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INDIANAPOLIS – In a typical year, more than 1,000 artists, performers, and arts and culture patrons gather at Start with Art, a popular Arts Council of Indianapolis fundraiser to kick off the fall arts season. This month, the Arts Council will host (Re)Start with Art, a virtual benefit presented by Schahet Hotels and produced in partnership with WFYI, to support COVID-19 relief and recovery of the arts and cultural sector and celebrate all the innovative ways #IndyKeepsCreating.

Tickets are free for (Re)Start with Art, which will be streamed from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, on YouTube Live, and all donations will benefit the new Keep Indy Creating Relief Fund. The Arts Council has launched a campaign to raise $1 million for the Relief Fund, which will provide emergency grants to central Indiana creatives and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that are suffering severe financial losses due to an estimated 30,000+ event cancellations and venue closures between March and September.

The Keep Indy Creating Relief Fund currently has leadership commitments approaching $800,000 including support from the City of Indianapolis (through the City’s latest CARES Act allocation), the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Glick Philanthropies, the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), presenting sponsor Schahet Hotels, and more than 25 generous corporate and civic partners.

The Fund is also supported by a public campaign to reach the $1 million goal. Individual donations of any amount made by Dec. 31, 2020, will be doubled by the Efroymson Match Challenge up to $100,000.

The Keep Indy Creating Relief Fund builds on relief and recovery programs supporting Indy’s nonprofit arts and culture sector including the $10 million Indy Arts and Culture Restart & Resilience Fund made possible by Lilly Endowment, CARES Act support through federal, state, and city programs, and several national, regional, and local artist relief and recovery grant programs.

“We’re deeply grateful for the strong community response to date, but we’re seeing a growing need for additional support to ensure #IndyKeepsCreating as the pandemic continues,” said Julie Goodman, the Arts Council’s President and CEO.

Goodman explained that Indy’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is losing more than $8.6 million per month due to COVID-related closures and cancellations. In addition, arts and culture organizations are facing more than $20 million in new unanticipated expenses to safely reopen and restart operations. And nearly 100% of independent artists and arts and culture workers have experienced severe losses in income.

“Amid massive challenges, our artists and arts organizations are resilient and relentless in their commitment to continue serving our community,” said Goodman. “We look forward to celebrating all the ways that Indy Keeps Creating and the essential role of arts and culture in the recovery of our city during (Re)Start with Art.”

Since March, Indianapolis-based artists, and arts and cultural organizations, have responded in innovative ways to survive and serve the needs of their communities, and to reimagine how to more equitably and inclusively deliver their missions. They’ve delivered art kits to children; sewed masks for healthcare workers; invited us “into” their homes, performance spaces, and galleries for virtual shows; created tools to help people register to vote; painted murals to advocate for racial justice; and more.

(Re)Start with Art will showcase these inspiring stories, while also presenting debut music, theater, and dance performances, and special guest/celebrity appearances. Emmanuel Carter, a nationally recognized Indy-based actor and former student at Asante Children’s Theatre (now known as the Asante Art Institute of Indianapolis, Inc.), will serve as host and emcee. Carter competed on “America’s Got Talent” with his former dance group, co-starred in the 2019 Netflix show “Soundtrack,” appeared in the film “Creed 2,” has performed on TV shows “Fatal Attraction” and “For My Man,” and appeared in more than 40 commercials. (See his resume and highlight reel.)

“My goal as an actor/entertainer is to contribute a truly positive influence on the world because it’s a very effective and loving way of uniting people,” Carter said. “It doesn’t matter what your background or ideology is – we all just wanna feel good, and when you feel good, good things happen!”

ABOUT (Re)START WITH ART
What it is
: A virtual benefit featuring inspiring stories, music, dance, spoken word,  theater, short films, and special guest appearances to celebrate all the ways #IndyKeepsCreating. Tickets are free but donations will help the Keep Indy Creating Relief Fund reach its $1 million goal.

When: Friday, October 23, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (pre-show) and 8 to 9 p.m. (program) on YouTube Live.

Tickets: Guests can reserve free tickets here. An event link will be sent to registered guests before the show.

ABOUT THE KEEP INDY CREATING RELIEF  FUND
Purpose
: Provides emergency grants to cover basic living expenses to central Indiana artists, and arts and culture workers, and emergency operating support to arts and culture organizations that have suffered severe financial losses due to COVID-19. The Fund will be administered by the Arts Council.

Background: In spring 2020, the Arts Council and generous community partners and individual donors from throughout central Indiana raised $475,000 to provide 950 rapid-response grants to artists to help bridge the severe lost wages that made many members of Indy’s creative community vulnerable. Nearly 100% of central Indiana creatives affected by the pandemic say help with basic living expenses, such as food, rent/mortgage, and healthcare costs, continues to be their greatest need.

To donate: Individual donations of any amount made to the Keep Indy Creating Relief Fund through Dec. 31, 2020, will be doubled by the Efroymson Match Challenge up to $100,000.

To apply for a Relief Fund grant: Applications will open to individual artists and arts/cultural workers on Nov. 2, 2020, at IndyKeepsCreating.org.

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The Arts Council of Indianapolis fosters meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations can thrive. Read the Arts Council’s Equity Statement here.

 

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