Huan Chen
Karl Unnasch's installation, "Playtime Indianapolis" adds a new twist on the Christmas holiday tradition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Photo: Eric Lubrick/Indianapolis Museum Art)
INDIANA---In a move many arts leaders are calling "historic" and "game-changing," Lilly Endowment announced Tuesday $100 million in grants that will be used to support 14 arts and cultural organizations throughout Indiana. The grants range from $5 million to $10 million to support museums, performing arts organizations and cultural institutions. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Zoological Society each will receive $10 million. [link]

Contact: Judith Cebula 317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment Makes Grants to Strengthen the Financial Sustainability of Indiana Arts and Cultural Institutions

INDIANAPOLIS – As part of its longstanding commitment to supporting organizations that improve the quality of life in Indianapolis and in Indiana, Lilly Endowment Inc. has announced $100 million in recently approved grants to 14 arts and cultural groups to help them secure strong financial futures. These grants complement the Endowment’s annual support of more than two dozen arts and cultural organizations.

The new grants will support initiatives that strengthen each organization’s long-term financial well-being so that it can continue to thrive for the sake of the people of Indianapolis and of Indiana. Several of the organizations will use the grants in more than one way to achieve their financial goals. Projects include:
  • Capital investments in new spaces and renovated spaces to better welcome and engage more people: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Conner Prairie, Indiana Humanities, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Zoo.
  • The establishment of new endowments or additions to existing endowments, which will enable organizations to strengthen their operations and plan for the future: American Pianists Association, Dance Kaleidoscope, Eiteljorg Museum, Heartland Film, Indiana Humanities, Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Repertory Theatre, International Center and Josef Gingold Fund for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
  • Fundraising capacity-building: American Pianists Association, Conner Prairie and Heartland Film.
  • Expansion of programs tied to improved financial results: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Museum of Art and Indianapolis Zoo.
“These organizations have a long history of providing enlightening and educational experiences to the Indianapolis community and to the people of Indiana,” said Ace Yakey, the Endowment’s vice president for community development. “Their creative and energizing programs, exhibits, concerts and strong audience and community engagement also have a significant economic impact in the city and around the state and on their national and international reputation.

“Indiana marks its bicentennial in 2016 and Indianapolis celebrates its bicentennial in 2021. The Endowment hopes that these grants enable recipients to cross these milestones in a stronger position to sustain and build on their contributions to the cultural vitality of the city and state."

These grants are just part of the Endowment’s commitment to arts and cultural organizations in Indianapolis and across the state. Many other organizations in this sector have received significant support for their efforts. Recent major grants to the Indiana State Museum and Indiana Historical Society, for example, reflect this commitment to nurturing the cultural vibrancy of Indianapolis and of communities across the state.

The Endowment’s grantmaking focuses in the areas of community development, education and religion. Besides supporting arts and cultural organizations, the Endowment funds human services, youth programs, central-city and neighborhood revitalization and low-income housing needs in Indianapolis. It supports education efforts in early childhood learning, K-12 and higher education throughout the state. The Endowment also routinely offers initiatives to support community foundations and United Ways across Indiana.

For this effort, the Endowment made grants to the following organizations:

  • American Pianists Association: $5 million
  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: $10 million
  • Conner Prairie Museum: $7.5 million
  • Dance Kaleidoscope: $5 million
  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art: $7.5 million
  • Heartland Film: $5 million
  • Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana: $7.5 million
  • Indiana Humanities Council: $5 million
  • Indiana Repertory Theatre: $7.5 million
  • Indiana Symphony Society (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra): $10 million
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art: $10 million
  • Indianapolis Zoological Society (Indianapolis Zoo): $10 million
  • International Center: $5 million
  • Josef Gingold Fund for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis: $5 million

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector.