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Indiana Arts Groups Face Difficulties Fundraising

Elizabeth KramerSome Indiana institutions have issued a report about the condition of the state’s arts organizations. The Indiana Arts Commission enlisted Indiana University’s School of Public And Environmental Affairs to conduct a survey of more than 1,500 organizations.Kirsten Grønbjerg is an Indiana University professor and chair of the school’s Center on Philanthropy. She says the data shows Indiana’s arts groups have some priority concerns — particularly— "More funding — that clearly what the organizations themselves say what is what is needed," she says, "but also technical assistance, workshops and opportunities for learning from other organizations providing similar kinds of services."Laura Frank is with the Indiana Arts Commission. She says the commission has already begun acting on some of the report’s findings."We found funding assistance is needed and so we had a seminar on fundraising and constituent building in the current economy," Frank says. "And we also found peer learning and collaborative activities are important so we had a seminar last week called Leading at the Speed of Change."(The Arts Commission, which is a department of state government, worked with the Indiana Coalition for the Arts, an advocacy organization that also helps artists and arts groups.)Grønbjerg says the report shows that arts groups are having a much harder time obtaining funding than other kinds of non-profit groups. She says they deserve help to continue the role they play in communities."These organizations are looking to community leaders and funders, policy makers to provide support for these organizations," Grønbjerg says. "They are an important part of the quality of life in local communities."Grønbjerg and Frank say the report will be useful to organizations that fund arts groups and to government officials.