Indy Keeps Creating Cultural Connection Grant

The Cultural Connect Grants will enable artists and community-based organizations and other entities doing cultural public programming in Marion County to apply for funding to support artist engagement in community-centric events. Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 will support the hiring of local artists (residing in Marion county) of all disciplines for community-planned projects, festivals, and/or events. Any expenses incurred after August 1, 2021, and/or planned through December 31, 2021, will be eligible for funding. Expenses incurred prior to August 1, 2021 will NOT be considered for funding. Awards to activations and events in lower-income communities and communities with high percentages of people of color will be prioritized. Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis from October 15 – November 5. Applicants who are not awarded in previous rounds will be automatically considered for funding in the following rounds until all funds are distributed. Apply here.


Round 1 Deadline Sunday, October 10th,11:59 PM

Notified Friday, October 15th

Round 2 Deadline Sunday, October 17th, 11:59 PM

Notified Friday, October 22nd

Round 3 Deadline Sunday, October 24th, 11:59 PM

Notified Friday, October 29th

Round 4 Deadline Sunday, October 31st, 11:59 PM

Notified Friday, November 5th

Who is eligible?

Individual artists, community-based organizations, and other entities offering public programming (does not need to be a 501c3 nonprofit organization) in Marion County. Applicants can include Marion County-based arts organizations and individual artists collaborating with other entities.

Funded activities will:

  • Take place in Marion County – downtown and in neighborhoods across the city.
  • Prioritize free, open, accessible, and/or affordable events that are also accessible via public transportation.
  • Adhere to racial equity priorities outlined below.
  • Support artists of all disciplines who reside in Marion County. We consider artists to include curators, visual artists, public artists, teaching artists, spoken word poets and other literary artists, performing artists, musicians, theater performers, placemakers, socially engaged artists, etc.
  • Prioritize events that include cultural programs and neighborhood engagement and activations in public spaces anywhere in the city of Indianapolis. Downtown locations may include Monument Circle, Georgia Street, Lugar Plaza, and the Canal, Indy’s Cultural Districts, Indy Parks, and neighborhoods of special interest to the City, including the three identified LiftIndy communities, LISC’s five Great Places neighborhoods, and Reconnecting to our Waterways (ROW)’s six waterway districts.
  • Take place after August 1, 2021 and/or planned through December 31, 2021.

Use of Funds

The primary purpose of these funds is to provide paid opportunities for artists to engage in community activations and events. Secondary fees may also include marketing (designer fee, promotional materials, website fees, ads, social media costs), program supplies, equipment, or venue/rental fees.

This grant will not fund:

  • The development of conventional, private studio work for a typical exhibition format
  • Artistic commercial businesses: e.g. wedding photography, florists
  • Proposals whose sole or primary purpose is to purchase or rent equipment, to meet travel expenses, or to pay for professional services
  • Travel expenses
  • Food and beverages
  • Lodging

Equity Priorities:

  • Ensure diverse decision-making representation and an equitable selection process within the overall scope and for each initiative
  • All activations will uphold the #IndyKeepsCreating Pledge – Safety, Equity, Innovation, Collaboration
  • All activations must meet/exceed COVID-19 safety protocols and State of Indiana, Marion County, and City of Indianapolis public health guidelines
  • Funded experiences will prioritize open/accessible/affordable events and all content will be appropriate for all ages
  • All artists engaged through this program must be paid a competitive wage, included in the application
  • At least 47.5% of all artist investments (both dollar investment and number) will support engagement by artists of color
  • Investments in vendors/curators/contract partners (both dollar investment and number) minority- and women-owned businesses are encouraged (city’s list:

What kind of proposal is likely to get funded?

  • A program/event that makes a good case that this is the right project at the right time for a particular place is very likely to get funded.
  • Program/events that show authentic partnerships between an artist and a neighborhood are more likely to get funded. Ideally, the artist lives in the same neighborhood where they will be doing the project, but it is not a requirement.
  • The program or event is purposely addressing and promoting the inclusion of community members and underserved audiences. Programs/events that take place in low-income neighborhoods are encouraged.
  • The program/event is accessible to the public and aligns with the equity priorities of this grant.

Required attachments

  • Budget Form
  • Artist cv/resume(s) and website(s)
  • If an existing annual event please upload sample photos from previous years.
  • For reimbursement projects: additional documentation of the event (photos, videos, or links) and invoice(s) for contracting artists are required

Additional Information

  • Funded proposals will receive the full awarded amount two weeks after the award date.
  • Only fully completed applications will be considered for funding.
  • Invoices by artists and documentation of payment to artists will be required in final reports.
  • For application assistance please contact Big Car Grants & Data Manager, Summer Alaniz at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Download the Application Documents here:

Made possible by the City of Indianapolis & American Rescue Plan Act. Administered by Big Car in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis.