INDIANAPOLIS – Thursday, the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced it has awarded $64,000 to 32 creative entrepreneurs to fund arts projects around the state through the agency’s On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program.
Each funded project will support the pursuit of a clearly defined business goal that also supports the entrepreneur’s community.
“These artists represent the incredible talent and entrepreneurial work that can be found in every corner of the Hoosier state,” said Miah Michaelsen, Executive Director of the IAC. “This fellowship allows On-Ramp participants to grow their creative careers while strengthening their communities. We are proud to support this creative and economic growth across Indiana.”
Monroe County resident Aja Essex plans to focus her fellowship on developing and launching a crowdfunding campaign for Bloomington’s first women-led independent, community-supported cinema. These funds would be used to establish the groundwork for a sustainable cinema model. Essex seeks to establish a community-supported non-profit movie theater in Bloomington centered around her mission of bringing underseen and underrepresented cinema to Southern Indiana.
Marion County resident Beatriz Vasquez, a Papel Picado artist, will utilize the fellowship funds to increase outreach, inclusion, and accessibility of art to the elder and senior communities in Indiana. Vasquez will partner with Traditional Arts Indiana at Indiana University to host a series of workshops for older adults. Art kits will also be distributed to participants in order to encourage family and community involvement. At the conclusion of the project, Vasquez will collect the artwork and create a collaborative paper installation to be shared at an exhibition.