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Funding assistance top priority for arts groups

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Top capacity-building priorities for arts and culture organizations in Indiana include funding assistance, peer learning, collaborative activities with other arts and culture groups, and technical-assistance support, a new report says.

Financial resources post the most challenge for the state’s arts and culture groups, followed by networking and advocacy, marketing, programs and planning, information technology, human resources, and operations and governance, Kirsten A. Grønbjerg, project director at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, says in a statement.

The report, Nonprofit Capacity Assessment for Indiana’s Arts and Culture Organizations, was commissioned by the Indiana Arts Commission and prepared by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Across-the-board challenges are most severe, Grønbjerg says, for organizations dedicated entirely to arts and culture, those that count heavily on volunteers, and those with board vacancies.

With over 80 percent of roughly 385 survey participants seeing multi-year funding and general overhead as very helpful, the report says recommends as the top priority that Indiana funders give serious consideration to providing that type of support to arts and culture groups seeking help with capacity-building needs.

Endowment funding, small grants and challenge grants targeted at particular areas of capacity building also likely would be very useful, the report says.

It also recommends that arts and culture funders, and other community leaders, “give serious consideration to creating opportunities for peer interactions and information sharing” among executive and others in key arts and culture management positions, such as volunteer mangers, special event coordinators and grant writers.

And it recommends that funders look for ways to facilitate collaborative activities among arts and culture groups, and give particular attention to identifying and supporting high-quality consultants, student internship programs, and workshop or training opportunities, all in the area of technical assistance for arts and culture groups.

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