For Disability Pride Month in July, accessABILITY is working with organizations to create commitments to “Add the A” of accessibility into DEIA initiatives. We asked the Indy Arts Council how they are committed to #AddTheA and include people with disabilities in their events, spaces, and programs, and here’s what they said!
Indy Arts Council is a nonprofit arts services and advocacy organization whose vision is to achieve “A Full Creative Life for All” in Indianapolis. A commitment to equity is embedded in our mission, and we hope people with disabilities not only feel welcome to participate in arts and culture, but also to shape those experiences so that their ideas and perspectives are reflected.
As part of a strategic planning process, we will undergo an organization-wide accessibility audit that will influence the work we do with artists, arts organizations and the public. We are looking forward to how those findings will help our team grow and learn, but here are five ways we currently #AddtheA to our work.
One of our newer grant programs, honoring the legacy of artist Wug Luku, offers direct funding to artists to access therapy and wellness programs to support their mental health.
We invite everyone to visit Gallery 924, a contemporary, casual space–and a popular “First Friday” destination–where exhibits are laid out to ensure comfort and accessibility for all patrons.
- We support 85 nonprofit arts and culture organizations through the $1.5 million City of Indianapolis Annual Grants Program. One of those is ArtMix, which transforms the lives of people with disabilities through the creation of art. ArtMix was the top-scoring organization in this competitive program in 2023, a testament to its DEIA commitment. Indy Arts Council also teamed up on a month-long promotion with WICR (88.7) to spotlight ArtMix’s mission. It’s one example of how we work to amplify the voices and missions of Annual Grants Program partners.
- Lifelong learning and resource sharing are important to us. The Indy Arts Council offers the IDEA Learning Series, which features in-person peer-to-peer sessions and online expert-led workshops attended by over 300 arts and culture leaders, staff, board members, and teaching artists. ArtMix CEO Britt Sutton will be one of the 2023 panelists–and we are excited that Jessica Minor, accessABILITY Director of Community Engagement, will also be a featured speaker. In addition, our 60-member Indy Arts & Culture Equity Task Force meets quarterly to provide DEIA-focused dialogue, including how arts leaders can incorporate accessibility within their organizations.
We are overhauling our Indyarts.org website–rewriting the words to make sure the language is clear and concise and redesigning it to ensure the experience is accessible to people with disabilities. This is a long-overdue project and we are looking forward to launching our new website later this year.